Thursday, 12 September 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From any journalists up for a chlorinated chicken freebie to the US? to Murdoch papers fired both Boycott and Johnson

BuzzFeed News reports: "The Trump administration has offered up to £75,000 for an organisation to take “influential” British journalists on a tour of American farms to influence narratives around the country’s food standards, specifically the vexed issue of “chlorinated chicken”. Anticipating negative coverage around a US-UK free trade deal after Brexit, the US embassy in London put out a tender in July under the catchy title: 'Countering Negative And Poorly Informed Reporting about US Agricultural Practices and Consumer Choice'.”

Lindsey Hilsum @lindseyhilsum on Twitter: "Replying to @BuzzFeedUK As a vegetarian, I guess I’d have to ask for ‘just the chlorine thanks’."

Roy Greenslade @GreensladeR on Twitter: "Is THIS the least believable newspaper in Britain? Floppy @TheSun speaks with two voices. The paper's English audience is encouraged to dislike Corbyn while its Scottish audience is encouraged to dislike Johnson. Where does the hypocritical Sun stand? Where sales can be maximised."

Niall Ferguson in the Sunday Times [£]: “ 'Blow for Bojo as bro Jo go goes',” was the London Evening Standard’s headline, which suggests that the chief sub-editor has been reading Dr Seuss’s Fox in Socks to the kids at bedtime."

Nick Robinson in the Sunday Times [£] on claims Dominic Cummings never listens to the Today programme: “I have no bloody idea if he listens to Today or the shipping forecast or Classic FM. But the underlying point that therefore Today’s irrelevant is nonsense and indeed all the people he works with then texted me to say so. It would matter if Downing Street, or indeed Jeremy Corbyn’s office, said, ‘You don’t matter any more’ but they don’t. I know because I’m always getting messages from both at 6am with their reactions to what’s going on and because we get lots of senior folk on the show."

SKY News correspondent Adam Parsons @adamparsons on Twitter: "Once doorstepped Mugabe in Harare. Politely asked him a question. He laughed at it - or maybe he laughed at me - didn’t answer and his bodyguard whacked me in the stomach...The question was 'what's your message for Tony Blair and the British government?' Maybe the punch was actually his answer..."

John Simpson @JohnSimpsonNews on Twitter: "Broadcasting all morning about Robert Mugabe. Having visited Matabeleland after his forces, backed up by the North Korean army, murdered 20,000 of his political opponents, and spent time 11 years ago reporting on the collapsing economy, I find it hard to be too positive."

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee in a report on the Foreign Office's media freedom campaign: "Currently, there are concerns that the FCO has allocated too few resources, given too little detail about how it will fulfil its campaign, and taken too passing an interest in how to make it sustainable. There is anxiety that this vital initiative by the FCO risks becoming a disappointment. The FCO must now move beyond the rhetoric to demonstrate impact in defending media freedom."

TI Media chief executive Marcus Rich in a statement on Marie Clare abandoning print after 31 years and going digital only in the UK, as reported by Press Gazette: “For more than three decades, Marie Claire UK has led the conversation on the issues that really matter to women – from campaigning for women’s empowerment to climate change – while providing a premium fashion and beauty positioning that reflects their everyday lives. With full focus on our digital platforms, we will be future-proofing our ability to report on these vital and engaging subjects."

David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Boycott was sacked by The Sun, Johnson was sacked by The Times, one over abuse, one over lies. Rupert Murdoch’s papers deserve credit for their ethics in both cases. These are the facts."


Thursday, 5 September 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From lies, hypotheticals and making things up to the woman whose scoop on the outbreak of World War Two no-one believed

Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail: "Last Sunday, a newspaper reported that the Government was considering proroguing Parliament. Respected BBC correspondent Iain Watson asked Downing Street whether this was true and was told: ‘The claim that the Government is considering proroguing Parliament in September in order to stop MPs debating Brexit is entirely false.’ And yet, on Wednesday, the Government did announce the proroguing of Parliament. For good measure, Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the suspension was ‘certainly not’ a political move to undermine those MPs opposed to Brexit. No wonder critics cried foul."

New White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham asked by the Washington Post if Donald Trump lies: “I don’t think they’re lies . . . I think the president communicates in a way that some people, especially the media, aren’t necessarily comfortable with. A lot of times they take him so literally. I know people will roll their eyes if I say he was just kidding or was speaking in hypotheticals, but sometimes he is. What I’ve learned about him is that he loves this country and he’s not going to lie to this country.”

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "There has never been a time in the history of our Country that the Media was so Fraudulent, Fake, or Corrupt! When the “Age of Trump” is looked back on many years from now, I only hope that a big part of my legacy will be the exposing of massive dishonesty in the Fake News!"

Fourth Estate @FourthEstateOrg on Twitter: "Every dictator is an enemy of freedom of the press, an opponent of the facts."

Robert Harris in the Sunday Times [£] on Boris Johnson's journalism: “He came and interviewed me. We had a very pleasant time. When the article appeared, he had manifestly made up a quote about me. He wrote, ‘His friends all call him Moneybags’ and this was in the headline of the piece. I said to him afterwards, ‘Who are these friends?’ He said, ‘I made that up actually!’ I’ve done a lot of interviews but I’ve never had a journalist cheerfully admit that they made something up.”

Judge Mark Dennis QC ruling that journalists from The Times, Sky News, BBC and ITN should not be compelled to hand over their notes and film of interviews with Isis bride Shamima Begum to counter-terrorism investigators, as reported by the Guardian“There is no doubt that the initial Times newspaper report was a commendable piece of investigative journalism and represents a significant public interest story which has opened up an important issue for public debate. Such journalistic investigation is to be encouraged, however, the work of investigative journalists in particular does rely upon trust, confidentiality, protection of journalistic material and sources, their perceived neutrality, and the co-operation of people who are prepared to place their trust in journalists.”

The Times [£] in a leader: "Journalists have no wish to obstruct police investigations or interfere with justice. Working out how to proceed against Ms Begum and other Isis recruits as and when they return to Britain is a tricky task. At the moment, however, the prospect of such a return is remote. The judge correctly decided that our duty to report matters in the public interest outweighs the potential value of any information the police may derive at this stage in their investigation from scrutiny of material [Anthony] Loyd has gathered. That material will be preserved against future developments in the case. In the meantime, the police should do their job as we will continue to do ours."

Peter Geoghegan @PeterKGeoghegan on Twitter: "Orange order accused of covering up child abuse in Fermanagh. Yet another really strong @rodneyedwards story. If you’re not following his first class work investigating an epidemic of child abuse across his county you should. Why local papers can still matter so much."

Ian Acheson @NotThatBigIan on Twitter:"Who says local journalism is dead? @impartialrep my birthplace newspaper is ripping the lid of widespread historic sexual abuse through patient, dogged investigation. Finally, police involved."

John Simpson @JohnSimpsonNews on Twitter: "80 years ago today my dear friend Clare Hollingsworth, on her first real story for the Daily Telegraph, sat in her hotel room & watched the German tanks crossing into Poland — & neither her boss, nor her foreign desk, nor the British (or any other) embassy would believe her."


Thursday, 29 August 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From reverse ferret as The Times says sorry to the English cricket team to C4's news head Byrne reaps Boris bias backlash

The Times [£] after England's test triumph against Australia: "England cricket: an apology. We may have given the impression in Saturday’s Times that Joe Root’s England side had “No fight, no idea, no hope” after they were bowled out for a dismal 67 in their first innings.We now recognise that they are among the finest, battling sides this country has ever produced. We are happy to make this clear."

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "The question I was asked most today by fellow World Leaders, who think the USA is doing so well and is stronger than ever before, happens to be, 'Mr. President, why does the American media hate your Country so much? Why are they rooting for it to fail?' ”

Dan Rather @DanRather on Twitter: "Why even bother reporting on what the president says? Headlines this morning go fom Trump having second thoughts on tariffs to wishing he raised them higher. And all of this before most Americans had had their first cup of coffee."

David Yelland  @davidyelland on Twitter:  "The media’s support for Johnson’s coup is its lowest collective moment since the 1930s. Those editors that created Brexit and continue to lie to their readers about the realities should hang their heads in shame. History will judge them. It is a disgrace."

David Yelland  @davidyelland on Twitter: "Historians will ask why the Brexit Junta, ie the serving editors and senior political staffs, told the country 'EU will fold at last minute....' & 'trade deal with EU will be fastest ever... easy..' They have serially misled UK as has their editor in chief, Boris Johnson."

BBC reporter Gareth Barlow @GarethBarlow on Twitter: "Email from PR firm: 'Hi Gareth, have you seen the reports today that farming is the UK's most deadly industry.' My reply: 'Yes, I am aware. It was my report'."

No 10 source on the Dorothy Byrne MacTaggart Lecture accusing Boris Johnson of being a coward for not doing tv interviews, quoted by Guido Fawkes: "It’s disappointing to see the head of a supposedly impartial news organisation decide to use deliberately inflammatory language to make a strong political statement. We will now consider our response.”

Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear @bendepear on Twitter on cancelled interview with Boris Johnson: “This after telling us to come to Biarritz to interview @BorisJohnson. We were told to come for an interview, then told by advisers that C4 criticism of lack of access had resulted access. @BorisJohnson disagree & says it’s due to lack of time. We are looking for clarity."

Douglas Murray on UnHerd: "Boris Johnson may or may not be correct in choosing to avoid being interviewed by Cathy Newman or Jon Snow on a regular basis. But he is certainly right if he presumes that such an interview would not be conducted in good faith. It would be conducted by an interviewer who is known to have particular political biases. And he might now add to that the fact that it would be conducted on a channel whose news head has compared him to Vladimir Putin. Not exactly the way to mend trust between the politicians and the media, is it?"

Robbie Gibb in the Daily Mail: "Channel 4, like all broadcasters, operates under the rules of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. Chief among those rules is that news, in whatever form, must be reported with ‘due accuracy and presented with due impartiality’. So it remains one of the great mysteries of our age how Channel 4 is not now drowning under a sea of complaints to watchdog Ofcom, so flagrant, in my opinion, is its political bias...At its best, broadcast journalism is independent and fearless. It is forensic but fair. And it is vital to our democracy that it stays that way. My advice to Ms Byrne is to focus on that rather than add her own contribution to the already toxic level of public debate in this country."

 [£] =paywall

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From PM is rolling out tabloid policies for tabloid editors to Elton gives press a rocket over Harry and Meghan coverage

David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Britain is at peak tabloid. We have a tabloid Prime Minister rolling out tabloid policies for tabloid editors - who, by the by, never hired him back in the day because Rupert Murdoch’s @thetimes fired him for making stuff up!"

Channel 4 head of news Dorothy Byrne, giving the MacTaggart lecture“Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are cowards … If they really believe in the policies they promote, they should come on to television to explain them, to allow them to be scrutinised and to justify them.”

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "Will the government scrap its a £100m Brexit 'public information' campaign now the truth's been leaked to a newspaper?"

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian: "The Sunday Times is a Brexit-backing Murdoch paper, yet editors considered it a duty to splash on this doomsday document supplemented with page after page of hair-raising warnings. The Brexit-backing Mail published the “Secret dossier’s 14 claims of chaos” in similarly startling detail. This may mark an earthquake moment, when some sense of imminent national meltdown drove these media organisations to warn their readers of no-deal reality before it’s too late. If you want a conspiracy theory with an optimistic twist, might they be terrifying their Brexit readers to soften them up for a Johnson climbdown?"

Mark Sweetwood, managing editor of the Ohio-based Vindicator newspaper which is closing after 150 years, as reported by the Guardian: “You still have neighbourhoods, where nice little old ladies live, where their kids all moved away to get jobs, [their] husbands died, but the women no longer know each other or the neighbours very well – or sometimes there’s no neighbours. And I’ve had so many of them call me and use this exact line – they say: ‘The Vindicator is my only friend'. I’ve heard that over, and over, and over again, and it haunts me.”

Owen Jones in the Guardian after he and a group of friends were victims of a violent late night attack: “We all know who the hate preachers are: one of them is the most powerful man on earth, the occupant of the White House. But there are also multiple politicians and people in the mainstream media who deliberately stoke tensions, who demonise minorities and who demonise the left.”

Danny Horan, head of factual at Channel 4, on its new three-part documentary series The World According to Paul Dacre, as quoted by the Sunday Times [£]: “Everything we thought we knew is about to be turned on its head.”

Carole Cadwalladr @carolecadwalla on Twitter: " 'Aaron Banks is such a colossal ballbag' 'Enough is enough' & 10,318 other reasons why people have donated to the at a staggering £276k. THANK YOU. Genuinely moved & gobsmacked. And very much hoping Banks reads the comments..."

Private Eye Magazine @PrivateEyeNews on Twitter: "In further 'death of print journalism' news, Private Eye's ABC sales figures for the first half of this year were 233,565. Thanks to everyone who bought a copy!"

Elton John @eltonofficial on Twitter"Prince Harry’s Mother, Diana Princess Of Wales was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death."


Thursday, 15 August 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From life on a local... vomiting oysters, investigating dog poo and being shunned by Boris to 'traitor class' controls media

Kentish Gazette series editor Joe Walker @JoeWalker17 on Twitter: "Last week our new reporter@BradDAHarper vomited after taking part in an oyster-eating contest. Yesterday a golden retriever snatched a sandwich from his hand as he worked on a story about dog poo hotspots. Welcome to local journalism."

Oxford Mail local democracy reporter Nathan Briant after Boris Johnson shunned the paper on a visit to Oxfordshire: "I am not unrealistic in believing the regional press has any place above any other media. Boris Johnson's exclusive interview with the BBC’s Ben Wright obviously reached more people than the Oxford Mail or Oxfordshire broadcasters would have ever been able to do.
But Mr Johnson was chewing the fat with Conservative activists for about 45 minutes at a hotel in Abingdon. It would surely not have been unreasonable to ask him to have a quick chat with other broadcasters and newspapers for a tiny fraction of that time."

Simon O'Neill @SimonO19 on Twitter: "Politicians often extol the vital role of local media. Pity no one passed that message on to the control freaks who surround them."

Tim Montgomeries @montie on Twitter: "Peter Oborne. Daily Mail columnist. Attacks Dom Cummings. Regularly praises Jeremy Corbyn. Funny old world."

Peter Oborne @OborneTweets on Twitter: "I believe that columnists should try to be fair-minded and independent, and that there's a world of difference between reporting and propaganda."

Daniel Finkelstein @Dannythefink on Twitter: "When we first asked people to pay for online, I was in charge as executive editor. I did loads of interviews in which everyone was sure that it wouldn’t work. I was confident it would and that there wasn’t an alternative. I am thrilled with this."

Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy @krishgm on Twitter: "Today new official figures showed the UK economy shrunk for the first time since 2012. The pound has fallen to new lows. The Chancellor says he doesn't expect recession and doesn't fear No Deal. We invited Labour to comment on C4News tonight. They said nobody could."

David Aaronovitch @DAaronovitch on Twitter: "Not for the first time I’m left feeling that my fellow journalists should refuse to quote anonymous “senior Downing Street sources” sledging opponents. The public should know who has spoken and If they cannot say it in their own names they don’t deserve to be quoted."

Aron Pilhofer on Medium on the New Media Investment Group plans to acquire Newsquest publisher Gannett: "Here’s what struck me: In all the reporting about the ins-and-outs of this merger, I have yet see to how, in the end, this is going to end up serving the needs of local news consumers, their communities or the journalists who work there."

New UKIP leader Richard Braine in a press conference, as reported by The New European: "We are seeing the press being controlled. You have a duty to be impartial and objective as journalists, so do that because the reporting of Brexit has been so biased for so long now...I think they are being controlled by an EU federalist class - I mean I would go so far as to say a traitor class - people who are conspiring with foreign powers against the people of this country."

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From journalists will rat on Brexit leakers claims Cummings to will The Athletic outmuscle the local press for football?

Dominic Cummings warning ministerial advisers they will be found out and sacked if they leak Brexit plans to the press, as reported by The Times [£]: “My worth to journalists is far greater than yours. For the right story they will rat you out. You have no rights.”

Dan Rather @danrather on Twitter: "To my fellow members of the press, I suggest we refrain from quoting the president's words from prepared speeches into headlines and tweets without context. He sometimes says the right thing. The real questions are what he does and what he really believes."

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years. News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!"

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement after Newsquest owner Gannett was bought by the New Media Investment Group: "For hundreds of our members in Newsquest, today’s announcement will mean months of further uncertainty as regulatory approval is sought for this merger of the two biggest newspaper groups in the US...While it is positive that New Media talks about a 'shared commitment to journalistic excellence' we note that it is thought the combination of the two companies could bring savings of up to $300 million (£245 million) annually. We would urge that this publicly pledged support for high quality journalism should come with greater investment in journalists and journalism."

Reuters reports from Moscow: "Russia’s media regulator said it planned to change the law so it could fine British and other foreign media working in Russia for breaching impartiality standards, a step it called retaliation for London fining Russia’s RT TV channel."

Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, in a statement after comments made by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland (pictured) in The Times, seeming to call for the introduction of anonymity for some people arrested on serious charges “It is absurd to suggest that in a liberal democracy we are going to create a system of justice that enables the rich, the powerful, and celebrities to be protected when they are under investigation for serious crimes but the ordinary man or woman would be offered no such protections.”

Carole Cadwalladr on her crowdfunding page:  "In November 2016, I began reporting on dark money, data and disinformation for a series of articles that have appeared in the Observer, Guardian & New York Times. It’s been a long and difficult road, but last year, our reporting on Cambridge Analytica kicked off a global scandal, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg was dragged before Congress and multiple legal investigations are still ongoing. And it was just one part of our still on-going investigation into a skein of links between Brexit, Trump and Russia.  Now though that investigation is being threatened. A businessman who funded Nigel Farage’s Leave.EU campaign - Arron Banks - and who is under investigation by the National Crime Agency, the British equivalent of the FBI, has filed formal proceedings against me. The result is that I will be tied up in litigation for months in a move that press freedom organisations have called an “abuse of law” to “silence a journalist” .These tactics cannot win. We desperately need more reporting on this vital subject not less. What I need now is more resources to build a team to pursue the investigation with me, to amplify the story and to continue the fight back for democracy. Every penny will be spent supporting journalism that is more necessary than ever."

Editor-in-chief Alex Kay-Jelski announcing the launch of new football site The Athletic UK: “Imagine hiring some of the best journalists in the country. Imagine having the time and resource to plan and execute in-depth articles in a world where West Bromwich Albion matter just as much as Manchester United, where the inside story at Burnley is put together with the same passion as the lowdown on the latest managerial change at Chelsea. Imagine ignoring the world of sensationalism and trying to share better – and untold – stories. Trying to stand out in the clickbait crowd. No, this is not a bad reworking of a John Lennon song. It’s The Athletic UK and from today we are bringing our journalism to you. We’ve put a lot of love, effort and care into it to even get to Day One so I hope you enjoy it."

Alex Mather, a co-founder of The Athletic, quoted by the New York Times in 2017: “We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing. We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.”