Thursday, 30 June 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: Bashing Boris: What fellow journalists think of the man who wanted to be PM plus a bit of gloating from the Daily Mail



Polly Toynbee in the Guardian on Boris Johnson:  "What’s plain is that Boris Johnson and the rest never had a plan. It was derelict of the media – broadcasters in particular – not to force the leavers to define what leaving meant. Instead they got away with airy generalities, hiding multiple contradictions and dishonesties...He had no plan because he never thought Brexit would win: it was a jolly jape to nearly win and tickle Tory party members into electing him. They probably will and now this sociopath with no concern for country, economy or citizens will be our prime minister."


Tina Brown on Boris Johnson on the DailyBeast: "Johnson’s fake disarray—his bonhomous tanker of beer and Falstaffian spilling gut, his genial, jokey fa├žade concealing a deeply opportunistic nature—allowed him alliances with such odious figures as UKIP’s xenophobic leader Nigel Farage, whose rat poison salesman persona would never have won Brexit without the fig leaf of Boris’s charm. His other powerful alliance was with the Voldemort of Middle England, Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail—with whom, I am told, Boris was closeted on June 9th over lunch in a private room at Marks club, in a conversation so confidential in content they put a chair in front of the door."


Nick Cohen in the Observer: "The media do not damn themselves, so I am speaking out of turn when I say that if you think rule by professional politicians is bad wait until journalist politicians take over. Johnson and Gove are the worst journalist politicians you can imagine: pundits who have prospered by treating public life as a game."


Martin Wolf in the Financial Times: "David Cameron took a huge gamble and lost. The fearmongering and outright lies of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Nigel Farage, The Sun and the Daily Mail have won. The UK, Europe, the west and the world are damaged. The UK is diminished and seems likely soon to be divided. Europe has lost its second-biggest and most outward-looking power. The hinge between the EU and the English-speaking powers has been snapped. This is probably the most disastrous single event in British history since the second world war."


Rachel Sylvester in The Times [£]: "Mr Johnson is undeniably a rock star politician with the charisma to put a smile on voters’ faces. For his most audacious act yet, he wants to morph from showman to statesman, as a valiant Henry V. The danger for him is that as reality hits and he is forced to make difficult choices, Boris the Buffoon, who turned himself into Boris the Brave Brexiteer, may find that many Leave voters begin to see him as Boris the Betrayer."


Rafael Behr in the Guardian on Boris Johnson: "There is nothing cuddly about voracity for power, allergy to responsibility and infidelity to any cause besides personal advancement. Yet that is the constellation of traits that forms the former London mayor’s character, exerting such narcissistic gravity that no passing truth escapes unbent."


Jenni Russell in The Times [£]: "His gravest flaw is that even he doesn’t know what he stands for, as we saw this week. A former aide says he changes position constantly because his focus is always on pleasing the audience of the moment, whether it’s billionaire property developers, campaigners for affordable housing or Eurosceptics who might make him PM. Boris could get away with this as a figurehead mayor. But now all our futures may depend on this evasive, crowd-pleasing clown. To govern is to choose, a responsibility he is psychologically and practically unfitted to bear. The Tory party will be fools if they now choose him to govern."

Old quote of the week


Max Hastings in the Daily Mail in October 2012: "If the day ever comes that Boris Johnson becomes tenant of Downing Street, I shall be among those packing my bags for a new life in Buenos Aires or suchlike, because it means that Britain has abandoned its last pretensions to be a serious country... He is not a man to believe in, to trust or respect save as a superlative exhibitionist. He is bereft of judgment, loyalty and discretion. Only in the star-crazed, frivolous Britain of the 21st century could such a man have risen so high, and he is utterly unfit to go higher still."


Mail columnist Sarah Vine in an email to her husband Michael Gove, leaked to Sky News: "One simple message you MUST have SPECIFIC assurances from Boris OTHERWISE you cannot guarantee your support. The details can be worked out later on, but without that you have no leverage. Crucially the membership will not have the necessary reassurance to back Boris, neither will Dacre / Murdoch, who instinctively dislike Boris but trust your ability enough to support a Boris / Gove ticket."

Rupert Murdoch @rupertmurdochon Twitter: "Congratulations Michael Gove. Friends always knew his principles would overcome his personal friendships."


Sun editor Tony Gallagher to the Guardian after the Brexit victory: “So much for the waning power of the print media.”


Daily Mail in a leader: "As for those of our readers who decided to vote Remain, judging that the dangers of Brexit were too great, this paper has enormous respect for their conscientious concern for our country. But we firmly trust and believe that their fears will prove unfounded."


Peter Preston in the Observer"It wasn’t the baleful ogres of newspaper proprietorship that swung this vote. Lord Rothermere prefers the Mail on Sunday Remainers to the manic Leavers in the next office. Rupert Murdoch didn’t have tell Tony Gallagher which way to swing: the Sun’s editor did what came naturally to him. No: the foundations of this leaving have been laid for 40 years in a persistent reluctance to report what the EU is all about – a failure to explain."


Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail:  "This is not a time for gloating, but what the hell. To paraphrase that manic Norwegian football commentator: Call Me Dave, Boy George, Angela Merkel, Jean-Claude Juncker, Up Yours Delors, Barack Obama, Mark Carney, Goldman Sachs, Polly Toynbee, J.K. Rowling, Peter Mandelson, Neil Kinnock . . . your boys took one hell of a beating!"

[£]=paywall

Thursday, 23 June 2016

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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

[£]=paywall

Thursday, 16 June 2016

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



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


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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

[£]=paywall

Thursday, 9 June 2016

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



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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Thursday, 2 June 2016

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



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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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