Thursday, 23 June 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From press poison and hostility towards the EU to is 24 really a new national newspaper for all the north of England?

Former Times foreign editor Martin Fletcher on Facebook: "For 25 years our press has fed the British public a diet of distorted, mendacious and relentlessly hostile stories about the EU - and the journalist who set the tone was Boris Johnson. I know this because I was appointed Brussels correspondent of The Times in 1999, a few years after Johnson’s stint there for The Telegraph, and I had to live with the consequences. Johnson, sacked by The Times in 1988 for fabricating a quote, made his mark in Brussels not through fair and balanced reporting, but through extreme euro-scepticism. He seized every chance to mock or denigrate the EU, filing stories that were undoubtedly colourful but also grotesquely exaggerated or completely untrue."

Robert Shrimsley in the Financial Times on the murder of Jo Cox: "Had she been struck down by a Muslim, or someone of immigrant descent, significant sections of the British media would not be so judicious. We would not be reading on front pages that this was the work of a 'crazed loner' even if there was reasonable evidence that it was."

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian on the public's distrust of politicians: "The media have certainly played their part. Think of the interviews conducted as if every politician belongs automatically in the dock, interrogations that proceed on a premise famously cited by Jeremy Paxman: why is this lying bastard lying to me? Social media has intensified this hostility and made it even more sharply personal. The abuse directed at women – whether elected politicians or not – who dare to voice an opinion in public, the threats of rape and murder: all of it has further polluted the atmosphere."

The Independent in a leader: "For those who have sought guidance from politicians – on both sides of the campaign – there must be a sense of bewilderment at the degree of mud-slinging and the paucity of facts. Sections of the media have been just as guilty."

The Times [£] in a leader: "The Times may once have been regarded as part of the establishment. If so, those times are past. We will take a maverick view where logic and the evidence support it. We have considered every aspect of the European argument with the seriousness and scepticism it deserves. We respect the arguments of those who would have Britain leave, but on balance we believe Britain would be better off leading a renewed drive for reform within the EU rather than starting afresh outside it."

Martin Kettle in the Guardian: "No newspaper in this country’s history has more consistently, and at times more rabidly, pursued political objectives than the Mail – from war with Germany in the early 20th century, to the promotion of Hitler, Mussolini and British fascism in the interwar period, to the drive to get Britain out of the EU in our own lifetimes – along with the defeat of Labour at all times, by fair means or foul. That’s why the late Michael Foot, who knew his press history much better than most politicians, could never resist the opportunity to berate any Mail journalist he came across as a lackey of 'the forger’s gazette'."

The Daily Mail in a leader: "True, the EU is loved by its greatest beneficiaries — Europe’s political elites, the mighty corporations that spend millions lobbying Brussels, determined to get the bureaucrats to enforce their monopolies. Then there are the unscrupulous banks such as Goldman Sachs and fat cats such as Richard Branson and the egregious euro-supporting George Soros, who made a fortune from almost destroying the Bank of England. Indeed, it is the EU fervour of these globalised elites, telling democracies how to vote, that has enraged working class communities in Britain who, more than anyone, have had to cope with mass migration and have every right to feel abandoned."

Hugo Rifkind in The Times [£] after Vote Leave banned C4's Michael Crick from a rally allegedly because of his reputation for "taking the piss"out of politicians: "Worry about this. Worry about it, even if it is true. For, while the right of a journalist to take the mick might not seem like a thing worth defending, you’d miss it if it were gone."

David Halliwell, editorial director at CN Group, on 24 the company's new "national newspaper for the north", quoted by HoldTheFrontPage: “We’re well aware that launching a paper into the national market will raise eyebrows. Like Trinity Mirror, we want to try new things, to see what else we can do to build audiences. Some will work and some may not but we won’t die wondering.”

Peter Barron on 24 in the Northern Echo: “So let’s be honest about this. This isn’t a grand launch of a new ‘national newspaper for the north’. It’s a ridiculous claim. It’s a paper for bits of the North-West, relying almost entirely on the Press Association, which, like everyone else, has had its editorial resources cut. In the end, newspapers past, present and future, live or die on the foundation of editorial quality. People aren’t mugs.”


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From Fleet Street's EU bias is part of a great British tradition to it's such a lovely job hunting Russian football hooligans

Charlie Beckett on the Polis blog: "To people not used to British newspapers they can sometimes feel a bit like that drunken, loud-mouthed guy in the bar who is anxious to tell you what he thinks and what you should think, too. But readers seem to like it. Whether they do what they are told is another matter...Press bias in the U.K. goes much further than in most other countries, it’s a great British tradition."

Robert Peston‏ @Peston on Twitter: "What will worry @David_Cameron & Remain is @rupertmurdoch does not typically back the loser - & this is his call."

Former Sun editor David Yelland‏ @davidyelland on Twitter: "Not one I could have written. The anti-German sentiment is beneath us as a country."

The Guardian in an editorial: "Questions also need to be asked about what lies behind the flag-waving certainties that are currently being served up by so much of Fleet Street. Imperfect as it may be, Europe-wide cooperation is the best hope we have on tax avoidance. And the typical tax-paying patriot may wonder whether they are on the same side on that question as the non-domiciled Lord Rothermere, who owns the Mail, or the Barclay Brothers, who own the Telegraph and have major interests in the Channel Islands and a Monaco address. Then there is the Australian-born American national whose biggest-selling newspaper on Tuesday told its readers to “BeLEAVE in Britain”

Boris Johnson asked by Tim Shipman in the Sunday Times Magazine [£] what was the most important thing he learnt from his own father?: “The most important thing I learnt from him was not answering tricky questions about one’s family. It was a brilliant lesson.”

Vanessa Redgrave after Simon Hattenestone of the Guardian told her she was very difficult to interview: “I don’t think so. I think I’m illuminating. Hahahaha!” 

Washington Post's executive editor Marty Baron in a statement: "Donald Trump's decision to revoke The Washington Post's press credentials is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press. When coverage doesn't correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished. The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along -- honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically, and unflinchingly."
Roy Greenslade on Media Guardian:"The UK’s PR industry is worth £12.9bn, a 34% rise over the £9.62bn in 2013, according to the PR Census 2016.* And it now employs 83,000 people. This employment finding confirms claims that there are now far more PRs than journalists working in Britain. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) figures for the year up to June 2015 revealed that 64,000 people in the UK described themselves as 'journalists, newspaper and periodical editors'."

Charlotte Urwin, Independent Press Standards Organisation’s head of standards, on a new whistleblowing service for journalists who are being told to work unethically: “Journalists should never feel under pressure to act in a way that is contrary to the Editors’ Code. The provision of a whistleblowers’ hotline, so that they can raise concerns, is a crucial part of the work of an independent and effective press regulator. By contracting with an experienced external provider who has considerable knowledge of providing similar services to a number of private and public sector institutions, IPSO is confident that the hotline meets the very highest standards available.”

Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, on the Investigatory Powers Bill: "While the Government has moved slightly in the right diection in terms of protection for journalists and their sources, the biggest issue that remains is that media organisations must be given the opportunity to challenge applications before authorisations are given. There seems to be an idea that journalists are fair game. The fact is that they are not criminals (except in rare cases) and with their special role in any democratic society their records and sources must be properly protected. We can only hope that the Lords come to the rescue of this legislation which still offers inadequate safeguards for the media."

Nicholson: From Sky documentary
Legendary crime reporter James Nicolson, known as the Prince of Darkness,  who died this week: "I’ve been at every siege since Troy."

John Rentoul in the Independent: "George Orwell said: 'Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print.' That is quite a stiff test for a writer, and probably too time-consuming in practice for a lot of journalism, but it is something to which we can all aspire."

Mirror chief reporter Andy Lines Andy Lines ‏@andylines on Twitter: "I love my job! I spend the whole weekend desperately trying to avoid Russian ultras - now I'm in Lille trying to bloody find them!"


Thursday, 9 June 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: Is this the greatest Muhammed Ali front page? to do Gove and Boris like drama and change because they're journalists?

The Huffington Post: "This 'stunning' front page has been described as the best to mark the death of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali...The death of a major public figure always prompts the papers to strive to capture what they were about best. Tweeters praised the effort by The Observer, which favoured a simple approach: a photo of Ali in his heyday with a inset of text quoting the Obamas’ striking tribute as to why he was a hero to so many and one of the most famous people on earth. The page drew praise and was described by one Tweeter as a reason 'why print will last forever'."

Peter Preston in the Observer: "National papers sell 6.7m copies every morning, and 6m plus on Sundays. That’s cover-price money every step of the way. Print ads still account for nearly two-thirds of Mail money flowing in. Remember that more than 35 million Brits continue to read a print paper, according to the latest National Readership Survey results. Remember that 95% of the population reads a paper or magazine on newsprint, mobile, tablet or laptop. But ask readers – as Reuters did the other day – whether they’ll pay money for quality, trusted news on the net, and 63% say 'no thanks'.”

Will Lewis, CEO of Dow Jones, publishers of the Wall Street Journal, interviewed in InPublishing: “Our biggest challenge is not getting dragged into this morass of depression about the print industry. Every day brings news – of the ‘my God this is terrible’ variety - and it’s not terrible for us, print remains a very strong platform amongst many for us. My main worry is that we seem to be the only people out there still talking about the power of print because it is a vital part of our mix but we really need other people to recognise that. The engagement stats are mindboggling. People are really reading this stuff.”

Benedict Spence in the Independent on the booing of Laura Kuenssberg by Labour Party activists at Jeremy Corbyn's press conference:"Two things stand out here: a deep-seated suspicion among his supporters that all journalists covering Jeremy Corbyn must be biased, and the impression that though all who speak out against him are fair game for abuse, women are fairer game than men. It isn’t limited to journalists; just take a look at the stuff Jess Phillips and Stella Creasy receive from people on the left."

Gaby Hinsliff in the Guardian: "Journalists are not out to destroy Corbyn because he threatens to bring down the neoliberal elite, or because they’re all Tories, or because they live in a bubble of groupthink. (The lobby is overly male, pale and Oxbridge-educated, but insofar as I ever knew my lobby colleagues’ private political leanings, they were a much more mixed bag than you’d probably find walking down your street.) It’s more that most journalists – rightly or wrongly – simply don’t expect Corbyn to win an election. And the lobby has an instinctive bias towards winners – people who either wield power, or might soon."

Society of Editors executive director Bob Satchwell's response to the application by Impress to be a press regulator: “Not only does Impress not meet the criteria set out in the Leveson report, it does not, nor does it expect, to have the support or membership of the majority or any significant part of the industry.”

NiemanLab reports:"There are now more Americans working for online publishers and broadcasters than for newspapers, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment at online outlets first eclipsed newspapers in October 2015."

Raymond Snoddy ‏@RaymondSnoddy on Twitter: "Boris and Gove both journalists a species with marked taste for change and drama and lesser appetite for detail and consequences."

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: What Jeremy Corbyn, Donald Trump and John Major have in common to have job cuts made local papers a fake product?

Jeremy Corbyn interviewed by Vice News: "The one thing I've learned over the past six moths or so is how shallow, facile and ill-informed many of the supposedly well informed major commentators in our media are, they shape a debate which is baseless and narrow."

Donald Trump takes aim at the US media at press conference, as reported by the Financial Times: “I find the press to be extremely dishonest. I find the political press to be unbelievably dishonest.”

Sir John Major, when Prime Minister in transcripts of conversations with President George Bush Snr., obtained by BBC News: "The Conservative press here has been bloody"..."haven't been reporting our policy"..."the BBC has been appalling too..for what is supposed to be a public television service, it is not impartial at all".

Jeremy Corbyn on the BBC in his Vice News interview: “There is not one story on any election anywhere in the UK that the BBC will not spin into a problem for me. It’s obsessive beyond belief, they are obsessed with trying to damage the leadership of the Labour party – and unfortunately there are people in the Labour party who play into that.”

Miller Hogg , CN Group chief executive, on plans for a new regional daily 24 covering the North of England and South West of Scotland, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: 24 will fill a large gap in the regional market by providing a northern take on the national headlines. We see our purpose as serving the communities in which we operate, so it follows that CN Group should produce a national newspaper tailored to our patch."

Lee Marlow ‏@LM_Marlow on Twitter: 'So last Friday I was made @socofeduk Feature Writer of the Year. This Friday, I was made redundant."

Tim Walker@ThatTimWalker on Twitter: "Know what depressed me about last week? Still more journalists I respected - who told me things about the world I didn't know - were sacked."

Max Hastings in the Daily Mail"Having known Boris for years, I cannot bring myself to cast a vote which could trigger his advance to Downing Street. The Hitler line should properly be the end of him, save as a journalist and star of TV reality shows. Only in a potty new world of celebrity, populist politicians can a real prospect persist of his governing this country."

Vice Media chief executive Shane Smith, as reported by Digiday"I don’t think it’s any secret that you’re going to see a bloodbath in the next 12 months of digital, mobile and terrestrial.”

Mark Sweney in the Guardian:"Revenues from adverts in print products remain the lifeblood of income for newspapers. They total some £800m a year, which is about four times the size of digital income for UK national newspapers, according to figures from WPP’s Group M. However, in the last year there has been an unprecedented exodus of spending, as the UK’s top 10 newspaper advertisers, which includes names such as Sky, BT, Tesco and Asda, take their business elsewhere."

Roy Greenslade on MediaGuardian: "It is time to recognise that the whole UK newspaper industry is heading for a cliff fall, that tipping point when there is no hope of a reversal of fortune. It does not mean the immediate closure of papers because the lesson from regional owners is that it is possible to continue publication through cost-cutting. Papers can be produced with skeleton editorial staffs...Local paper publishers think it’s magic that they can produce papers on such slim staffs. I think it’s tragic because they are treating their audiences to a fake product."

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From Alan Rusbridger predicts stormy weather ahead for news media to the sexist jibe aimed at woman rugby reporter

Alan Rusbridger in the New Statesman: "Is there an economic model for serious news? Let’s hope so – but the gales blowing through my old industry are now truly frightening. When I stepped down from the Guardian just over a year ago, my Guardian Media Group colleagues were happy to go on the record to emphasise their confidence in increasing digital revenues and a future based on growth. But something profound and alarming has been happening in recent months and all our eyes ought to be on the West Coast giants – especially, but not only, Facebook – that are cleaning up quite extraordinarily."

The Guardian reports: "The Telegraph has started a round of targeted cuts of senior newsroom staff, including the deputy editor, Liz Hunt. Also axed are feature writer Harry Wallop, head of arts Andrew Pettie, foreign chiefs Richard Spencer and Colin Freeman and Asia editor Philip Cherwell."

Research for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism showing a pro-leave bias in national press coverage of the EU referendum:"The Daily Mail included the most pro-leave articles followed by The Daily Express, The Daily Star, The Sun and The Daily Telegraph, while the newspapers including the most pro-remain articles were, in order, The Daily Mirror, The Guardian and The Financial Times. The articles examined in The Times were relatively evenly balanced between the two positions, with a slight preponderance of pro-leave articles. All newspapers, whatever their main position, included some articles from the other point of view, but the proportion of these was smallest in The Daily Express and The Daily Mirror."

Anonymous newspaper executive on Digiday UK: "The digital media industry has completely screwed up by pursuing scale for the sake of scale. There’s been a relentless pursuit for the biggest number you can get, which has partly been driven by what advertisers want, and partly driven by vanity."

Peter Preston in the Observer: "Who can define the power of love? You may answer poetically, clinically, statistically or, in the case of Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall, social medially. Once Rupert got hitched, episode four, he suddenly stopped tweeting. Love doesn’t need 140 words. Sociability beats any media."

 Society of Editors executive director Bob Satchwell in a letter to The Times [£]  "The inclination of some judges to tip the balance away from the public right to know must be addressed. The need for a US-style First Amendment protection for the media and overarching public defences in all legislation is long overdue and should be part of a new British bill of rights."

Paul Connew, ex-editor of the Sunday Mirror, in a letter to The Times [£]: "King Canute tried only to hold back the tide, but the Supreme Court is attempting to hold back a modern-day cyberspace tsunami. In doing so it has bypassed parliament and established a judge-led privacy law. The reality of the internet/social media age only demonstrates that the Court of Appeal got it right in wishing to lift an unrealistic mainstream media gag and the Supreme Court got it wrong in overruling its pragmatic decision. The effect of the Supreme Court decision does indeed make the law resemble an ass. The internet genie is out of the bottle, and there is no point in trying to stuff it back."

Weekly Newspaper Reporter of the Year Gareth Davies of the Croydon Advertiser, interviewed by Press Gazette: "Despite all that stuff that gets thrown at us, all the ways in which the industry puts barriers in the way of doing the job, at the end of the day we’re getting paid to talk to someone and write a story down – and who really gets to do that? No matter how much things get you down, you think actually, at the end of the day, this is an amazing job to do."

Regional Press Daily/Sunday Sports Journalist of the Year Carolyn Hitt of the Western Mail at the Regional Press Awards on what she was was once told by a Cardiff businessman: "I don't write about cross stitch, why do you write about rugby?"

Old Quote of the Week

John Whittingdale asked in June 2006 by the Independent who in the media do you most admire and why?: "Rupert Murdoch has transformed the media in Britain not once but twice. If it wasn't for him we would still have grubby newspapers run by trade unions that strike at the drop of a hat. And he launched satellite TV. Also Kelvin MacKenzie - because he is courageous, funny and very often right."


Friday, 20 May 2016

Media Quotes of the Week : From Sun pours olive oil on Supreme Court privacy injunction ruling to when Jeremy Clarkson covered parish councils

The Sun in a leader"HEAVEN help our judicial system if the judges who upheld the celebrity gagging order yesterday are the best it can find for the Supreme Court. Their illogical and idiotic ruling exposed them as out-of-touch old ­duffers with a predictably contemptuous snobbery towards popular papers and our millions of readers...They have sneered at tabloid readers and created a charter for cheating celebs, especially those with kids. Any caught with their pants down can use the children as a Get Out Of Jail Free card. And their pricey lawyers are already eyeing up new holiday homes in Tuscany."

Lord Mance, as the Supreme Court upholding the celebrity threesome privacy injunction against the Sun on Sunday, as reported by BBC News"There is no public interest (however much it may be of interest to some members of the public) in publishing kiss and tell stories or criticisms of private sexual conduct, simply because the persons involved are well known; and so there is no right to invade privacy by publishing them."

The Times [£] in a leader: "The Supreme Court has come to a decision which would have been merely foolish 20 years ago. Today it is both sinister and absurd. Courts of all levels should think very carefully before allowing this sort of farce to unfold again."

Ex-MP John Hemming on his blog: “I am surprised that the Supreme Court have upheld this injunction. The logical conclusion of this is that gossip about anyone with children will become a criminal offence subject to a potential penalty of 2 years's imprisonment.  It is important to note that the injunction covers people talking in pubs, gossiping over the garden fence, or twittering on the internet. All of these could potentially see an application for committal for contempt of court. That comes with large amounts of legal costs and up to 2 years imprisonment...the Supreme Court have not learnt from the lesson of King Canute that there are realities that it is not practical to resist."

The Sun in a leader: "DOES the Queen back Brexit? We’re sure she does. But today we are having to publish a front page ruling by the Press regulator IPSO over our March 9 headline which claimed Her Majesty was for Leaving. 'Queen Backs Brexit' was qualified by another headline above it reading 'Exclusive: bombshell claim over Europe vote'. It seemed fair enough to us. Tabloid newspapers like The Sun have long made eye-catching assertions in headlines alongside a smaller headline to qualify or attribute them. It is a standard device. But IPSO decided it wasn’t right — though it had no problem with the story beneath it, about Her Majesty’s eurosceptic remarks which two impeccable sources confirmed. We stand by all of it."

David Yelland ‏@davidyelland on Twitter: "Hats off to @tonygallagher for skilled @BBCr4today defence. Headline was clearly as dodgy as some of mine."

Alan Rusbridger in an email, published by BuzzFeed, to Guardian Media Group staff explaining his reasons for no longer becoming chair of the Scott Trust: “When, in late 2014, the Scott Trust appointed me to succeed Liz as chair I was beyond honoured, But much has changed in the year since I stepped down. All newspapers – and many media organisations beyond – have been battered by turbulent and economic forces that were difficult to see last summer. I have been on the trust long enough to understand its role. We all currently do our journalism in the teeth of a force 12 digital hurricane. It is surely obvious to anyone that changed circumstances will demand dramatically changed solutions. Kath [Viner] and David [Pemsel] clearly believe they would like to plot a route into the future with a new chair and I understand their reasoning."

Ian Katzt‏@iankatz1000 on Twitter: "Whatever you think of @arusbridger becoming trust chair, v sad that his Guardian career ends like this. He did more for paper than anyone."

Michael Wolff in GQ: "In the end, the Rusbridger legacy cannot likely be undone. The brand is what there is—that’s the asset. Rusbridger had the fun part of the job, spending money like a Romanoff to create it. Now the workers have to figure out how to claw back value from it."

Croydon Advertiser reporter Gareth Davies after Met Police revoked a harassment warning against him for questioning a convicted fraudster: "I behaved as journalists across the country do on a daily basis but was issued with a warning by the police, which could have appeared on my criminal record, without officers conducting any form of investigation to establish whether the allegations were true. I'm glad that, in agreeing to write to the College of Policing, the Met and the IPCC have acknowledged that the use of PINs [Police Information Notices] in relation to journalists needs to be reviewed. As my case has demonstrated, PINs can be used to impede responsible journalism."

Philip Collins in The Times [£]: "The loudest noises in politics are now made by empty vessels who believe in systematic bias, arranged and dispensed to do down their pet cause. One side thinks “the media” is pro-EU. The other thinks it is anti-Corbyn. Presumably “the media” gets all confused when Mr Corbyn delivers a pro-EU speech, not knowing which of its establishment causes to abandon. This is the context into which John Whittingdale, the culture secretary, has dropped his BBC white paper and it is dispiriting to see, once you get past the unexciting, predictable boringness of most of it, that he doesn’t trust the BBC either."

Can Dündar, the editor of Cumhuriyet in Turkey, who is facing more than five years in prison for publishing leaked star documents,  quoted in the Guardian“During this entire saga, it has particularly attracted my attention that the British government preferred not to utter even a single word. This should be embarrassing for the government of a country that takes pride in its democracy.”

Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian: "Those now fighting for freedom of expression around the world should perceive more support from the land of John Milton, John Stuart Mill and George Orwell."

Times in a leader [£]: "Facebook, perhaps the most visited website in the world, is suffering from an identity crisis. Around 1.65 billion people worldwide use the service every month, and media analysts estimate that 70 per cent of them rely upon it as their gateway to reading news. In keeping with other social networks, however, Facebook continues to regard itself as a platform and not as a publisher. The difference is not just semantic. A publisher, such as the one that brings you this newspaper, has a clearly defined responsibility towards its readers...The internet is global and online freedom of speech is, today, one of America’s greatest exports. Influence this vast, even so, must at least be scrutinised. Most of all, it would be far easier to defend the companies which are now the most powerful publishers in the world if they could admit, at least, that this is what they are."

Jeremy Clarkson in the Sunday Times Magazine [£]: "At school, after committing some trivial misdemeanour — hopping through the memorial garden or putting Polyfilla in all the classroom locks; I can’t remember what — I was made to write a thousand-word essay about the inside of a ping-pong ball. It was tough, but the practice was useful later, on the Rotherham Advertiser, where I was regularly made to file a report on what had happened at the previous evening’s meeting of Brinsworth parish council. That meant coming up with six or seven paragraphs about absolutely nothing at all."