Thursday, 8 June 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From confronting the London Bridge terrorists to the 'tactile pleasure' of a new newspaper defying the digital age

Sunday Express journalist Geoff Ho on confronting the London Bridge terrorists, as reported by Press Gazette“I had to shield my friends and the people there. Then I noticed they had what looked like suicide vests on. I tried to slow them, they attacked. It happened so quickly. The bastard in the Arsenal shirt came at me first. I think I got a hit in on one of them, but either he or his accomplice got me with a shot to the throat. They got my friend who was behind me with a minor stab wound in the face and hands and ran off. I picked up my friend and bundled him into the store room. I called the police and within moments they arrived. I gave the police descriptions of the three and we were evacuated.”

The Society of Editors in a statement: “The confirmation by Labour and the Liberal Democrats that they would fully commence Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act if elected is extremely disappointing. While both parties have given assurances that they value the freedom of the press and the media’s important role in a democratic society their position on Section 40, an appalling piece of legislation, is in direct conflict with this."

Daily Mail in a leader on the BBC: "We have expressed our admiration before for the neutrality and objectivity of the corporation's journalists in the lead-up to the EU referendum. Sadly, it is difficult to apply either word to its election coverage. The truth is the tone and texture of so much BBC output, whether comedy shows or current affairs programmes, betrays a distinctly anti-Tory tinge. Normally, this paper doesn't approve of politicians complaining about the BBC, but in this instance, Downing Street is absolutely right to register a formal protest."

Emily Thornberry answering a question from The Times' political editor Francis Elliott, as reported by Press Gazette“Alright, alright, everybody no, no, no, come on…we all agree we should have a free press, they should be allowed to ask questions, no matter how stupid [cheers and applause] and shouldn’t be booed, sorry Francis…”

David Higgerson on his blog suggests local press should endorse political parties: "In some ways, journalism and democracy hug the same iceberg. The less people are engaged in democracy, the less likely they are to value our work. Taking a neutral standpoint might avoid tricky conversations with people who disagree, but at least we’d be playing a more active role in democracy – advising people based on our research, our knowledge and our passion for our local areas. Daily, I see reporters expressing political opinions on Twitter and Facebook, because they are human beings. It does not call into question the ability of their titles to be fair and balanced? I don’t think so. There would be flack, there would be stick, and there probably would be abuse. But journalism will only survive if it gets better at being part of an ongoing conversation."

David Barnett in the Independent on 'death knocking': "So why do newspapers do it? For the human interest stories, of course. Tragedies sell papers, get clicks. But also because it can be a form of public service, done right – the number of calls and notes journalists get thanking them for the results of their death knocks are testimony to that. For every Twitter thread complaining about journalistic practices and harassment, there will be many more people who felt that they were perhaps allowed some closure through speaking to a reporter."

Greg Gianforte, the Montana Republican representative, who assaulted Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs (above), in a letter of apology:  “My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful. As both a candidate for office and a public official, I should be held to a high standard in my interactions with the press and the public. My treatment of you did not meet that standard...I made a mistake and humbly ask for your forgiveness.” 
  • Gianforte has also agreed to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists

Jailed Turkish journalist Tunca Ogreten in a letter to The Sunday Times [£] from his cell: “I’m in prison because I ask questions, investigate the things that the public should know, I’m in prison because I did what a journalist must do.”

The Times [£] on its new Irish print edition: "The Times is delighted to display its own confidence in the republic’s future by launching an Ireland print edition, starting today. It will join our digital version of the paper that has been published since 2015 and will sit alongside the Irish edition of our sister paper, The Sunday Times. Some thought that the rise of digital media would kill print as a medium, but new ventures such as this give lie to such gloomy prophecies. Demand for the unique, tactile pleasure of leafing through a newspaper has proven robust."


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