Friday, 24 October 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From death of Washington Post's legendary Watergate editor Ben Bradlee to Charlie Brooks whips his prosecutor


Ben Bradlee: Pic Washington Post

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, who died this week aged 93, in a joint statement published by the Guardian“Ben was a true friend and genius leader in journalism. He had the courage of an army. Ben had an intuitive understanding of the history of our profession, its formative impact on him and all of us. But he was utterly liberated from that. He was an original who charted his own course. We loved him deeply, and he will never be forgotten or replaced in our lives.”

The Washington Post: "Mr. Bradlee’s patrician good looks, gravelly voice, profane vocabulary and zest for journalism and for life all contributed to the charismatic personality that dominated and shaped The Post. Modern American newspaper editors rarely achieve much fame, but Mr. Bradlee became a celebrity and loved the status."

Alan Rusbridger in the Guardian: "Few reporters look like Robert Redford, or even Dustin Hoffman. Most journalistic careers don’t offer the opportunity to bring down a president. Most stories are fuelled more by coffee than adrenaline. But Ben Bradlee will remain for all time everyone’s idea of what an editor should be."

Ben Bradlee giving a spin doctor the brush off in a letter, revealed by the Washington Post: "I don't see any  purpose in meeting with you and Mr. Bloom. I would like to be sure that you understand we trust our editors' news judgement and that we distrust yours."


The Sun in a statement: "The Sun is proud of our record standing up for children and we believe we make a real difference. We have listened to the concerns about a story we ran on 29th July headlined 'Boy, 4, has mark of devil' and we accept that, on this occasion, we didn't get it right. As a result, we have tightened our procedures on all stories involving children, including the issue of paying parents."


Playwright David Williamson to the BBC on the difficulty of casting Rupert Murdoch in his new play: "All commercial productions rely on getting a cast that will attract an audience and we've found that some actors are actually scared of playing Rupert on stage. The man has so much power and quite understandably, people - and that includes actors - don't want to offend him. He owns Fox Studios, for heavens' sake!"



Ryan Chittum on the Columbia Journalism Review on the ethics of the Guardian's Whisper scoop: "What The Guardian did was entirely ethical. Whisper told its reporters highly newsworthy facts about its own service. The information was all on the record. The Guardian reported it. It would have been a journalistic lapse for the paper not to have told readers what it had learned."


Bob Geldof in the Guardian: "You know, the children were never, ever, ever given a break, particularly by the Daily Mail, who engaged in a lifelong exercise in bullying. These tiny little girls – never once did they write anything about their courage, their strength, their beauty, their abilities. If they went to a teenage party, then they were out of control, they were exactly following in their mother’s footsteps – and look at her, guess what she was – and this would be posted on the school noticeboards… When I tried to occasionally stop it, inevitably it would be a freedom of the press issue."

Matthew Parris in The Times [£]: "Down below this column — if you read me online — there’s a dark and rather scary world we call Readers’ Posts. I go there often to do battle with the Ukip and ConHome astroturfers — the rabble who migrate between the online comment sections of papers like ours, the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian (places you often sense are not their natural pastures) giving the impression of a huge, angry, grassroots surge of support for Ukip."


Tim Walker @ThatTimWalker on Twitter: "I can't think of any newspaper that would dream of running the blandly obvious pieces written for #thoughtfortheday. Why does @BBCRadio4?"


Early Day Motion 352 : "That this House is gravely concerned about recent reports that police forces have used powers contained in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to access journalists' sources and materials; notes that unlike requests made under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 there is no public record of these requests or their frequency, extent or even the existence of these applications, and there is no judicial oversight or independent process to grant permission to use these powers; further notes and welcomes the Interception of Communications Commissioner's new inquiry that will be asking all chief constables how many applications under RIPA have been granted since 2000 to access journalists' communications, and calls on these findings to be made public."

Met Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme and reported by the Telegraph: "I think Ripa has been sometimes poorly presented in the media .. I think everyone would accept nobody should be above the law. Whether it's any member of the public, whether it's a police officer, whether it's a journalist, we should be able to investigate and pursue any one of those... Now, if Parliament wants to decide that there are special issues around journalistic privilege which means there needs to be more safeguards around that - well, that's something for Parliament to debate."


Mark Pritchard @MPritchardMP on Twitter: "Glad to have reached 'amicable settlement' with Sunday Mirror and have now withdrawn my complaint from IPSO. The settlement is confidential."


Charlie Brooks in his Telegraph column about being found not guilty in his Old Bailey trial:  "After the winning distance was announced, you have never heard wingeing like it. The prosecutor shook like a tramp on a park bench and wailed to The Guardian that they’d been under resourced.  'Only 180 coppers to help us,’ he bleated. It would be akin to Sheikh Mohammed weeping in the paddock at Ascot if Rod Millman had put one over on Godolphin."

[£]=paywall

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From Home Sec to act over police spying on journalists to sex text MP says media is not to blame for his downfall


The Mail on Sunday: "Police are to be stripped of the power to secretly spy on journalists’ phones, striking a major blow for press freedom. The move – expected within weeks – marks a victory for The Mail on Sunday after we exposed how police had used anti-terrorism powers to hack our phones. Officers bypassed legal protections designed to protect whistleblowers to find out who was behind a series of devastating stories that led to the downfall of shamed Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne. Now Home Secretary Theresa May will drive through a new law to stop officers snooping on reporters unless they are investigating serious crimes. And she will ensure that they need approval from judges or watchdogs for the intrusive surveillance – which at the moment can be approved simply ‘on the nod’ from colleagues."

Theresa May in a speech at the College of Policing conference: "I am already aware that there have been concerns over the use of RIPA to access journalists’ phone records and that is why we are revising the relevant code to make clear that specific consideration must be given to communications data requests involving those in sensitive professions, such as journalists. This code will be published in draft this autumn and will be subject to a full public consultation so that anyone with concerns can feed in their views."


Mail on Sunday comment on plans to stop Ripa being used to obtain journalists' phone records: "What a straightforward victory for strong and independent journalism this episode has been. In a few short weeks, The Mail on Sunday, followed by many other publications, has successfully exposed, highlighted and now ended some serious state wrongdoing. It is hard to think of any other force that could have achieved this apart from unregulated, fearless and vigilant newspapers."

Press Gazette: "Suffolk Police has become the third force to admit using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to obtain a journalist's phone records. Former Ipswich Star reporter Mark Bulstrode was targeted after he questioned the force about the re-opening of a rape investigation. After being warned that reporting the case could jeopardise the investigation, the Star chose not to publish the story - but officers still used RIPA to trawl through Bulstrode's mobile phone records and find his source."

Press Gazette: "A police force used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to bug a journalist's car - but has denied using it to obtain a news agency's phone records. Thames Valley Police bugged part-time Milton Keynes Citizen journalist Sally Murrer's car in December 2006 to find the source of leaked stories about the force."


Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, speaking at the Journalism in the age of mass surveillance conference: "What Ed Snowden revealed is a world which should scare all journalists  and anybody who gives a promise of confidentiality to anyone."

Rusbridger said journalists should: "Fight for better protections; understand the technology; do a better job of protecting our sources."

David Boxhall, head of information security at Guardian News and Media, speaking at the  conference: "The smartphone is not your friend. It gives away where you are and who you are talking to."

John Battle, head of compliance at ITN, at the same conference: "The law has worked to provide protections for journalists but now we realise they amount to nothing.  The game has changed...In the past we had control of information but now it's held by third parties."

John McDonnell MP, secretary of the NUJ parliamentary group, also at the conference:"The next 12 months will be crucial for privacy, civil rights and journalistic practice in the U.K."


Mike Darcey, chief executive of News UK, addressing Press Gazette’s News on the Move conference, as reported by the London Evening Standard“In one day on Twitter, you can read millions of different opinions, some controversial, some insightful, and those are just the tweets from Rupert.”


Ex-local press sub-editor John Richards whose campaign to save the apostrophe has landed him a place in the 2015 Dull Men’s Club calendar, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “I walk around town and see so many misplaced or omitted apostrophes it beggars belief. The local fruiterer sells pounds of banana’s, the public library, of all places, had a sign saying CD’s."


Daily Telegraph obit on former Daily Express Newspapers' managing director Sir Jocelyn Stevens: "Such was his reputation for belligerent cost-cutting that when he was appointed chairman of English Heritage in 1992, one commentator described it as 'like putting Herod in charge of childcare'. It was an image in which, in public at least, Stevens revelled.""

6 hours ago

Mick Hume on Press Gazette: "The debate about IPSO to date encapsulates the problem with the entire issue of press regulation in the UK. By far the loudest complaints are that the new regulator is not independent enough of the industry, echoing the wider pro-Leveson prejudice that the British press has somehow been too free to run wild and cause trouble. The reality is that the UK press is nowhere near free enough, and the very last thing we need is the dead hand of another regulator."


MP Brooks Newmark in the Mail on Sunday: "When a newspaper exposed one of these episodes – involving a male freelance reporter using stolen pictures to impersonate a young female Conservative Party activist – I stood down as a Minister. Now, in response to what seems to be a new text-and-tell story, I am standing down as an MP at the next Election...I do not blame the media for my downfall. It is for others to judge their behaviour and their ethics. The fault is mine alone. If I had sought help earlier, none of this would have happened."

Alex Wickham @WikiGuido on Twitter: "As we always said, we knew Newmark was a cheat and that social media was his MO. It was a narrow, justified, successful investigation."

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From press rounds on 'grim Ripa' to PR laments demise of sub-editors





The Mail on Sunday"Police used anti-terrorism powers to secretly spy on The Mail on Sunday after shamed Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne falsely accused journalists of conspiring to bring him down. Detectives sidestepped a judge’s agreement to protect the source for our stories exposing how Huhne illegally conspired to have his speeding points put on to his wife’s licence. Instead they used far-reaching powers under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) – originally intended to safeguard national security – to hack MoS phone records and identify the source....In our strenuous efforts to protect our sources and resist handing over emails to Huhne’s lawyers, The Mail on Sunday ran up a £150,000 legal bill, none of which can be recovered."

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, to Mail on Sunday"It is deeply disturbing that the police have hacked into offices of a major UK newspaper. They have struck a serious blow against press freedom."

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian: "One of the many services performed by Edward Snowden was to show that nothing beyond constant press vigilance will curb “big security” from trampling on civil liberty, even in a democracy. In Britain, the coalition’s appeasement of such trampling means that no whistleblower is safe in talking to a friend, a lawyer, a journalist or, for that matter, anyone via a phone or the internet. Anything said may be available to a potential prosecutor or opponent’s law firm. We are back to the Soviet Union, with private conversation confined to public parks."


The Sun [£]: "THE Sun has made an official complaint about the Met Police using anti-terror laws to snoop on the phone calls of our journalists."


Press Gazette: "The Interception of Communications Commissioner has announced an inquiry into police use of spying powers against journalists. The move comes less than a month after Press Gazette launched the Save Our Sources campaign urging the Commissioner to take action after it emerged that the police had secretly grabbed the phone records of The Sun newspaper."

The Guardian in a leader: "Journalists are not above the law, but they need its protections to play a legitimate role in our free society. Ripa as it stands fails to provide such protections. It must be changed."


Nick Cohen in The Spectator: "The Tory press does not stop to consider that their journalists are a despised minority who also need human rights laws to defend them. The left-wing press and the BBC are no better. They stayed silent when the police arrested dozens of Sun journalists — not for hacking the phones of celebrities, but for stories from the police, prisons and armed forces which may turn out to be in the public interest. To left-wing journalists, the Tory tabloids are reviled enemies against whom any use or abuse of police power is justified. They never worry that the state will use the same tactics against them. People go on about the might of the British press. They do not see that, consumed by hatreds and torn by civil war, it can no longer stand up for its own best interests, let alone the best interests of a free society."


Sun leader on murder of Alan Henning: "We are not publishing images from the video... We refuse to give his absurd murderers the publicity they crave."













Toby Harnden ‏@tobyharnden on Twitter: "The Sun shows you can mark Alan Henning's murder by highlighting his life. Telegraph uses propaganda of his killers."

Lloyd Embley ‏@Mirror_Editor on Twitter: "After David Haines was murdered pix of him on his knees were on all the front pages. We decided not to do that again. They can't win."

Neville Thurlbeck ‏@nthurlbeck on Twitter: "BBC News on-line showing stills of Mr Henning moments before execution. Good for their web hits. Good for ISIS. Wise up guys."

ISIS rules for journalists: "10 - The rules are not final and are subject to change at any time depending on the circumstances and the degree of cooperation between journalists and their commitment to their brothers in the ISIS media offices."


Sky News in a statement: "We were saddened to hear of the death of Brenda Leyland. It would be inappropriate to speculate or comment further at this time."

The Times [£] in a leader: "It should be far easier to report abuse on social media, far easier for victims to be protected and far easier for prosecuting authorities to trace the identities of those who exploit such sites as a means of abuse, and then to pursue them through the courts. Only then can we protect the innocent and prosecute the offenders. The trolls need themselves to be trolled."


Grey Cardigan on SpinAlley on the editor of the Derby Telegraph asking readers on Facebook if the paper should do a story on a public sector working caught looking at porn on a work computer: "Neil White might have thought that he was being inclusive by involving what he hoped were readers in making this decision, but in my opinion he was wrong, very wrong. Newspapers cannot be run by committee. They need a strong editor who is not afraid to make the tough calls and to back his own judgement. What next? Shall we publish the news list and let social media tell us what to publish and what to bin? It’s a huge mistake and one which undermines every journalist on that newspaper."


The NUJ in a statement: "The chief executive of Newsquest signed off his final year with a 9.5 per cent pay rise, while his staff's wages went down by almost £5 million. Paul Davidson, stood down as CEO in April, but stayed on as chairman of the group. He raked in £610,458 as Newsquest's highest paid executive in 2013 – an increase of £53,000 on the previous 12 months. His salary was the equivalent of 25 journalists' jobs."


Piers Morgan in the Guardian: “Cameron was one of Andy Coulson’s closest friends and both were incredibly embedded with each other. And at no stage has Cameron shown support for Andy, either publicly or privately, and I find that reprehensible. I would never do that to a real friend and I don’t think real people would. And frankly to just do it for political expediency stinks.”


PR writing on the Guardian's Media Network about the demise of sub-editors: "We’re aware that the properly trained sub – that professional wordsmith who’s a stickler for house style, accuracy and grammar as well as a dab hand at honing shoddy copy – is a rare, dying, much-lamented breed. The slow demise of this unsung hero is devastating not just for the publications themselves (it’s difficult to take seriously a title that gets wrong the one sentence it tweaked from provided copy, or misspells the simplest of names), but also for PRs who have painstakingly done the due diligence that is a prerequisite for perfect copy. As the medium between media and client, we get it in the neck."

[£]=paywall

Friday, 3 October 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From MP's sex shame sting to why journalists should start on a local



Brooks Newmark MP resigns after Sunday Mirror story: “I have decided to resign as Minister for Civil Society having been notified of a story to be published in a Sunday newspaper. I would like to appeal for the privacy of my family to be respected at this time. I remain a loyal supporter of this Government as its long term economic plan continues to deliver for the British people.”

Tony Gallagher ‏@gallaghereditor on Twitter: "Can someone explain Tory PR strategy of leaking Brooks Newmark to everyone, this making it giant splash for all papers?"

Kevin Maguire ‏@Kevin_Maguire on Twitter: "Rule 1 for male MPs: Don't take a photo of your penis. Rule 2: If you ignore Rule 1, don't send it to a stranger."

Mark Pritchard MP who is making a complaint about the way the Sunday Mirror acted: "This is the first real test as to whether the new body, IPSO, has any teeth."

Guido Fawkes on his blog: "If IPSO finds against the Daily Mirror it won’t prove it has teeth, it will prove as we told the Leveson Inquiry, that “media standards” are really a form of censorship that will protect the powerful from having their wrongdoings uncovered. This blog will never bow to the censors – we will continue to use subterfuge and clandestine methods to go after wrong ‘uns – there is no other way."

Sunday Mirror editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley in a statement: “The Sunday Mirror stands by its story relating to Brooks Newmark. Subterfuge was used in this investigation - and we have been very clear about that from the start. We strongly believe there was a clear public interest because of Mr Newmark's roles as Minister for Civil Society and co-founder of Women2Win, an organisation aimed at attracting more Conservative women to parliament. The investigation was carried out before the Sunday Mirror's involvement. We thought that pictures used by the investigation were posed by models but we now know that some real pictures were used. At no point has the Sunday Mirror published any of these images but we would like to apologise to the women involved for their use in the investigation."

Susie Boniface, aka Fleet Street Fox, on Question Time“I think in this particular case that it’s not entrapment because Mr Newmark, if you’ve read the original article, responded to this journalist, which he thought was a young woman online, by firstly offering his mobile phone number, secondly going into private messages, and then on seven occasions seeking explicit photographs from her, and on another three occasions asking to meet her. Now that doesn’t sound to me like someone who was reluctant or who needed persuading, it sounds to me like someone who was quite enthusiastic with the opportunity to misbehave, and he grabbed it with one hand while lowering his pyjama trousers with the other one."


The Times [£] reveals police used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to obtain a journalist's phone records: "Police investigating the Chris Huhne speeding points scandal secretly obtained the phone records of a journalist and one of his sources for the story, even though a judge had agreed that the source could remain confidential, The Times can reveal. A Kent police officer was granted authorisation to obtain the billing and call data of a Mail on Sunday journalist, alongside his source, who was later unmasked as a freelance journalist. The pair, whose data was obtained from their landline and mobile phone service providers, had been in discussions with Constance Briscoe, the judge who was investigated by police over a false claim that she had not spoken to the press about the affair."

Roy Greenslade on his Media Guardian blog: "Ripa was supposed to protect national security and detect crime while preventing disorder and protecting public health. Its misuse and abuse inhibits journalists from acting on behalf of the public and therefore threatens our civil liberties."

The Telegraph in a leader: "If whistleblowers think the police are going to find out they have been talking to journalists, they will withhold information. It would seem the police are posing a serious threat to the ability of the press to carry out its proper role in a free country."


Simon O'Neill ‏@SimonO19 on Twitter: "Via @regionalfronts this is the way to do 'right to be forgotten'."


Piers Morgan on MailOnline: "I am very excited to take on the role of Editor-at-Large (US) at MailOnline, which has become the most successful and dynamic platform in the world of news."



Jamie Angus, editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, as reported by the Guardian“There was a burst of rather difficult foreign news and a lot of listeners who stopped listening said they stopped because of the preponderance of really difficult and distressing foreign news. People think ‘I cannot take this anymore, I can’t deal with this information, what I supposed to do about this terrible thing that I can’t influence’ and in frustration they turn off and go to Radio 2.”


Peter Jukes ‏@peterjukes on Twitter: "After the tweets, book, audiobook and play, the plan is to launch a #hackingtrial fashion range - mainly wigs, handcuffs and black silk."


Francis Wheen ‏@FrancisWheen on Twitter: "Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn."


Andrew Norfolk in the Guardian on why journalists should start on local papers: “It’s very old-fashioned but I also think it’s important to have a few years where, if you screw up, people can walk into your office and let you know about it.”

[£]=Paywall

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From Trinity Mirror confirms phone hacking to is Twitter a cry for help?



Trinity Mirror in a statement, reported by BBC News"The company today confirms that its subsidiary MGN Ltd has admitted liability to four individuals who had sued MGN for alleged interception of their voicemails many years ago. MGN has apologised to those individuals and agreed to pay compensation. The amount of that compensation will be assessed by the court if it cannot be agreed. The company can also confirm that six other voicemail interception claims have already been settled for agreed sums."


Ed Miliband in his speech at the Labour Party Conference: "I care about using the power of government to stand up against powerful forces when we need to do so. It came home to me the other day, when I met Rosie, a doctor from Devon, and she said to me: 'what we need is someone who will stand up for working people, for everyday people, because you will have the power and we won’t.' That’s why I stood up to Rupert Murdoch over phone hacking. That’s why I stood up to the banks over bonuses. That’s why I stood up to the payday lenders over their exploitation of the poorest people in our country. That’s why I stood up to the energy companies over their profits and prices and, yes, it’s why I stood up to the Daily Mail when they said my dad hated Britain because I know my dad loved Britain."


jane martinson ‏@janemartinson on Twitter: "Is the Telegraph being ironic using huge upskirt shot of Emma W on front under header 'Watson's blueprint for equality'?"


James Chapman (Mail) ‏@jameschappers on Twitter: "Guardian refused to attend Salmond's resignation press conference after he barred Mail, Telegraph and Express journalists. Bravo #indyref"

Severin Carrell @severincarrell: "The Guardian declined its place at @AlexSalmond post-#indyref press conference after Scottish govt insisted on picking @guardian reporter."

Rupert Murdoch @rupertmurdoch on Twitter: "Alex Salmond's sudden resignation makes him most honest politician in Britain. Actually he seems to have changed country's future."


alan rusbridger ‏@arusbridger on Twitter: "Ex chief cop sneering at protection of journalist sources on #r4today shows why vital to fight for this right @tnewtondunn"


Deborah Orr in the Guardian: "The Westminster bubble isolates the media as well as politicians. The decline in the regional media over recent decades has contributed hugely to the democratic deficit that the UK now toils under. But devolved politics would mean a devolved media too, and that would be an extremely good thing, in and of itself."


Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, on kidnapped journalist John Cantlie: "It is outrageous that a journalist who went to Syria to do his job, reporting on an unfolding crisis and its devastating impact on its citizens, was kidnapped and has been held now for two years. This video, in which John has been forced to deliver a message on behalf of ISIS knowing that his life is on the line is yet another disgraceful and cowardly attempt to target and intimidate reporters from carrying out their work. Its intention is clear, to spread fear and to send a message that journalists – along with other workers –are fair game and mere political pawns to be exploited as their captors see fit."

Hannah Storm, director of the International News Safety Institute, in the Guardian: "This latest video showing John is an appalling attempt by Islamic militants to intimidate journalists like him who take extreme risks, in order to shine light into the darkest recesses of society and document the lives of those whose stories need to be told. As long as his captors are allowed to use him as a pawn in their propaganda, they will continue to send a message that journalists can be manipulated as they see fit. It’s no longer enough, it seems, for the detractors of journalists to be killing the messenger. Now the messenger has become the channel for someone else’s despicable message."


Charles Spencer on how he got his job as theatre critic of the Telegraph: "The first-string theatre critic was the waspishly entertaining Charles Osborne, and he went to review Alan Bennett’s stage adaptation of The Wind in the Willows and didn’t care for it. Unfortunately for him, and miraculously for me, the Telegraph’s then editor, Max Hastings, had loved The Wind in the Willows since childhood and decided that Osborne had to go. Gentle reader, I got my job because Max Hastings loved Ratty, and Moley, Badger and Mr Toad, and Charles Osborne thought they were insufferably twee."


fleetstreetfox ‏@fleetstreetfox on Twitter: "Oh and some div from PR Week thinks I'm a parody account. That's PRs for you, always failing to get the point of what journalists do..."



MailOnline quotes spokesman after Northern Echo Parly correspondent Rob Merrick is injured in a clash with shadow chancellor Ed Balls during a charity football match: "Rob felt a boom and then suddenly he was bust."


Ruby Wax in the Observer about Twitter: "At first, I convinced myself that my Twitter account was for PR and highlighting important mental health issues, scientific breakthroughs and anti-discrimination initiatives. Now I’m just talking about shopping and watering my tree. It’s humiliating. A cry for help."