Thursday, 21 September 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From don't give up on print to the real steps the digital giants can take to combat fake news, hate speech and propaganda

Newspaper and magazine designer Mario Garcia on his blog: "Don’t give up on print, simply place it where it belongs: not as protagonist but as a strong secondary player. Don’t come to work in the newsroom each day anticipating the death of print, because chances are that you will die first."

David Higgerson on his blog: "Digital is not replacing all of the money being lost in print. But it does contribute many many millions, and publishers which focus on driving audiences, and understanding those audiences, will be the ones who secure more revenue now and in the future...Regularly, the strong online audience performances regional publishers report are mocked by commenters on sites such as Holdthefrontpage and Press Gazette. But those publishers are in a far better place in terms of revenue – and therefore cash to support journalism – than if they persisted with early 2000s strategies of trying to strangle digital presence to force readers into print. For all we want to believe it, there is no evidence anywhere that investment in newspapers, or holding back digital, drives up revenue or newspaper sales."

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock in a speech at the UK Internet Governance Forum: "The impact of the digital disruption is far reaching. Our world beating music industry has, over a long and painful time, discovered in streaming a new business model that appears to be sustainable and bearing fruit. Yet the news media, and the high quality journalism that provides such a vital public service, has yet to find such a sustainable business model, and we must work together to get there."

Woman in Journalism in a new report revealing male bylines still dominate national press front pages: "At Women in Journalism, we believe that democracy can only flourish when the mirror the media holds up to society provides a true reflection; we argue today that because of the lack of diversity in British newspapers the lens we hold up to society is a distorted one. Society sees itself not as it is, but through the prism of a predominantly old, white, male gaze. This puts half the population at a disadvantage – and, at its worst, can put women off entering public life."

Robert Shrimsley ‏on Twitter: "So Boris resorting to the classic 'I don't write the headlines' defence. Well fair play to him, I don't suppose he painted the bus either."

Sydney Ember in the New York Times: "The potential sale of Rolling Stone — on the eve of its 50th anniversary, no less — underscores how inhospitable the media landscape has become as print advertising and circulation have dried up."

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian"Mounting abuse of the BBC could in the end destroy it: it only survives on the trust and affection of most citizens. Those on the left joining in the attack, dismissing the BBC as part of an “MSM” plot, fuel the right’s aim to dismantle and privatise it."

David Aaronovitch in The Times [£]: "A lot of the stories on sites like The Canary and Skwawkbox are “isn’t life crap under the Tories” offerings, frequently picking up mainstream media items. You also get the occasional straightforward conspiracy theory. But one of the biggest attractions is calling out the BBC for being rigged against the left. That always gets attention, for in the demonology of these sites the BBC or The Times are in on the plot. Never mind the Daily Mail, the Laura Kuenssbergs of this world are the true villains. If you want a revolution and you don’t want too many awkward questions asked about it, you don’t just ignore what you call the conventional media. You try to destroy its reputation. In fact you must make your battle against it one of the centrepieces of your struggle."

Birmingham Mail NUJ chapel statement on plans to cut 10 more editorial jobs: "Our editor Marc Reeves likes to refer to the Birmingham Mail as a ‘house that’s on fire’. There is no doubt he has poured petrol on that house this week...This operation has been run on the fumes of goodwill for too long. That goodwill has been extinguished. In light of this the Chapel has taken a vote of no confidence in the editor or the vague proposals being made. If compulsory redundancies are threatened by management on Monday, we will immediately ballot for industrial action over these forced job losses, low staffing levels and high workloads."

Christopher Williams in the Sunday Telegraph: "The owner of the Evening Standard has made an approach to buy the Metro newspaper from the publisher of the Daily Mail, as media barons jockey for position in an industry merger melee. Evgeny Lebedev, the 37-year-old owner of the London freesheet edited by former chancellor George Osborne, is understood to be keen to add the Metro to his stable to drive cost savings and expansion outside the capital. Industry sources said Mr Lebedev aimed to use the Metro’s nationwide distribution network to launch regional versions of the Evening Standard."

Financial Times reports: "Lord Rothermere, the chairman of Daily Mail and General Trust, has told staff at the UK media group that it is 'not actively considering any change to the ownership' of its free daily title Metro."

Financial Times editor Lionel Barber, in a lecture on fake news to Oxford Alumni Festival: "So what is to be done about the fake news phenomenon and the collateral damage to quality journalism? First, the dominant technology sites must recognise they need to take more responsibility for the content which appears on their sites, not just fake news but also hate speech and extremist propaganda. Second, they must drop the pretence that they are simply platforms and channels for publishers’ rather than media companies themselves. They have fast become the main source of news for significant portions of society. The reality is that they are influencing or even deciding via algorithms what information is consumed."


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From the digital hurricanes destroying journalism to it is not just the internet to blame for killing the local press

Sir Harold Evans on Press Gazette: "Facebook and Google are the Harvey and Irma of journalism – and democracy. Whatever else they do, the electronic duopoly deprive millions of information and argument as surely as the series of super storms deprive millions of light, power, home and hearth. And more to come.  Fret as much as Trumpian skeptics still do about the precise link between hurricanes and greenhouse gases – I don’t! – no one can deny the devastating effect of Facebook and Google on the viability of news organisations to investigate complexity and resist suppression." 

Graydon Carter, who is stepping down as editor of Vanity Fair, on Donald Trump, in the New York Times: “He’s tweeted about me 42 times, all in the negative. So I blew up all the tweets and I framed them all. They’re all on a wall — this is the only wall Trump’s built — outside my office."

Katherine Forster, a 48-year-old mother of three on how she became The Spectator's new intern:"The Spectator’s internship scheme has a no-CV policy, so they don’t care (or ask) if you’re 16 or 60. They select on the simple basis of what you can actually do. Completely sensible, utterly egalitarian and yet highly unusual. I sent off a 200-word blog, three suggestions for articles, fact-checked an article (by Polly Toynbee on inequality) and made a three-minute audio file analysing a Prime Minister’s Questions (this last one nearly scuppered my entire effort and I almost abandoned the whole thing). Out of 150 applications, only a dozen get through. So like all of the interns, I ended up here on merit."

Brian Reade in the Mirror says some ex-football stars turned broadcasters: "Sound like they are lazily living off their playing ­ other sports, you have to earn your legendary status as a broadcaster just as you did as a player. But, in football, the rule is clearly 'once a ledge, always a ledge'."

Matt Tee on the Independent Press Standards Organisation blog on its third anniversary: "Over the years some of our opponents have decided it’s more constructive to work with us than shout from a distance. Others continue their opposition, but it’s become increasingly clear that there’s nothing we could do that would satisfy them....Nearly 50,000 people have complained to us about an article in a newspaper or magazine or about the behaviour of a journalist and many thousands of other complaints have been resolved by publishers directly with the public. Over the same period we have issued nearly 200 Private Advisory Notices to editors – telling them that someone does not wish to speak to journalists or be photographed. These are confidential, so it’s not possible to give real examples, but, although they’re not binding on the press, they work. "

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, in a statement after reports that up to 40 local journalists' posts are under threat at Trinity Mirror: "Jargon about a ‘more synchronised approach’ and ‘aligning design structures’ can’t hide the fact that these are bad old fashioned job cuts affecting several Trinity Mirror centres around the country. More generic content across the titles and an increase in user generated content if it is at the expense of other coverage such as courts and councils, means short-changing local readers. Our members will be asking what evidence the company has that these further cuts will lead to success."

Gloucestershire Media managing director Sarah Pullen on turning the Gloucester Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo weekly, in a statement: “This change to our print titles is being dictated by the behaviour of our readers and the amazing growth success of our website Gloucestershire Live. We still have a loyal print audience but the majority of the people who read the Echo or the Citizen do so just once a week."

Birmingham Mail editor Marc Reeves on Medium on why his newsroom is being split between print and digital"Lots of titles are going digital only, that’s true — but only after shutting their print incarnations. What’s different in Birmingham is we’re building a sustainable digital business structure now to sit alongside our print business, so we’re ready for the challenge when it comes, rather than respond in the middle of a real crisis. I believe there remains several years’ profitable life in the Birmingham Mail in print, but that doesn’t mean we should put off the creation of a digital-only model until the last minute."

Former Taunton Times reporter Matt Chorley in The Times [£]: "Every time a paper closes, lazy MPs, corrupt councillors, dodgy police chiefs, rip-off businesses and anyone in the dock can relax a little. This isn’t just nostalgia: the great and good didn’t stop behaving badly because we all got Snapchat and iPlayer...People ranting about parking charges and dog mess on Facebook groups are no substitute for local papers that might get something changed; doing the hard, boring yards to expose wrongdoing. I fear that unless some of the tech giants who’ve hollowed them out start paying something back, the demise of these papers may be inevitable."

Peter Preston in the Observer on the local press: "Is this another business wrecked by the internet? Up to a point. But it is also a business crippled by the debts of big chains that bought family newspapers when the going was good and then found the foundations of that highly profitable game crumbling – a business in hock to its share price. And, like many other businesses, the gloom is not universal. Some areas, some papers, some digital expansions, are doing well enough."


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From the rise of Left leaning journalists and demise of the Tory Press to what the death of a paper means to a community

Tim Montgomerie in the Guardian: "Large percentages of teachers in schools, academics in universities, journalists, playwrights and other ideas-generators lean towards left, liberal perspectives. While the left has marched through the institutions of learning, entertainment and the arts, taking over the commanding heights of culture, the right’s own once powerful generators of values – including the Tory press and the church – are of declining power."

Les Hinton in a promo for his autobiography The Bootle Boy: An Untidy Life in News due to be published next year: "Rupert Murdoch was a big part of my working life and this book contains my version of the truth about him. Rupert could be hell to work for and he earned many of his enemies. He’s a driven businessman with heavy boots who bruised a lot of people. But, love or hate him, he’s an authentic colossus. I saw him at all angles: brilliant, brutal, and often - to the surprise of many - extraordinarily kind."

Matthew Syed in The Times [£] on Wayne Rooney: "I am a great believer in the right to privacy, but I have to confess that I am not terribly sympathetic to the plight of Wayne Rooney. The former England football captain has talked openly about the strength of his marriage in lucrative autobiographies, and let the BBC cameras into his home to project an image as a good family man. His handlers are aware that strong family values can be a powerful commercial asset. Last week, however, he was picked up by the police for allegedly drink-driving in circumstances that bring his personal life directly into the frame (he was driving the car of a woman he had met in a nightclub). When someone’s public image, carefully cultivated to maximise earning potential, is contradicted by their own private actions, the press has a right to expose it. This is a hole that Rooney has dug for himself."

Gaby Hinsliff in the Guardian on the Tower Hamlets fostering story: "Mistakes do happen, sometimes to good journalists, and it ill behoves any of us to get on our high horse. Reporting on children in care, or in hospital, or in custody battles, is incredibly tricky because you only really get one side of the story; constrained by a legal duty of confidentiality to the child, professionals can’t disclose much even if they want to, which makes it devilishly difficult to know who is telling the truth. Even abusive parents often desperately miss their children, who in turn may beg to go home even when it could literally be the death of them. But that’s precisely why caution is needed, and doubly so when a newspaper is playing with fire."

The Guardian in a leader on the Tower Hamlets fostering story: "The whiplash effect of successive revelations in the Tower Hamlets fostering case has been astonishing. The publication of the court’s judgment makes it clear that all of the details which gave the original story its racist and xenophobic power were false. One thing the case shows clearly is the monstrous power of the tabloid press to cut and crush the complexities of private lives till they fit into stereotypes...This is a case that will cause deserved and lasting damage to the reputations of both the reporter and the newspaper which placed the original version on the front pageThis is a case that will cause deserved and lasting damage to the reputations of both the reporter and the newspaper which placed the original version on the front page"

The Times [£] in a leader on the Tower Hamlets fostering story: "Given the religious and cultural sensitivity of the story there was always the likelihood that those less concerned with children’s welfare than with superficial social harmony would cry foul. Sure enough, The Guardian newspaper has seized on a court order issued after our initial reports to claim that it contradicts the facts on which they were based. It does nothing of the sort. Our journalist, Andrew Norfolk, reported the story with care, protecting the child’s welfare and anonymity. That included observations compiled by social services employees that this newspaper’s critics have chosen to ignore. They cast essential light on child protection in a local authority whose children’s services, from the available evidence, are in disarray and in urgent need of reform."

PA Media Lawyer"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been awarded €103,000 (£95,000) in privacy damages by a court in Paris following the trial of six people over topless photographs of Kate which were published in September 2012. France’s Closer magazine was ordered to pay €100,000 (£91,700) at a Paris court over the long-lens images of Kate sunbathing on a terrace, after it was ruled they had breached her privacy."

Bedfordshire on Sunday editor Sarah Cox‏ @says_sarah who is leaving after it was announced the paper is to become a midweek free title and website closed: "Goes without saying my team and I are devastated about closure of @bedfordnews. Unfathomable. We need a strong local press more than ever."

Paul Flint, partner at KPMG and joint administrator on the decision to close the Oldham Evening Chronicle, launched in 1854and related titles, as reported by Prolific North: “The company was faced with an increasing deficit in its defined benefits pension scheme in addition to the challenging trading conditions arising from the changing nature of the local media landscape. Unfortunately despite a rigorous sales process, a buyer for this long standing paper has not been found and it’s not commercially viable to continue operating. We will work to ensure all employees receive the maximum levels of practical and financial support through the redundancy process. We are also seeking buyers for the assets of the business, including the newspaper title to try and ensure its heritage will be preserved and continued.”

Oldham West MP Jim McMahon on his blog: "NEWS that the Oldham Evening Chronicle has gone into administration will hit Oldham hard. More than a newspaper it is part of our heritage, our community and has worked hard to help build a future for us too. Observers of the media will have seen the demise of the printed press and with it the cracks in the foundations of our democracy. Freedom of speech is important and it’s aided significantly by quality journalism based on research, facts and balance. For the 49 staff made redundant the news will be devastating but the tears run further because it was more than a company, it was a family and has been since 1854."

Brian Cox‏ @ProfBrianCox on Twitter: "Very sad news - grew up reading this paper. Still have clippings of my band's first interviews in 86 - we'd made it cause we were in't Chron."

Kevin Duffy commenting on the Oldham Evening Chronicle closure on HoldTheFrontPage: "Editor Dave Whaley rather brilliantly summed up just now, in an interview with BBC North West why, from a journalistic point of view, the loss of his title – or any other, for that matter – is to be so greatly regretted, with this remark: 'The lunatics of social media will inherit the asylum.' How true."

 [£] =paywall

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From are journalists part of the elite or classless? to the dangers of President Trump mugging the messenger

Peter Preston in the Observer on Jon Snow's claim journalists are comfortable with the elite, with little awareness, contact, or connection with those not of the elite: "When Jon (educated Winchester Pilgrim’s School via Ardingly) looks around his own C4 News studio, who does he see? Matt Frei, educated at Westminster School and St Peter’s College, Oxford. Krishnan Guru-Murthy, educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn, and Hertford College, Oxford. Cathy Newman, educated at Charterhouse and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. With Fatima Manji, lately of the LSE, waiting in line. Is this some covert cause for shame? No: the camera sees a team of formidable professionals, experienced people – largely free from commercial pressures – who can uncover stories and pursue unpopular causes. They are not representatives of one class or another. They are trained journalists: and that training means an ability to dig and discover wherever the news takes them."

Former Daily Mirror editor David Banks in a letter to the Guardian: "Peopling journalism with home counties-bred, middle-class varsity types whose family incomes and proximity to London enable their offspring to fulfil the required “zero pay” contract for a couple of years is a poor way to build a campaigning, popular press; so is recognising an army of gossipy, untrained bloggers as a reasonable alternative to news. An excellent alternative is offered by former leading regional and international editor Neil Fowler, who proposes a national network of (hopefully profitable) local newspapers run by universities and major journalism colleges offering student journalists a two-year course/contract. Learning local journalism on the job would take the accidents of both birth and geography out of the business of producing fine, trustworthy journalists, as was the training regime when I was a junior on a Warrington weekly."

Readers' editor Stephen Pritchard in the Observer: "As an 18-year-old junior reporter, fresh out of an independent school and away from a comfortable middle-class home for the first time, I found myself pitched into a world of which I knew little. Learning my trade on a big city evening newspaper was a passport into alien lives, from the pomp and power of those in authority to those that today we would call the left behind, those who looked to 'their paper' to articulate their worries, their needs. It educated me. It changed me...Caught in a vicious spiral of declining advertising and falling circulations, newspapers today cannot afford large staffs to do the sort of foot-slogging that so many of us did in our youth. Stories go untold. Would Grenfell Tower have happened if a vigorous local media were reporting tenants’ concerns and putting pressure on the council? I doubt it."

Roy Greenslade on his IPSO blog: "Thinking back to my days as a weekly newspaper reporter in the poorest London borough, Barking and Dagenham, neither my paper – nor the rival titles across the whole of east London – got to the heart of the area’s social deprivation. Our journalism was reactive rather than pro-active. It was as if we accepted the situation rather than challenging it. For example, to paraphrase Tony Blair, we were good at reporting crime but hopeless at reporting the causes of crime."

Robert Shrimsley in the Financial Times: "The Sun sped the end of deference among ordinary people; deference to the establishment, to the elites, to the royal families and — as we saw in the Brexit campaign — experts. The Sun’s direct political power is often exaggerated, but is it too much to say that Brexit would not have happened but for political discourse The Sun helped mould?"

Andrew Norfolk in The Times [£]: "When The Times told Tower Hamlets last week of its intention to reveal the council’s decision to place a white British child with a family whose culture, faith and primary language were alien, the local authority tried to block the story. It contacted the East London family court, where the girl’s case was the subject of care proceedings, and told Judge Sapnara that confidential court documents had been unlawfully leaked and publication of an article would be an offence. Security staff at the court, where a case hearing took place yesterday morning, ordered a Times journalist to leave the building and threatened an escorted removal by security guards unless the reporter left voluntarily. When Judge Sapnara was informed of the newspaper’s wish to attend the hearing, the reporter was readmitted."

The Times reported on Thursday (Aug 31):  "Courts were ordered never to ban the media from their buildings yesterday after journalists covering the case of a Christian girl fostered by a Muslim family were refused entry. Security staff were told to bar reporters from the East London family court the day after the judge in the case praised The Times for acting responsibly in raising “very concerning matters” of “legitimate public interest”.Journalists were given increased access to family court hearings by the government in 2009 after an award-winning campaign by The Times for open justice."
  • The Guardian reports The Times has attracted 10 complaints to the Independent Press Standards Organisation over the reporting of the child fostering case and the Mail has generated six.

i editor Oliver Duff announcing a 10p cover price: "Paid-for journalism in this country faces an unprecedented challenge from the avalanche of free, and often not very good, articles online. The types of journalism that hold the powerful to account and shine a spotlight on society are of little interest to many digital media, especially platforms like Facebook which gobble advertising revenue without any regard for the social contract that once existed between reader and publisher. We are here to inform as well as entertain, and we don’t forget it. A price increase would allow us to cover the rising costs of making i, safeguard against fluctuations in advertising revenue (one national media title recently reported a £62m loss), and invest again in the paper – giving i a bright future."

Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times: "Sigh. If only President Trump denounced neo-Nazis as passionately and sincerely as he castigates journalists...I’ve lost reporter and photographer friends in war zones all over the world, and have had other friends kidnapped and tortured. When Trump galvanizes crowds against reporters in the room, I worry that we may lose journalists in the line of duty not only in places like Syria but also right here at home. Trump will get people hurt."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Haranguing the press for criticism of his presidency puts Mr Trump on a slippery slope. It hands a propaganda gift to Vladimir Putin, a master of the old Soviet black art of “disinformation” and news manipulation, in whose country independent television channels and reporters find themselves routinely shut down and locked out. There will, of course, be no state censorship in a country whose constitution enshrines freedom of expression. The United States remains a vibrant democracy, in large part because of the resilience of its questioning press. A bullying tone from the top, however, can open the way though for self-censorship even in a free society."


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From the true story of Andrew Morton's Diana book to why every newsroom needs a curmudgeon in a cardigan

Sunday Times' serialisation of Morton's book

Andrew Morton in The Sunday Times [£] on the 25th anniversary of his book Diana: Her True Story: "The Archbishop of Canterbury, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, assorted Labour and Conservative MPs and a loose box of newspaper editors lined up to join the firing squad. Various bookshops banned the book — which had had to be printed in Finland as no British printer would touch it. It was a genuinely scary and frantic time. My daughters, then six and eight, burst into tears when they saw a newspaper cartoon of their dad being tortured on a rack inside the Tower of London with the Queen looking on. I faced the equivalent in my first British interview — a grilling from John Humphrys on Radio 4’s Today show."

Nick Cohen‏ @NickCohen4 on Twitter on former Newsnight journalist Liz MacKean who died last week: "In a trade full of poseurs, @lizmackean's fight with the BBC to reveal the truth about Jimmy Savile made her a geuine journalistic hero."

Nick Cohen in The Observer on Liz MacKean, in January 2014: "The BBC has not treated its whistleblowers honourably or encouraged others to speak out in the future. Liz MacKean has had enough. Her managers did not fire her. They would not have dared and in any case the British establishment does not work like that. Instead, they cold-shouldered her. MacKean was miserable. The atmosphere at work was dreadful. The BBC wouldn't put her on air. She could have stayed, but she did not want to waste her time and talent and end up a bitter old hack. She chose the life of a free journalist instead and went off to work in independent – in all sense of that word – television."

Adam Boulton‏ @adamboultonSKY on Twitter: "Sorry BBC Bruce Forsyth dying at 89 is not a lead news item...Over emphasize showbiz and you end up with President Trump."

Donald Trump at his Phoenix rally, as reported by the New York Times: “It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions. They’re very dishonest people. The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news...The media can attack me but where I draw the line is when they attack you. They are trying to take away our history and our heritage. They are really, really dishonest people and they are bad people and I really think they don’t like our country."

Jon Snow giving the MacTaggart lecture, reported by the Guardian: "For us in the media, the last two years have taught us that we all know nothing. The explosion of digital media has filled neither the void left by the decimation of the local newspaper industry, nor connected us any more effectively with the “left behind”, the disadvantaged, the excluded. Over this past year, we – me included – mostly London-based media pundits, pollsters and so-called experts, have got it wrong. The Brexit referendum: we got that wrong. Trump defied so-called experts, pundits and journalists alike. Theresa May’s strange general election – predicted to get a majority of 60-70: we got that wrong too. The Grenfell Tower disaster taught me a harrowing lesson – that in increasingly fractured Britain, we in the media are comfortably with the elite, with little awareness, contact, or connection with those not of the elite."

Ian Burrell on the Drum: "While Twitter is seemingly well-placed to benefit from resurgent public interest in news, the divisive nature of the biggest stories (Trump, Brexit, racism, Islamism) is feeding the angry exchanges which have damaged its appeal as a source of information and a showcase for advertising. Having the president of the United States choose your platform as his medium of choice would normally be a ringing brand endorsement but the morning outbursts of the 45th POTUS elicit a deeply polarised reaction and more confrontation."

From the London's Assembly's economic committee report, The fate of local news – read all about it: "As local newspapers concentrate on their web presence, there is evidence of less ‘on-the-ground’ news reporting or investigative journalism…London needs a strong and credible local press. Without addressing the challenges the industry is facing, and finding solutions, we are at risk of losing one of our most important democratic functions. Action needs to be taken now to change the path for local newspapers. The decline of the industry and its impact on the workforce is leading to a less-credible news source. Hyperlocal news sources are a great addition to the industry, but questions remain about their ability to survive as they are often reliant on volunteers and can struggle to get reliable sources of funding.”

Cleethorpes Chronicle founders Mark Webb and Nigel Lowther on the decision to close the independent weekly after nine years, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “We regret to announce that the Cleethorpes Chronicle has published its last edition. The decision is due to tough trading conditions. A shrinking advertising market does not allow us to continue producing the quality of newspaper our readers are accustomed to and deserve."

Edward Lucas in The Times [£]: "Police, social workers, community leaders, Muslim groups and others need to work out proper rules for dealing with organised grooming when the suspects are from a similar ethnic or religious background. Crying “discrimination” and changing the subject won’t work. Politicians such as Mr Corbyn are paid to lead and frame such debates, not to close them down.
Moreover, for such discussions to have any chance of reaching truth and consensus, those taking part need to feel they can speak freely, and can advocate ideas and arguments that may in the end prove to be mistaken. They need to use papers like the mass-market Sun (where Ms Champion decried silence over the rape gangs) not the Labour leadership’s beloved Morning Star."

Janan Ganesh in the Financial Times: "The public elite talk a wonderful game about diversity and work in fields that have a better balance of women and men. But the private elite tend to work among more races and nationalities: some trading floors look like 1980s Benetton commercials. The same seems true of social background. I would advise a young graduate without relatives in high places to choose corporate life over the media."

Phil Creighton‏ @phil_creighton on Twitter: "Every newsroom needs a pipe smoking, cardigan wearing curmudgeon who knows the patch intimately and correct basic errors like school names."