Thursday, 29 May 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From did a tweet help UKIP win? to Humphrys and Paxman get Pickled

Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times [£]: "I reckon that UKIP’s rather impressive performance last week will one day be put down to the 'Jasmine effect'. On the eve of the elections, this senior figure at the BBC’s impartial and even-handed news channel tweeted the following: “#WhyImVotingUkip — to stand up for white, middle class, middle aged men w sexist/racist views, totally under represented in politics today. The BBC got very embarrassed and removed her from the election coverage forthwith, so I assume she is now sitting at home being paid by you and me for doing nothing at all. It’s a step forward, I suppose. But the wider effect of that tweet, and all the acres of stuff from people like Jasmine, will have been to boost UKIP’s vote considerably. The Jasmine effect, then."

Will Self on Rod Liddle, in the Guardian: "Liddle is a typical petit bourgeois, afraid of either being absorbed into the proletariat he champions, or destroyed by the capitalist bogeyman he excoriates but depends on for his wonga."

Matthew Parris in The Times [£] on Ukip: "If anything, indignation bears an inverse relationship to justification. In my own party it increases, too, with age, and especially among those who are no longer earning a living but imagine — usually from reading the newspapers — that they speak for those who are. Immigration has had a more profound impact on London than anywhere else, so is London awash with purple and yellow? On Thursday London said “no thanks” to Ukip. Few in the Derbyshire Peak District have ever knowingly seen a Bulgarian in the flesh. But you’ll find more indignation about Bulgarians in Buxton than in Battersea. Somebody needs to point out these truths."

Kevin Maguire ‏@Kevin_Maguire on twitter: "I knew Patrick O'Flynn when he was a journalist. Now he is a Ukip MEP. How did it go so wrong for him?"

Daily Mail in a leader: "As for the BBC, mouthpiece of metropolitan liberalism, we offer one thought: the more it insults and patronises the core conservative majority, the more of that majority will be tempted to vote Ukip."

Nick Cohen in Standpoint magazine: "Here is what no one, not even Steve Jobs or Bill Gates understood: the web would indeed set people free. It would empower the masses and tear down hierarchies. But once the web had destroyed the old funding model for journalism, no one would take the place of the reporters who trudged along to crime scenes, meetings and court cases. It turned out that unless a news organisation trained people to do it, paid them to do it and ordered them to do it, no one would want to do a difficult and at times boring job for nothing."

Gareth Jones' 1933 famine report in the Evening Standard

Ben Macintyre in The Times [£] on journalist Gareth Jones who exposed the famine in the Ukraine in the 1930s caused by Stalin’s forced collectivisation of agriculture: "Gareth Jones is finally getting the recognition he deserves, as a journalist who perished in search of the truth and whose reporting changed the world, and shapes it still."

Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield on the company's refinancing package, as reported by Press Gazette: "We’ve been effectively working for the banks for the past five years. And [we] now have them off our backs."

Jeremy Clarkson ‏@JeremyClarkson on Twitter: "I'm amazed sometimes the People manages to get the football scores right."

John Humphrys, as quoted by Press Gazette: “As to my advice for aspiring journalists.... that's easy. Don't do it! I am deeply pessimistic for the future of serious print journalism and I tell my own children and grandchildren to train for a profession where they're more likely to get a decent job with some hope of security.”

Jeremy Paxman on why he had decided to leave Newsnight, at the Hay Festival as reported by The Times diary [£]: “I got fed up of listening to bollocks.”

Anne Pickles ‏@AnnePickles on Twitter: "Aspiring young journos: Forget grumpy old men John Humphrys & Jeremy Paxman. Journalism is alive &well. Just do a better job than they did."

[£] = Paywall

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From Times reporter shot in Syria to pit bull spin doctor bites Guardian

Anthony Lloyd in the The Times [£] on being beaten up and shot in Syria: "I was covered in blood and lying on the ground when Hakim walked up. He was white with rage. His double cross had failed, and now he had to contend with a questioning crowd. 'I thought you were my friend,' I told him. 'No friends,' he replied, pulling his pistol and shooting me twice in the ankle just to have the satisfaction of crippling me...He may have beaten us and hurt us, but his greatest crime was to rob from his own people. Our entire documentation of a week’s work in Aleppo — notebooks, cameras, video — was stolen by his men. The voices of decent, innocent Syrians struggling for life amid abysmal conditions were stolen by Hakim in his bid for personal profit, making him guilty of a crime far worse than abduction with violence."

Tony Gallagher ‏@gallaghereditor  on Twitter: "Hello @BBCNews - is there any reason you are not crediting Prince Charles story to the Daily Mail? Just asking...You appeared to know nothing about it until Jeremy Paxman started waving it about on @BBCNewsnight"

Ray Snoddy on Jason Selkin and the Telegraph in InPublishing:"Many people have also noticed that Jason Seiken’s speeches have been heavy on digital optimism and talk of new eras in journalism and very light on details on where exactly the new digital revenues are going to come from. It may take more than releasing drones at conferences and talking about virtual reality glasses to convince either Murdoch McLennan, or rather more importantly Aidan Barclay, that he knows where the digital pot of gold is to be found."

Charles Moore, in The Spectator: "It is a strange thing that the current media culture, though obsessed by the idea of the ‘brand’, does not recognise that editors and titles are by far the strongest known form of branding in publishing. The trick is to find the best way of expressing this digitally, not to abolish it."

Janice Turner in The Times [£] on the Paxman Burlusconi interview:  "This was Spitting Image TV —an encounter between two cartoonish figures for public hilarity. Let’s gawp at Berlusconi’s hairline or revel in his Tony Soprano charm. Forget his corruption and sex crimes while we titter again at a crude slight against a woman who makes him look a political dwarf."

Clive James ending his final tv review column for the Telegraph: "This will be my last column. With what energy I have left to me I hope to write a book or two. If I manage to, they will be books peppered with things I learned from watching television, so I have lost no time in doing so. And was it fun? Yes indeed."

Wayne Rooney ‏@WayneRooney on Twitter: "Disgusting that English press have flew out to Portugal to follow me while I'm with my children."

David Hepworth in the Guardian: "Magazines were once a two revenue stream business. You got money from advertisers and readers. Successful publishing depended on holding the balance between the two. This delicate equipoise has gone. As cover price revenue either declines or refuses to grow then the bulk of the money that pays your salary comes from advertisers, sponsors and commercial partners.

Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley: "IT HAS not escaped my notice that the big winners at the Regional Press Awards this week were family-owned newspapers. The weekly Cumberland News and daily Carlisle News & Star, owned by the Burgess family’s CN Group, both won Newspaper of the Year in their categories while the Express & Star, Wolverhampton, owned by the Graham family, won Newspaper of the Year in the ‘above 25,000 daily’ sector.  It’s obvious, really, Newspapers in which owners have an emotional and caring bond will always fare better than remote titles on a conglomerate’s balance sheet, bullied and battered at a stroke of a beancounter’s quill."

Johnston Press chief Ashley Highfield, speaking at the Newspaper Society, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “I suggest now is the time for Auntie to put on some different spectacles and start looking at local press differently: as a genuine partner to take the BBC to a wider audience. Local newspapers and their associated web brands can actually bolster the BBC’s value if they stop viewing us as the competition and work with us to distribute their content."

Les Hinton ‏@leshinton on Twitter: "Firing someone then publicly pillorying them? Not a good look.@nytimes #jillabramson

Richard Caseby, ex-Sun managing editor and currently director of communications at Iain Duncan Smith's Department for Work and Pensions in a guest blog on Press Gazette:
"Should the new IPSO members accept Mr Rusbridger as a johnny-come-lately? No, rather he should be blackballed. Sorry, but the Guardian isn't fit to become a member of IPSO until it starts valuing accuracy." 

Michael White on Caseby in the Guardian: "Having a smart tabloid man in place to educate the public may be intelligent politics. But not one who picks pub brawls off duty, surely? Time for IDS to have a quiet word with his pit bull and explain – yet again – that the public interest is not the same as what the public may be interested in."

[£] = Paywall

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: Mark Ellen forced out at EMAP to the long and short of US journalism

Mark Ellen on being forced out at EMAP, in his new book Rock Stars Stole My Life!: “Of course they wanted me out. Why wouldn’t they? I was ‘change resistant.’ I thought their new plan would damage the magazines and the atmosphere in which they were created and I’d told them so. But what hurt the most – a real searing actual pain right across my chest – was that EMAP’s cowardly chief executive, the man who'd sung my praises in speeches to shareholders, who’d claimed to value my nineteen years of work, who’d called me a key plank in the company, hadn’t the decency to walk me round the block and tell me himself that he wanted me out. He let his henchmen do it for him.”

Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian on why he won't be coming to the UK: "I don't trust them not to detain me, interrogate me and even arrest me. Their behaviour has been so extreme and offensive, and the political and media class was so supportive of it, that I feel uncomfortable with the entire atmosphere."

Robert Brown, an expert data protection lawyer, in The Times [£] on the European Court of Justice decision to enshrine the “right to be forgotten” whereby individuals can get information about them removed from internet search engines: “This will open the floodgates for high-profile individuals, celebrities and sporting personalities to take legal action. It will allow the Gary Barlows of this world to get on to their agents to try to get information they do not like removed.”

Guardian readers' editor Chris Elliott on Chris Huhne's column on Constance Briscoe: "I understand that when you have a protagonist in the midst of a major scandal the most obvious decision is to run with it, but I agree with the readers: I wished the Guardian had passed on this one. The problem, I think, is not that it is a partial account – opinion pieces are. But any insight into the case is crowded by a degree of animus that undermines the account."

Boris Johnson in the Telegraph: "Now can someone tell me, in the name of all that is holy, why David Lowe of Radio Devon was made to resign for mistakenly playing an old recording of the Sun Has Got His Hat On – and yet the BBC schedulers see nothing wrong with broadcasting Pulp Fiction?... In our own modest way, we live in a Boko Haram world, where it all depends on the swirling rage of the internet mob, and where terrified bureaucrats and politicians are borne along on a torrent of confected outrage."

The Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley: "IS THERE anything more pointless and pretentious than the editor of a provincial British newspaper tweeting a picture of themselves holding a piece of paper on which is written '#Bring Back Our Girls'?

Matthew Parris quits Twitter in The Times [£]: "Twitter’s a great idea. I absolutely don’t knock the concept of a turbo-charged village pump but it’s not for me. Several times I’ve had to be restrained from tweeting something really stupid; and, worse, if you’re commissioned to write something these days, or perform in a debate, or whatever, the client emails asking you to tweet that you’ll be doing it, or have done it, or re-tweet someone else’s reference to it, or tweet positively about something else somebody has done, and . . . oh dash it all: once marketing people get their claws in, it’s time to get out."

Camden New Journal editor Eric Gordon in his obituary of Tom Welsh: "A gentle man with a conscience, he was a journalist imbued with a fine sense of ethics that, lamentably, he found wanting in much of today’s journalism, especially that of the tabloids."

Associated Press Managing Editor for U.S. News Brian Carovillano in a memo to staff, as reported by the Washington Post: "We are failing to exercise important news judgment when our stories are overlong and not tightly edited...Our digital customers know readers do not have the attention span for most long stories and are in fact turned off when they are too long."

Guardian US editor Janine Gibson, interviewed in World News Publishing Focus: "When we started Guardian US we said we were going to do very, very live and almost documentary long form and cut out all the stuff in the middle. And I think almost every news organisation is now identifying that trend, so the new start-ups, largely billionaire funded, are all over it. People call it explainer journalism, or long form journalism, or investigative journalism, but really they mean something that has weight and meaning and impact beyond the transitory."

[£] = Paywall

Blum & Taff: A tale of two Fleet Street editors

Former Express Newspapers production director Dennis Griffiths came up with the idea for this biography of two Fleet Street editors from the early years of the twentieth century - R.D. Blumenfeld and  H.A. Gwynne - after discovering a cache of letters and memos in a rubbish skip.

Griffiths was asked to look at the contents of the skip after the Standard moved from Shoe Lane to the Daily Express offices in Fleet Street. There he found letters going back 50 years, including correspondence from Winston Churchill, Lord Beaverbrook and Blumenfeld. "This. then was the start of my research into Blum & Taff," writes Grifftiths.

Neither Blumenfeld, who edited the Daily Express from 1904-28, and Gwynne, The Standard from 1904-11, and the Morning Post 1911-37, have been the subject of biographies before despite their long careers.

Before becoming Fleet Street editors, they had were both war correspondents – Blumenfeld for the New York Herald and Gwynne for The Times and Reuters. As editors they were close to Prime Ministers from Gladstone to Churchill and the book shows the influence they and their newspapers had during the First World War, the nationalist uprising in Ireland, the General Strike and the Abdication crisis.

Gwynne, described by Griffiths as "the arch plotter",  tried to oust Asquith as Prime Minister and replace him with Sir Edward Carson, leader of the Ulster Unionists. What would a Leveson-style inquiry have had to say about that?

Griffiths has used letters – in many instances unpublished – from authors, politicians and military figures. Giants of the UK newspaper industry prominently featured on the book include Beaverbrook, Camrose, Northcliffe, Pearson and Rothermere. There are also many pictures of  Fleet Street in its heyday.
  • Blum & Taff is published by Coranto Press, priced £25.

Monday, 12 May 2014

A list of the nine best and worst things about journalists by hackademic Tony Harcup

Journalism academic and author Tony Harcup has outlined on the Oxford University Press's blog the nine best and worst things about journalists to coincide with the publication of his new book A Dictionary of Journalism.

He has, however, not mentioned the way journalists like to compile and publish lists in a desperate bid to attract readers.

The nine best things about journalists:

1. We tell you things that you didn’t even know you didn’t know.
2. Our default position is healthy scepticism.
3. We know that there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
4. Our way with words translates jargon into language that actual people use.
5. We juggle complex intellectual, legal, commercial and ethical issues every day, simultaneously and at high speed, all while giving the impression of being little deeper than a puddle.
6. Our lateral thinking spots the significance of the dog that didn’t bark (noting in the process that Sherlock Holmes was created by a journalist).
7. We speak truth to power (or, at least, we say boo to a goose).
8. Our gallows humour keeps us going despite the grim stories we cover and the even grimmer people we work with (perhaps the most literal exponent of the art was journalist Ben Hecht who wrote the movies His Girl Friday and The Front Page about hacks covering a hanging).
9. We identify with other journalists as fellow members of society’s awkward squad (which is why even those of us who have left the frontline of reporting and become “hackademics” still can’t stop saying “we”).

The nine worst things about journalists:

1.We have a tendency to tell young hopefuls that all the quality has vanished from journalism compared to when we started out (journalists have been harking back to a mythical golden age for well over a century).
2. Our scepticism can sometimes become cynicism.
3. We routinely demand public apologies or resignations from anyone accused of misbehaviour (except ourselves).
4. Our way with words is too often used to reduce individuals or communities to stereotypes.
5. We have been known to conflate a popular touch with boorish anti-intellectualism.
6. Our collective memory lets us down surprisingly often. (We won’t get fooled again? Don’t bet on it.)
7. We are in danger of viewing the world through the eyes of whoever employs us, forgetting that, while they might hire us, they don’t own us.
8. Our insistence that we are something of a special breed is a bit rich given that most journalistic jobs have more in common with The Office than with All The President’s Men.
9. We eviscerate politicians for fiddling their expenses while celebrating hacks from the golden age (see no. 1) for doing exactly the same.
  • Tony Harcup is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield. A Dictionary of Journalism, first edition, will be published 15 May 2014. It covers over 1,400 entries on the terms that are likely to be encountered by students of the subject.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From Jeremy Clarkson in the Last Chance Saloon to Sun in halal pizza row

Jeremy Clarkson in the Sun [£]: "I've been told by the BBC that if I make one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time, I will be sacked."

Simon Hattenstone in the Guardian on Max Clifford: "By 18, he was a trainee reporter and writing a music column for the Merton & Morden News. He loved the music industry – the celebs, the glamour, being at the hub of happening London. He also loved journalism: he keeps his NUJ life membership certificate on the mantelpiece, awarded for 40 years' continuous service in the trade union."

Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley: "IT’S TREBLES all round at Johnston Press, where chief executive Ashley Highfield and finance director David King are have been declared eligible for bumper bonuses. Highfield will be able to earn up to 180% of his £400,000 salary while King could get 150% of his £250,000 pay cheque. The bonus opportunity is dependent on meeting targets for digital revenue, audience growth, advertiser and staff satisfaction and profit targets – i.e. sacking staff, slashing resources and shutting down offices...Time and time again we’ve seen this across every group in the country. In comes a new boss, the business is butchered, board bonuses are pocketed, and then they all fuck off to their foreign villas while the poor bastards left behind lose their jobs, their homes and their marriages. It really does make me want to puke."

Mick Hume on Press Gazette: "No, whatever impression the new culture secretary might give about taking his tanks off the industry’s lawn, the war for press freedom is far from over. It is a war that has been fought for more than 500 years, since the first printing press appeared in England, and which has continually to be refought against new adversaries. Indeed, like that other historic conflict we are all commemorating this year, the struggle for real press freedom might well be thought of as a war without end.

Peter Preston in the Observer: "Ipso is now the only viable show in town, an industry-wide response. It will certainly need some modest form of monitoring regime to match promises with reality. But watch this negotiating space. And come back again, for re-validation purposes, around 2016. Thank you, and goodnight."

Survey of US journalists conducted by the Indiana University School of Journalism, as reported by "The reporters, editors and producers who put out the news every day are less satisfied with their work, say they have less autonomy in their work and tend to believe that journalism is headed in the wrong direction."

Peter Oborne in the Telegraph on the search for a replacement for Lord Patten as chair of the BBC Trust: "I only wish, however, that I could feel confident in the selection process. This is in the hands of Mr Javid, who knows nothing about broadcasting or (as far as I can tell) anything much about music, literature or the arts. It is hard to think of anyone less qualified for the post. It is important to understand, however, that Mr Javid is in the Cabinet because, and only because, he has been placed there by George Osborne. So while it is Mr Cameron who will nominally make the decision as to Lord Patten’s successor, everybody at Westminster knows (but does not say) that it is Mr Osborne who will actually decide the identity of the next chairman of the BBC Trust."

anne mcelvoy ‏@annemcelvoy on Twitter:"Le Monde staff have resigned over management's "failure to communicate" . On these grounds, most of Fleet Street wd have walked out by now."

The Media Blog ‏@TheMediaTweets on Twitter: "All the people getting hot and bothered about foreign influences upon their pizza seem to be overlooking a key fact about pizza."

Friday, 2 May 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From Government backs off press regulation role to is the UK media going soft on Nigel Farage and Ukip?

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid in The Times [£]: “In terms of the role of this department . . . the work has been done, and it is now a decision for the press what they want to do next. I don’t see any further role for government in this. Notwithstanding the fact that any industry has its bad apples, I think our press is the best in the world. It is fearless without favour.”

Ex-Sun editor David Yelland@davidyelland on Twitter: "Quiet surrender on a Saturday: Govt has “no further role” in regulating the press, says new culture sec Sajid Javid."

Johnston Press boss ashley highfield ‏@ashleyhi on Twitter: "Culture Sec. Sajid Javid says in today’s Times that govt has ‘no further role’ in press regulation meaning IPSO will go ahead uncontested."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Mr Javid should be congratulated for recognising where the truth lies in this matter. His instincts appear to be those of an intelligent ethical democrat. The institutions of an established democracy such as Britain can seem stronger and more resilient than in fact they are. In truth, the principles on which they are founded need constantly vigilant defence. One such principle is that a free press must hold the political class to account without any regulatory interference from that class. Mr Javid seems to understand this essential principle."

Lord Black of Brentwood, speaking at the Scottish Newspaper Society: "What has happened is that politicians have laid out how they expect the regulation of the press to be organised and they now have the tools to make that compulsory if they choose to do so. That involvement ... could easily take politicians and governments to the heart of the newsroom and what you can and cannot publish. That for me is an incredibly chilling, authoritarian prospect hiding behind the facade of an arcane constitutional document signed by Her Majesty the Queen. If ever there was a wolf in sheep's clothing - this one with a crown on it - it is this."

Sir Alan Moses QC, who will chair the Independent Press Standards Organisation: "This new organisation will have to listen to and learn from  the Press and their critics in the period ahead.   To those who have voiced doubts as to the ability of IPSO to meet the demands of independent regulation, I say that I have spent over forty years pursuing the profession of barrister and judge whose hallmarks are independent action and independent judgment. I do not intend to do away with that independence now."

Some believe this is the work of Banksy on a wall in Battersea
David Sanderson in The Times [£] on Max Clifford: "Clifford is not the biggest star to have been ensnared in the dragnet of Operation Yewtree. He is perhaps the one who best defines our age. In his autobiography he recounts his role in the downfall of so many public figures of our time and admits that he 'got a huge buzz from being in the middle of a great story'. As he walked from the court yesterday, to three days of freedom before sentencing on Friday, he said it was 'not the first time' he had been the story. He knew this is the one story that he will be remembered for."

Jeremy Paxman says he is quitting Newsnight because he: "Should rather like to go to bed at much the same time as most people."

Dan Hodges on his Telegraph blog: "There will lots of excited speculation about Paxman’s replacement. But the fact is that whoever it is, the BBC will in many ways be delaying the inevitable. In truth, the place people now go at 10.30pm to get their current affairs fix isn't the TV, but Twitter."

Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan  on Twitter: "Can't decide which Jeremy to replace" - #Newsnight #TopGear

Tony Gallagher ‏@gallaghereditor on Twitter: "Downfall of Mercer a great example of @BBCPanorama & @Telegraph joint work; a coup for Claire Newell & Holly Watt too."

Mike Lowe ‏@cotslifeeditor : on Twitter: "Today's big media spat on Twitter? It's @TheMirrorStyle versus @guardianstyle over how to use No1 (or No 1). These things matter to subs."

Jon Snow: 25 years ago
Alex Thomson on 25 years of Jon Snow at Channel 4 News: "The anger of youth to make it better, to stop it being the way it is, has never left him. For that alone he has rightly come to embody in the studio, all that Channel 4 News should aspire to."

Guardian readers' editor Chris Elliott after the paper was hoaxed by an April Fool story (above) reported by the Associated Press agency: "Other media commentators picked up on the juxtaposition of the hoax coming two days after the announcement of the Pulitzer prize for the Guardian and the Washington Post. Well, fair enough. The Guardian is not above mocking others' mistakes, and so broad shoulders should be presented and no whinging."

Nick Cohen in The Observer on the media's treatment of Nigel Farage: "You might expect that Britain's famously aggressive media would tear into his multiple deceits. Yet so tame has their treatment of Nigael Farage been, so indulgent and complicit, viewers were surprised when the BBC's political editor found the courage last week to raise a timorous voice and ask him why he was employing his German wife rather than giving a British job to a British worker. Broadcasters are ferocious when they tackle mainstream politicians, but are as eager to please as wet-tongued labradors when they meet Ukip."