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The photos are the best bits: the pretty girl who has just graduated, the former Japanese prisoner of war smiling after at last receiving compensation, the 1936 photo of kids from Kirkgunzeon primary school, the kilted Kirkcudbright and District pipe band.... NEWS? Belted Galloway cattle being slaughtered, crime clear-up rates (best in the country), job losses, possible school closures, buses going too fast: these are typical of the stories appearing on the front and several inside pages of the GALLOWAY NEWS. Crime stories? This is not london, so crime stories are often of the 'man parked in wrong place' type, rather than 'fifteen shot dead in Harlesden.' Campaigns? The Galloway news tends not to shout particularly loudly about issues such as RAF plane crashes, Lockerbie trial verdicts, depleted uranium shells and the general neglect of the area by ministers in Edinburgh and London. Editorials tend to be 'waffly' and non-controversial. There is no sign of investigative journalism uncovering major scandals. Well, that's not entirely true. The local press has occasionally highlighted the growing heroin problem. The Letters to the Editor can be much more aggressive than the Editorials. This sort of thing- 'SIR, Mr Joe Bloggs who wrote in last week's edition obviously knows absolutely nothing at all about....' To be frank, a lot of the news stories are a trifle boring, unless you happen to know Mrs McHaggis who talked to the Women's Guild, or Mr McBagpipe who won a prize at the flower show, or Master Mc Sporran who stole a packet of porridge oats from the Coop. And then, when you particularly want to read the report about something like the Dalbeattie Over-90's outing to Bangkok, it's not there. It may be printed in four weeks time, if there's space. Sport? Yes, there are the usual reports on Threave Rovers, golf, darts, rugby... Actually the
reports on Threave Rovers make them sound far more interesting and authentic than Manchester United. Adverts? The print is not always totally clear, but, this is where you learn that Stephen's Disco is on at the Market Inn or BILLY ELLIOT is showing at the Lochside Theatre, or you can buy A BABY BOUNCING CHAIR for £3. The Galloway News may not be wildly exciting but can you do without it if you live in Galloway?