Friday, 21 November 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From what they won't be reading in Reading any more to what's on the menu for readers of different national newspapers

Simon Edgley, managing director of Trinity Mirror Southern, on the move to close seven local papers in Berkshire, including the Reading Post, and focus on digital publishing around the getreading website: “This is a bold digital-only publishing transformation that will re-establish us as a growing media business that delivers the best quality journalism to our digital-savvy audience. We wholeheartedly believe that the future of our business here in Berkshire is online and this is an important and pioneering step that might, in time, be applicable to other existing markets or indeed new ones.”

The Grey Cardigan on The Spin Alley:"I think we all know what’s going to happen here. The 'best quality journalism' will turn out to be a roomful of kids with no journalism qualifications, cutting and pasting complete bollocks while uploading submitted content and mobile phone pictures with nary a glance at its relevance or even legality. 'Go out of the building and research and write a proper story? Sorry, don’t know how to do that.' It’s a sad day for the regional newspaper industry and especially for the journalists involved. It’s an even sadder day for the population of Reading."

Martin Shipton, chair of the Trinity Mirror NUJ group chapel, on the newspaper closures in Berkshire: "This is a watershed moment for the regional newspaper industry. Trinity Mirror is shutting down well-established titles and replacing them with an online news presence unattached to newspapers. So far there is little evidence that an operation of this kind can generate the revenues needed to sustain a workforce of sufficient size to provide a decent news service. The speed at which this transition is taking place is very worrying. It seems the remaining journalists will be used as guinea pigs for an as yet unproven business model. There are good grounds to fear for the future of the sector."

Steve Dyson on the Guardian's Media Blog: "Trinity Mirror, of course, is a plc and so is perfectly entitled – some would say legally bound – to employ strategies it thinks will best make the most profits for its shareholders. But if its ‘digital-only’ gamble is played out across the company’s regional portfolio, with fewer fixed costs, and fewer reporters, and if this is then looked at and emulated by other publishers, it could spell catastrophe for the local newspaper industry."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet on the legal challenge by six NUJ members who say they are being monitored by the Met Police: "It is outrageous that the police are using their resources and wide-ranging powers to put journalists under surveillance and to compile information about their movements and work on secret databases. There is no justification for treating journalists as criminals or enemies of the state, and it raises serious questions for our democracy when the NUJ is forced to launch a legal challenge to compel the police to reveal the secret evidence they have collected about media workers."

Guardian readers' editor Chris Elliott on the paper's decision to lead the successful legal fight to name 16-year-old murderer Will Cornick: "Whatever the legal arguments, the Guardian has to be sure that its decision to go to court to have the boy named is consistent with the values it espouses and for which it is often criticised, not least when it puts its faith in the capacity for rehabilitation. The next time we are faced with a choice, I hope we take a longer, harder look at the options."

Tatler editor Kate Reardon in the Observer: "When people are being cruel about Tatler, they say it’s the only magazine that tries to photograph every single one of its readers. Hell, yes! My God, if I could, I would!"

David Conn ‏@david_connon Twitter: "When Panorama exposed Fifa corruption in 2010, FA wanted World Cup & denounced BBC. Now Bernstein is on BBC saying FA should boycott Fifa..."

Rory Cellan-Jones @ruskin147 on Twitter: "PR email this morning starts 'Hi Rory, I hope you're both well..' I'm in two minds about this..."

YouGov profiles of newspaper readers, as published on the Guardian's Media Blog:

  • The top three favourite dishes of Guardian readers are likely to be antipasti, aubergine parmigiana and braised endive, they are into hiking and shop at Waitrose.
  • Chips, curry sauce, ham and eggs are a Daily Mirror customer’s dishes of choice. The favourite sport of this reader is football and they describe themselves as bighearted.
  • The Telegraph reader enjoys eating Vichyssoise soup, stinking bishop cheese and Tournedos rossini, is most likely to own a cat as a pet and describe themselves as analytical but arrogant on occasion.
  • Sun customer enjoys eating pork chops and chips, watches 36-40 hours of TV per week and describes themselves as big-hearted but headstrong on occasion.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: Will Bill of Rights protect journalists? to monstering Miliband

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid at the Society of Editors' conference: "I have agreed with the Justice Secretary that the British Bill of Rights will include specific protection for journalists and a free press.The Human Rights Act and the European Court of Human Rights have not done enough to protect journalists who play such a unique role in our society. Our British Bill of Rights will change that.”

Liberty in a statement: "Article 10 of our HRA, freedom of expression, and the Strasbourg court have long acted as vital defenders of reporters and their sources. However, the so-called 'British Bill of Rights' would diminish the rights of everyone in Britain, including reporters – leaving the already powerful freer to act with impunity. And it’s only the lax laws and lousy surveillance policies of successive Governments that have allowed the authorities to snoop on such sensitive sources in the first place. That’s precisely why The Sun is currently relying on Article 10 in its complaint over the Metropolitan Police’s obtaining of its journalists’ telephone records."

IPSO chairman Sir Alan Moses, speaking at the Society of Editors' conference“Proper, successful independent regulation will not be established by manic firing of a big bazooka (a fine)… and anyway we don’t know how to fire it.”

Eastern Daily Press editor Nigel Pickover on relations with the police, at the Society of Editors' conference, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage“We are lied to on a regular basis…we are made to feel like the enemy when really we are on the same side."

John Sweeney on why Panorama showed pictures of Mazher Mahmood: "We're identifying him  to make it more difficult for him to entrap people in the future."

Jack of Kent ‏@JackofKent on Twitter:

2012: News International figures warn Leveson of prior restraint injunctions.

2014: News International journalist seeks such an injunction.

The Grey Cardigan on The Spin Alley: "IN MOST towns and cities in Britain, the editor of the local newspaper used to be a man of significance; a figurehead of the community, a person to be looked up to. You could see it at school fetes and WI coffee mornings, town council meetings and business forums. This due – or perhaps undue – reverence gradually diminished as first children in suits began to get the top jobs, and then as the position itself began to be ‘rationalised’, leaving the local newspaper to be run by a stranger on an industrial estate 30 miles down the road."

Northern Echo editor Peter Barron blogs about his paper's special Remembrance Sunday edition "Newspapers still have their place, and it is an important place too. We should acknowledge their faults and apologise sincerely when mistakes are made. But we really should love newspapers, protect them, and never underestimate the work and care that goes into producing them - especially on days like this."

Olenka Frenkiel in the Guardian on women and ageism at the BBC: "Only Miriam O’Reilly – braver than the rest – had fought the enormously powerful BBC and won. And even after she’d won and the BBC had expressed contrition and promised change, inside the BBC, they were still doing it. Nothing had changed. Nothing except for the ever bigger and tighter gagging clauses BBC lawyers were demanding we sign preventing us from discussing why we’d left. Not to reveal how we’d been forced out. That’s when I protested. I loved the BBC. I still believed in it as a beacon of free speech and open debate. It was supposed to be an equal opportunities employer, opposed to discrimination of all kinds. This was now a matter of public interest ripe for a vigorous airing with participants from all sides.The gagging clauses were there to prevent exactly that."

Matthew Parris in The Times [£]: "The personal attacks on Mr Miliband are lazy, evasive and rather cowardly: a kind of displacement activity for people stumped for ideas as to what their dream leader would actually do, and falling back on shin-kicking an inexperienced and somewhat maladroit leader for a gap that he is powerless to fill. We in the media, too, are being shallow about this. Once the world has got it in for somebody, once their 'haplessness' is the big story and journalists clamour to reinforce it, there will never be a shortage of trivial incidents to giggle or gasp at. People must eat, and sooner or later the cameras will find a mouth and a bacon roll, just as with David Miliband (when we were casting him as hapless, rather than a lost leader) we once found a banana."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian: "There is nothing new about pre-electoral anti-Labour propaganda in Tory-cheerleading newspapers. It is part of Britain’s post-war political history stretching back to Clement Attlee.Every Labour leader – with the single exception of Tony Blair – has suffered. Three modern leaders were subjected to especially harsh treatment. Gordon Brown was scathingly lampooned in 2010 as a ditherer, with papers giving huge coverage to supposed plotters within the party. Neil Kinnock was savagely mocked in 1992 as 'the Welsh windbag' among many other insults about his competence. Michael Foot was witheringly derided for his inappropriate dress sense as well as his political stance in 1983. There was a grain of truth in each case, but the attention paid to the various misrepresentations of their characters was disproportionate."

David Wooding ‏@DavidWooding on Twitter: "Ed Miliband's aides really must stop blaming the messenger over plight of their leader. Newspapers are only reporting what his MPs tell us."


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From journalists are right to pay sources to Telegraph goes to the dogs

John Butterfield QC, defending a News of the World reporter accused at the Old Bailey of paying a prison officer for stories about Jon Venables, as reported by the Daily Mail: "They call it crime – we call it democracy. It is necessary and appropriate to reimburse whistleblowers against the risk they are going to get the sack. The issues that this prosecution would seek to trample over are as serious as it gets in a democratic country."

Nigel Rumfitt QC, representing the Sun’s head of news Chris Pharo who is accused of paying public officials for confidential information, on News International's Management Standards Committee giving material to police, as reported by the Guardian: “In slang, they were shopping their own staff.”

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, on the latests job cuts at Newsquest: "Newsquest's previous cost cutting record speaks for itself and now more journalists are facing the chop. This is not building a sustainable future for the business. The announcement of these cuts was made a week before an industry summit called by the government to ensure a vibrant future for the local and regional press. Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey has called together industry figures and union representatives to discuss future strategy and this sends out a very poor signal."

Johnston Press group NUJ chapel in a statement: "Morale is at rock bottom in Johnston Press, yet further cuts have been announced. Our members are shocked by further photographic redundancies, a move which is likely to hit the quality of newspapers and websites we produce, lead to further declining readership and harm the long-term prospects of the company. Alarmingly, Johnston Press management believes that more 'user generated content' is the way forward."

Jeremy Bowen in the Radio Times: “The threat from Islamic State is so unequivocal that even the most enterprising and daring reporters are hesitating to take the risk of being anywhere near them.”

Ian Katz ‏@iankatz1000 on Twitter: "World's most eminent biologist EO Wilson reserves ultimate insult for @RichardDawkins in #newsnight interview tonight: 'He's a journalist'."

Sky's Alex Crawford interviewed in the Guardian: "If I was a bloke I’m just reaching my peak now. In America they have a totally different approach to older women working in broadcasting. It’s time Britain woke up.”

Tim Walker ‏@ThatTimWalker on Twitter: "Proud to have been banged out in the Telegraph newsroom just now by such great colleagues. There wasn't a day I didn't love that job & them."

Tim Walker ‏@ThatTimWalker on Twitter: "There are actually some things to be said for redundancy: I see in my diary I was due to review @MadeinDagenham tonight."

Oliver Kamm in The Times [£] on tv news channel Russia Today: "The problem with RT is not just bias but that it’s not a news channel at all. It’s a propaganda outlet for Vladimir Putin. Its broadcasting is a constant diet of lies in the service of a regime that murders journalists, imprisons protesters, defends dictators and menaces neighbouring states."

Peter Preston in The Observer: "Newspaper stories about pending hot/cold/wet/dry weather are much loved by editors because they are cheap/unprovable till much later/good for sales/quickly forgotten."

Callum Baird in The Herald reports on the less than riveting goaless draw between Morton and Airdrie:"BACK in the sixth century BC, when Babylonia fell, the Persian Empire rose from its ashes and toga-wearing Greek philosophers first started to look quizzically at tortoises, the Chinese sage Lao Tzu delicately laid down the first few brushstrokes of the Tao Te Ching, the text that would go on to become the bedrock of Taoism. Lao Tzu had faith in the duality of the universe. "When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly," he declared. Yin and yang. Each thing must, by its very nature, have an opposite. So perhaps that in order to have that mouthwatering Old Firm derby drawn out of the hat on Saturday evening we first had to sit through this: 90 minutes of the most tedious, excruciating football imaginable. For what seemed like an eternity, the large clock hanging over one of the stands at Cappielow poked fun of the spectator. Time stood still. The little hand lazily ticked its way round, trundling through treacle. The match cloyed at the senses."

Bob Preston from Marlborough, Wiltshire, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph: "SIR – I have a better use for my “used” copies of The Daily Telegraph than Malcolm Parkin’s friend (Letters, October 30). I have three working English springer spaniels and when they come home from a shoot on a wet day in winter the Telegraph comes into its own. It is the only paper I can tear into inch-wide vertical strips: just tear down and shake into the dogs’ box. Once the dogs are dry in the morning the used paper can be sent for recycling in the usual way. A very versatile newspaper. I don’t know what paper the Telegraph uses for its newsprint, but please don’t change it."


Friday, 31 October 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From killers of journalists are getting away with it to why does Rupert Murdoch still keep working at 83?

Committee to Protect Journalists in a new report The Road to Justice which highlights the way the killers of journalists are escaping justice: "The lack of justice in hundreds of murders of journalists around the world is one of the greatest threats to press freedom today. While international attention to the issue has grown over the past decade, there has been little progress in bringing down rates of impunity. States will have to demonstrate far more political will to implement international commitments to make an impact on the high rates of targeted violence that journalists routinely face."

The International Federation of Journalists is marking the inaugural ‘UN Day to End Impunity’ by calling on governments worldwide to address the issue of impunity for violence against journalists as intimidation, abuse and violence of media workers continues to escalate. The UN’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists is marked for the first time ton Sunday, 2 November, the first anniversary of the killings of two French RFI reporters, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, murdered in Kidal, Mali in 2013.

IFJ President Jim Boumelha said: “2014 will be sadly remembered not just as another tragic year where journalists are routinely killed, but for the barbaric clips of the beheadings of the US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff which will stay with us forever. This is a new dimension that we have never seen before and we are determined to bring to an end. We are of course grateful that the international institutions have established the UN Day to End Impunity, but they should be doing more to make governments take responsibility for the security and protection of journalists.”

Paul Dacre, speaking at the 175th anniversary of the NewstraAid Benevolent Fund, as reported by the Guardian: “I note with some irony that there has been no judicial inquiry into the BBC’s role in the Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris scandals. The News of the World may have hacked celebrities’ phones, it didn’t sexually abuse teenage children. And as for the BBC’s negativity about the popular press, I say be careful of what you wish for. Support government controls shackling the press and you may find that the political class comes for you next. The media as a whole should be united in defending freedom of expression.”
Scoops: Neville Thurlbeck
Literary agent Andrew Lownie on Tabloid Secrets, an account of Neville Thurlbeck's scoops for the News of the World, as reported by Press Gazette“For 25 years, Neville served up some of the most famous headlines and he reveals for the first time how he broke his award winning stories which thrilled, excited and sometimes infuriated the nation. The book is laced with drama, fun, humour and occasional tragedy and gives a candid first hand account of a cavalier, barn-storming Fleet Street which has vanished for good.”

The Mail on Sunday: "A Mail on Sunday journalist trying to uncover the truth about Fiona Woolf’s appointment to the child abuse inquiry received unwarranted threats from a PR man claiming to be working with the Home Office. This newspaper was warned it would be reported to the new press complaints watchdog for simply arranging an interview with another panel member who could shed light on the controversy."

Peter Preston in The Observer on the death of Ben Bradlee:  "But the basic Bradlee, living on in legend, also asks one of the most immediate questions journalism – in print, on air, across the net – has to grapple with. Simply, do we need editors any longer? The new seeming editor of the Daily Telegraph arrives disguised as 'director of content' reporting to a 'chief content officer'. Trinity Mirror makes a cost-conscious group habit of rolling its local editorships into a distant one. A former BBC online master is busy remaking Johnston Press in his image and experience. The imperatives of 'digital first' puts copy into cyberspace in a moment and works out later whether, if at all, it will fit into some computerised print grid."

Observer readers' editor Stephen Pritchard on complaints about the paper's regional coverage: "In some respects, though, the paper can’t win. In the past, when it had the resources to fill editionised pages with local news, readers would complain that they did not want to read about their own region: they wanted the Observer to tell them about matters that affect the nation as a whole and to give them a world view. But still that’s no excuse for failing to reflect regional differences in national stories: Britain is more than England – and England is more than London and the south-east – but that’s another story."

Peter Oborne on his Telegraph blog: "The scabrous political blogger Guido Fawkes (real name Paul Staines), who played host, loves to name names, notoriously publishing lists of those who go to lunch at Downing Street or dine at Chequers. Well, I did the same at his 10th anniversary. (Yes, I was among the mob of free-loading hypocrites who were there.) As the dinner ended, I went up to the board of the place settings, ripped it down, and put it in my pocket. When his own crude, though effective, methods of exposure are used against him, Guido can get quite cross. There was a stir. Anyway, I kept the list."

An anonymous PR on dealing with journalists, on the Guardian's Media Network: "A PR friend of mine once told me how she’d taken a journalist on a trip to a wine region in Europe to visit a range of producers. The said journalist proceeded to drink, rather than taste and spit, at each visit and then, at the evening dinner with the regional bigwigs, announced in a slurred voice that she didn’t like any of their wines and please could they order her a glass of champagne instead."

Ian Burrell in the Independent on the turmoil at the Telegraph: "To the outside world it seems like madness but the Telegraph operates to strict financial targets. Senior management is under pressure to better last year’s £61.2m profit as the calendar year closes."

Rupert Murdoch, after being asked by Business insider why he is still working at 83: "Curiosity."

Friday, 24 October 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From death of Washington Post's legendary Watergate editor Ben Bradlee to Charlie Brooks whips his prosecutor

Ben Bradlee: Pic Washington Post

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, who died this week aged 93, in a joint statement published by the Guardian“Ben was a true friend and genius leader in journalism. He had the courage of an army. Ben had an intuitive understanding of the history of our profession, its formative impact on him and all of us. But he was utterly liberated from that. He was an original who charted his own course. We loved him deeply, and he will never be forgotten or replaced in our lives.”

The Washington Post: "Mr. Bradlee’s patrician good looks, gravelly voice, profane vocabulary and zest for journalism and for life all contributed to the charismatic personality that dominated and shaped The Post. Modern American newspaper editors rarely achieve much fame, but Mr. Bradlee became a celebrity and loved the status."

Alan Rusbridger in the Guardian: "Few reporters look like Robert Redford, or even Dustin Hoffman. Most journalistic careers don’t offer the opportunity to bring down a president. Most stories are fuelled more by coffee than adrenaline. But Ben Bradlee will remain for all time everyone’s idea of what an editor should be."

Ben Bradlee giving a spin doctor the brush off in a letter, revealed by the Washington Post: "I don't see any  purpose in meeting with you and Mr. Bloom. I would like to be sure that you understand we trust our editors' news judgement and that we distrust yours."

The Sun in a statement: "The Sun is proud of our record standing up for children and we believe we make a real difference. We have listened to the concerns about a story we ran on 29th July headlined 'Boy, 4, has mark of devil' and we accept that, on this occasion, we didn't get it right. As a result, we have tightened our procedures on all stories involving children, including the issue of paying parents."

Playwright David Williamson to the BBC on the difficulty of casting Rupert Murdoch in his new play: "All commercial productions rely on getting a cast that will attract an audience and we've found that some actors are actually scared of playing Rupert on stage. The man has so much power and quite understandably, people - and that includes actors - don't want to offend him. He owns Fox Studios, for heavens' sake!"

Ryan Chittum on the Columbia Journalism Review on the ethics of the Guardian's Whisper scoop: "What The Guardian did was entirely ethical. Whisper told its reporters highly newsworthy facts about its own service. The information was all on the record. The Guardian reported it. It would have been a journalistic lapse for the paper not to have told readers what it had learned."

Bob Geldof in the Guardian: "You know, the children were never, ever, ever given a break, particularly by the Daily Mail, who engaged in a lifelong exercise in bullying. These tiny little girls – never once did they write anything about their courage, their strength, their beauty, their abilities. If they went to a teenage party, then they were out of control, they were exactly following in their mother’s footsteps – and look at her, guess what she was – and this would be posted on the school noticeboards… When I tried to occasionally stop it, inevitably it would be a freedom of the press issue."

Matthew Parris in The Times [£]: "Down below this column — if you read me online — there’s a dark and rather scary world we call Readers’ Posts. I go there often to do battle with the Ukip and ConHome astroturfers — the rabble who migrate between the online comment sections of papers like ours, the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian (places you often sense are not their natural pastures) giving the impression of a huge, angry, grassroots surge of support for Ukip."

Tim Walker @ThatTimWalker on Twitter: "I can't think of any newspaper that would dream of running the blandly obvious pieces written for #thoughtfortheday. Why does @BBCRadio4?"

Early Day Motion 352 : "That this House is gravely concerned about recent reports that police forces have used powers contained in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to access journalists' sources and materials; notes that unlike requests made under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 there is no public record of these requests or their frequency, extent or even the existence of these applications, and there is no judicial oversight or independent process to grant permission to use these powers; further notes and welcomes the Interception of Communications Commissioner's new inquiry that will be asking all chief constables how many applications under RIPA have been granted since 2000 to access journalists' communications, and calls on these findings to be made public."

Met Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme and reported by the Telegraph: "I think Ripa has been sometimes poorly presented in the media .. I think everyone would accept nobody should be above the law. Whether it's any member of the public, whether it's a police officer, whether it's a journalist, we should be able to investigate and pursue any one of those... Now, if Parliament wants to decide that there are special issues around journalistic privilege which means there needs to be more safeguards around that - well, that's something for Parliament to debate."

Mark Pritchard @MPritchardMP on Twitter: "Glad to have reached 'amicable settlement' with Sunday Mirror and have now withdrawn my complaint from IPSO. The settlement is confidential."

Charlie Brooks in his Telegraph column about being found not guilty in his Old Bailey trial:  "After the winning distance was announced, you have never heard wingeing like it. The prosecutor shook like a tramp on a park bench and wailed to The Guardian that they’d been under resourced.  'Only 180 coppers to help us,’ he bleated. It would be akin to Sheikh Mohammed weeping in the paddock at Ascot if Rod Millman had put one over on Godolphin."