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I am a newcomer to ForArgyll and enjoy …

Comment posted Major environmental groups seriously compromised by wind developers’ cash by Jamie McIntyre.

I am a newcomer to ForArgyll and enjoy much of what is posted here. I am now beginning to get a picture about ‘who is who’ amongst posters which helps explain where their arguments are coming from.

However I am confused about ForArgyll’s pitch: this story has been posted by ‘newsroom’ but is as much opinion piece as news information (which is what the name implies). Could FA not post news items under ‘newsroom’, and separately post opinion pieces – which in themselves are perfectly valid – under a clear ‘opinion’ label? This would be more transparent.

As to this particular opinion piece, I am going to refrain from commenting on the merits of the technology in question but would point out a couple of journalistic issues:

Firstly – ‘wind energy is neither clean nor green’ is not an ‘agnostic’ statement, I suggest this is reworded.

Secondly, in constructing an argument on the merits of a particular technology, highlighting a negative in isolation is not especially informative to the reader unless (a) any positives are also assessed alongside, and (b) the positives & negatives of the alternatives are discussed.

It is disappointing that FA claims that such a discussion has not yet been had (“as yet neither of these arguments has progressed beyond consensual persuasion. This is not enough”), but then rather than choosing to explore these arguments, resorts to writing a piece which doesn’t appear to reflect the ‘honest but searching’ qualities they ascribe to themselves.

Recent comments by Jamie McIntyre

  • Gigha community ownership on brink of failure
    There seems to be precious little independent research or analysis in parts of this comment thread, or indeed the original article which appears to draw on a very limited Sunday Herald story rather than any hard facts – plus of course a good dose of Newsie’s opinion masquerading as fact (and of course offensive personal attacks on people who don’t share that opinion).

    On a general note, a more useful piece of journalism for Newsie to explore might be the contrast between the declarations of doom quoted by the SH, with the apparently healthy financial return presented to OSCR:

    On the renewables side specifically, the excess capacity of the 4th turbine is the subject of an innovative battery storage project which will allow the community both to access the increased output, and importantly, its income. Again, this info is readily available on the web

    There is without doubt an important story to be explored about Gigha which could usefully inform the further development of land reform. Instead, Newsie has preferred the ‘see, I told you so’ school of opinion-piece writing that tells us little except to confirm her own prejudices.

  • Robert Trythall: Renewables development – an independent Scotland will be dependent on rUK subsidy support
    Whether or not rUK would ‘require’ to support renewables development in Scotland, in the real world (not that of politically-motivated claim and counter claim), if it was cheaper and easier to do so, rUK would.

    That’s not my personal opinion, it is that of the EU & business:

    “Balke said as 2020 approaches, countries are more likely to turn to so-called renewable energy trading to meet their goals.

    “Some member states are now reaching the point where it becomes relatively expensive to continue on their national trajectory only using national resources (to meet renewable targets), so in a sense the urgency to use these mechanisms is starting to become bigger,” he said.

  • Importance of EU funds for Highlands & Islands emphasised in parliamentary debate
    Are you confident the ‘more money available’ would actually come to the Highlands & Islands?

    The point is that the EU targets funding at fragile areas in recognition of their development needs. By contrast the UK government has a London/South-East focus in its investment decisions – to the detriment not just of us but many other peripheral regions of the UK.

  • Importance of EU funds for Highlands & Islands emphasised in parliamentary debate
    Curious. No mention of the threat to this funding from a UK withdrawal from the EU after the 2017 in/out referendum?
  • Scots Pine: national tree and hostage to fortune
    Newsie: a ‘wretched fungus’ already occurs in this country which affects Scots pine – Dothistroma Needle Blight (also known as Red Band Needle Blight). More information at

    Slight irony in the choice of national tree: even as FCS is “developing a funding package and a range of activities to help promote the national tree of Scotland symbol across the country”, it is selling off historic native pinewood sites as surplus to requirements……

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