Thursday, 17 May 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From forget Leveson and focus on social media and fake news to Rod Liddle is a sell-out - at the London Palladium!

The Times [£] in a leader: "Ministers were right to reject calls for another expensive public inquiry and the House of Commons affirmed its commitment to the freedom of the press. The public interest is now in allowing the media to get on with the job of holding the powerful to account rather than retreading well-trodden ground. There are more pressing issues for politicians and the public to consider. Today’s challenges are unregulated social media and fake news. The Lords should accept the verdict of the elected chamber, and look to the future, not the past."

Shadow Culture secretary Tom Watson on Twitter: "The whole point of the Royal Charter system, set up following Leveson, was to make clear that it was for the Press Recognition Panel, not government Ministers, to decide whether independent press regulators were effective. This new amendment , which gives the Secretary of State power to review the system of self-regulation every three years, undermines that whole system. It's tantamount to state interference in press regulation."

Culture secretary Matt Hancock on Twitter after the Commons rejected Lords amendment to Data Protection Bill calling for Leveson 2: "Delighted House of Commons has now voted twice - with increased majority - to defend a free and fair press. It’s time to put this Bill on the Statute Book."

The Mail on Sunday reports:"Meghan Markle's father has secretly collaborated with a British paparazzi photographer to stage a series of pictures – despite pleas from Prince Harry for the media to leave his future father-in-law alone. Thomas Markle, who will walk his daughter down the aisle at Windsor Castle on Saturday, has been caught on CCTV willingly posing for faked photographs that have been sold to newspapers around the world. Together with other pictures taken with his co-operation, they will have netted up to £100,000...The faked images include Mr Markle apparently: Being measured for a suit to wear to the wedding; being caught browsing a book of British landmarks in a branch of Starbucks; working out with weights to get in shape for the big day."

Piers Morgan on MailOnline: "Several weeks ago, Kensington Palace issued a stern warning to British media outlets demanding Mr Markle be left alone. An official letter, written by Harry’s personal communications secretary Jason Knauf, described how Mr Markle had been ‘followed and harassed’ by photographers and journalists. The letter, obviously dictated by the Prince, urged newspapers not to publish any photos of Mr Markle. Last week, Mr Markle’s own representatives also wrote to editors and to British newspaper watchdog the Independent Press Standards Organisation claiming Mr Markle was suffering as a result of press intrusion and insisting he didn’t want to take part in photo calls or interviews. Yet it now transpires that Mr Marble has been aggressively invading his own privacy and allowing the paparazzi to sell staged photos of him to the world’s media."

Zoe Williams in the Guardian on press coverage of Thomas Markle: "The Leveson inquiry could have drawn all its conclusions about the overweening power of the press from the treatment of this one man. The underpinning counter-privacy argument – that if you’ve got nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear – is flamboyantly shot down in the bald reality of microscopic press scrutiny.'”

Emily Bell in the Guardian: "The inability of the UK professional press to effectively self-regulate has arisen from the fact that the largest commercial constituents in the UK have been historically the most egregious in terms of practice, and moribund in terms of moral authority."

Liverpool manager Jergen Klopp in a speech for the Football Writers' Awards: "I am probably guilty, like many on my side of it, of bemoaning “the press” at times, lumping everyone in together. But I know the game enjoys the prominence and profile in England because the media devotes so much time and energy to covering it. In some respects, those of you in this room share the same journey as the players you cover. You have to show dedication and sacrifice; you have to constantly keep learning your job and adapt to changes; you make mistakes and learn from them; you are under huge pressure to deliver. And maybe it is good old English irony that in the age of social media many of you are now subjected to the same scrutiny and comment on your performance."

Donald Trump on Twitter: "The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible. With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!"

Fraser Nelson‏@FraserNelson on Twitter: "Rod Liddle has now **sold out** the 2,300-capacity London Palladium. Something that perhaps no other journalist could do. #RodPower."


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From make killing journalists in conflict zones a war crime to football reporters pay tribute to 'class act' Arsene Wenger

The Times [£] in a leader: "The United Nations should explicitly spell out that the deliberate killing of a journalist in a conflict zone amounts to a war crime. Evidence should be gathered and the case should be presented as evidence for the prosecution at the international criminal court. This may seem like a naive attempt to impose and enforce rules on regimes and groups that have shown brazen disregard for international law. The alternative is unthinkable: to allow brutal regimes to celebrate their own impunity. The Afghan killings exposed the vulnerabilities of Isis and the Taliban as much as the press. The terrorist groups are anxious that a free and independent press will counter their gross exaggeration of battlefield successes."

Culture and Media Secretary Matt Hancock on Twitter after MPS rejected calls for Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry: "A great day for a free and fair press. We will work with closely IPSO to make sure their important work continues."

Ed Miliband on Twitter: "Very disappointed for the victims of phone-hacking and press abuse that we did not win the vote for Leveson 2. The battle goes on to keep our promise to them to get the truth they deserve and protection for victims in the future."

Guardian News & Media, publisher of the Guardian and the Observer,  in a statement to MPs over a proposed amendment to the data protection bill that would have favoured the company over other publishers: “This clause was not discussed with Guardian News & Media and we disagree with attempts to impose a selective sanction on the media. We do not believe that singling out one model of ownership for news organisations in this way is a constructive approach. This amendment implies that just one ownership model can result in the production of high quality journalism, which is simply not correct.”

The Independent Press Standards Organisation in a statement: "The UK’s seven best-selling national daily newspapers and eight best-selling Sunday newspapers have agreed to sign up to the IPSO compulsory arbitration scheme. The scheme will cover national newspapers published by News UK, Trinity Mirror, Associated, Telegraph and the former Northern and Shell.This will mean that members of the public can get low-cost access to justice without having to go to court for legal claims including libel, invasion of privacy, data protection or harassment. The participating newspapers cannot refuse to arbitrate on any valid claim. It costs a maximum in fees of £100 for the claimant."

The New York Times, via Associated Press:  On World Press Freedom Day a U.N. panel discussion on international media freedom and fake news was suddenly postponed, sparking accusations of censorship. Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists thanked organizers of the official event for shining a light on the work of journalists — but said unfortunately "as we battle censorship around the world ... the panel was cancelled because one of the presenters was going to mention by name countries that jail journalists. So we have a discussion in the U.N. about battling censorship, being censored, that's quite ironic. I would call on us all here present to resist the politicization — the increasing politicization of U.N. agencies whose mission is to defend press freedom."

Report of the International Press Freedom Mission to the US: "The rhetoric that Trump and his administration have used to disparage and discredit the media, before and after the 2016 election, is of grave concern. Political leaders’ words have ramifications beyond the immediate news cycle. It appears that members of the public and other local authority or political figures have felt emboldened by the media strategy of the current administration and journalists have found themselves subject to increasing abuse, harassment, and threats, particularly online...By openly and aggressively targeting journalists and media outlets, the current US administration risks undermining media freedom and creates a culture where journalists find themselves unprotected."

Sarah Churchwell in The Observer on Donald Trump: "There is a clear bias among the media towards normality. We see this every time a journalist announces that Trump became “presidential” when he read a few words written by someone else. Trump is not “presidential”. He is ignorant, impulsive, undisciplined, undignified, uncouth. This makes him popular with some of his electorate but it does not make him presidential. We see the bias towards normality every time a journalist asks about a given aspect of his “policy”. Trump doesn’t have policies. He is an opportunistic chancer who changes his story with the wind and listens to whoever last spoke to him. We see it when newspapers refuse to say the president lied, hiding behind euphemisms such as “misrepresented”, “reversed his position”, “told an untruth”."

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?"

Jon Sopel @BBCJonSopel on Twitter: "Dear President  @realDonaldTrump, I’m going on holiday today with my family and I’d really like it if things stayed quiet for next 10 days in D.C., that you play nicely with colleagues and don’t get into fights - that way the BBC won’t call me.
Thanks Jon" #DreamOn

Daily Mirror's John Cross in a farewell tribute to Arsene Wenger, on behalf of football reporters: "We in English football owe you a huge debt of gratitude and I hope you appreciate within the tributes in the last couple of weeks there has been a genuine and very heartfelt affection towards you. There is no escaping there has been some criticism along the way but the fact you never hold a grudge or never dodge a question and are always respectful shows what a class act you are as both a human being and a football manager. You have touched lives way beyond football."


Thursday, 3 May 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: Rudd resignation shows power of investigative journalism; Cambridge Analytica closure; the deadliest day for the media in Afghanistan

Guardian editor-in-chief KathViner in the Guardian: "The resignation of the British home secretary, Amber Rudd, over the Windrush scandal marks an important moment for independent, investigative journalism, demonstrating how it can hold power to account in order unequivocally to change people’s lives for the better. The Guardian reporter Amelia Gentleman has spent the past six months exposing the truth of the suffering of the Windrush generation, who arrived in the UK after the second world war from Caribbean countries at the invitation of the British government."

Cambridge Analytica in a press statement: "The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers. As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business, which left Cambridge Analytica with no realistic alternative to placing the Company into administration."

Carole Cadwalladr@carolecadwalla on Twitter: "Remember. SCL & Cambridge Analytica are disinformation specialists. What exactly are they shutting down & why?...The news that Cambridge Analytica is shutting down is not some great triumph. It’s a billionaire using Britain’s insolvency laws to try & evade scrutiny - at the cost of his employees. We need a criminal investigation. And we need evidence secured. The question is how???"

Verified account

John Mulholland@jnmulholland on Twitter: "Cambridge Analytica closing after Facebook data harvesting scandal revealed by @carolecadwalla in the Observer - and not because of 'siege of media coverage' as per their statement."

Facebook's CTO Mike Schroepfer, asked to apologise for the company threatening defamation proceedings against the Guardian and Observer over the data scandal, while appearing before the Culture and Media Committee"We thought this was accepted cultural practice in the UK...I am sorry that journalists feel that we are trying to prevent them from getting the truth out."

Jane Martinson in the Guardian: "It really shouldn’t matter where, or how, somebody grew up – Jon Snow is just one example of a brilliant journalist who grew up in a privileged household. But the media industry needs to look outside the white male able-bodied elite to others who want to speak truth to power. Without that, it could so easily become an industry just speaking to itself."

Ashley Highfield on his decision to resign as chief executive of Johnston Press, as reported by City AM: "I have been privileged to lead Johnston Press during a period of unprecedented turbulence in our industry. Since 2011 we have grown our overall audience in particular our digital business, created an industry leading tele-sales operation and maintained margins. The acquisition of the i newspaper has been a particular highlight."

Jeremy Vine @theJeremyVine on Twitter: "Excellent piece by @guyadams raises the horrible thought that money given to Save The Children by a little old lady somewhere has ended up being spent on getting lawyers to put the wind up journalists who reported on their sex scandal."

Independent Press Standards Organisation in a statement: "The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has announced it is creating a compulsory version of its low cost arbitration scheme. This change will mean that someone who has a genuine claim against a newspaper who could have gone to court (for example for libel, invasion of privacy, data protection or harassment) can ask for arbitration of their claim and the newspaper cannot refuse. It costs a maximum of £100 for the claimant. Under the current scheme, the newspaper could decide not to arbitrate on any given case. The new scheme will also include a higher level of damages: arbitrators can award claimants up to £60,000, including aggravated damages."

The Times [£] in a leader: "The sentencing of 14 journalists from one of Turkey’s oldest and most respected newspapers to jail terms of up to seven and a half years on terrorism charges is a disgrace. It makes a mockery of even the pretence of the democratic freedoms expected of a Nato ally. It sends a repressive message that opposition to the government will not be tolerated and that Turkey is entering a dark age of absolutism and intolerance."

The Afghanistan Federation of Journalists (AFJ) in a statement after 10 journalists were killed on Monday in a bomb attack and a shooting: “This terrorist attack is a war crime and an organized attack on the Afghan media. Despite today's attack and other threats against journalists, the Afghan media is committed to providing information. The attack in the heart of Kabul and in the Green Zone indicates a serious lack of security by the government...April 30 will be remembered as the deadliest day in Afghan media history and the industry will mark the day in future in honor of its fallen colleagues."

Steven Butler @StevenBButler Asia program coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists, on Twitter: "Today marks one of the deadliest days on record for the media in Afghanistan & indeed around the world. We salute the incredible bravery of these journos, while noting the cynicism & cruelty of a suicide bomber pretending to be a media worker to target the press."

Committee to Protect Journalists executive director Joel Simon, quoted by the Columbia Journalism Review: “These are all Afghan reporters that have been killed, but at least five are working directly for the international media. So theses are the reporters who keep the world informed. This is not a local story; it’s not just about local news coverage in c. This is a threat not just to the Afghan media, this is a threat to global media.”

The Guardian in a leader: "Although the rich world takes notice of those who bring the news out to us, the vast majority are people serving their own communities, working for little glamour and less money, with a display of routine everyday heroism that puts more pampered colleagues to shame. The defence of journalistic freedom, and of journalists’ lives, is not some western affectation. It is something that all societies need if they are to be honest with themselves. It is a necessary check on the ambition and even the vanity of the powerful, and the dangers that some brave journalists defy prove just how much we need it – and them."


Thursday, 26 April 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: Is the media a cult of well-connected public school educated journalists? to the betrayal of the UK's press freedom legacy

Verified account

Owen Jones OwenJones84 on Twitter: "The main thing I've learned from working in the British media is that much of it is a cult. Afflicted by a suffocating groupthink, intolerant of critics, hounds internal dissenters, full of people who made it because of connections and/or personal background rather than merit."

Owen Jones commenting on his tweet on Medium: "This tweet has triggered such an inferno amongst British media types, the response would probably have been more measured if I’d told every single one of their mothers to F off in person...Nothing caused so much anger as my suggestion that the British media is profoundly socially exclusive. The journalists denying this are waging a crusade against undeniable fact, evidence and data — and, by doubling down, are helping to ensure that this profound injustice is not rectified. Just 7% of the British population are privately educated. But according to the Sutton Trust in 2016, 51% of Britain’s top journalists are privately educated. Just 19% attended a comprehensive school — unlike nearly 90% of the population."

FleetStreetFox on Twitter: "I set up 2x school papers, did work experience on local rag, begged for an apprenticeship, did my NCTJ and worked like a dog for 25yrs. No contacts, no degree, and a comprehensive education. It’s not a cult Owen, it’s just people think you’re a bit of a twat."

Verified account


Dan Hodges @DPJHodges on Twitter:"The reality is it doesn’t matter where you went to school, how middle-class you are, what you gender, race etc is. In the eyes of the Corbynites the only legitimate journalism is journalism that shares, and indulges in, their veneration of Jeremy Corbyn."

Nick Cohen@NickCohen4 on Twitter: "The real scandal is 75 universities are selling post-grad journalism courses to students when there are virtually no jobs for them to go on to. If banks behaved in the same way, the fraud squad would raid them."

Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and David Pemsel, the chief executive of GNM parent Guardian Media Group in a joint statement: “We are well on track with our three-year strategy to make the Guardian sustainable and break even at operating level by 2018-2019. Thanks to outstanding collaborative work in the UK, US and Australia, we have finished the second year well ahead of our forecast.”

Amelia Gentleman on Twitter: "The Guardian has given me the time and space to investigate the #Windrush scandal over the past six months. Please support independent, investigative journalism like this, so that we can continue to hold power to account."

Matthew Moore in The Times [£]: "The number of defamation cases in the UK courts has fallen to a record low as celebrities increasingly use privacy actions to block negative stories rather than taking action after publication. Only 49 defamation cases were heard last year, down from 86 three years ago, according to research by Thomson Reuters. The decline follows the introduction of the Defamation Act 2013, which came into force in 2014 and made it harder to bring successful cases by requiring the claimant to demonstrate that they have suffered serious reputational damage. Legal experts said that the fall also reflected a change in tactics by celebrities, who now sought to ban newspapers from printing embarrassing stories in the first place, rather than bring a defamation case afterwards."

Ian Birrell in The Times [£] on Russia Today"RT disseminates fake news and inflates dodgy theories to winkle open fissures in western societies and cover up atrocities carried out by Vladimir Putin and his blood-splattered pals. It is aided by fellow travellers inflaming its nonsense on social media and abetted by a motley collection of greedy fools taking cash to appear on its shows. But while it is clearly a mouthpiece for Moscow, we should not ban RT. Such a move would backfire, with retaliatory action to expel our journalists in Russia that would hamper both understanding of events there and the free flow of news for opposition forces."

Celia Walden on the secret of husband Piers Morgan's smooth skin, according to The Times [£] Diary: “Piers’s ego is so large that it pushes the wrinkles out.”

Letter to The Times [£] from press freedom campaigners: "The UK is among the worst-ranked western nations for press freedom. Today the World Press Freedom Index 2018 placed the UK 40th among 180 countries, just ahead of Trinidad & Tobago and Burkina Faso. Britain is the nation that helped to create press freedom. That legacy is being betrayed. Journalists have been hauled before criminal courts on flimsy charges, only to be acquitted. A state-approved regulator has been established, which the majority of the British press refused on principle to join. And parliament is now considering turning the screws on journalists further. The Data Protection Bill is passing through parliament. Lords and MPs are threatening to re-table amendments that would lead to the demise of our free press. The amendments could kick-start another state-backed press inquiry, and may end journalists’ exemption from data-protection rules, which is crucial for protecting their sources. Financial penalties would be imposed unless they signed up to a state-approved press regulator. Put simply, these peers and parliamentarians want to muzzle our maverick press because it holds them, and other public bodies, to account. We call on parliament to reject any further restrictions on the press. Britain’s status as a beacon of liberty and democracy is being jeopardised."


Thursday, 19 April 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From 45 journalists working to finish investigations by murdered Daphne Caruana Galizia to why the BBC must win against Cliff Richard or police will act in secrecy

Laurent Richard, founder of the Forbidden Stories platform, in the Guardian: "You killed the messenger. But you won’t kill the message. Over the past six months 45 journalists from 15 different countries have been working in secret to complete and publish investigations by the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed on 16 October 2017. Cooperation is without a doubt the best protection. What is the point of killing a journalist if 10, 20 or 30 others are waiting to carry on their work?"

Peter Caruana Galizia interviewed in the Guardian about the police investigation into his wife's murder in a car bombing: “It is clear to us that the three men arraigned so far are simply contractors commissioned by a third party. My sons and I are not convinced that our government really wants to establish who sent them, for fear such persons are in fact very close to our government. For this reason we may never know the truth.”

John Sweeney‏ @johnsweeneyroar on Twitter: "Did he fall? Or was he pushed? Maxim Borodin was a Russian journalist who broke the story about Wagner hiring Russian mercenaries to fight in Syria. Now he’s dead. People who equate Russia with the West need to get this. In Russia if you oppose power, you may die."

Committee to Protect Journalists Europe and Central Asia program co-ordinator Nina Ognianova: "We call on Russian authorities to launch an effective, fair, and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Maksim Borodin's death and not to rule out foul play. Russia has a record of brushing aside suspicious deaths of members of the press. We urge authorities on both the regional and federal level to consider that Borodin may have been attacked and that his investigative journalism was the motive."

BuzzFeed UK's Heidi Blake @HeidilBlake on Twitter:"Utterly blown away that our From Russia With Blood series is a Pulitzer finalist. Working with @SchoofsFeed, @TomBWarren, @JasonLeopold, @Richard_AHolmes,  @jane__bradley &  @alexcampbell on this story (and many others) at @BuzzFeedNews has been the greatest privilege of my career."

Caroline Lucas @CarolineLucas on Twitter on the Windrush scandal: "Let us be very clear about what's happening. The Govt wants to create a hostile environment for migrants. This isn't a design flaw, it's central to their programme. Only perseverance from journalists like @ameliagentleman & MPs like @DavidLammy that caused Govt to think again."

Alan Travis, the Guardian's home affairs editor, who is leaving the paper after 34 years reflecting on the changes he's seen: "Whitehall departments, including the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice, have completely closed down, with very limited access to briefings with ministers or even senior officials. All but the most routine press inquiries are now channelled through a ministerial special adviser, which means it can take hours to receive even the blandest replies. There are a few gems left in Whitehall press offices who take the trouble to really make sure they know about their subject and have the confidence to discuss them with a specialist journalist in a non-confrontational way. But they are few and far between."

Mick Hume on Spiked: "Rod Liddle of The Sunday Times, the Sun and the Spectator has been reported to police and press regulators for making a ‘morally repugnant’ joke about Wales and its native tongue, with Welsh officials demanding new laws to ‘stop these comments… and to prevent language hate’. Meanwhile, the moral guardians of theatreland want Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail banned from writing reviews for his ‘blatantly racist attitude’, after the critic criticised a black actor in a Royal Shakespeare Company play...attacks on these very different columnists reveal the underlying truth about the campaign to curb press freedom further in Britain. Whatever those leading it may claim, that campaign is not about upholding the rule of law, protecting the public interest or any other apparently high-minded principle. It is about silencing dissenting voices and thought-policing an increasingly conformist intellectual climate."

The Times [£] in a leader: "No traditional publisher is allowed to merely shrug its shoulders when accused of plagiarism, or copyright theft, or facilitating hate, violence, self-harm, stalking, paedophilia or terrorism. Successes in combating online child pornography show that, when properly motivated, tech giants are well-placed to solve the problems they themselves have exacerbated. While there is a balance to be struck between the privacy of users and the transparency of social media platforms, it should not be the platforms’ choice where to strike it. It is no longer enough for technology companies to smirk behind algorithms and claim that there is nothing they can do. Where their inventions are ravaging the norms of law, culture and society, they must come up with solutions. If they will not, they must expect governments to tame them with the full force of the law. If that hits their vast profits, that, too, is their problem."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian on Cliff Richard's privacy case against the BBC: "If Richard’s action were to succeed, the ramifications for press freedom and, as a corollary, for open justice, are awful to contemplate. It could create a situation in which the media would be unable to report the early stages of police investigations, such as revealing the identity of arrested people. They would enjoy anonymity until and unless they were charged. This would be a fundamental change to custom and practice. It would have the effect of allowing police officers to operate in secrecy and would deny journalists the right to scrutinise the activities of the police. The media’s role as a public watchdog, holding power to account and acting on behalf of the public interest, would be fatally compromised."