Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Quotes of the Week: The Observer's Cambridge Analytica scoop defied legal threats and abuse and shows why we need to pay for journalism

The Observer's Carole Cadwalladr‏ @carolecadwalla on Twitter: "Yesterday @facebook threatened to sue us. Today we publish this. Meet the whistleblower blowing the lid off Facebook & Cambridge Analytica."

Carole Cadwalladr‏ @carolecadwalla on Twitter: "If you are watching the Cambridge Analytica story unfold, please please support our journalism. We’ve fought off 3 legal threats from CA & 1 from Facebook. It’s a whole year’s work & we gave it to @Channel4News & @nytimes for the greater good. We need you! "

Observer commissioning editor Kathryn Bromwich @kathryn42 on Twitter: "Over the past year @carolecadwalla has been ridiculed, threatened with lawsuits, threatened with violence, had her face Photoshopped into a variety of insulting scenarios, been given a stupid nickname by Julian Assange, and made a lot of very powerful people very angry."

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones @ruskin147 on Twitter: "The work of @carolecadwalla is evidence of why we need to pay for journalism."

Damian Collins MP, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, in a statement on Alexander Nix, the suspended ceo of Cambridge Analytica (above) : "From the evidence that has been published by The Guardian and The Observer this weekend, it seems clear that he has deliberately mislead the Committee and Parliament by giving false statements. We will be contacting Alexander Nix next week asking him to explain his comments, and answer further questions relating to the links between GSR and Cambridge Analytica, and its associate companies. We have repeatedly asked Facebook about how companies acquire and hold on to user data from their site, and in particular whether data had been taken from people without their consent. Their answers have consistently understated this risk, and have also been misleading to the Committee...I will be writing to Mark Zuckerberg asking that either he, or another senior executive from the company, appear to give evidence in front of the Committee as part our inquiry."

The Guardian in a leader: "Into the vacuum left by Facebook’s waffle, nation states are stepping. Many are despotisms, keen to use surveillance capitalism for direct political ends. They must be resisted. The standards by which the internet is controlled need to be open and subject to the workings of impartial judiciaries. But the task cannot and will not be left to the advertising companies that at present control most of the content – and whose own judgments are themselves almost wholly opaque and arbitrary."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Political debate is becoming invisible. It is taking place out of the sight of the traditional media and the time-honoured mechanisms of accountability. Technology has suddenly rendered the truth-ensuring properties of liberal democracies unsafe. In the opaque online world untruths can flourish and spread. Even when the news disseminated is not untrue it may be partisan or it may be selective. This has always been true of political argument but it has always taken place before in plain sight. Political argument, in every previous age, has declared itself as political argument. Now it is arriving in the inbox dressed as impartial truth. This vastly complex and vital question will not be addressed by Facebook and CA coming to parliament and explaining themselves but they must do so anyway as a matter of urgency. The evasive and slippery attitudes of the tech companies are making a bad problem worse."

Index on Censorship chair David Aaronovich in a letter to supporters: "Jan Kuciak, a journalist investigating links between organised crime and politics, was shot dead – along with his fiancée. This happened not in a war zone, not in a dictatorship, but in Slovakia: an EU member state. When I became chair of Index on Censorship five years ago, I was naïve. Back then I thought that, in the West at least, the idea of freedom of speech and expression was largely a fought and won battle, and that internationally the Force was with us. I’ve learned a lot in that half decade. I’ve seen great gains in countries such as Turkey thrown into sharp reverse, with life sentences for journalists just doing their job. I’ve seen not just the murder of Kuciak, but also the killing of an investigative journalist in Malta for exposing corruption. I’ve seen cartoonists gunned down in their office in a European capital city and then blamed for their own murders."

George Osborne interviewed in The Drum about taking the editorship of the Evening Standard: “I could have chosen to do other things. The fact that I decided this was an exciting thing to do, edit the Evening Standard, is because I have faith in the print product and I have faith in newspapers. I look abroad to the US and I see a revival in quality journalism there and I think there is a space here.”

Jeremy Lewis, who is leaving the Nottingham Post after 37 years, speaking to HoldTheFrontPage“I was fortunate to have worked through the last of the provincial industry’s prosperous years. In the Brian Clough era the Post, then a family-owned independent, sent its Forest reporter on European Cup away legs aboard the company jet...It’s the right time to go. I’m not sure if websites will ever be loved in the way that provincial dailies were once loved, but I hope everyone strives to make them authoritative and respected.”

Tony Blair on the Daily Mail, quoted by in the Independent: “The Daily Mail when I came to power was pro-Europe. I don’t think the editor-in-chief of the time, who tragically died a year into the Labour government [Sir David English], would ever have allowed it to go into this bellicose anti-Europe position.”


Thursday, 15 March 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From put local and frontline journalists on press review panel to is it time to pension off press regulator Impress?

NUJ president Tim Dawson on Press Gazette on the Cairncross Review into the future sustainability of the press, announced by Culture Secretary Matt Hancock : "There are plenty of interesting names on his panel – a major newspaper publisher, an eminent former editor, an online newspaper editor and a ‘brand strategist’ among them. What the panel lacks, extraordinarily, is anyone representing journalists themselves."

Steve Dyson on HoldTheFrontPage: "I hate to be a party pooper, but this new Cairncross Review into the future of the UK press has got a worrying ‘lack of local depth’ smell about it. Let’s take Dame Frances Cairncross herself: her experience as a senior editor at The Economist and an economic columnist for The Guardian gives her plenty of insight into national business journals and broadsheets. But how aware is she of the paucity of the regional press, its lack of resources to staff local news properly, and its rapidly dwindling stature in the minds of most readers?"

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement:
"When the government announced its external review to examine the sustainability of the UK's press, the NUJ welcomed it. Today the Culture Secretary announced the review is to be headed by Dame Frances Cairncross and has named the panel. None of those named represent journalists on the ground who can explain exactly the effect of the present troubles in the industry are having on their ability to produce quality journalism and connect with their communities. We hope Matt Hancock can ensure that the journalist's voice is heard during the process."

Mark Di Stefano @MarkDiStef on Twitter: "I’m told the FT has responded to @ShippersUnbound late night tweet (“Do any of the judges actually read newspapers? … The FT is a pompous Remoaner comic”) which was later deleted. The newsroom sent a bottle of pink champagne to him."

The Times [£] in a leader: "A new study, published in the journal Science, reports that fake news travels “faster, deeper and more broadly” than the truth. It may concern politics, terrorism, natural disasters, health or finance. Rather than automated systems, its vectors are likely to be ordinary people, tweeting, retweeting and sharing. Irrespective of how lies begin, a great many of us may be complicit in spreading them."

Danny Baker @prodnose on Twitter on working for the NME: "The NME never once asked me where I studied. Or what certificates I had. Or where I saw myself in 5 years. They just sent you to see some band and asked for 400 words on them. If they liked it they'd give you an album to review. Next thing you know you're in New York..."

Ben Macintyre in The Times [£]: "NME had a reputation for being the towering arbiter of popular musical taste. Now, as with so much internet-driven opinion, you the listener are the critic who matters most and not some coked-up, self-conscious pop guru trying to write like Hunter S Thompson."

Daily Mail reports: "A university employing the founder of the anti-Press body Hacked Off was at the centre of a racism row last night over donations worth tens of thousands of pounds from unrepentant former neo-fascist tycoon Max Mosley through a family trust. Kingston University said it had received one donation of £45,000 from the Mosley family trust to fund ‘historical research’ for Brian Cathcart, a professor of journalism, to write a book on the Battle of Waterloo."

Brian Cathcart on Inforrm's blog : "Today, Max Mosley supports the cause of press reform, a cause I see as vital both for the protection of ordinary people in this country and for the future of decent journalism. With others he is working in legal and constitutional ways, not for something subversive, but for something that could hardly be more respectable and conventional – the implementation of the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry and of the package of measures passed by Parliament in 2013 with the support of every single political party."

BBC director general Tony Hall, appealing to the United Nations in Geneva to protect the human rights of BBC journalists and their families in Iran: “The BBC is taking the unprecedented step of appealing to the United Nations because our own attempts to persuade the Iranian authorities to end their harassment have been completely ignored. In fact, during the past nine years, the collective punishment of BBC Persian Service journalists and their families has worsened. This is not just about the BBC – we are not the only media organisation to have been harassed or forced to compromise when dealing with Iran. In truth, this story is much wider: it is a story about fundamental human rights. We are now asking the community of nations at the UN to support the BBC and uphold the right to freedom of expression.”

Ray Snoddy in The Journalist: "It is more than time to rule out formally a Leveson Two and finally accept the Leveson error of state oversight of newspaper regulation. Then acknowledge the reality of independent press regulator IPSO, despite its imperfections, and pension off the Gilbert and Sullivan Press Recognition Panel and its only child Impress."


Thursday, 8 March 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From most people don't feel journalists look, sound, think, or feel like them to paper says sorry for a front page after 21 years

Amol Rajan giving the Bob Friend Lecture at the University of Kent: "My concern is that the crisis of trust in newspapers is directly related to the fact that most people don't feel journalists look, sound, think, or feel like them in the way they used to. The gradual decline of Britain's tabloid newspapers accentuates this. Of course the tabloids have done some awful things, and coarsened our culture; but in their heyday they were tribunes of the poor. The Mirror of my hero, Hugh Cudlipp, carried a slogan below its masthead: 'Forward with the People'. I just can't think of many British media organisations that espouse that philosophy now. Similarly, local papers made journalism a reasonably remunerated trade for those from poorer backgrounds around the country. But no more, for the most part."

Paul Cheal, Time Inc. UK group managing director, announcing NME is stop publishing a print version and go digital only, as reported by Music Business Worldwide: NME is one of the most iconic brands in British media and our move to free print has helped to propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on NME.COM. The print re-invention has helped us to attract a range of cover stars that the previous paid-for magazine could only have dreamed of. At the same time, we have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. Unfortunately we have now reached a point where the free weekly magazine is no longer financially viable. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”

New Statesman editor Jason Cowley on why the magazine is introducing a paywall: "Recent years have seen our print magazine revitalised, while our website has continued to introduce millions of readers to our celebrated journalism. But great writing isn’t cheap, and we don’t want to rely on advertisers alone. While we’re happy for you to continue to read some of our content for free, we’re asking those who get the most out of the New Statesman online to contribute to our journalism."

Index on Censorship in a statement: "Index on Censorship welcomes the announcement by Secretary of State Matthew Hancock that the government will not implement Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. Implementing Section 40 would have meant that Index, which refuses to sign up to a state-backed regulator – and many other small publishers – could have faced crippling court costs in any dispute, whether they won or lost a case. This would have threatened investigative journalists publishing important public interest stories, as well as those who challenge the powerful and wealthy."

The Times [£]: in a leader: The post-Leveson architecture of press regulation stands exposed as iniquitous and illiberal. Impress should get no further public funds. And press liberty should never again be treated by policymakers with such insouciant disregard. he post-Leveson architecture of press regulation stands exposed as iniquitous and illiberal. Impress should get no further public funds. And press liberty should never again be treated by policymakers with such insouciant disregard."

The Guardian in a leader: "Proceeding with Leveson 2 would raise the threat of press regulation while there is no sign of a regulatory framework for Silicon Valley firms that would make the polluter pay."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement"Leveson Part 2 is unfinished business. It is vital that the public learns the extent of the unlawful conduct within News International and other publications. Recent settlements made by Trinity Mirror with individuals whose phones had been hacked demonstrate the industrial scale of the problem. The corporate cover-ups of phone hacking has resulted in costly litigation, significant payoffs to hacking victims at the same time as ruining the careers of many journalists who have been shafted by their employers. This has all served to damage trust in journalism and completing this inquiry would play a crucial role in restoring that trust."

Neville Thurlbeck‏ @nthurlbeck on Twitter: "Having witnessed Leveson One from close quarters as a participant, I found it skewed against the tabloid press and a waste of time and public money. The only beneficiaries were the wallets of a few sneering lawyers."

Hacked Off director Dr Evan Harris in a statement“This is probably the first time that a Government has over-ruled the views of the judicial Chair of a statutory Inquiry by cancelling an inquiry against his will. If this was any other industry the press would demanding that an inquiry must happen immediately, but when it is about them they applaud the cover-up of a cover up. The Government will find it very difficult to maintain this cover-up for long.”

Chris Williamson MP‏@DerbyChrisW on Twitter: "Today's statement in the House of Commons, formally closing the 2nd half of the #Leveson Inquiry, demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Tories are in the pocket of the gutter press. But make no mistake #ChangeIsComing with the next Labour Govt."

Culture secretary Matt Hancock, in his Commons statement on scrapping Leveson 2 and aiming to repeal Section 40, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage“Our local papers, in particular, are under severe pressure. Local papers help to bring together local voices and shine a light on important local issues – in communities, in courtrooms, in council chambers. And as we devolve power further to local communities, they will become even more important. And yet, over 200 local newspapers have closed since 2015, including two in my own constituency. There are also new challenges, that were only in their infancy back in 2011. We have seen the dramatic and continued rise of social media, which is largely unregulated. And issues like clickbait, fake news, malicious disinformation and online abuse, which threaten high quality journalism. A foundation of any successful democracy is a sound basis for political discourse. This is under threat from these new forces that require urgent attention. These are today’s challenges and this is where we need to focus.”

Olly Duff in the I: "The two most powerful publishers on Earth, Google and Facebook, have created a socially destructive news ecosystem in the UK that imperils thousands of titles. This includes small publishers vital to the communities they serve, as well as national newsrooms needed to scrutinise the most powerful interests. Digital advertising revenue is siphoned off by the tech giants with no recompense for the “content” shared. With every passing month newspapers shutter their doors. This is unsustainable, a crisis for our democracy and society. The Culture Secretary, Matt Hancock, wants a solution, and has announced a review into the future sustainability of news publishers. Without lasting change here, Britain’s brilliant investigative journalism will become an anachronism, harming us all."

Jeremy Vine‏@theJeremyVine on Twitter: "This reminds me of the old adage: 'Never pick an argument with a man who buys his ink by the gallon'."

Mike Norton, editor of the Bristol Post, apologising for a front page published 21 years ago featuring 16 police pictures of black men jailed for dealing in crack cocaine under the headline 'Faces of Evil': "I don’t blame the journalists who conceived it. I wasn’t the editor then but - if I had been - I’m sure I would have published the page, too. But it was a huge mistake. That one image essentially destroyed what little credibility and trust the Post had within Bristol’s African and Afro-Caribbean community. So, today, I want to apologise for that page. I want to say sorry for the hurt it caused - and continues to cause - to an entire community of my city. Moreover, I want to try to make amends for it."


Thursday, 1 March 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: Will we end up with just two local newspaper groups? Mail finds 'vile' Mosley pamphlet and Matt's not funny says Labour

Chris Morley, Newsquest NUJ co-ordinator, quoted by Press Gazette, on the proposed takeover by Newsquest of the CN newspaper group in Cumbria: “The rate of takeover of independent newspaper operators is speeding up with apparently just two big players in the market – Trinity Mirror and Newsquest. With Johnston Press paralysed by its debts, the industry seems to be moving to a duopoly of giant owners which is incredibly dangerous for diversity, given the ruthless substitution of unique content for shared material, and plurality of the media. There is too little choice for readers and too few opportunities for journalists."

Alice Pickthall, media analyst at Enders, quoted by the Guardian“In order to survive, consolidation is key to compete with the online players and retain some share of digital advertising. As the digital market grows, publishers aren’t seeing a proportionate amount of share gain. Facebook has had an especially big impact on the local market. If a local business is offered a lovely shiny [presence] on Facebook who wouldn’t use it? The largest [traditional] players in the market will win, they will continue to pick up smaller publishers to maintain scale in a shrinking market.”

Culture secretary Matt Hancock in the Commons announcing part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry into the behaviour of the press will not go ahead, as reported by the Guardian"We do not believe that this costly and time consuming public inquiry is the right way forward... It’s clear that we’ve seen significant progress, from publications, from the police and from the new regulator. The world has changed since the Leveson inquiry was established in 2011. Since then we have seen seismic changes to the media landscape.”

Daily Mail after uncovering a racist pamphlet published in the 1960s by Max Mosley, the privacy campaigner and supporter of press regulator Impress: "The discovery of the Mosley pamphlet – arguably one of the most racist official leaflets ever published in a modern British parliamentary election – raises the question of whether Mr Mosley committed perjury, which carries a prison sentence of up to seven years, and whether the trial might have had a different outcome if the judge had known of its existence."

The Times [£] in a leader on Max Mosley and Impress: "To have a supposedly independent press regulator backed by the state was always a contradiction in terms. For it to be dependent on funds handed down by a supporter of Hitler to a motor-racing tycoon with a personal grudge against certain newspapers did not resolve this contradiction. A press regulator cannot credibly be anti-press any more than Ofsted could be anti-school. That is why Impress’s authority is not recognised by a single significant national news outlet. It is less a regulator than a privacy campaign group in disguise, kept afloat by someone whose chief motivation appears to be to prevent the press investigating his own past. It should be wound up, saving Mr Mosley large sums and leaving the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) to regulate the press."

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch,  as reported by CNN: "Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. Now I'm not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media."

Matt Ferner on Twitter: "There's nothing more horrific, crushing, draining & painful than covering mass shootings. I vomited while covering the San Bernardino attack I was so overwhelmed. I often can't sleep for days after going to shooting sites, so many I've lost count. No love, I literally hate them."

Mike Lowe‏ @cotslifeeditor on Twitter: "Breaking news: I hear of a newspaper where management has been so spooked by the number of factual and grammatical errors in direct-to-web content that they've had to create a little team of proof-readers/checkers to oversee content. I think they're called 'subs'."

The Telegraph in a celebration of cartoonist Matt Pritchard's 30 years with the paper:  "Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, was also invited to join the anniversary celebrations. His team politely declined, saying none of the Matt cartoons they had seen about Mr Corbyn were funny."


Thursday, 22 February 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From press hits back at 'creepy and sinister' Corbyn after he warns right-wing media owners 'change is coming' to Christiane Amanpour on sexual harassment in the newsroom

Jeremy Corbyn in a video message on YouTube"In the last few days, The Sun, The Mail, The Telegraph and The Express have all gone a little bit James Bond.t's easy to laugh, but something more serious is happening. Publishing these ridiculous smears that have been refuted by Czech officials shows just how worried the media bosses are by the prospect of a Labour government. They're right to be. Labour will stand up to the powerful and corrupt - and take the side of the many, not the few. A free press is essential for democracy and we don't want to close it down, we want to open it up. At the moment, much of our press isn't very free at all. In fact it's controlled by billionaire tax exiles, who are determined to dodge paying their fair share for our vital public services. Instead of learning these lessons they're continuing to resort to lies and smears. Their readers - you, all of us - deserve so much better. Well, we've got news for them: change is coming."

Ex-Sun editor David Yelland‏ on Twitter: "What’s known as an attack strategy. He’s doing what no Labour leader has ever done here and standing up and hitting right back. Will it work? Is it wise? On balance he has nothing to lose whatsoever."

Paul Waugh‏ on Twitter: "Labour sources tell HuffPost what Corbyn means by 'change is coming' for newspaper owners: Lab Govt wd enact Leveson 2, hike taxes on the richest, launch inquiry into media plurality + crack down on tax dodging."

The Daily Telegraph in a leader: "There is something deeply disturbing about the leader of a major political party in this country telling the British journalistic industry – one of the most vibrant and free in the world, and an essential guard against complacency and corruption – that 'change is coming'. For those who still dismiss Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn as a harmless old fool, his message yesterday ought to serve as a wake up call...Quite frankly, it is rather creepy. Mr Corbyn seems to imply, in the manner of an old-school Soviet stooge, that the whole episode is a Right-wing plot. Instead of addressing the substance of the allegations, he goes on the attack. With a closing rictus he promises newspapers including this one that we will be forced to change our “bad old habits” under a Labour government. If he means asking inconvenient questions of those in power, without fear or favour, we will never do so voluntarily. Does he mean to use force? Such implicit compulsion is worthy of a leader in Moscow, not London."

The Sun in a leader: "Ask yourself why Corbyn regularly met a Communist spy. To help Britain? No. What’s in the Corbyn files East ­Germany’s secret police kept after his “holiday” behind the Iron Curtain? Oddly, he won’t allow their release. Instead, he makes a sinister video — like a deranged Jackanory episode — vowing revenge on the Press. Corbyn detests scrutiny, but our story is squarely in the public interest."

The Daily Mail in a leader: "His clear message is that under Labour the Press would have been banned from quoting from  the archives or interviewing Mr Sarkocy. The public would be kept in the dark."

Spectator editor Fraser Nelson on his blog after sales of the magazine hit a 190 year high: "Digital is behind the renaissance of print. The website brings millions of people to The Spectator and they can read two articles a week before being invited to subscribe for full access. When they do, the vast majority choose our print and digital package... The joy of a magazine is stumbling across new stories, finding the quality of writing draws you in to a subject that normally bores you. The vast majority of those on a trial subscription move on to a full subscription."

Mathew Ingram in the Columbia Journalism Review: "While it may be tempting to see Facebook as an evil overlord determined to crush media companies and journalists under its boots, most media companies find themselves in this predicament because they failed to adapt quickly enough, so in a sense they only have themselves to blame."

MEP and former Express political editor Patrick O'Flynn on his blog: "The Daily Express must not be turned into a toothless tiger but must continue to have licence to upset establishment apple carts in the interests of its patriotic readers. If Trinity Mirror can guarantee that then the takeover may well turn into a good thing. But given the political outlook of the national newspapers it already owns it should understand that many Daily Express readers will be rather sceptical."

Trinity Mirror in a statement, reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “Last autumn the Birmingham Mail began to pilot a new publishing approach aimed at creating a completely standalone and sustainable digital business under the new brand of BirminghamLive. We have been very pleased with the progress made in Birmingham where audience numbers are showing healthy increases since the switch to BirminghamLive, and today we are announcing plans to extend the model across the West and East Midlands, and our Bristol/Gloucester/Somerset/Dorset regions. We are also continuing to refine our print production operations in some of these regions. Our proposals will result in up to 49 roles being at risk of redundancy and we have today entered into consultation with those affected. The majority are likely to be print related roles.”

Chris Morley, Trinity Mirror NUJ coordinator in a statement: "In the days following the chief executive’s bragging that Trinity Mirror was a 'very profitable' company and putting millions of pounds in the pocket of Richard Desmond to buy the Express Newspapers stable off him, our members are incredulous at this savage blow to journalism across big parts of the group...The inquiry that Theresa May called for in the media cannot come soon enough to shine a searchlight on newspaper companies who continue to enjoy huge profits but fail to invest in their staff."

Christiane Amanpour in the Columbia Journalism Review on sexual harassment in newsrooms: "It is ironic that the executives and editors who insist that reporters have safety training, flak jackets, and helmets when they send us to hot spots overseas often leave us to fend for ourselves at home. Thanks to some brave women and some great reporting, the problem of pervasive sexual harassment has been exposed. There’s no closing our eyes. There’s no turning away. There’s no more tolerance. There’s no acceptance. This must end. It must end now."