Thursday, 22 September 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From MP blasts Newsquest for absence of any form of duty of care to staff to those punishing Bake Off headlines

Bromley & Chislehurst MP Bob Neil in a letter to Newsquest CEO Henry Faure Walker over redundancies at the company's South London titles: "I know very well the need for efficiencies and savings, but the cyclical, unrelenting manner in which Newsquest seeks too make these changes - most recently with  the announcement that professional photographers will no longer be used - shows a complete absence of any form of duty of care to its staff, and perhaps more damaging from a reputational perspective, a flagrant disregard to the readers it reports to."

Iliffe Media chairman Edward Iliffe to HoldTheFrontPage on launching a new weekly, the Cambridge Independent“The structural changes and challenges for the traditional newspaper industry are well documented. But we strongly believe there is a demand for quality journalism, useful information and entertaining content published across multiple formats to local communities,”

The Washington Post in a leader on Edward Snowden, some of whose leaked security surveillance information was published by the paper: "EDWARD SNOWDEN, the former National Security Agency contractor who blew the cover off the federal government’s electronic surveillance programs three years ago, has his admirers. After the inevitably celebratory Oliver Stone film about him appears this weekend, he may have more. Whether Mr. Snowden deserves a presidential pardon, as human rights organizations are demanding in a new national campaign timed to coincide with the film, is a complicated question, however, to which President Obama’s answer should continue to be 'no'.”

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "My lawyers want to sue the failing @nytimes so badly for irresponsible intent. I said no (for now), but they are watching. Really disgusting."

David Yelland ‏@davidyelland on Twitter: "The US media has an historic duty to question Trump but is weak and oddly deferential to his celebrity status. The networks are worst."

Jeremy Corbyn asked in a Guardian interview what he would have done differently in his first year as Labour leader: “I would be better prepared for the media onslaught. I knew it was going to be difficult. But even I was surprised at the levels of refusal to engage, or to try to understand what we’re trying to achieve.”

The Wall Street Journal in a leader on Les Hinton, former CEO of the paper's parent company Dow Jones, being cleared of misleading Parliament over phone hacking at the News of the World:"The phone hacking practices that led to News of the World’s abrupt closure were 'deplorable.' But those practices were used as a pretext by our competitors in the press and the usual political suspects to malign and try to bring down an entire news organization. Another principal media target of the scandal, News International CEO Rebekah Brooks, was acquitted of all charges against her in a 2014 criminal trial. As for Mr. Hinton, his parliamentary vindication is, as he says, 'too little and too late,' but it should be a warning of the damage that political frenzies can do to the lives and careers of honorable men."

Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, in the wake of a decision by Liverpool City Council, led by Mayor Joe Anderson, to unanimously vote to support the 'Total Eclipse of The S*n' campaign which has called on newsgagents to refuse to stock and sell the Sun over its coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster: "In a free society people must be free to choose which newspapers they read or sell. The comments from Joe Anderson demonstrate the danger when he says that if he had his way he would ban The Sun. That is what happens in dictatorships and banana republics."

The Sunday Times [£] under the headline 'You’d batter believe it' : "Guess which item of news these headlines from last week were reporting: Crumbs! This takes biscuit (Sun); Bun Fight (Mirror); Desserted (Sun); and — just for a change — Crumbs! (Mail). Has any TV programme in history done more than The Great British Bake Off to preserve the art of the terrible newspaper pun?"

And the puns keep coming from the story that keeps on giving...


Friday, 16 September 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: How print still beats the web to now nasty Rob Titchener abuses hacks

Jack Shafer on Politico"Print—particularly the newspaper—is an amazingly sophisticated technology for showing you what’s important, and showing you a lot of it. The newspaper has refined its user interface for more than two centuries. Incorporated into your daily newspaper's architecture are the findings from field research conducted in thousands of newspapers over hundreds of millions of editions. Newspaper designers have created a universal grammar of headline size, typeface, place, letter spacing, white space, sections, photography, and illustration that gives readers subtle clues on what and how to read to satisfy their news needs. Web pages can't convey this metadata because there's not enough room on the screen to display it all."

Allison Pearson in the Telegraph: "It is scarcely credible at the start of the 21st century that the number of national newspaper columnists who went to Westminster, Eton or other private schools outnumber those of us who went to a comprehensive. How is it possible that the kind of school that serves 93 per cent of the population should be so pitifully under-represented among the ranks of those who pontificate on state education about which, to be perfectly fair, they know absolutely bugger all?"

Harold Evans‏ @sirharryevans on Twitter: "For sheer disgusting hyena journalism see -or rather don't- NY Post splash on Clinton sickness."

Donald Trump at a rally in New Hampshire, as reported by the Huffington Post: “I have really good news for you. I just heard that the press is stuck on their airplane. They can’t get here. I love it...They called us and said, ‘Could you wait? I said, ‘Absolutely not.’ Let’s get going, right? Let’s get going, New Hampshire.”

Trinity Mirror in a statement: "Trinity Mirror has confirmed that it will be handing back four of the eight regional Metro franchises it operates to DMGT. The Scotland, Cardiff, Bristol, and East Midlands Metro franchises will be handed back with effect from 1st January 2017 but (it is understood) are likely to be continued to be published by DMGT. Trinity Mirror will continue to operate its other Metro franchises in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Birmingham. Trinity Mirror has run the regional Metro franchises since each was launched over the last 15 years. However, as circulation and advertising revenue has declined, the profitability and sustainability of each franchise for the company has been reviewed."

Metro in a statement: "From 1 October 2016, Metro is set to increase its national print circulation by 10%, increasing the paper's daily print run to 1.477 million – its largest ever. Most extra copies of the newspaper will be distributed in the London area, upping the number available each weekday morning to almost 900,000 in the capital. Metro will be expanding the edition's existing presence on the bus network, with the paper available to even more commuters in London and the South East."

David Walsh in the Sunday Times [£]: "It has always been clear that those with most to hide are often quickest to sue. Putting it bluntly, they use their lawyers to discourage inquiry. This response is now exacerbated by changes in the way we receive our news and the difficulties that have arisen from our industry’s original sin: free content. [David] Simon’s point is undeniable. Proper journalism depends upon an online revenue stream. The irony is that journalism has never been as vital to a country’s overall health as it is now. A current example: there is a sporting body out there, funded by you and I, the taxpayer, who seem almost eager to pass on every difficult question to their lawyers. They employ PR staff but you wouldn’t know this if you emailed a serious question. Instead the lawyers write long letters for large fees. What lawyers love, though, is further correspondence. Most newspapers cannot afford to engage in lengthy legal actions and, of course, this is something the unscrupulous exploit."

Jeff Jarvis in an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg after Facebook took down the famous Vietnam war picture of a girl victim of napalm: "Dear Mark Zuckerberg, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Facebook needs an editor — to stop Facebook from editing. It needs someone to save Facebook from itself by bringing principles to the discussion of rules. There is actually nothing new in this latest episode: Facebook sends another takedown notice over a picture with nudity. What is new is that Facebook wants to take down an iconic photo of great journalistic meaning and historic importance and that Facebook did this to a leading editor, Espen Egil Hansen, editor-in-chief of Aftenposten, who answered forcefully: 'The media have a responsibility to consider publication in every single case. This may be a heavy responsibility. Each editor must weigh the pros and cons. This right and duty, which all editors in the world have, should not be undermined by algorithms encoded in your office in California…. Editors cannot live with you, Mark, as a master editor'."

Peter Preston in The Observer: "Facebook, though now the biggest carrier of digital news on Planet Earth, says it isn’t an editor or publisher, merely a humble platform. But now watch it change algorithms like any publisher in a jam. Watch it take editorial decisions, switching idiocy for sense. And watch it drain advertising revenue pretty voraciously from the news sites it carries. Dear Mark is part of our news world now. And he needs to be fully, intelligently engaged in it."

Dylan Jones in The New European: "Van Morrison tends to think that most journalists are dumber than cardboard. As one said, he takes to interviews like a duck to tarmac."

Daily Mail@DailyMailUK on Twitter: "Police create crime map that looks like a giant pink penis"

Ben Fenton ‏@benfenton on Twitter: "Slow news day?"

Daily Mail U.K. ‏@DailyMail on Twitter @benfenton"yes".

Rob Titchener in The Archers reviews the papers: "Here's another one. 'Serial Abuser Posed as Mr. Nice Guy'. My life reduced to a salacious headline. How can they live with themselves inventing this nonsense. These hacks have no idea."


Thursday, 8 September 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: Sunday Mirror rent boys splash accounts for Keith Vaz to Brexit means more expensive newspapers as newsprint rises

MP Keith Vaz on Sunday Mirror revelations about his private life, in a statement to BBC News:"It is deeply disturbing that a national newspaper should have paid individuals to have acted in this way."

Daily Mail in a leader: "To the public, isn’t it infinitely more troubling that the politician in charge of scrutinising policy on drugs and the vice trade – not to mention the police – is himself up to his eyes in sleaze?"

The Telegraph in a leader: "This newspaper has argued over many years that MPs sadly cannot be trusted to police their own conduct, calling instead for independent oversight, perhaps from a body similar to the US Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent watchdog solely composed of non-politicians. Mr Vaz is living proof of why politicians cannot be trusted to regulate themselves."

Keith Vaz in a statement on his resignation as chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee: "Those who hold others to account, must themselves be accountable."

Anthony Loyd in The Times [£]:"It was with some surprise watching a video of a victorious band of western-backed rebels that I noticed the face of America’s newest ally in the war against Isis in Syria. It was the face of a man I last saw in May 2014 when he leant forward to shoot me twice in the left ankle at almost point-blank range while my hands were tied. It was punishment for having attempted to escape his gang of kidnappers in northern Syria who had hoped to sell me on. He shot me in the middle of a crowd of onlookers, after a savage preliminary beating, denouncing me as 'a CIA spy'. Now, it seems, he works with them."

Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, who is leaving to become Hearst's first content officer, in an interview with the New York Times: “I love Cosmo, but I gave it everything I had. I just didn’t have another sex position in me.”

Kenny Farquharson in The Times Scotland [£]: "I have reason to be wary of office awaydays. An old editor of mine once whisked his senior staff to a nice hotel in Troon for a two-day brainstorming session. Drink was taken. Harsh words were spoken. And the hotel burnt down in the middle of the night. An electrical fault, you understand. Nothing to do with us. We all just stood on the lawn in our jammies watching the hotel burn. I can’t recall many bright ideas being generated on that trip but for some time afterwards the atmosphere in the office was a little tense."

Paul Waugh on the Huffington Post: "It wasn’t an easy start to the summit for May, with Obama stressing his priorities are a trans-pacific and US-EU trade deal before any UK-US deal. There was a lovely moment in the presser where the Mail’s Jason Groves asked the Prez if he regretted making his ‘back of the queue’ threat, “or are you really going to punish us for taking a democratic decision?” Obama said 'That’s quite an editorial question…' Quick as a flash, and to laughter, Groves explained, deadpan: 'I work for the Daily Mail'."

Nick Clegg in the Guardian: “The more I governed with Gove and his team, the more I realised he was just striking a series of superficial poses. You’ve got a generation of politicians very close to the media, people like Boris Johnson and Gove, and the problem is, the skill of tossing off 800 words on one subject and then on another a week later is completely different to governing."

Wall Street Journal publisher and Dow Jones ceo Will Lewis, speaking at the NewsMediaWorks Future Forum in Sydney, as reported by Mumbrella“When it comes to consuming the content that matters, people will choose healthy eating over digital junk food. Trust and confidence in our journalism, I think, is now winning. The appetite for quality journalism is as keen as ever. It is perhaps even keener as audiences find that the fare slopped out by the new entrants and aggregators pumped up on steroid-like venture capital funding isn’t quite to their taste...Journalist freedom, rather than journalism for free is what we should all be about.”

Will Lewis, again speaking at the NewsMediaWorks Future Forum, describes the Independent since it dumped its print edition: "A pitiful graveyard of a website”.

The NUJ in a statement: "Newsquest has put its entire south London newsroom on notice of redundancy, bar the managing editor and the web editor. The company has told its employees that four reporters, two content editors, three subeditors, an editorial assistant and the deputy managing editor will all be cut by mid-October. The remaining staff of 12 reporters and four content editors will be expected to continue to produce 11 newspapers and eight associated websites. The reporters will be expected cover all features, sport and leisure and well as news."


Giles Coren in The Times [£] has an idea for a new magazine aimed at people his age: "If you are going to try to differentiate between us readers on the basis of age and cater for specific groups based on birthdate alone, then at least do it properly. Give me a newspaper for people of 47. And call it 47 so that I don’t get confused. It’ll be brilliant. Each week I will expect 47 to look at the big stories in news, sport, business and the wider culture and ask how they affect people of EXACTLY 47."

Daily Mail in a retraction: "To the extent that anything in the Daily Mail's article was interpreted as stating or suggesting that Mrs. Trump worked as an 'escort' or in the 'sex business,' that she had a 'composite or presentation card for the sex business,' or that either of the modeling agencies referenced in the article were engaged in these businesses, it is hereby retracted, and the Daily Mail newspaper regrets any such misinterpretation. The Daily Mail newspaper and MailOnline/ have entirely separate editors and journalistic teams."

Oliver Duff, editor of the i, in a letter to readers: "I’m sorry to write to you with unwelcome news. I wanted to let you know that next week, on Monday, the cover price of i will rise by 10p, to 50p...The cost of newsprint alone is increasing by 8 to 12 per cent because of the Brexit fall in the pound, a considerable annualised sum for all publishers."


Thursday, 1 September 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From why those who believe in a free press should fear Impress to Matt would win gold in the cartoon Olympics

Index on Censorship in a statement: "We are extremely concerned that recognition of Impress has the potential to introduce punitive measures for small publishers and to stifle investigative journalism. We are also concerned about the transparency of its funding. These are factors that threaten freedom of the press... Although Impress has said it would not 'be beholden to anyone' and that a charity would would act as 'buffer' between any donor from which it receives funds, the idea that a single wealthy individual should control the purse strings for a supposedly independent regulator should strike fear into the hearts of those who believe in a free press."

Michael Wolff in USA Today: "There are two clear winners in digital media, Google and Facebook, and their imperial success has largely reduced everybody else to a vassal state, living off their patronage and goodwill. This duopoly has forced the cost of advertising down and the price of traffic up, meaning, for everybody else in the advertising and traffic business, prospects shrink."

Nick Cohen in the Observer: "Optimists might have hoped we would take the opportunity of fast broadband to read more widely, and challenge more preconceptions. Not a bit of it. The better the access to the web many enjoyed, the more they clung to their own kind. The longer they stayed online, the more they turned for comfort to ideologues who shared their ideology."

Philip Collins on The Times [£]: "Mr Corbyn has a theory of politics that is deeply patronising. He thinks the mainstream media, to adopt his strange language, gulls people into their beliefs. He has no faith in the intelligence of the electorate. He is a populist with no regard for the people. His plan was to appeal directly, avoiding the media game."


Press Gazette reports: "The Independent has grown its audience by 46 per cent year-on-year after moving to a digital-only model in March and closing its print edition, the latest readership figures show. The title has added 6.6m readers to its total daily audience across online and mobile over the last year, up to 21.201m, according to Published Audience Measurement Company (PAMco) data."

Neil Thackray ‏@neilthackray on Twitter: "Will spectacular audience growth 4 @Independent lead 2 revenue & profit?It hasn't done so sustainably 4 anybody else."

 Mature Times publisher Andrew Silk quoted by the Guardian on Jeremy Paxman, who described the free magazine as the "most unfashionable publication in Britain" in the Financial Times: “I see similarities between him and Jeremy Clarkson. He could be Clarkson without the money - Clarkson has made a living from being offensive. Paxman tries to be the intellectual one but he’s lacking the charisma of Clarkson."

Roy Greenslade on MediaGuardian: "It is hugely important to highlight the fact, yes the fact, that opinions continue to hold sway in all news output. That, of course, is the major role of media commentators: to make transparent to as wide an audience as possible, as often as possible, the underlying messages of so-called facts...If journalism is to have any value to society then it has to analyse itself. What is at issue here is truth and trust."

Ben Fenton ‏@benfenton on Twitter: "If cartooning were an Olympic sport, Matt would have won every gold since 1988."


Thursday, 25 August 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From reporter tells Corbyn 'we ask the questions' to an image of a bombed out boy in Aleppo brings hope and despair

Sky News reporter to Jeremy Corbyn, quoted by the Mirror: "We live in a free country. It's about what I want to ask, not what you want me to ask about."

The Daily Telegraph in a leader"The Guardian stated that “Jeremy Corbyn, famed for standing up for his principles, sat down for them”. Only it was all a sham. The Labour leader did have a seat on the train and in CCTV footage released by Virgin, the train operator, he can be seen occupying it.The man who has supposedly brought us the 'new politics' turns out to be just as a shameless an exponent of the media stunt as all the others, only less competent."

The Guardian in a leader: "No one can pretend that traingate is one of most important news stories of the era. All the same it is a very emblematic tale of our times. For one thing, it would not have happened in the pre-internet age at all, because even if Mr Corbyn had actually been compelled to sit on a train carriage floor on the way to Newcastle a generation ago, no one would have been there to capture an image of it, no newspaper would have been able to post the video of his denunciation of privatisation, and there would have been no CCTV footage of him walking past unreserved and unoccupied seats either. Whether the whole thing was an amateurish political stunt by the Labour leader, as Mr Branson implies, or rotten treatment by a privatised company, as Mr Corbyn claimed, no one else would have ever heard about it anyway."

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "It is being reported by virtually everyone, and is a fact, that the media pile on against me is the worst in American political history!"

The NUJ Newsquest London chapel in a statement: "Newsquest's willingness to lie to the trade press, by denying just how desperately under-resourced its newsrooms are, came as no surprise to the teams working in them. Our journalists remain in the dark about what the managing director's plans are, because he has not communicated with us. This chips away at our morale and emotional well-being week by week. Newspapers covering Merton and Epsom have been staffed by lone trainees with no permanent editor for months, while the 142-year-old Richmond and Twickenham Times will have just one trainee reporter from September. ”

Former BBC director general Mark Thompson in the Sunday Times Magazine [£] on the sacking of Jeremy Clarkson: “Clarkson can be a deeply objectionable individual, and I say that as a friend. I don’t think people should punch their colleagues. It’s hard to keep them if they do. But I would say his pungent, transgressive, slightly out-of-control talent was something the BBC could ill afford to lose. He spoke to people who didn’t find much else in the BBC. The fact no one could ever quite believe the BBC allowed Top Gear to go out was a precious thing to hang on to. As a fan, I regret its passing.”

Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday: "Anjem Choudary, broadcasting’s favourite Islamist loudmouth, was and is a vain, bloviating, blowhard fraud, another boozy drug-taking low-life posing as a serious person. He found a role and fools to indulge him, many in the same media who now queue up to rejoice at his imprisonment."

Piers Morgan interviewed in The Times [£]: “This idea that you can’t ever break the law as a journalist is plainly ridiculous. Sometimes it’s an essential tool of journalism. And to pretend otherwise is very naive about the reality. Whether it’s Wikileaks or MPs’ expenses, law-breaking by journalists is fine if public interest outweighs the criminality and you can express why you could only get this information through illegal means. It’s perfectly reasonable.”

Press Recognition Panel chairman David Wolfe QC, as reported by Press Gazette"Keen to ensure that everybody has the fullest opportunity to respond to the application so that we in turn have the fullest possible basis to make a robust and independent decision on Impress’s application, the board has today decided to defer its consideration of the Impress application to allow a 20 working day further call for information."

Mustafa al-Sarout, the Aleppo-based journalist whose film of young Omran Daqneesh after he was pulled from the rubble of a bombed building went viral, quoted by the Guardian: “I’ve seen so many children rescued out of the rubble, but this child, with his innocence, he had no clue what was going on. He put his hand on his face and saw blood. He didn’t know even what happened to him. I’ve photographed a lot of airstrikes in Aleppo, but there was so much there in his face, the blood and the dust mixed, at that age.”

The Times [£] in a leader: "Since heartrending pictures of the five-year-old boy flashed round the globe, doctors who patched him up have expressed anger that it takes an apparently random image to focus international attention on a disaster the world seems to be trying to ignore. Their frustration is understandable. Omran was lucky. The photographer who took his picture had already helped to pick three dead children from the rubble. The traumatised boy has become a symbol nevertheless of hope as well as despair."

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From are the BBC Olympics team in Rio journalists or cheerleaders? to why Companies House shouldn't restrict data

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian: "At 10 o’clock we were denied important news – of Anjem Choudary’s conviction, of swingeing tax fines and of possible 'special status' for Britain outside the EU. Instead we had to sit for an hour and a half, waiting for three minutes of BBC pandemonium as British cyclists yet again pedalled fast. We had to watch while the BBC aired pictures of its own commentary box punching the air and howling. These were not so much journalists as state cheerleaders."

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop, quoted by Press Gazette, after the magazine recorded average sales of 230,099 a fortnight – its highest circulation since 1986: “It’s amazing… 30 years ago we had a Conservative female Prime Minister, the Labour party was in a mess and we had a TV star who ended up as the US President – how times have changed.”

Donald Trump, pointing at the journalists covering his rally, as reported by the New York Times: "These people are the lowest form of life, I’m telling you. They are the lowest form of humanity.”

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn't put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20%."

Sir Philip Green objecting to being filmed by a Sky News camera crew: "That's going in the f****** sea."

William Turvill in City A.M.: "The owners of the Daily Telegraph have reiterated that their newspapers are not for sale after it emerged that two high-profile media figures have approached them about the company this year. Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of the Evening Standard and now online-only Independent newspapers, is understood to have made an informal approach over the availability of Telegraph Media Group earlier this year."

The Guardian in a leader"Journalists do not deserve protection because they constitute a privileged group; they need it because they can show the world as it really is and allow the unheard to find a voice. There is a reason why people so often want to shut them up. Halting print runs, closing down websites, silencing radio stations and blacking out TV screens are all ways of concealing misdeeds, preventing scrutiny or simply blocking alternative viewpoints. But such actions also serve to remind us all why press freedom matters."

Robert Hutton ‏@RobDotHutton on Twitter: "The Guardian's "why aren't you paying for the thing we don't charge for?" ads get ever more passive aggressive."

From the Telegraph's obit on Morning Star editor Tony Chater: "The paper tried to prevent Express Newspapers launching the Daily Star. It received short shrift, the judge who heard the case declaring that 'only a moron in a hurry' would confuse the two."

Private Eye on the "dangerously regressive" proposal by Companies House to remove from its publicly accessible free database the records of all companies which have been dissolved more than six years. Presently theses records are accessible for 20 years: "The Eye has often relied on the story told by Companies House records of long-dissolved companies to dig out the truth. Using such records last year, we first revealed that BHS buyer Dominic Chappell had a history of business failures - companies dissolved between 1994 and 2005 that would not have been available in 2015 under the proposed new deletion regime."