I am also known as PR_Totty, the bridge between the media and the forum users of Olivenet’s flagship defence online community, The Army Rumour Service aka ARRSE. My role is to transpose the needs of the forum, the MOD and the media so that they can be satisfactorily met to support everyone’s requirement.
It’s thankless and sometimes impossible task but we do our best to accommodate where possible. This means adhering to the rules laid down by the MOD, empathizing with the unique culture of the forum and also understanding the needs of the media.
The relationship between the armed services and the media is turbulent one, as serving personnel seesaw between wanting their victories celebrated, their failings ignored and their culture understood without explanation. At the heart of the matter is trust.
Can serving personnel trust the media to deliver a fair, well-informed, factual depiction of the story?
In order to establish trust their needs to be dialogue and two-way communication and so in order to fulfill this need the ‘Totty Talks To’ series was born.
PR Totty and The Army Rumour Service are running a series of articles interviewing the Defence Editors of the media so that they can lay down their Defence Editorship mantle. The aim is that serving personnel can glean a greater understanding of their journalistic motivations. The plan is to bridge the gap even further, concerning the oasis of misunderstanding that can lie between the media and the perceptions of serving personnel.
Opening the series is The Sun’s Defence Editor Team consisting of Duncan Larcombe and David Willetts. Larcombe recently took over The Sun’s Defence Editorship from Tom Newton Dun. They talked exclusively to me as The Army Rumour Service’s PR_Totty laying down their vision for the future of The Sun’s Defence Editorship.