Thursday, 22 June 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From where was the local media to speak up for Grenfell Tower's voiceless residents? to contempt law not conspiracy shaped press reports on Finsbury Mosque attack

Robert Peston on his blog on the Grenfell Tower fire: "There is a social contract between those of us lucky enough to have voices that are heard and those who don't that we should not put them in harm's way.  Grenfell seems the most grotesque breach of that contract in my lifetime. It shames us all."

Londonhyperlocal: "The area around Grenfell Tower is not served by a proper local newspaper. Neither does it seem to have any well-established online local news provision. It is one of the many areas of the UK which is essentially a black spot for dedicated reporting. People died in Grenfell Tower probably because of the type of cladding that was used in the refurbishment but at some point more fundamental causes need to be identified to ensure this kind of catastrophe doesn’t happen again. One of many issues that needs to be addressed is the increasing estrangement of the governed from those who govern them and the disappearance of local news reporting is both a symptom and a cause of this problem."

Grant Feller on LinkedIn, who started his career as a reporter on the Kensington News 27 years ago covering local issues such as fire safety at Grenfell Tower: "I don’t know whether a vibrant local newspaper staffed by idealistic young journalists who watched All The President’s Men way to often and thought they could somehow change the world, would have prevented the catastrophe all of London has been indelibly scarred by. But it could have. The warning signs were there and the pleas of residents’ groups are plentiful, especially online...I know the days of powerful local newspapers are over but the stories they typically once covered are more plentiful than ever, especially in cities where decisions – not scrutinised - are being taken every day that affect the lives of residents. Local newspapers and their websites are still making valiant efforts to report community stories but staffing levels mean that there’s little time for patient, revelatory journalism."

Dominic Ponsford on Press Gazette: "Kensington and Chelsea has a population of nearly 160,000 who are served, as far as I can establish, by not a single journalist dedicated only to covering news in the borough. Its one remaining local newspaper, the Kensington and Chelsea News, has a staff of one journalist who must also file copy for other editions...The sort of grassroots local newspaper journalism which might have picked up on the Grenfell Tower fire safety concerns in advance is being lost...London is in danger of becoming woefully unreported. Its transient population makes local newspaper publishing in the capital a nightmare – over and above all the other issues local newspapers face."

George Monbiot in the Guardian on why the mainstream media misjudged support for Jeremy Corbyn: "It is partly because this industry, in which people without a degree could once work their way up from the floor, now tends to select its entrants from a small, highly educated pool. The use of internships narrows the selection further. Wherever they come from, journalists, on average, end up better paid than most people. Whatever their professed beliefs, they tend to be drawn towards their class interests."

Former NUJ president Jacob Ecclestone in a letter to the Guardian: "The explanation for why young people from working-class backgrounds have, over the past 30 years, been steadily excluded from all forms of mainstream media is to be found in the anti-union legislation of the 1980s and 90s. Media companies were encouraged to derecognise the National Union of Journalists (and other unions), to scrap collective bargaining, to withdraw from agreements on training and – crucially – to kill the longstanding convention that prohibited non-journalists from being given jobs on national newspapers – people like George Osborne [Pictured], for example."

Paul Foot Awards chair of judges Padraig Reidy on this year's winner, Emma Youle, published in the Hackney Gazette: “Emma Youle’s Hidden Homeless campaign combined investigation and campaigning to shed light on a problem many people don’t realise is happening right in front of our faces. She has made a difference to people’s lives, which is the best a journalist can hope for. It’s also important to recognise that in an age of squeezed resources for local papers, a brilliant journalist like Emma is given the support to pursue a story like Hackney’s Hidden Homeless.”

John Harris in the Guardian: "Of course, there are media people and politicians whose view of Corbyn and his supporters was hostile and mocking from the start. If they are now switching on their phone to find daily explosions of ridicule and bile, I am sure they can take it: this is the sport they chose. What’s much more questionable is the way the same vengeful attitude is extended to anyone who ever portrayed the last two years of Labour politics in terms of doubt, concern and malaise, and who are being similarly instructed to say sorry for their alleged heresy or be escorted from the building."

CNN president Jeff Zucker on attacks on US media, reported by HuffPost: "I think it is shameful on the part of the administration and other politicians to cause a frenzy against something that is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States. And it does disservice to this country and its position in the world and ... allows for a heightened sense of rhetoric against journalists and media organizations. And it is unconscionable and dangerous and they should know better."

Guardian letter on the switch from Berliner to tabloid from Richard Griffiths, King’s Lynn, Norfolk:"I understand your reasons for going tabloid but fear that, despite your good intentions, you will, like the Independent and the Times, lose that aura of gravitas and je ne sais quoi – is it dignity? – that goes with being a broadsheet."

David Banks@DBanksy on Twitter: "If Finsbury Mosque attacker doesn't get coverage you think he deserves compared to London Bridge or Manchester, it's because of the law...He is alive and will stand trial, so restrictions now apply to reporting by msm. It's not a conspiracy, or a D Notice, just the law."

BuzzFeed UK news editor Alan White‏@aljwhite on Twitter: "I have a hot take. I think contempt of court and defamation should be taught in secondary schools. We're all publishers now."

No comments: