Thursday, 17 August 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Kavanagh hits back in Sun racism row to only one journalist was in court to hear how police paid a child rapist

Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun: "SOME Sun readers may have missed the concocted explosion of Labour and Islamic hysteria over a column I wrote on Monday about Muslim sex gangs.This fake fury was largely confined to a small circulation, mostly-online newspaper and a letter from Labour lefties dragooned by the Muslim Council of Britain. My offence was to write about the attitude of predatory Muslim men towards white women – what I called “the Muslim Problem”.I was instantly denounced for fomenting a Nazi-style “Final Solution” comparable only with the Jewish Holocaust. It was a ludicrous, offensive and perverse distortion of the truth. A letter calling for my dismissal signed by 105 cross-party MPs was led by Labour’s Naz Shah, the Bradford MP suspended last year for anti-Semitism."

From the letter sent to Sun editor Tony Gallagher, signed by107 MPs, as reported by the Independent“It is shocking that in the 21st century a columnist is using such Nazi-like terminology about a minority community...We implore you to not only retract this article but given the sacking of Mr Myers following his disgraceful anti-Semitic article in the The [Sunday] Times, strongly consider whether Mr Kavanagh’s brand of bigotry fits with your vision for the paper.”

Brendan O'Neill on Spiked on the MPs letter to the Sun's editor: "They want the article taken down and Kavanagh taken down too: the letter asks the Sun’s editor to think about whether ‘Mr Kavanagh’s brand of bigotry fits with your vision for the paper’. Who do they think they are? For 350 years Britain has had a press largely free from state interference, independent of the political class, and yet here we have a significant section of the legislative arm of government — a sixth of it — issuing dire warnings to a newspaper. The arrogance and disregard for historically hard-won liberties are astonishing. And the precedent set is a potentially lethal one: if politicians get the idea that they can bully the press whenever it says something they don’t like, then we’re all in trouble."

NUJ ethics council chair Chris Frost, in a statement, calling for the Independent Press Standards Organisation to investigate racism in the press following Trevor Kavanagh's Sun article which referred to "The Muslim Problem": "Trevor Kavanagh's comments are an abuse of free speech and the press standards watchdog should accept complaints that traduce social groups in our society. Kavanagh is using the actions of a small group of individuals to place blame on a whole religion of 1.8 billion people.  IPSO should launch an immediate investigation into the prevalence of Islamophobia, racism and hatred espoused in the press. IPSO claim to be set apart from their predecessor, the Press Complaints Commission, because they can run investigations and do monitoring - now is the time to prove it."

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion resigning as shadow secretary for women and equalities after writing an article in the Sun about grooming gangs, as reported by BBC News: "I apologise for the offence caused by the extremely poor choice of words in the Sun article on Friday. I am concerned that my continued position in the shadow cabinet would distract from the crucial issues around child protection which I have campaigned on my entire political career. It is therefore with regret that I tender my resignation as shadow secretary of state for women and equalities."

Mo Farah, as reported by the Telegraph: “I find it bizarre how certain ­people write certain things to suit how they want to sell the story. Sometimes, you guys get to me – you never write the facts. The fact is, over the years, I have achieved a lot through hard work and pain. If I have crossed the line – ‘Mo Farah has done something wrong’ – then prove it. I've achieved what I have achieved - you're trying to destroy it.”

Tony Blair, interviewed by Patrick Hennessy, on BBC Radio 4: "What we should've been doing is trying to get to a situation where the media was not so empowered and instead what we did was empower them significantly because we played into that theme or that climate they operated in. This is something now with social media has become a bigger bigger media so far from being a discipline on conventional media has put a booster rocket on the worst aspects of the conventional media...We back then were determined not to be kicked around like Neil [Kinnock] and his team had been."

HoldTheFrontPage reports"A council rejected a weekly newspaper’s Freedom of Information request because of the 'unnecessary distress' it would cause to the authority’s former chief executive. Teignbridge Council has knocked back two requests from the Mid-Devon Advertiser for the details of the pay-off given to Nicola Bulbeck, who served as the authority’s chief executive until June. In turning down the Advertiser’s latest request, the authority said the information concerned Ms Bulbeck’s private life because it related to her 'identity and financial standing'."

The Society of Editors: "The publisher and CEO of the world’s most popular English-language newspaper website will deliver this year’s Society of Editors’ Lecture. Martin Clarke, who launched MailOnline in its current form in 2008, will deliver the prestigious address at the Society’s ‘Fighting for Real News’ conference on 12 November in Cambridge."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian: "If you want a definition of irony, then consider this. Martin Clarke, publisher of Mail Online, is to deliver the keynote lecture at the coming Society of Editors’ conference on 'fighting for real news'. According to a press release, the agenda will focus on 'the importance of original reporting, analysis and comment on both print and digital platforms'. Original reporting? Many of my former students who have worked for Mail Online have told me that their entire shifts were taken up by rewriting articles from newspapers and magazines...Yes, he can point to the fact that his site has a vast readership. But what 'real news' will he be able publish in future when all the ripped-off media outlets are forced out of business because of Mail Online’s activities?"

Jacqui Hodgson, editor of BBC factual programmes North East, on the About the BBC Blog reveals how there was only one reporter, Inside Out producer Dan Farthingin court to hear how police paid £10,000 to XY, a child rapist to go undercover: "Dan was following a series of interlinked trials of more than twenty Asian men, accused of grooming vulnerable young teenagers in the west end of Newcastle. Reporting restrictions banning broadcasts until the conclusion of the final trial meant we’d seen little early evidence of Dan’s regular days on the press bench. Then, out of the blue, the prosecution revealed Northumbria Police had used a CHIS - a covert human intelligence source - to supply information on so-called 'parties' where teenagers were plied with drink and drugs and sexually assaulted. And in this case, the CHIS chosen by Northumbria Police was a man convicted as part of a group who raped a child in 2002. In an extraordinary turn of events, XY, as he was known, had fallen out with his police handler and was threatening to go to the press - alleging he’d been asked to plant drugs and even drive girls to the 'parties'. His fee from the public purse? More than ten thousand pounds. For the lone figure on the press bench it was a red flag moment...had producer Dan not been paying attention in his lone press bench vigil - perhaps none of us would have been any the wiser."

Northumbria Police in a warning to journalists after the Newcastle grooming trial, as published by Press Gazette: “Despite issuing two notes to media requesting journalists do not directly contact victims we are aware that some media are still continuing to do this and have provided them with an update from court. We would like to make it clear that we are incredibly concerned this is having a damaging effect on the victims and has the potential to cause them psychological harm. If we become aware any further approaches are made by journalists to contact victims and they have been previously asked to stop that journalist will be served with a harassment notice.”

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: Is PR a better career move than churnalism? to US press hits back at leaks crackdown and a new paper is launched

Agency Provocateur on Press Gazette: "As a career, PR offers young journalists stability, a chance to move up the ladder and a decent wage – at least eventually. Why the hell wouldn’t a trainee graduate with half a brain move over to a profession where they get a chance to be creative rather than one where they sit at a desk rewriting copy from other journalists who did the hard work in the first place?"

Catherine Mayer in the Observer: “I literally know not one single female journalist who has not been in some way discriminated against in the work place, or harassed, whether by interviewees or colleagues or both.”

Ray Snoddy quoted the Observer: “What we’ve seen this year is that ‘mainstream media’ has changed from a general description into a term of abuse. We’ve seen trust in media ebb and flow over many years but there’s been nothing like this before. There is now a completely different way of self-manufacturing and distributing news outside of the mainstream. These new outlets can be very diverse and exciting, but they exist outside any conventional sense of journalistic principles – of fact-checking and at least trying to get it objectively right.”

Nick Cohen in the Observer: "Russian nobles decided that Grigori Rasputin was such a threat to the empire they poisoned him, shot him and dumped his body in a tributary of the Neva. They didn’t stop the reckoning of the Russian Revolution. Nick Timothy, by contrast, has received jobs as columnists on the Telegraph and Sun. The Tory press is his natural home, where his ability to strike radical right postures without a thought for the consequences will be appreciated."

Chris Deerin in The Herald on Nick Timothy becoming a newspaper columnist: "When it emerged recently that he had been asked to write a weekly newspaper column, the response – an outrageous reward for failure – was as hysterical as it was bizarre. Shouldn’t the man be able to earn a living? Must he live in a remote cave, surviving on roots and berries, until the mob decides his penance is served? Aren’t his thoughts, now that he has popped out of the other side of the pipeline of power, of interest?"

The Sunday Times [£] in a leader: "Last weekend we published a column about BBC presenters’ pay in the Irish edition of this newspaper and online which included unacceptable comments that caused offence to many, in particular to the Jewish community. We removed the article and apologised promptly to Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, who had been named in the column. Now we apologise to our readers.Newspapers publish controversial articles that often cause upset. It is important to generate forthright debate about issues affecting our lives. It is also important, however, not to publish comments that overstep the mark. Where this column did so, we are deeply sorry."

Donald J. Trump‏ on Twitter: "Hard to believe that with 24/7 #Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTIMES & WAPO, the Trump base is getting stronger!"

US attorney general Jeff Sessions, as reported by Politico: “We respect the important role that the press plays and we will give them respect, but it is not unlimited. They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. We must balance the press’ role with protecting national security and the lives of those who serve in the intelligence community and all law-abiding Americans.”

The Chicago Tribune in a leader: "The job of preventing leaks belongs to the federal government, which has plenty of existing tools to do so. If the Trump administration can't keep its own secrets, it shouldn't expect the news media to do that job."

The San Francisco Chronicle in a leader: "The value of whistle-blowers and an unencumbered media to a democracy is not hypothetical. The history of government lies — throughout the Vietnam War, the malfeasance of Watergate and, more recently, the government’s use of torture and illegal surveillance of Americans — all came to light only through anonymous sources. The embattled Sessions, channeling the president who belittles him, is going down a dangerous path."

Tyler Brûlé, editor in chief and chairman of MONOCLE, on the launch of his new newspaper:Monocle – The Summer Weekly is our latest adventure in ink and paper. Everyone is very down about newspapers but there is some- thing very exciting about this form. You don’t mind if it gets a bit of suncream on it, or if it gets waterlogged. It can follow you around for the day – or for the week. We thought that August was the perfect time to let people dive into this again.”


Thursday, 3 August 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From when will print newspapers die? to Saudi takes stake in the Indy

Brian Cathcart on Byline predicts the end of printed newspapers: "The press is a very close-knit industry despite its affectations of rivalry, and the companies are prone to group-think, so instead of a series of dismal one-by-one announcements there could be a big bang, maybe around 2025, with almost all the rest of the titles stopping their daily presses within a few months. When that big bang comes, the great, sad obituaries of the printed morning newspaper will be written and many who have seen newspapers in their pomp will shed a tear, but the bitter truth is that for most people in this country – that is, for the very large numbers who have stopped buying them over the past few years or who never started buying them – print papers are already dead."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian on the Brexit supporting right-wing tabloid press: "Where once they affected to inform, they now indulge in undisguised propaganda. Where once they were merely conservative, they are now defiantly reactionary. Where once they shouted, they now scream."

Ian Jack in the Guardian,  on his days on the subs desk on the Scottish Daily Express in the 1960s: "We were a kind of brotherhood. What did we have in common? That we were all men, that none of us had a university degree, that we worked night shifts, that most of us smoked, that we hated excessive length in reporters’ copy...Headlines were the pinnacle of the craft. A typeface such as 72-point Century Bold Expanded allows very few letters across two columns and it could be a struggle to find words that would fit – it was writing headlines that turned me into a smoker. 'FIRST FLUSH OF VICTORY,' I wrote proudly one night, over a planning row about new public toilets in Inverness. 'We’ll have no puns about piss and shit in this newspaper,' said the chief sub sternly, and told me to try again."

Jeremy Corbyn interviewed in the NUJ's national executive digital magazine Informed: “The print media have not been particularly fair to me or to Labour. Broadcast media coverage has varied greatly. We have had issues with various parts of BBC broadcasting, although I am a strong supporter of the BBC and a licence fee. In the election campaign what fundamentally changed was our intensive use of social media and a very good social-media team. Broadcasting rules mean that, instead of talking about political process, we got more of a hearing and were able to shift the focus of the debate.”

Ex-White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, according to Ryan Lizzi in the New Yorker, when seeking the source of a leak: “You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”

Anthony Scaramucci on Twitter: "I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won't happen again."

Middle East Eye reports: "A mysterious Saudi-based investor has ploughed millions of dollars into a British news organisation renowned for championing liberal causes, in a move that will enrage human rights and press freedom campaigners. Sultan Mohamed Abuljadayel, 42, listed in company records as a Saudi-based Saudi Arabian national, has acquired up to 50 percent of the Independent website, whose newspaper shook Britain's journalism establishment in the 1980s before struggling financially and ditching the printed word in 2016."

Independent editor Christian Broughton in an email to staff, reported by Press Gazette: “I have been given cast-iron, unequivocal reassurances that we will be able to continue to publish as we see fit about Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East, just as we always have, including throughout the period of the negotiations that have led to this new investment."

Amol Rajan on his BBC blog:"The Independent newspaper - of which I was editor between June 2013 and its closure last March - was founded by idealists who wanted an upmarket, centrist paper free from editorial interference. Goodness know what they would have made of the modern publication, a left-wing multi-platform digital title, pursuing a viral social media strategy with frequently salacious stories, whose main owners are the son of a former KGB economic attaché and the scion of Saudi property owners."

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Prince William blasts paparazzi, beauty and the Beeb and where have all the working class journalists gone?

Prince William on ITV's 'Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy' about the paparazzi: "If you are the Princess of Wales and you're a mother, I don't believe being chased by 30 guys on motorbikes who block your path, who spit at you to get a reaction from you… and make a woman cry in public to get a photograph, I don't believe that is appropriate. I sadly remember most of the time she ever cried about anything was to do with press intrusion. Harry and I, we had to live through that."

Rosamund Urwin in the London Evening Standard on BBC pay: "Scrutinise the list, and the whiff of sexism becomes a stench. The best-paid women — brilliant broadcasters though they are — are mostly beautiful. The men? No lookers in the top seven."

Janice Turner in The Times [£]: "Whenever a newsroom is portrayed on TV or film they make the journalists far too good-looking. We are not by and large an attractive industry. (I mean print medium here: a tighter filter operates in TV.)...It helps to remember that when people say politics is show business for ugly people many of them began as hacks."

Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times [£]: "We are not remunerated purely on the basis of the good we do in society, otherwise I’d get 20 times what Polly Toynbee earns."

Private Eye on that Impress ruling against Byline: "A system cooked up by a cross-party agreement, imposed at enormous public expense and intended as a universal system which would finally give the public confidence in self-regulation by the national press, has ended up with a white elephant overseeing arcane personal squabbles among a tiny, incestuous circle at loggerheads over the very subject of press regulation itself. Trebles all round."

Peter Veron in the Columbia Journalism Review on ex-White house press secretary Sean Spicer: "The temptation is to view Spicer as a tragic, beleaguered figure, placed in an untenable position by a boss who demanded absolute loyalty. Don’t do it. Spicer proved on his first full day in office that he had no qualms about defending an ultimately meaningless falsehood. For six months, he presided over a communications team that actively undermined the work of the press."

The Times [£] in a leader: "It has taken four years for The Times, together with the Oxford Mail, to secure the right to identify a millionaire businessman named in evidence in a landmark child sex grooming trial in which five men were jailed for life. This has been a battle not only to assert the rights of a free press but also to fulfil its duties to the public. It has taken so long because lawyers for the businessman, Tariq Khuja, have argued at the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court that his right to privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights outweighed any public interest in the fact that he was arrested in connection with this case and mentioned several times at the trial."

Mike Gilson in chapter from a new book Brexit, Trump and the Media, edited by Tor Clark, Neil Fowler and John Mair, serialised on HoldTheFrontPage: "Journalists often joke they got into the trade because they were poor at mathematics but even we can work out that the loss of 8,000 jobs since 2008 and the need to feed multi-platforms at the same time has seriously damaged the ability to properly rather than superficially cover the patch. The democratic deficit caused by journalism’s crisis is not just a neat phrase. It is real and, for me, it played a part in the degradation of debate, whatever side you were on, that we saw in the run up to June 23 last year."

Lewis Goodall, SKY News political correspondent, says analysis of the BBC pay list shows 45% of the Corporation's best paid stars went to private schools: "We're supposed to be the ones who find and tell the stories that matter to our audiences, and for the BBC, all of its licence fee payers. How are we supposed to do that if we are drawn from an increasingly narrow social caste? Maybe, just maybe, if we had more kids in journalism who grew up in tower blocks, we'd have been better at shining a light on the living conditions of some of our fellow citizens, like those who lived and died in Grenfell Tower. Or we would be less disposed to the curse of group think which has led journalists to call it wrong time after time in recent years, whether it be Corbyn, Trump or Brexit."

Newsnight's diplomatic correspondent Mark Urban on Twitter:1/Lots of discussion today about opportunities in UK journalism, class and privilege. Some observations from 30+ years in TV & papers...2/ A double whammy of London rents/property prices & falling real wages is a big factor helping those with money to go for entry level jobs...3/ Opportunity has declined steeply - Newsnight day desk had three times as many junior producers in 1980s than now, papers it's even worse..4/ as anyone trying to get a foothold in journalism will tell you,unpaid internships, & exploitative short term contracts are new normal now.


Thursday, 20 July 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: Don't use pay to bash the BBC, embargo buster Piers Morgan and what Theresa May told Donald Trump about UK press

Simon Kelner in the i: "I simply don’t understand where the publication of the BBC’s top earners gets anyone. It’s an exercise in embarrassment, instituted by a supine government in response to pressure from Rupert Murdoch and the Daily Mail. It is intrusive, grubby and, in fact, pretty meaningless, and plays only to the baser, voyeuristic instincts of the general public, while providing ammunition for the commercial and political enemies of the BBC."

Séamus Dooley, acting NUJ general secretary in a statement: "The NUJ represents a vast number of talented, underpaid and badly resourced members within the BBC. Use of the word 'talent' to describe just the top layer of workers is misleading in that every programme depends on a dedicated and talented staff, many of whom earn a fraction of that paid to the top stars...I would warn against allowing understandable anger at the level of top pay to be used as a weapon against the BBC or the principle of public service broadcasting by those with a political or commercial agenda."

Les Hinton‏ on Twitter: "#BBC salaries huge but everyone in private media knows they're not outrageous. Gender pay gap is only shocker."

David Yelland‏ on Twitter: "Anti-BBC front pages no surprise. Triples all round for John Whittingdale! I bet he'll even get dinner!.....I earned more than all the news and current affairs BBC staff on that list - other than Presenters- as Editor of The Sun. In 2003."
20 hours ago
20 hours ago

Piers Morgan‏ on Twitter: "I'd like to apologise to all fellow journalists I scooped on BBC salary story. I can't help being this good at my job, unfortunately."

Piers Morgan‏ on Twitter: "I'm also truly shocked at the size of these BBC salaries. They get out of bed for THAT?"

HuffPost reports: "Piers Morgan has been branded a 'bellend' after tweeting the pay of the BBC’s highest-paid stars before a pre-arranged embargo. The list of 109 names of those earning above £150,000 was given to journalists earlier this morning with the understanding it would not be published until 11am. Morgan ignored the embargo and began tweeting the list at 10:08 am."

Alastair Stewart on Twitter: "#BBCpay Breaking an embargo, with stuff we've all been sitting on for hours, is not a 'scoop', it is naff, delusional & unprofessional."Beth 

Beth Rigby‏ on Twitter: "@piersmorgan is utterly disgraceful to break embargo when hacks gathered at BBC for press conference & respected lock-in. Shame on him."

Ex-Number 10 communications director Katie Perrior in The Times [£] on Theresa May's former joint chief of stahff Fiona Hill: "I once stopped her going to join a bunch of political journalists at the back of the plane on the way home from a foreign trip, dressed head to toe in flannelette pyjamas and two bottles of red wine down. In hindsight, I should have bloody well let her go."

Ross Barkan in the Guardian on the closure of local newspapers in the US: "Decades ago, when small cities and towns had viable newspapers, even the most conservative readers could rail against the liberal monoliths on TV and in New York while consuming their local dailies. Reporters weren’t villains: they were neighbors, and the editor-in-chief a town fixture. We can hate most what we don’t know. If a newspaper doesn’t operate near you for a hundred miles and you only see a live journalist if one swoops in during a presidential election – or one never shows up at all – you only know what you read about on Facebook or watch on Fox News. There is no lived reality to draw from. There are only the images and the hate, symbols and distortion."

Royal Charter backed press regulator IMPRESS reports: "An arbitrator [Clive Thorne] has made an award of damages in the first legal dispute to be resolved under the IMPRESS arbitration scheme. Dennis Rice [ former investigations editor of the Mail on Sunday], the claimant, contacted IMPRESS to make a request for arbitration to settle a legal claim of defamation, harassment and malicious falsehood, arising from two tweets sent out from the Byline Media Twitter account on 6th March 2017...An award was finalised on 6th July and published on 13th July. In the award, Mr Thorne upheld the claim in part. He found one of the two tweets to be defamatory and ordered that damages of £2,500 be awarded to Mr Rice."

MediaGuido comments: "Try not to laugh too hard. The Leveson-compliant press regulator Impress has made its first adjudication, ruling against Byline Media, one of its most vocal defenders. Byline, the conspiracy theory site with tinfoil mad-hatter Peter Jukes as CEO, was found guilty of defaming tabloid journalist Dennis Rice and ordered to pay him £2,500 in damages. The irony is just too delicious. Byline signed up to Impress as part of its campaign against the tabloid press."

Peter Preston in The Observer: "The huge majority of papers backing Ipso may calculate that, as before, the sheer vehemence of their case against state-endorsed regulation will be enough to see off any renewed challenge. But no one should bank on it...There’s nothing more stupid and dangerous than sitting back and defining press freedom by whoever happens to win, or not win, an election."

John Harris who runs the Cavendish Press news agency in Manchester, quoted by Press Gazette Journalists are of course entitled to follow up news stories filed by others but as long as they do their own work on it such as getting extra background, extra quotes and extra pictures. Bashing the original version around a bit doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. Lifting court copy wholesale is not only irresponsible journalism but unethical and should have no place in today’s post-Leveson newsgathering operations."

The Society of Editors in a statement following concerns the House of Lords may once again attempt to force through Section 40 in the provisions in the Crime and Courts Act 2013 by tagging it on to other legislation: “Any further attempt during the next Parliament to force through costs provisions would rightly be judged as an appalling misuse of powers. It is absurd that while our elected, and unelected, officials are quick to condemn attacks on press freedom in Turkey and elsewhere, some remain steadfastly determined to push through legislation on their doorstep that seeks to punish those who are innocent and fine them for telling the truth. It has now been more than three years since Section 40 has been wielded over the newspaper industry like the sword of Damocles and it is time that parliament united in recognising the genuine threat that the legislation poses and takes steps to repeal it with immediate effect.”

Sir Ray Tindle handing over control of his Tindle Newspapers group to his son, Owen, quoted by Press Gazette: "I see a greater need for our local press now than I have ever seen in my 80 or so years connected with this business. Yes, local papers will survive. Local news in depth is what people need. Names, faces and places. There is no doubt about it – sufficient demand is still there. Local detailed news is in a category of its own. It has survived many years. It will live forever."

Theresa May, according to the Sun, after Donald Trump claimed he hadn't been getting great coverage over his proposed visit to the UK: “Well, you know what the British press are like.”