Thursday, 19 January 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Trump is making US journalism great again to Sun's bright idea is to give the EU the old Kinnock lightbulb treatment

Jack Shafer on Politico: "In his own way, Trump has set us free. Reporters must treat Inauguration Day as a kind of Liberation Day to explore news outside the usual Washington circles. He has been explicit in his disdain for the press and his dislike for press conferences, prickly to the nth degree about being challenged and known for his vindictive way with those who cross him. So, forget about the White House press room. It’s time to circle behind enemy lines."

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian on Michael Gove's interview with Donald Trump in The Times: "Gove was in New York to serve as a cheerleader, to gloss over Trump’s inconsistencies and outright ignorance on assorted topics – “intelligence takes many forms”, Gove writes kindly – and to pose for a souvenir photograph in which both men give a thumbs up, a framed cover of Playboy just over Gove’s shoulder. In Trump’s world, this is how the press should always behave – and the ever-courteous Gove was only too happy to oblige."

Guido Fawkes on his blog"Michael Gove is getting some stick for his Trump interview from journalists who could never break a window. By Guido’s count the scoop had at least ten separate news lines, on Brexit, Theresa May, Nato, Russia, Syria, Iran, Merkel, travel restrictions for Europeans, his Twitter, Jared Kushner and Camp David. It was on the front page not just of The Times and Bild, but also The Sun, Telegraph, Guardian, BBC News and MailOnline. Think his editor will be happy."

Richard Johnson in the New York Post: "One proposal on dealing with the media that was pitched to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team calls for drug testing the White House press corps...The pee-in-a-cup proposal (yellow journalism indeed) was one of 13 ideas one candidate for White House press secretary wrote in November in a confidential memo to members of the Presidential Transition Team’s Executive Committee."

Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev on what it's like to cover Putin and what it could be like to cover Trump: "Facts don’t matter. You can’t hurt this man with facts or reason. He’ll always outmaneuver you. He’ll always wriggle out of whatever carefully crafted verbal trap you lay for him. Whatever he says, you won’t be able to challenge him. He always comes with a bag of meaningless factoids (Putin likes to drown questions he doesn’t like in dull, unverifiable stats, figures and percentages), platitudes, false moral equivalences and straight, undiluted bullshit."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement after Trinity Mirror announced it was cutting 78 posts at its regional titles and creating 44 new roles, including 17 video journalists and producer roles: “News of yet more cuts is a massive blow to journalists working throughout the group who need to be convinced that this new strategy for chasing digital growth is one that will actually yield results and – critically – one that will preserve quality journalism across the group."

The Newsquest NUJ group chapel in a statement after it was revealed that the pay package of chief executive Henry Faure Walker in 2015 was basic pay £400,000; cash bonus of £297,000; shares bonus worth up to £607,000 if all performance targets are met; and £145,000 for pension, health and life insurance: "Our members will be livid to hear this news while being expected to pull in their belts yet another notch and endure yet another another pay freeze, when they are already on poverty pay and inflation looks set to rise... The fact that the boss’s remuneration could pay for 75 more journalists shows just how out of kilter a greedy management is with its journalists.”

The Times [£] in a leader on open justice: "The risk is that an ever-wider range of litigants and defendants seek anonymity in an ever-wider variety of cases, with a chilling effect on the media as the potential cost of defending its right to report on court cases rises. Children have a right to anonymity in most types of cases. Adults should remember that open justice exists not just to punish the guilty but to protect the innocent."

The News Media Association in a statement on its website: "The NMA’s application for judicial review of the Press Recognition Panel’s decision to recognise IMPRESS has moved to the next stage, with documents issued at Court and served on both the PRP [Press Recognition Panel] and IMPRESS yesterday. This challenges the legality of the Press Recognition Panel’s decision to recognise IMPRESS on the basis that it has made serious and fundamental legal errors in its recognition."

Sun editor Tony Gallagher ‏@tonygallagher on Twitter on the Sun's response to Die Welt's 'Little Britain' front page [below] by reworking an old splash: "Dear @welt - a snapshot of @TheSun tomorrow. Love From Little Britain."

Die Welt @weltkompakt responds to the Sun on Twitter: "@TheSun Sunny greetings from Berlin."


Thursday, 12 January 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: National press unite in battle to defeat Section 40, dumping on the National Enquirer and hooray for Hollywood

The Guardian in a leader: "A free press is a constitutional necessity, not an ornamental timepiece. There is no other option but to repeal section 40. The Guardian believes that the independence of the press is best served by self - not state - regulation." 

The Financial Times' response to consultation on Section 40: "The position of the FT is clear: Section 40 is not fit to be commenced. However, keeping it un-commenced on the statute book causes – in more acute form – the very problem to which the press have been most alert. In spite of all of the faults of the Royal Charter, the institution of the PRP, the approval of IMPRESS, and unexplained departures from the terms of the Leveson Report, all of those elements have at their core the common recognition that serving politicians, especially those in Government, must have no role in regulating the press. Keeping Section 40 in place, but un-commenced, appears to give this – and every subsequent – Secretary of State unacceptable leverage with regard to the newspaper industry. It is, for the press, a legislative Sword of Damocles."

Daily Mail in a leader: "Among Impress board members is one who has tweeted his wish to ban the Daily Mail, and others who have backed the campaign to drive centre-Right newspapers out of business by starving them of advertising. Even if Impress had impeccably fair-minded credentials, this paper would refuse to join it, on the principle that it is wrong for the Press to submit to state regulation. As it is, the very thought of surrender to such a creepy body is unthinkable. This is why no mainstream newspaper, of Right or Left, has signed up to Impress, which includes only a tiny number of the smallest local papers and online blogs on its books."

Sarah Baxter in the Sunday Times [£]: "To recap, Max Mosley is the son of Oswald Mosley and Diana Mitford, who were married in 1936 at the home of Joseph Goebbels, the chief propagandist of the Third Reich, in the presence of Adolf Hitler. If you don’t consider this relevant, fine. Let’s put our press freedom in the hands of Impress. But it sends a chill up my spine."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Coercing a free press is, in the first place, a contradiction in terms. The conversation that Britain is having with itself about press regulation is being followed elsewhere in the free world with dismay because the very concept of newspapers being answerable to anyone other than their readers is rightly alien. Moreover, the regulator the government has in mind, Impress, is self-appointed, partisan and in no position to wield authority over an industry that it manifestly disdains....Section 40 turns natural justice on its head. It would be unthinkable in the US under the first amendment to the constitution, and probably illegal under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. "

Investigative journalist Andew Penman in the Mirror: "In all likelihood, the mere threat of litigation under Section 40, however unjustified, would mean that my stories would never run in the first place. After 20 years of fighting your corner, this column would be axed and the conmen and charlatans would be victorious."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement: “The NUJ believes that by partially implementing Section 40, it would potentially bring benefits to those regulators that have established proper systems of arbitration. Those who have not would continue to deal with the courts as they do today. The government should continue to encourage those regulators that do not have effective arbitration in place to establish such systems. While providing significant benefits for those with systems of arbitration, ministers should now rule out implementing Section 40 in a way that could lead to publishers facing potentially ruinous legal costs. Therefore the NUJ favours option (d), that the government should partially commence Section 40 and keep under review those elements that apply to publishers outside a recognised regulator."

Ex-Croydon Advertiser editor Glenn Ebrey ‏@glennebrey on Twitter: "Something odd about local paper groups that have turned their backs on 'proper' journalism fighting to now protect, er, proper journalism...They are right to oppose Section 40, of course, but should look a little closer to home when bemoaning the death of local papers"

Damian Collins, chairman of the culture, media and sport committee, in the Daily Telegraph on Section 40: “Some have said that the risk of heavy costs being awarded against the newspapers is not as great as some fear. But I believe it is wrong in principle, and once established could create a new industry of ambulance-chasing lawyers encouraging people to hire them on no-win, no-fee terms to take up complaints against the press. These lawyers could set high fees and know that there would be a good chance of getting paid even if they lost the case.”

Roy Greenslade on giving up his daily MediaGuardian blog at the end of this month, reported by Press Gazette: “I am sad to be giving up the blog, but I think the work of holding newspapers – their owners, controllers, editors and journalists – to account remains vital because they still set the daily agenda and therefore remain hugely influential."

Donald Trump to CNN's Jim Acosta over the Russian allegations, as reported by CBS: "Your organisation is terrible...I am not going to give you a question, you're fake news. Trump on BuzzFeed which published the Russian allegations in full: "Buzzfeed which is a failing pile of garbage... will suffer the consequences"

Burt Reynolds in the Observer Magazine"Dumping a helicopter full of horse shit on the National Enquirer made me feel great. They’d been writing crap about me for years so I thought it was only fitting. One Christmas Eve my pilot and I loaded my helicopter with manure from my ranch, flew over the building and watched it cascade down their giant Christmas tree."

Meryl Streep in her Golden Globes speech, as reported by the Guardian"We need a principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood foreign press, and all of us in our community, to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, because we’re going to need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth."


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From national and local press lead onslaught on Section 40 to whose got the biggest ears Gary Lineker or Sun editor Gallagher?

Lynne Anderson, News Media Association deputy chief executive, quoted by the Sun after a YouGov poll showed just four per cent of people think a press regulator should be funded by donations from wealthy individuals and trusts, the Impress model, compared with 49 per cent who believe it should be funded by the newspaper industry itself: “This survey demonstrates conclusively that a regulatory regime led by Impress – which is completely reliant upon funding from one wealthy individual, Max Mosley, cannot command the confidence of the public...It is also abundantly clear from the poll that there is absolutely no public appetite for further activity from the Government in this area – such as the reopening of the Leveson Inquiry – when there are other much more pressing priorities at hand.”

Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail on press regulator Impress: "It would be like putting the Kray Twins in charge of the Police Complaints Commission and forcing the victims of their crimes to pick up the bill. To conjure up another analogy, how would Max Mosley like it if one of his call girls decided to sue him for spanking her too hard and — win, lose or draw — he was forced to pay all her legal costs?"

Andrew Norfolk in The Times [£]: "My concern, should the government trigger section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, is its likely impact on investigative journalism. Under section 40, any newspaper that declines “voluntarily” to join Impress would be forced to pay its opponent’s legal costs in any claim brought for libel or breach of privacy, even if it won the case. At a stroke, this would destroy the delicate balancing act that invariably surrounds the decision-making process at any responsible newspaper before publishing an article that could expose it to a civil claim in the courts...Be under no illusion. Section 40 ostensibly seeks to protect the weak and the poor, but it would kill investigative print journalism. It would render the rich and powerful unaccountable. To implement such a measure, in a nation that calls itself free and democratic, would be madness."

Tom Bower in The Times [£]: "Reliance on the truth as a defence against greed and chicanery is now endangered by the government’s refusal to rule out implementing section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act. In a nutshell, if a newspaper refuses to register with Impress, the government’s approved regulator bankrolled by Max Mosley and staffed by his anti-media sympathisers, then newspapers will be compelled to pay the costs of claimants even if their claim fails. Crooks like Robert Maxwell could sue, lose their case having been exposed in court as liars, and still receive millions of pounds from the victorious newspaper."

Neil Hodgkinson, editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror's Humber & Lincolnshire Region, quoted by the Mirror on Section 40: "This draconian law could have prevented public interest revelations such as a businessman falsely posing as a Falklands war hero to boost his business, lavish spending by health chiefs on trips to Florida, or the rightful exposure of care home staff and their abuse of an elderly patient. Legal action was threatened. Would we have had to think twice knowing the cost of bankrolling both sides? Papers such as ours invest in good journalism. We were praised by Leveson. Now, local media may face bankruptcy for serving public interest. Local democracy will suffer as a result."

Alastair Machray, editor of Trinity Mirror's Liverpool Echo, also quoted in the Mirror:  "Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act? It’s a free pass for the guilty. Call us old-fashioned up here, but we ain’t that keen on the conmen, the paedophiles, the bent politicians. And our job at the Liverpool Echo is to protect the public from them. But under Section 40 those villains just have to threaten legal action, safe in the knowledge that the thought of paying the costs – win or lose – is a massive barrier to us as we seek to publish the facts."

Marc Reeves, editor of the Birmingham Mail, writing in his own paper: "The sanction which would see us liable for all costs in a case, even if we won, would in my view incentivise complainants to bypass existing informal and formal routes to trigger litigation immediately. Just one small action resulting in a costs award of £100,000 could lead to irreparable harm to our finances. Any more may well be fatal."

Hugh Tomlinson Q.C., chair of Hacked Off, responding to the fears of local newspaper editors: "All this is based on the assumption that local newspapers will do the bidding of the national press and refuse to join a recognised regulator. Of course, if local newspapers do join such a regulator they face no adverse costs orders and receive costs protection against rich “libel bullies”. There is no “chilling effect”. Local and regional newspapers are still respected and trusted by the public. They risk losing that respect and trust if they allow themselves to be used by the corporate national press to defend the indefensible."

Former foreign secretary Douglas Hurd in newly released cabinet documents on the execution of Observer journalist Farzad Bazoft after he was hanged in Iraq in 1990: “In the atmosphere brought about by our present difficulties, Iraq would see any action against credit as a further political response to Bazoft and would hit back hard. That would be bad for our wider commercial interests where our competitors would happily step in to take up our share of the market.”

Sun ed Gallagher

Gary Lineker, interviewed in the Financial Times, about coming under attack from the Sun, which suggested he should be 'out on his ears' from the BBC: “It didn’t bother me, it didn’t worry me, I wasn’t, oh, my God, I’m going to lose my job. I got phone calls from people at the BBC almost immediately. They were very supportive. They can insult me all they like. I don’t mind. The editor of The Sun has got much bigger jug-ears than I have.”


Thursday, 29 December 2016

Media Quotes of the Year: From Indy goes digital only to we can't tell you if the olive oil was virgin

My Media Quotes of the Year are up on InPublishing.

They cover media milestones of 2016: including Independent quits print, Boris and Brexit, Trump and Corbyn, launches and closures, cuts and more cuts, press investigations, the future of news plus privacy and olive oil.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From freethepress campaign says Bah Humbug! to Section 40 to is Impress the press regulator that hates the press?

Freethepress campaign urges readers: "Say NO to section 40 and Leveson Part 2. Press freedom, the lifeblood of democracy, is under attack. But you can do something about it. The British government has opened up a public consultation on the next stage of the Leveson Inquiry. It is asking us two questions. Should the government implement Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013? And should the government go ahead with Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry?We say an emphatic NO to both of these questions. And we think you should make your voice heard too."

David Aaronovitch in The Times [£]:  "In addition to being a hack I’ve chaired the freedom of expression organisation Index on Censorship for nearly four years. In that time I’ve seen the variety of ways and the ingenuity of arguments that people use when looking to constrain or limit free speech. It never stops and it’s by no means mainly autocrats who seek to do it. There’s always a good and urgent reason, but to me it’s evident that freedom of speech and expression is the one freedom that underpins all the others."

Max Mosley in a letter to The Times [£]: "As David Aaronovitch points out, the rich often force newspapers to suppress stories that should be published. A newspaper can be hundreds of thousands of pounds out of pocket even if it wins a major law suit. That is precisely the problem that Leveson has solved. When section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act comes into force, a newspaper can respond to threatened litigation by offering inexpensive arbitration. If this is refused, the court can order the aggressor to pay the costs of both sides. This new law strongly reinforces press freedom and should be commenced without delay."

Gavin Millar, QC, in a letter to The Times [£]: "Huge costs in court cases against newspapers are problematic, but section 40 (2) of the Crime and Courts Act would not solve the problem, as Max Mosley suggests (letter, Dec 16). True, it dangles a “carrot”. Newspapers may not have to pay costs even when they lose the case, but they have to join a state-approved regulator to bite at the carrot. This is currently Impress, funded by Mr Mosley. Valuing their independence, newspapers understandably refuse to do this. In fact, section 40 (3) would create, not solve, a problem. Costs could be awarded against our “refusenik” newspapers even when they win. This is the “stick” in section 40. Drastic state penalties of this sort are incompatible with free speech. They inhibit investigative journalism and allegations of misconduct against powerful people who might sue.
Section 40 is dangerous humbug. Like Old Marley it must be pronounced “dead as a doornail” after this Christmas consultation."

Rachael Jolley, editor, Index on Censorship magazine, in a letter to The Times [£]: "Index on Censorship has published stories by censored writers for more than four decades. Now we ourselves face the prospect of censorship via legal action in the UK. As it stands, legislation on the statute means that we — as an independent publisher that declines to join the press regulator Impress — face the prospect of crippling legal costs, even if we won a case that had been brought against us. Our publication, to which last month the British Society of Magazine Editors gave an “editor of the year” award for its work, could be forced out of business. Any regulation that could potentially bankrupt the media and make investigative journalism too costly to publish should be fiercely resisted."

Lord Lester of Herne Hill, QC, in a letter to The Times [£]: "IPSO is supported by most of the press and uses its formidable new powers effectively. When the public consultation ends next month, the culture secretary should not invoke section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act. If Hacked Off brings a legal challenge, I predict that the courts will rule that section 40 is arbitrary, unfair and incompatible with a free press."

Brendan O'Neill, editor of Spiked"The recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry include the Press Recognition Panel’s use of extreme financial pressure to make all press outlets sign up to a new press regulator, and the suggestion that even third parties — that is, people not directly affected by an offensive press article — could be allowed to complain about it. The idea, now too widely accepted, is that the press must be tamed and the easily offended empowered. The opposite is the case. We should ignore, or challenge, professional offence-takers, and give the press greater freedom and independence and power over itself and its output."

The Sun in a leader: "Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act would be the instant death of investigative journalism. Newspapers could no longer afford to expose scandals in the public interest and provably true. The only safety would be under a new industry regulator, Impress — a dubious outfit bankrolled by Max Mosley, a tycoon with a vendetta against the Press."

Jeremy Clarkson in The Sun: "Newspapers, and the people who produce them and write them and own them, are a constant thorn in my side, an unending headache, and I sometimes lay awake at night wondering what the editor of the Daily Mail would look like without a head. So you’d expect me to be whooping for joy at the news that over the Christmas break, while you’re making merry with the party poppers and the crackers, various shadowy Government people are drawing up plans to bring the nation’s newspapers to heel. But I’m not. I’m horrified to the point of panicky breathlessness. And you should be too."

Nottingham Post editor Mike Sassi, quoted by Press Gazette: "Like all local newspapers, The Nottingham Post receives dozens of complaints every year. The vast majority are dealt with amicably, often by us explaining to complainants how and why something has been reported. A small number are resolved with a swift clarification and, if necessary, an apology. However, if Section 40 were to become law, complainants would have a huge financial incentive to pursue us, knowing that even if they lose we have to pay their costs. The number of complaints would inevitably increase."

David Higgerson on his blog: "IMPRESS, in my opinion, has demeaned and belittled journalism in its quest to force others to make life so difficult for the Press that they have no choice but to sign up. In doing so, it has alienated the vast majority of journalist for whom facts are everything, and getting something wrong is something they try to avoid at all costs."

MediaGuido on press regulator Impress: "MediaGuido has found that four senior Impress employees have endorsed loopy comparisons between the Daily Mail and the Nazis. Impress CEO Jonathan Heawood has shared multiple social media posts calling the Mail “fascists”, “a neo-fascist rag”, and a claim that it is “increasingly adopting fascist style politics”. Another post shared by Heawood compares the Mail to a newspaper from Nazi Germany... How can a press regulator reasonably regulate an industry if it wants to ban newspapers? How can they come to fair and balanced judgments if its CEO believes they are “neo-fascists”? Impress is the press regulator that hates the press, it is a farce that the government is giving these people the time of day…"

Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail: "It seems to me utterly incredible that a group of individuals who don’t bother to disguise their hatred for some newspapers should be the leading lights of a State-approved body which is supposed to regulate the free Press — and that the same organisation should be funded by a man like Mosley. Are we dreaming? Can this really be happening? If politicians really do want State control of the Press, you’d think they might come up with a few respectable members of the great‑and-the-good rather than this immature and undistinguished shower who garrulously tweet their illiberal prejudices."