Thursday, 16 January 2020

Media Quotes of the Week: From sue or take it on the chin? Royals split over how to handle hostile media to journalists wanted for local news network

Tom Bradbury in the Sunday Times [£]: "The young couple believe themselves to be taking a moral stand against the repeated hypocrisy of the tabloid press. Their argument is that if they, with all the privileges of position, power and fame, don’t do something, then who will? Some of the rest of the family agree with their analysis, but they part ways entirely with the couple on the solution. They appear united in believing that, while suing one or more newspapers might — at best — result in a famous victory, the royal family as a whole will never win the war and that to try is madness. Better to just take it on the chin."

The Guardian in a leader: "No news organisation should dismiss one of the most clearly stated reasons for this dramatic decision – the fears of Prince Harry and Meghan that the British press has them under siege to a degree that threatens to do to them what it did to Diana, Princess of Wales. The collective turn against the Sussexes by much of the media since they made their announcement illustrates precisely where part of the problem lies. It does not help that Britain has just elected a government led by a journalist who made stories up and whose manifesto gives the press a free pass to continue the abuses and techniques that led to the Leveson inquiry."

The Times [£] in a leader: "The Sussexes have declared an intention to withdraw from the “royal rota” pool of coverage, whereby significant titles gain access to official engagements. Instead they intend to “engage with grassroots media organisations and young, up-and-coming journalists” while “widening the spectrum of news coverage”. Nothing within existing structures would prevent them from doing this, leading to a reasonable suspicion that the real intent is to marginalise mainstream publications. This represents unparalleled naivety to imagine that losing access to the odd hospital ribbon-cutting ceremony will entice chastened editors to force columnists to refrain from waspishness."

Spokesmen for Prince William and Prince Harry in a joint statement reported by The Times [£]: “Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge. For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.”

Hugh Grant, speaking on Andy Cohen’s Radio Andy show on Sirius XM, as reported by the Guardian: “I’m rather on Harry’s side. The tabloid press effectively murdered his mother, now they’re tearing his wife to pieces.”

Iranian state news presenter Gelare Jabbari in an Instagram post, as reported by the Sun: “It was very hard for me to believe that our people have been killed. Forgive me that I got to know this late. And forgive me for the 13 years I told you lies.”

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement welcoming the finding of the London Central Employment Tribunal, which determined that the presenting work of Samira Ahmed on BBC’s Newswatch programme was equal to that of Jeremy Vine on Points of View: "This outcome should also be a wake-up call for all employers. Stamping out the scourge of unequal pay at work should be a priority for all organisations – the NUJ will be building on this victory and supporting our members throughout the industry in making pay inequity a thing of the past.”

Society of Editors in a letter to the Prime Minister: "With your background as a journalist in both the regional and national press you will be aware of just how important access to those at the heart of government is in producing accurate and balanced coverage. During the recent Queen’s Speech your government committed itself to protecting freedom of expression and you yourself have often spoken of your support for a free press. The daily lobby briefings play a vital role in ensuring the UK’s democracy is scrutinised by the media, but also, we would contend, ensures that those involved in the politics of the nation have face to face access with journalists."

Jeff Stelling on Twitter: "So @markpougatch not presenting on 5 live any more. Sad that his total professionalism will be replaced by someone who is considered to be more in touch with the youth of today, even if they know sod all about football or interviewing. He can’t say it so I will."

Karl Hancock, ex-City banker who is hiring journalists for his hyper-local Nub News network, in The Times [£]: “The whole industry is seeing closures and consolidation. We’re trying to fill that vacuum. Thirty years ago if you wanted to address the audience of a town the only way you could do that was through the local paper. We want to go back to that. Old-style journalism, getting back into the community, meeting people face to face — that’s where the real stories come from.”

 [£] =paywall

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Media Quotes of the Week: From Harry and Meghan plan to chose 'credible' media and drop out of Royal rota system to scandal of Mirror journalists portrayal in Christine Keeler drama

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their website: "In the spring of 2020, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be adopting a revised media approach to ensure diverse and open access to their work. This adjustment will be a phased approach as they settle into the new normality of their updated roles. This updated approach aims to:
  • Engage with grassroots media organisations and young, up-and-coming journalists; Invite specialist media to specific events/engagements to give greater access to their cause-driven activities, widening the spectrum of news coverage; Provide access to credible media outlets focused on objective news reporting to cover key moments and events; Continue to share information directly to the wider public via their official communications channels; No longer participate in the Royal Rota system."
Piers Morgan on Twitter: "Harry & Meghan have just published their new rulebook for the media to obey. Even Putin wouldn't try to pull a stunt like this. I fear they've both gone nuts."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Prince Harry has never made any secret of his dislike of the attention and scrutiny that it brings. He remains haunted by the memory of the treatment of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, and has spoken of fears of the impact of such attention on his wife. The duchess for her part has suffered vile online abuse. Their desire to shield their son, Archie, from similar scrutiny is understandable."

Manchester Evening News reporter Beth Abbit, who covered the four Reynhard Sinaga rape trials, on Twitter:  "Should mention that my bosses at @MENnewsdesk gave me time to cover the Reynhard Sinaga case properly, allowing me to sit in court each day, even though they had to wait more than a year for the story. Great to work for a paper that gives you that freedom."

Harry Cole in the Mail on Sunday: "When asked at a Christmas party about his plans for Westminster’s press pack known as the Lobby, Dominic Cummings simply drew a finger across his throat. Whitehall’s ‘disrupter in chief’ has added the antiquated system for briefing political journalists to his list of things to blow up."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, in a statement on the Lobby: “This decision to move the briefings from Parliament to Downing Street will make it more difficult, particularly for local papers and small press organisations to attend the briefings. The chair of the lobby has raised concerns that this will make lobby journalists’ jobs harder. Downing Street must consult with those reporters affected as this sends out a very worrying message to the press at the start of the new year and a new government. Proper discussions are needed so Westminster journalists can continue to do their jobs, holding government to account, without impediment.”

Amol Rajan on Twitter: "Scoop: John Humphrys is joining the Daily Mail as a columnist. My very distinguished former colleague, who left @BBCr4today in September after 32yrs, starts on Saturday. Replaces Peter Oborne. Will range beyond politics. Suspect @BBC will be in his sights from time to time!"

Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg  launching a new project aiming to expose the way those with wealth and influence use legal threats to shut down investigations by journalists: “Defamation law was reformed in 2013 to make it harder for people who had little or no connection to the UK to bring lawsuits here. However, we are still seeing people and organisations with almost no UK links bringing expensive and spurious defamation cases. In addition, increasingly people are turning to privacy and data protection laws in an attempt to prevent journalists reporting on corrupt, illegal or poor practice.”

Northern Echo editor Hannah Chapman in a comment on the paper's 150th anniversary:  "If I have to read another article in the national press about the death of local newspapers, or be asked one more time how we can hope to compete with social media-inspired citizen journalists, I might throw my phone into the River Skerne. And that’s not me looking through rose tinted spectacles. These are undoubtedly tough times, and we may be a bit battered and bruised, but we’re a long way from the description of the regional media that is commonly circulated. WE’VE just come through an election campaign that was marred by dishonesty and nastiness, with the national press sticking determinedly to their party lines. It was left to the largely non-partisan local and regional media to focus on the actual issues that matter to our readers, and hold candidates to account for their campaign statements.”

James Marriott in The Times [£]:  "Adults are likely to be loyal to one newspaper. Teenagers prefer to browse a number of outlets. Almost every teenage phone has Instagram installed on it — barely any has a news app. Even the influence of the BBC is fading — Ofcom reports that teenagers are more familiar with YouTube and Netflix. The average age of a BBC One viewer is now 61. It’s hardly worth pointing out that YouTube, Netflix, Snapchat and Instagram do not employ foreign correspondents or fund investigative journalism or send reporters to court cases and council meetings. But for many in their teens, news is now more likely to come from an influencer than from a journalist."

Roy Greenslade on Twitter: "Reviews of BBC1's excellent Trial of Christine Keeler ranged from the silly to the intelligent. But none mentioned the one big error - the cartoonish stereotypical portrayal of the Daily Mirror and its news editor. Hopelessly wrong."


Monday, 23 December 2019

Media Quotes of the Year: Boris, Brexit, Trump and why the world is your oyster on a local newspaper

It was the year a journalist became prime minister, a US president continued to snipe at the press and Brexit dominated politics and the media. My Media Quotes of the Year 2019 are up on InPublishing.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From in victory and defeat politicians blame media to Guardian praises local newspapers - what a shame it sold them off

Jeremy Corbyn, as reported by Press Gazette: "The pressure on those surrounding politicians is often very, very high indeed. The media intrusion on people’s lives is very high indeed. And the attacks that take place against family and loved ones of politicians continue and they are disgraceful and frankly they are disgusting…I want to thank my three sons for the huge support they give me and thank my wife Laura Alvarez for all that she puts up [with] because of the way the media behave towards me, towards her and indeed towards my party during this election campaign.”

Labour shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald on the  BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "We've accepted that the print media are rained against us, but my goodness me. I'm going to look at us. We're the important part here. We got this wrong, but if the BBC are going to hold themselves out as somehow having conducted themselves in an impartial manner, I think they've really got to have a look in the mirror. We've got a lot to say about this."

The Times [£] reports: "Downing Street is squaring up to the BBC, threatening a boycott of Radio 4’s Today and a review of the licence fee as Conservatives fume about the broadcaster’s coverage of the election. The government confirmed yesterday that it had launched a review into decriminalising non-payment of the licence fee as punishment for what the Tories see as pro-Remain bias."

John Humphrys in the Daily Mail: "Johnson and Corbyn have been boycotting Today for a very long time, and I and my colleagues have often 'empty chaired' them. By which I mean we had drawn it to the attention of the listener that they had chosen not to appear. That's our duty. Otherwise the listener might think it was we who were denying them an appearance. As a former Today presenter, I'm saddened and worried that they have been boycotting us — and, we are told, that Johnson's government will continue to do so. I believe the listener is entitled to hold people in power to account. It enables democracy. And answering pre-selected questions on social media is not being held to account."

Huw Edwards on LinkedIn: "In the last week of the campaign, I was simultaneously accused (yeah, by The Sun) of being a Labour supporter, and (on Twitter) of deliberately facilitating a Conservative victory. I have been accused of being a Plaid Cymru voter (this is a difficult notion in London, I have to say) and in one spectacular zinger of a letter a few years ago, a 'vile Welsh neo-con'."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, in a statement: "Flagrant bullying rhetoric has been targeted at the BBC and Channel 4 during this election campaign, with threats to their futures issued in response to editorial decisions. These have been amplified over the weekend with comments from the government about reviewing the funding of the BBC and decriminalisation of the licence fee. Let’s be clear – knee-jerk changes to the licence fee would massively damage BBC programmes and news. The corporation is already facing serious cuts in the coming year, with potentially more on the horizon. It needs greater resources, not an attempt to destabilise its very existence. The NUJ salutes the hard work and professionalism of its members who covered one of the most divisive and difficult of election campaigns.”

Editor Mike Sassi announces his departure from the Nottingham Evening Post 
Richard Woodward on Twitter: "There are many issues for regional papers, but one which I’ve not seen talked about often is the loss of experience. So many editors like Mike have left recently. Hopefully he will stay in journalism, but many others haven’t. Papers need that wealth of knowledge."

Kenan Malik in the Guardian: "The obsession with social media has led many to neglect another part of the media ecosystem that is also of vital importance – local newspapers. In the age of global communication, it is easy to condescend to local papers as quaint and old-fashioned. Yet they play a vital role in sustaining both journalism and democracy. It was the Yorkshire Evening Post that broke the story about Jack Williment-Barr and subsequently played a major role in responding to the attempts to dismiss it as fake news. Some of the best investigative journalism these days emerges from local papers – for instance, in the work of the Manchester Evening News’ Jennifer Williams."

Emily Bell in the Guardian: "One of the very few heroes of the UK election campaign is James Mitchinson, editor of the Yorkshire Post. Mitchinson’s email to a reader who would not believe a (true) story about a sick child left to wait on the floor of a Leeds hospital is a model of both public service journalism and how to debunk a lie."

Manchester Evening News politics and investigations editor Jennifer Williams on Twitter:  "Another ode in the Guardian to local news while failing to mention the virtual silence that accompanied the flogging off of its local titles at the time. I’m being very restrained here."

Alan Rusbridger in the Guardian: After the Yorkshire Evening Post‘s reporting of the Leeds story was questioned, its editor in chief, James Mitchinson, wrote a long and considered reply to a reader who, on the basis of something she read on social media, thought the story was fake. Mitchinson’s reply courteously asks the reader why she would believe the word of a total stranger (who might not even exist) over a newspaper she had read for many years in good faith. The fact the paper knew the story to be true was, said Mitchinson, down to “bog-standard journalism”. It was a powerful statement of why good journalism – independent and decently crafted – should matter. So let’s hear it for bog-standard journalism. There’s too little of it. It may not be enough, but it’s all we have."

Manchester Evening News politics and investigations editor Jennifer Williams on Twitter:   "Alan Rusbridger was editor of the Guardian when the Guardian sold its regional press. As it turns out, the Manchester Evening News is doing pretty well these days, so I’m not complaining. But his homage to the local press is still a decade after the fact."


Thursday, 5 December 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From Boris Johnson offered oven-ready grilling by Andrew Neil to is clocking up the clicks calling time on local news?

Andrew Neil challenges  Boris Johnson to follow all the other party leaders and agree to an interview: "It is not too late. We have an interview prepared. Oven-ready, as Mr Johnson likes to say. The theme running through our questions is trust - and why at so many times in his career, in politics and journalism, critics and sometimes even those close to him have deemed him to be untrustworthy. It is, of course, relevant to what he is promising us all now...Leaders' interviews have been a key part of the BBC's prime-time election coverage for decades...We have always proceeded in good faith that the leaders would participate. And in every election they have. All of them. Until this one...There is no law, no Supreme Court ruling that can force Mr Johnson to participate in a BBC leaders' interview.
But the prime minister of our nation will, at times, have to stand up to President Trump, President Putin, President Xi of China. So it was surely not expecting too much that he spend half an hour standing up to me."
  • Senior Conservative source, according to Laura Kuenssberg: “The public are fed up with interviews that are all about the interviewer and endless interruptions. The format is tired and broken and needs to change if it is to start engaging and informing the public again.”

Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter:  "The billionaire owner of the Daily Mail, the Viscount Rothermere, has bought @theipaper. Two billionaire press barons now own half of the top 10 daily newspapers. Remember this when they attack Labour's plan to make the super-rich pay their fair share."

Oly Duff, editor-in-chief of the i, on Twitter replies to Jeremy Corbyn: ."Dear Jeremy, We were comfortable holding you to account when you were an i reader (still are? not sure) and we will continue to do so! Every leader of every other political party can expect the same - since we report on politics without fear or favour. It's why our readers trust us. They judge us on our journalism. Hopefully you will welcome the same scrutiny.And on a point of fact we haven't actually attacked Labour's plan to make the highest earners pay more tax... We remain editorially independent, politically impartial. Best - Oly"

Paul Zwillenberg, the chief executive of DMGT, in comments to the City: “The i has a different editorial style and tone to the Mail and the audience has a different demographic. I want to make absolutely clear that we will ensure that the editorial independence of the i is preserved. Its readers value its distinctive style and politically neutral approach and we are committed to maintaining that. We take a long-term approach and we will invest in high-quality editorial."

Guardian media editor Jim Waterson on Twitter: "They've got an excellent editor and a strong editorial team and it makes money in its current format, so DMGT would be absolutely crazy to change its editorial direction. It's not all a plot to control minds, sometimes it's a plan to get cash from different sources."

Nick Cohen in the Observer: "The corruption of journalism and the corruption of politics march together. On the right, the former columnists Boris Johnson and Michael Gove threaten to review Channel 4’s licence solely because it embarrassed them. On the left, sympathetic 'journalists' receive 'lines, briefings, transcripts, invites to events and asks of support for certain content' directly from a Labour party WhatsApp group. If this were happening in any other country, we would have no hesitation in deciding that the local strongman or mafia boss was striving to control the free press."

The Times of Malta reports: "The family of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has called for the prime minister and his actions to be investigated and for related evidence to be preserved as part of the ongoing investigation. In a judicial protest on Monday morning, Caruana Galizia's husband Peter and their three sons also called upon Joseph Muscat to desist from any further involvement in the investigation and the independent inquiry surrounding the assassination. The family noted that in recent developments in the murder probe, several persons had been interrogated, including the prime minister’s former chief of staff, Keith Schembri, whose role had placed him in close proximity to the prime minister."

Rachel Sylvester in The Times [£]: "In the era of fake news, truth has become the casualty of a depressingly dishonest election campaign. The Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson was forced to deny a made-up story that she enjoys killing squirrels. Labour has repeatedly suggested that the NHS is 'for sale' although there is no evidence to back this up. The Conservative Party tried to mislead the public by rebranding one of its Twitter accounts “FactCheckUK” during the first leaders’ debate and had one of its ads banned by Facebook after using footage of BBC presenters without permission and out of context."

Chris Morley, Newsquest NUJ group chapel coordinator, in a statement"Yet again, as we approach Christmas as the season of goodwill, the ghost of Scroogequest looms large for journalists within Newsquest. Haunted by low pay and relentless workloads that produce unsafe levels of stress for its journalists, the company is yet again recklessly picking off editorial workers seemingly at will at the hardest possible time to be made redundant."

Ex-Burton Mail news editor Jon Griffin in InPublishing on the changing news values of the regional press: "Where once newsrooms would avidly discuss page leads, exclusives, tip-offs and all the rest of what makes – or made – regional journalism so enthralling, a conversation would break out over why an online query ‘Should you say thank-you to the bus driver when you get off?’ had attracted 6,600 comments from screen-happy souls. The best reporter in the office was sent out to take on a monster breakfast challenge at a cafe in Swadlincote and was warmly praised for clocking up thousands of clicks. 'I wouldn’t have got this sort of reaction for uncovering Watergate,' he remarked wryly."


Friday, 29 November 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From Libs in fake newspaper row, Cons threaten Channel 4 plus what Chris Moncrieff asked the Prime Minister who saved him from falling off the Great Wall of China

Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, in a statement on the Liberal Democrats disguising their election freesheets as local newspapers. “It is ironic how it is often politicians who complain about fake news but then set out to at least blur the lines for readers – and in this case voters – by packaging their partial messages to ape independent newspapers. If political parties were genuine in their desire, often expressed, to both remove the effects of fake news and disinformation as well as support existing regional and local media they would take steps to ensure their political freesheets look markedly different to real newspapers. There should also be a requirement to clearly state which party is funding a publication in large, bold typeface rather than hiding such information away in an attempt to deceive.”

Alex Wickham and Mark Di Stefano on BuzzFeed: "The Conservative Party is threatening to review Channel 4’s public service broadcasting obligations after the broadcaster replaced Boris Johnson with an ice sculpture at Thursday night’s election debate. In a dramatic escalation of the war of words between the Tories and Channel 4 that will likely provoke outcry, a Conservative source told BuzzFeed News that if they win the coming election they will reassess the channel’s public service broadcasting licence."

The Times [£]  obit on Clive James: "His TV column [in the Observer] became a weekly event largely because he was capable of memorable and cutting comic description. 'Even in moments of tranquillity,” he wrote, “Murray Walker sounds like a man whose trousers are on fire.' It is hard to see Arnold Schwarzenegger without recalling James’s description of him, in his acting days, as 'a brown condom full of walnuts'.”

Alan Rusbridger on Twitter: "Maybe Thanksgiving is a good day to thank a reporter you admire for the work they have done. Thank you #DaphneCaruanaGalizia for being intrepid and true. #thankareporter."

BBC director of editorial policy and standards David Jordan in a letter to the Guardian: "Peter Oborne is incorrect in suggesting that the BBC thinks it’s wrong to expose lies told by politicians. The BBC is committed to calling out lies, disinformation or untruths – no matter who tells them. That is what our journalists do on a daily basis. With Reality Check we are doing more than ever at this election. What we don’t do is label people as liars – that’s a judgment for audiences to make about an individual’s motives."

The BBC in a statement: "This clip from the BBC's Question Time special, which was played out in full on the News at Ten on Friday evening and on other outlets, was shortened for timing reasons on Saturday's lunchtime bulletin, to edit out a repetitious phrase from Boris Johnson," the BBC said in a statement. However, in doing so we also edited out laughter from the audience. Although there was absolutely no intention to mislead, we accept this was a mistake on our part, as it didn't reflect the full reaction to Boris Johnson's answer."

Tim Shipman in the Sunday Times [£]: "BBC bosses have been accused of pulling the plug on politically sensitive reports into the close links between leading politicians and Russia. John Sweeney, a BBC investigative reporter, has turned whistleblower and filed a complaint against the corporation with Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog. He alleges investigations into Labour’s Lord Mandelson, the former Tory cabinet minister John Whittingdale, the Brexit funder Arron Banks, the oligarch Roman Abramovich and the far-right activist Tommy Robinson were all dropped."

John Sweeney in the Sunday Times [£]: "Being attacked by a far-right cult while undefended by the BBC was maddening, literally. I felt bewildered and betrayed and, eventually, I cracked up. I am back to my old self but have left the BBC. However, I love it too much to just walk away in silent dismay."

John Major quoted in The Times [£] obit on PA's legendary political editor Chris Moncrieff who he saved from falling off the Great Wall of China when he was PM: “I thought for this act of mercy he would say thank you. But I misjudged the great man. He stopped, looked up and said, ‘Can I use this story?’ ”


Thursday, 21 November 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From Prince Andrew's 'car crash' interview to clobbering Corbyn while giving Johnson an easy ride plus intro of the week

Emily Maitlis in The Times [£] on the preparations for her interview with Prince Andrew: "We have finished laying out our pitch. An awkward moment of silence falls. And the duke tells us he must 'seek approval from higher up'. It dawns on us then that he means the Queen herself. At 8am the next day we have a message telling us to call his office. The Queen, it seems, is on board."

Tim Shipman on Twitter: "When I hear a politician saying 'I have no recollection,' I know I'm 100% OK to write the story because that always means 'I don't like it, but I can't deny it.' EVERY TIME. It's the accepted nod, wink form of words for 'I'm bang to rights'. Is the Duke badly advised or stupid?"

David Yelland on Twitter: "There has hardly been an ill-judged interview as Prince Andrew’s with @maitlis - who did a superb job - he left too many questions unanswered and now can’t avoid US authorities. Extraordinary."

Caitlan Moran on Twitter: "Everyone is - quite rightly - going on about how precise, brilliant and deadly @maitlis was interviewing Prince Andrew. But the thing I was most impressed by was her ability to not start laughing."

Daily Mirror editor Alison Phillips after a Mirror reporter was banned from the Conservative's battle bus: "Mirror readers have every right to know what the Conservatives have in store for them should Boris Johnson win the election. Our journalists have every right to scrutinise the Conservatives on our readers' behalf. Blocking us from doing our job is deeply worrying for freedom of journalism and the protection of the truth."

HoldTheFrontPage reports: "Reach plc is launching seven digital-only news titles and creating 46 jobs as it expands further into its rivals’ territories. The regional publisher has announced the launch of the new titles to be launched under its ‘Live’ brand, which will cover Sunderland, County Durham, Sheffield, North Yorkshire, Bradford, Newport and Bolton. Reach will hire 46 journalists to work across the titles, some of which will be run as standalone sites and some of which will form sub-brands within larger existing sites."

Byline Investigates reports: "MEGHAN Markle has accused the Mail newspaper titles of waging a three-year fake news campaign against her – and lying about its publication of a highly private letter she wrote her father, Byline Investigates can exclusively report. Court papers, newly filed in the Duchess of Sussex’s High Court action against Associated Newspapers, set out an extensive list of 'false' and 'absurd' stories that commentators say raise serious questions about the honesty of the Mail papers’ journalism. Among them, are articles stating Prince Harry and Meghan bought a £5,000 copper bath, spent £500,000 on soundproofing, and even built an entire new wing of their home - and charged it to taxpayers - when in fact, the documents explain, this was all 'completely untrue'."

A Mail on Sunday spokesman quoted in The Times [£]: “As we have said before, we will be defending this case with the utmost vigour. There is nothing in this document which changes that position.”

Barney Ronay in the Guardian on financial pressures facing football magazine When Saturday Comes"One reason for a squeeze on current cash flows is WSC has stopped taking gambling adverts. They just couldn’t keep doing it in good faith while writing about the issues. Gambling companies are the main print advertisers."

New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet in the Guardian: “It’s the Guardian, it’s the New York Times, the Washington Post. It’s the papers that were supposed to be the dinosaurs that are breaking the big stories.”

Tim Montgomerie on Twitter: "At the last election the big newspapers only really attacked Labour at the eleventh hour - after Corbyn’s poll took everyone by surprise. This time? It’s been full on from the off."

Gary Younge in the Guardian"Corbyn has proved a lightning rod. His election as Labour leader has laid bare what was only partially visible during the attacks on Miliband and Brown. Failing to accept him as the legitimate leader of the opposition, the rightwing press fear his premiership as they have feared no other Labour leader before."

Peter Oborne in the Guardian: "A big reason for Johnson’s easy ride is partisanship from the parts of the media determined to get him elected. I have talked to senior BBC executives, and they tell me they personally think it’s wrong to expose lies told by a British prime minister because it undermines trust in British politics. Is that a reason for giving Johnson free rein to make any false claim he wants? Others take the view that all politicians lie, and just shrug their shoulders. But it’s not true that all politicians lie. Treating all politicians as liars gives a licence for the total collapse of integrity of British politics, a collapse that habitual liars such as Johnson are delighted to exploit. The British media is not holding him to account for his repeated falsehoods. It’s time we journalists did our job, and started to regain our self-respect."

  • Intro of the Week from Tom Whipple in The Times [£]: "It may be the first time that vegans have asked to see more meat and two veg. Male students from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have withdrawn a picture from a naked calendar after an animal rights group was angered by the way the vets protected their modesty — with sheep. In the image, taken in a sheep shed, the ovine merkins were “tipped” in front of them, a position in which they are held up by their forelimbs."