The Journalist’s Guide To Writing About The Royal Navy

As an Ex RAF type person this sort of lazy journalism about any of the armed forces is irritating, excellently put!

J D Davies

Inspired by the consistently dreadful coverage of naval matters in the British media, as highlighted by such recent stories as ‘300 admirals and captains for 19 warships’ (thank you, the Daily Fail) and the announcement of the closure of the shipbuilding yard at Portsmouth.

  1. Firstly, and above all, not all warships are ‘battleships’. The battleship is [a] a specific type of warship [b] old [c] big [d] very, very big. Thus to describe a frigate or (worse) a minesweeper as a ‘battleship’ is essentially the same as describing a Cocker Spaniel as a Rottweiler: all three ships are warships, just as the Cocker and the Rott are both dogs, but that’s about as far as the similarity goes.
  2. The Royal Navy does not have ’19 warships’. It has 19 destroyers and frigates, but these are not the only types of warships. There are bigger ones (e.g. helicopter carriers and…

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