Thursday, 18 July 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From it's up to editors to decide what leaks to publish not the police to newsroom jobs in US down a quarter in 10 years

Met Police assistant Commissioner Neil Basu in a statement“The publication of leaked communications, knowing the damage they have caused or are likely to cause may also be a criminal matter. I would advise all owners, editors and publishers of social and mainstream media not to publish leaked government documents that may already be in their possession, or which may be offered to them, and to turn them over to the police or give them back to their rightful owner, Her Majesty’s Government.”

The Mail on Sunday in a leader: "There can be no serious argument, in a free democracy, that the act of helping the people to be better informed should be a matter for the police, who after all keep telling us that they already have too much to do and too few staff with which to do it. It is absurd, if not actually ridiculous, that a truthful and accurate leak of significant material, enabling the voters of this country to be better informed and to make better choices, should be met in Whitehall and in Scotland Yard by threats of arrest and prosecution."

David Davis in a letter to The Times [£]: "Any competent senior police officer should have been aware that only a matter of weeks ago the lord chief justice of Northern Ireland struck down the search warrants and, implicitly, the case against two journalists arrested for receiving stolen property and breaching the Official Secrets Act. Their “crime” was broadcasting a leaked document detailing the scandalous failure by police to solve a UVF murder in Loughinisland 25 years ago. Had the lord chief justice not struck down the case, investigative journalism in the UK would have been crippled. The action should have telegraphed to senior police officers like Mr Basu that prosecuting journalists for embarrassing the state is not what we do in the UK."

Jeremy Hunt @Jeremy_Hunt on Twitter: "These leaks damaged UK/US relations & cost a loyal ambassador his job so the person responsible MUST be held fully to account. But I defend to the hilt the right of the press to publish those leaks if they receive them & judge them to be in the public interest: that is their job."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Fortunately, both the candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party have stressed that freedom of the press is paramount. It would have been even more reassuring had the leader of the opposition come out in defence of the media’s duty to speak truth to power. Instead, Jeremy Corbyn has been focusing his energies on denouncing a BBC investigation into antisemitism within the Labour Party, aiming his fire as usual at the messenger and not the message."

The Sunday Times [£] in a leader on Neil Basu: "The decision on what to publish, as he must surely know, is a matter for editors, not for the police. We have not fought the cause of press freedom for centuries to plod our way into a police state."

Mark Di Stefano on BuzzzFeedNews: "A US sports website that wants to dominate the British football market has made a series of high-profile new signings, including an award-winning Guardian football writer and a BBC reporter with a massive following among London football fans.The incredible hiring spree has been described as "setting off a bomb" in the industry. BuzzFeed News has learned that the Athletic's latest hires are the Guardian’s chief football writer Daniel Taylor and the BBC’s top football correspondent David Ornstein."

Lionel Barber @lionelbarber on Twitter about Arron Banks suing Carole Cadwalladr: "Suing an individual - rather than an organisation -for libel is indeed a very important distinction. Clearly intended to muzzle @carolecadwalla who bust open the Cambridge Analytica scandal and is fearlessly pursuing questions about foreign money influence in Brexit referendum."

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "Stout defences on Twitter etc of attacks on journalism in relation to BBC Panorama and Mail on Sunday. I hope people will be equally watchful of the use of money & libel laws to silence the reporting of @carolecadwalla"

Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times [£]: "While British Jews are understandably concerned about the prospects of a Corbyn-led government, the BBC should also feel a chill. The Labour leader has already indicated that there will be a reckoning for those in the media he perceives as enemies. When the press ran with a story suggesting he had been a Czech intelligence service asset in the Cold War, he put out a video in which he warned the “media barons” that “change is coming”. I presume he meant some form of statutory control."

John Ware in the Observer on the Labour party's complaints about his Panorama programme about anti-semitism: “The Labour Party reaction last week did not terribly surprise me. But this is not the straight-talking party that Corbyn promised. This is an Arthur Daley version of Alastair Campbell’s spin.”

Matthew Parris in The Times [£] on fellow newspaper columnist Boris Johnson: "Brexit has become columnist-Johnson’s new and biggest idea: his easily grasped, all-singing, all-dancing and shrewdly voter-motivating grand project. Detail be damned: he will stick to it — until he doesn’t. He will pursue this pet project with all the clarity and force that a maestro of Fleet Street commentary can command. And if it falls, he will desert it with all the caprice that courses through a columnist’s veins. Boris never forgets that today’s column lines the bottom of tomorrow’s budgie cage."

Elizabeth Grieco at Pew Research Centre: "From 2008 to 2018, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 25%. In 2008, about 114,000 newsroom employees – reporters, editors, photographers and videographers – worked in five industries that produce news: newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable and “other information services” (the best match for digital-native news publishers). By 2018, that number had declined to about 86,000, a loss of about 28,000 jobs."

[£] =paywall

Friday, 12 July 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From contempt for Tommy Robinson's claim he was jailed for journalism to Amal Clooney blames Trump's anti-press rhetoric for media freedom decline

Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray in a statement after the jailing of Tommy Robinson for contempt of court: “While anyone can claim to be a journalist in this country, and there is no appetite nor should there be for the licensing of journalists in the UK, the mainstream British media adheres to the laws of the land, is correctly regulated and ensures its journalists are highly trained. I am not aware that Robinson has any formal training as a journalist, and to claim his trial and sentencing is an attack on journalism itself is a farce.”

The Sun in a leader: "STEPHEN Yaxley-Lennon isn’t a journalist. He’s a thug, an extremist, and he nearly collapsed a grooming gang trial. A freedom fighter, a free speech campaigner? Rubbish. He’s a grandstanding idiot who stirs up anti-Muslim hatred in the sewers of social media. As for his commitment to reporting, after he was sent down yesterday his supporters attacked reporters."

Sean O'Neill in The Times [£]:  "One of the British establishment’s richest and most powerful figures has been granted wide-ranging secrecy orders preventing The Times from revealing him as the man who faced accusations of serious sexual harassment and assault in an employment case. The multimillionaire businessman, who The Times is referring to as Mr X, agreed large financial settlements with two women before their allegations were due to be heard at an employment tribunal. The settlement required the women to withdraw their claims of sexual harassment and discrimination and sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) preventing them from discussing their allegations against the businessman in public."

The Times [£] in a leader: "The law is supposed to protect whistleblowers and it can be legal to break an NDA where doing so is in the “public interest”. In reality, many cases fall into difficult grey areas. Even in clear-cut cases of public interest disclosure, where the courts would not dream of enforcing a gagging clause, employees can feel that they have no choice but to keep quiet. Often they lack access to legal advice and so heed bogus warnings in stiffly drafted letters from their employers’ lawyers."

Nick Cohen on Twitter @NickCohen4 on Momentum's 'open letter' to BBC protesting at Panorama: "This is truly sinister. Labour propagandists smear a journalist before they have seen his work. Imagine what they would be like in power. Imagine what they would be like when they have the full force of the police and security services at their disposal."

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "Times fires Johnson for lying in copy. And then endorses him as Prime Minister. Funny old trade."

Heather Mills after she and and 90 others reached a legal settlement over phone hacking with News of the World publisher News Group Newspapers, as reported by SKY News: "My motivation to win this decade-long fight stemmed from a desire to obtain justice, not only for my family, my charities and myself, but for the thousands of innocent members of the public who, like me, have suffered similar ignominious, criminal treatment at the hands of one of the world's most powerful media groups."

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian: "[Cliff] Richard and [Paul] Gambaccini are not arguing for an end to anonymity, only for pre-charge anonymity for the accused. The victims of the present injustice are not just VIPs, though they too are entitled to equity at law. Victims have included doctors, executives, the clergy, many ordinary people who have found their name stained, and lost their jobs and families. The ever-expanding legal realm of hate speech and causing offence accepts that words can hurt and harm. Reputations are as precious as heads, arms, legs and property. But the feeding frenzy of the internet is terrifying enough already without being fed by the British justice system. Pre-charge anonymity is a sound principle, one that parliament should now uphold."

Amal Clooney, UK special envoy on media freedom, at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London, as reported by Press Gazette“The global decline in press freedom has been hastened by rhetoric from the leader of the world’s most powerful democracy and it will not be reversed without strong leadership from others.”


Thursday, 4 July 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From outrage as Trump jokes with Putin about getting rid of journalists to please don't scan our magazines - buy them!

Bloomberg White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs  @JenniferJJacobs on Twitter at the Osaka Summit: "Trump also bonded with Putin over a scorn for journalists. 'Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn't it? You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.' 'We also have,' Putin answered, in English. 'It’s the same.' They shared a chuckle."

Brian Klaas @brianklaas on Twitter: "This is disgusting. Putin’s regime has murdered many, many journalists. And the President of the United States is joking about abusing the press with Russia’s despot, who likely ordered some of those killings."

Andrew Neil @afneil on Twitter: "Trump sitting with Putin calls journalists he doesn’t agree with ‘fake news’. You don’t have that problem, he tells Putin. He’s right. Journalists who cross Putin are killed or disappeared or jailed. Disgraceful statement by a US President."

Margaret Sullivan in the Washington Post: "Trump is joking with a foreign adversary about two of the most basic elements of American democracy: voting integrity and the role of free press. And he has the gall to accuse the press of treason? Those who call themselves Americans should be disgusted by what Trump did in Osaka."

The Labour Party in a statement, reported by ITV News: "These Times stories are a series of false, fabricated and absurd allegations hiding behind anonymous sources with a transparently political agenda. For any senior civil servant to falsely claim the leader of the opposition is ill, frail or forgetful, is a disgrace and a clear political intervention. In a democracy, the people decide who is prime minister."

Michael Crick in the Sunday Times [£] on similarities between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn: "Where most politicians are hugely dependent on the mainstream media and would be lost without it, Corbyn managed to become Labour leader, and stay there, without it. Johnson, until recently, had been doing his best to avoid press conferences and broadcast interviews. Yet both men have been professional journalists. Like Winston Churchill before him, Johnson is one of the highest-paid columnists of his age. Corbyn’s career as a journalist was rather more modest. He began adult life on the Newport and Market Drayton Advertiser in Shropshire, covering weddings and funerals — 20 years or so before Johnson became a trainee reporter on the Wolverhampton Express & Star."

Ex-Telegraph owner Lord Conrad Black on Max Hastings and Boris Johnson in the Spectator"Boris’s peccadilloes were more absurd, complicated and over-publicised than the shambles of the personal lives of other journalists. But his editorial opinions were sensible and consistent. His schtick grew tiresome, like an over-familiar vaudeville act, but he was at all times a person of goodwill and his foibles were deployed to the benefit of the enterprise. He had his lapses, but he was capable, successful and reliable when it counted, and he is, as he appears, a pleasant man. Max is an ill-tempered snob with a short attention span. He has his talents, but it pains me to report that when seriously tested, he was a coward and a flake. I think Boris will be fine."

Marina Hyde in the Guardian"Why are we getting journalists to run anything? What’s the rationale – that now they’ve torched their own industry, they should be allowed a go on the country? If the past couple of decades have shown us anything, it’s that journalists shouldn’t really have been in charge of even the journalism business. It is far from a coincidence that two of the leading architects of Brexit – Michael Gove and Johnson – were both journalists. Is it in any way surprising to find that the UK is very drunk and has already missed two deadlines?"

The Times [£] in a leader on the Government white paper on internet harm: "As things stand, all media outlets with space for user comments could be considered platforms under the proposals. That could include sites like that of The Times, which may find itself under pressure to quieten or kill the often lively debates that take place under articles online. The government says that it will not regulate where press regulation is already in place. But it must be clearer about how it will fulfil such a promise given the wording of the white paper."

Q magazine editor Ted Kessler @TedKessler1 on Twitter: "I politely implore the @florencemachine fanclubs to take down the @QMagazine cover story. Posting it online the day it’s in the shops will put us out business, halting this kind of twelve page feature on your favourite artist. Everyone deserves paying for their work."

Empire magazine editor-in-chief Terri White @Terri_White on Twitter: "We have people scanning in massive chunks of @empiremagazine every month to share in fan communities. The *real* service of fans is in allowing magazines like @empiremagazine and @QMagazine to continue to exist."More
Private Eye @PrivateEyeNews on Twitter: "This is just as true of Private Eye. Encouraging your followers to buy a copy and help fund the sort of journalism we do (and pay cartoonists!) is great; photographing whole chunks and giving them away for free when we've only just gone on sale really isn't."

 [£] =paywall

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From Boris Johnson stalls Ferrari over when 'loved up' pic was taken to the digital news divide between the rich and poor

Boris Johnson to Nick Ferrari on LBC who asked him 26 times when the 'loved up' picture of him and girlfriend Carrie Symonds was taken: "Newspapers and other media outlets are going to want to print and speculate about what they choose. The difficulty is that the minute you say one thing, you are bringing your loved ones into the public domain in a way that is not fair...Why should I tell you when the picture was taken?"

George Osborne @George_Osborne on Twitter: "Today’s ⁦@EveningStandard⁩ as a picture of the happy couple emerges."

Stewart Wood @StewartWood on Twitter: "Evening Standard splash: Boris Johnson showing the public a picture of his private life, having spent the weekend saying he wants it to remain private, to show the public that his private life, which is no business of the public, is fine, though still private. I hope that’s clear"

Jan Moir in the Daily Mail: "Bizarrely, this supposedly super-smart, media-savvy couple opted to semaphore their message of loved-up harmony by taking part in a cheesy Mills & Boon scenario that it is tempting to call Love Among The Weeds."

Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun on the Guardian scoop on the taped row between Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds: "This form of eavesdropping, with no public interest justification, is banned under the newspaper industry’s Editors’ Code. Yet the self-righteous Guardian decided to run it on Page 1. It was a gift from the gods to our publicly funded state broadcaster, whose mission is to ridicule the Tories, rubbish Brexit and, as a bonus, destroy Boris Johnson. A flimsy tale of raised voices led every BBC bulletin for the entire weekend, while a genuine news story — a potential war between the US and Iran — took second place."

Piers Morgan on MailOnline: "Is Boris Johnson a genuine buffoon who is going to turn us into a global laughing stock? Or is it all an act? As we debate this, Americans should stop worrying so much about President Trump. By Boris standards, he’s a choirboy."

Max Hastings in the Guardian: "I have known Johnson since the 1980s, when I edited the Daily Telegraph and he was our flamboyant Brussels correspondent. I have argued for a decade that, while he is a brilliant entertainer who made a popular maĆ®tre d’ for London as its mayor, he is unfit for national office, because it seems he cares for no interest save his own fame and gratification."

The Times [£] in the obit of Steve Dunleavy, the New York Post journalist who has died aged 81: "Steve Dunleavy would do anything for a story. He once approached Ava Gardner in a nightclub and she threw a glass of champagne in his face. His subsequent report began: 'Last night, I shared a glass of champagne with Ava Gardner. She threw it; I wore it'.”

The Guardian's Suzanne Moore, accepting the Orwell Prize for Journalism“We have a crisis of representation. We have it at the top: in politics, which is visible, and we have it in the media. Some things have got better, sure, but much hasn’t and that thing is class. I doubt now if someone like me could now make it a journalist.”

Manchester Evening News photojournalist Joel Goodman giving evidence against Yellow Vest activist James Goddard who was found guilty of common assault, in a statement: "Mr Goddard's direct threats have caused me to suffer months of verbal and physical abuse, both on social media and in person....Such abuse is not acceptable, under any circumstances and, in convicting him, I am glad the court has made this clear. Mr Goddard and his supporters are entitled to demonstrate freely within the law and photojournalists such as myself are entitled to report on such events, free of the fear of violence and intimidation."

Polly Curtis in the Financial Times: "There have always been people who were unnewsed, but now they no longer live in an information vacuum. Instead, these citizens still consume information and share opinions, but based on sources that are not produced with the rigour and standards of traditional journalism. Poor information for poor people; richer sources for the rest. This digital divide has serious ramifications for every element of our democracy and society."


Thursday, 13 June 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From demagoguery not the media is the enemy of the people to if we gain Boris Johnson as PM will we lose Max Hastings?

Bryan Cranston, after winning a Tony Award for his portrayal of a broadcast journalist in Network, as reported by the New York Times“I would like to dedicate this to all the real journalists around the world, both in the press — the print media — and the broadcast media, who actually are in the line of fire with their pursuit of the truth. The media is not the enemy of the people. Demagoguery is the enemy of the people.”

Patrick Wintour @patrickwintour on Twitter: "The whole habit of blending press conferences with political rallies is grim. Nasty feature of 2015 election and before - a practice followed by Labour as much as the Tories. Audience jeers a hostile question, and then gracious leader urges his flock to show tolerance."

Chris Cook @xtophercook on Twitter: "Michael Gove taking cocaine while a journalist is paired in my mind with Sarah Sands saying journalism is like going to wonderful embassy parties where you meet amazing people. I can’t help but wonder if I’m doing it wrong."

Rory Cellan-Jones @ruskin147 on Twitter: "Wife and I who were both journalists in London in that period now feeling desperately provincial that we got by on white wine and pints of London Pride..."

The Guardian reports: "Russia’s three major newspapers have put out nearly identical front pages of their Monday editions in a show of solidarity with a detained journalist. Kommersant, Vedomosti and RBK, among the most respected daily newspapers in the country, published a joint editorial under the headline “I am/We are Ivan Golunov”, calling for a transparent investigation into the case of the prominent investigative journalist. Golunov was beaten and kept in custody for 12 hours without a lawyer."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Today The Times stands shoulder to shoulder with courageous Russian journalists and citizens defending press freedom... Targeting journalists is almost always counter-productive. Mr Golunov has written critically about the army, censorship of the media and the running of Moscow city. Predictably, interest in his work has rocketed since his arrest, and his articles have been placed under the Creative Commons licence to allow readers around the world to share the stories far and wide. "
  • On 11th June, the Russian police announced it dropped all charges against Ivan Golunov.
International Federation of Journalists general secretary Anthony Bellanger in a statement: "The mobilisation of civil society and newsrooms in support of Ivan Golunov is good news for the state of press freedom in Russia. It indicates that the regime can no longer silence critical voices with impunity. Harassment of journalists in Russia has to stop."

Sean Spicer @seanspicer on Twitter: "I wonder what female journalists think of @TheAtlantic @JeffreyGoldberg ‘s comments: 'It’s really, really hard to write a 10,000-word cover story. There are not a lot of journalists in America who can do it. The journalists in America who do it are almost exclusively white males'.”

Caitlin Moran @caitlinmoran on Twitter: "I don't know a single British female journalist in my social circle who couldn't knock out a 10,000 word piece in between childcare, three other pieces, dying their eyebrows, and pissing around on Twitter posting Madonna memes. So I don't know what's going wrong in America."

PA City editor Simon Neville @SimonNeville ‏on Twitter: "Dear PRs. Gentle reminder: saying 'that's not a story' is never a sensible line to use on a journalist."

Committee to Protect Journalists executive director Joel Simon in a statement condemning police raids on ABC in Australia: "The raids on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation newsroom and the home of reporter Annika Smethurst are deeply troubling and directly threaten Australia's standing as a country that respects press freedom. Because government abuse can be hidden or covered up through the assertion of national security, journalists must have the ability to report on such matters and protect their confidential sources. Democratic governments understand this, and provide journalists the legal protections they need to do their job."

The Sunday Times [£] on Bryan Appleyard being made CBE: "Whenever something complicated needs explaining in an accessible style, the cry goes up from Sunday Times editors: 'Get me Appleyard.' During 34 years with the newspaper, Bryan Appleyard has explained the mysteries of the brain, gene editing, intelligent design and the cultural politics of Justin Bieber’s hairstyle."

Christopher Spencer aka Coldwar Steve @Coldwar_Steve whose work has featured on Twitter on being commissioned to do a Brexit cover for TIME magazine: “I have never created something specifically for an American/international audience before, being commissioned to do the cover of TIME was mind-blowing and capped off a remarkable first half of 2019 for me.”

Blast from the past: Max Hastings, who as editor of the Daily Telegraph was Boris Johnson's boss,  in the Daily Mail in 2012: "I would not trust him with my wife nor — from painful experience — with my wallet. It is unnecessary to take any moral view about his almost crazed infidelities, but it is hard to believe that any man so conspicuously incapable of controlling his own libido is fit to be trusted with controlling the country...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."

 [£] =paywall

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From Trump trusts me to be fair says Piers Morgan to police tell reporter vile online abuse is part of being a public figure

CNN's Brian Stelter @brianstelter on Twitter: "When I asked @PiersMorgan how he has snagged 3 sit-downs with Trump since Inauguration Day, he replied with characteristic thunder: 'He trusts me to be fair, something that so few journalists seem prepared to be about President Trump'."

Verified account

Krishnan Guru-Murthy @krishgm on Twitter: "Trump gives interviews to The Sun and Times. Theresa May calls questions only from Sky and the Times. Trump sees Gove privately. There’s a theme. It starts with M and ends with h. And has urdoc in the middle."

NUJ assistant general secretary Seamus Dooley in a statement welcoming the decision of three appeal judges at the High Court in Belfast to quash warrants for the arrest of No Stone Unturned documentary makers Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey: “This is a victory for Trevor and Barry, for the NUJ and for press freedom.The High Court has affirmed the right of journalists to protect confidential sources of information and provided clear and unambiguous directions for the appropriate manner in which the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the courts should behave in seeking to access journalistic material. There can be no shortcuts when it comes to fundamental principles of human rights.”

Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey in a statement, quoted by the Belfast Telegraph: "The police have dropped the case for one reason only: Finally, they accept that by arresting us and raiding our homes and offices, they were the ones that acted unlawfully...The Lord Chief Justice told the court last week that we had no case to answer. We were right to protect our sources. The PSNI put the cudgel in the hands of Durham Constabulary and let them loose on us and on press freedom itself."

Rory Cellan-Jones @ruskin147 on Twitter: "PR emails to ask whether I received her previous email headed: ‘Revealed: Brits’ most desired smart bathroom technology.’Dilemma - should I tell her where I flushed it?"

Roy Greenslade on the Sun's 50th anniversary  in the British Journalism Review"The paper that was once Murdoch's cash cow, providing him with the funds to expand his empire, now cannot generate profits. At the beginning of this year, News UK declared that it had lost £91 million. The game is surely up. It is simply impossible to imagine The Sun lasting a further half-century, or even much beyond Murdoch's death. Murdoch is 88."

Playwright James Graham @mrJamesGraham on Twitter: "So gutting that the Evening Standard is losing its theatre critics @henryhitchings @FionaLondonarts. The arts is one of the very last things we're heavyweights in. Art changes lives. The city's local paper MUST champion it. Its 60yr old theatre award ceremony is hollow without it."

The News Media Association objecting to the Information Commissioners Office Age Appropriate Design draft code:“Unless amended, the draft code published for consultation by the ICO would undermine the news media industry, its journalism and business innovation online. The ICO draft code would require commercial news media publishers to choose between their online news services being devoid of audience or stripped of advertising, with even editorial content subject to ICO judgment and sanction, irrespective of compliance with general law and codes upheld by the courts and relevant regulators."

BBC director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth in the Observer: "The BBC is trying to report on and analyse an issue of deep complexity that crosses traditional party boundaries. Are we broken? Well, we pick up bruises most days of the week, but that goes with the territory. I don’t see any fractured limbs. Or even a lack of confidence, as your commentators suggest. People have the right to their opinions about the BBC. But don’t mistake them for facts. Yes, we interview people that some might not want to see or hear. That’s never seen as proper journalism, properly carried out. Instead we’re told we’re giving them 'a platform'.”

Guardian readers' editor Paul Chadwick on the difference between those who phone or email the paper and those who write letters: "Emails and phone calls naturally relate mostly to very recently published material and to the most prominent and controversial issues of the day. These communications may be formulated in anger or exasperation, and sent with haste that is evidenced by typos and misspellings. Letter writers are generally different. They mull. The topics they choose often suggest considerable time spent reflecting. And the issues they raise frequently have nothing to do with recent Guardian coverage of news and current affairs."

Amy Fenton, chief reporter of The Mail, Barrow-in-Furness, on HoldTheFrontPage“Over the last 18 months I’ve been subjected to some of the most vile and vociferous abuse on social media solely for doing my job. I’ve been threatened, targeted, belittled and humiliated by mostly anonymous bullies who seem to relish the prospect of hurting and scaring me. During that time I have involved the police on three separate occasions, for what I and my editor believed were legitimate grounds, only to be told that as a ‘public figure’ such abuse has to be expected."