Thursday, 12 July 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Boris Johnson not a nice man says his former editor to Paul Dacre's tribute to 'print man' Peter Preston

Max Hastings in The Times [£] on Boris Johnson, who he employed at the Daily Telegraph: "It is a common mistake to suppose Johnson a nice man. In reality he often behaves unpleasantly. I myself have received some ugly letters from Johnson, threatening consequences for writing about him in terms that he thought unflattering...He seems to deserve every possible success as a journalist and entertainer. Should he ever achieve his towering ambition to become prime minister, however, a signal would go forth to the world that Britain had abandoned any residual aspiration to be viewed as a serious nation."

David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter on Theresa May: "This is the first PM for a long, long, time to defy Sun and Mail. They have been out-manoeuvred. Rare. Dangerous. Interesting."

Patrick Wintour @patrickwintour on Twitter: "At Balkans summit Angela Merkel raised her eyebrows and gave out a thin smile when told by Theresa May she was not to answer questions from the British press, and only take a solitary question from a German reporter. One summit issue was media freedom in the Balkans."

John Cleese on BBC Newsnight who says he is leaving Britain for the Caribbean because of the way the country is run: "My particular beef is with the newspapers...It’s the lying and the triviality that I object to."

The Guardian in a leader: "Facebook has been fined five and a half minutes’ revenue – the most the law allows – for breach of data protection regulations in connection with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This is a welcome recognition of the tireless work done by the Observer on the story. But it must only be the beginning of a wider examination of the ways in which big data shifts the balance of power in a democratic society."

Donald Trump at his Montana rally on journalists, as reported by Mediate: “I see the way they write. They’re so damn dishonest. And I don’t mean all of them. Because some of the finest people I know are journalists. Really. Hard to believe when I say that. I hate to say it but I have to say. But 75% of those people are downright dishonest. Downright dishonest.”

Josh Glancy interviewing Steve Bannon for the Sunday Times Magazine [£]:  "Talking to Bannon is a bit like having someone direct a leaf-blower into your face. He emits a torrent of insights and insults, some fascinating, some repellent, all delivered with mesmerising force and occasional charm. He curses at me, berates me for “not doing my homework” and insists I’m part of a mainstream media conspiracy to protect the “globalists” and “fascists” that “run the party of Davos”, as well as the “smug, arrogant” elites in Brussels and the City of London. Coming from anyone else I might take offence, but with Bannon it feels performative. Much like Trump, Bannon’s relationship with the media has always had an element of symbiotic pantomime. And it could be worse, at least I’m not from the FT. “The Financial Times are communists,” he says, shaking his head."

Sky Chief executive Jeremy Darroch in The Times [£] calls for the digital giants to face statutory controls: "A regulator must have sharp teeth, starting with strong information-gathering powers, the power to initiate enquiries and the ability to impose effective sanctions including the ability to fine for non-compliance...We expect even the smallest media companies to invest heavily in editorial and compliance such that every second of coverage meets the responsible standards that society through parliamentary regulation has laid down. It is simply wrong that some of the largest, most profitable companies on the planet should not be expected to meet, if not even exceed, the same level of responsibility."

The Times [£] in a leader: "As they have grown, traditional media companies such as The Times have submitted voluntarily to effective regulation by the Independent Press Standards Organisation. Facebook and Google might argue on this basis that they too should be left to regulate themselves, but they have tried, half-heartedly, and failed. Their policies for dealing with harmful content are not standardised as they need to be; nor are they subject to independent oversight. Newspapers, meanwhile, do not stand accused of enabling online bullying or profiting from the sale of advertising placed alongside extremist videos."

Shawn Crispin, of the Comittee to Protect Journalists in a statement , after a Myanmar court charged Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo under the Official Secrets Act: "This is a sad day for Myanmar's fledging democracy. This outrageous ruling affirms that politics rather than the law or evidence are what matters in this case. The only way to reverse the damage is to release Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo immediately."

Paul Dacre speaking at the memorial service for Peter Preston, as reported by Press Gazette: “I am told, in later years, he was, rightly, proud of the Guardian’s online achievements. Whether he was ever reconciled to the digital revolution though, I doubt. The reason, of course, was that he was quite simply, a print man. He loved that magical symbiosis of newsprint, pictures, headlines, fonts and beautiful words that at their best can make a paper a functioning part of society rather than a commentary at its edges. Inevitably, sadly, those Fleet Street skills needed for that magic symbiosis are dying in an internet age which seems to have a voracious need for free, somewhat crudely expressed, round-the-clock information and gratification. Yes, of course, journalism will survive and may, one day, flourish again. But it will be different. Whether it will, in future, have the creative beauty and sheer power of Peter’s Guardian, I don’t know. But I do know – and there’s no presumption here – that, for the sake of our industry’s collective memory, we should today salute a very great man of print.”

  • David Leigh @davidleighx on Twitter: "The Guardian lets its tummy be tickled by the Fritzl of Fleet St."


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From newspaper shooting fails to temper Trump attacks on press to 6,000 frontline UK journalists gone in 10 years

Capital Gazette reporter Phil Davis @PhilDavis_CG on Twitter: “There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.”

David Simon @AoDespair on Twitter: "Two of my friends are dead in Annapolis and the US President only days earlier declared them to be operating as "enemies of the people." The climate is formed from such rancid shit; context is king. And regardless, are such words from the POTUS responsible, ethical? ...That there are unstable people with grievances against journalists is a given. That the US President has declared that journalists are "enemies of the people" creates a climate that can encourage violence is extremely relevant as a newsroom is shot to pieces. Leadership?"

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter Jul 3 "The Washington Post is constantly quoting “anonymous sources” that do not exist. Rarely do they use the name of anyone because there is no one to give them the kind of negative quote that they are looking for. They are a disgrace to journalism but then again, so are many others!"

Ben Fenton‏ @benfenton on Twitter: "If there is even a hint of a connection between the Annapolis murderer and alt-right/Trumpian hate speech against journalists, then there has to be an end to the President’s games. Any more of that rhetoric will be incitement to murder, pure and simple."

Kyle Pope in the Columbia Journalism Review: "Our focus this long two years has been on the big, high-profile news organizations that most occupy Trump’s obsessions and his Twitter feed. They are what we think about when we worry about threats to the press, and they have become stand-ins for those, inside the government and out, who rail against fake news. But what we missed is that for most Americans, the media is not some big-city skyscraper or national TV network with layers of security, where everybody needs a badge to get in. It’s our local newsroom down the street, staffed by professionals reporting on what matters most to people where they live. We’re reminded this week that in the war against the press, they may well be the journalists in America who are most at risk."

The Guardian in a leader: "Honest journalism is a vital part of any decent society. Fearless journalism is a sign, and a part of the defences, of any free society. The trade can be grubby and – perish the thought – self-important but it gives us a warped mirror of our flawed selves and what we all learn from it is more important than the flaws. This is particularly true of local journalism because the local papers write about their readers and not about half-mythical celebrities. They help communities to recognise themselves in their common humanity and, at their best, can help them to come together."

Eddie Mair @eddiemair  on Twitter on leaving the BBC to join LBC: "Thank you for all the kind words. I appreciate them. But there are journalists in the world who are being shot, jailed, held hostage or forced to work with @corrie_corfield. I’m only changing jobs. So please do something about them. (Not Corrie. She’s lovely. Mainly)."

Fintan O'Toole in The Observer: "Carole Cadwalladr has placed herself on the frontline in the fight to preserve open societies against rich, powerful and ruthless enemies. She has done so with the courage, skill, resilience and undaunted optimism of one who believes that fight can and must be won."

Camilla Long in the Sunday Times [£] reviewing the documentary Reporting Trump’s First Year — The Fourth Estate about the New York Times: "If you are a journalist, you dream of television like this, of the camera hotly panning over some late-night conference as dishevelled hacks rush towards a scoop. The curse of print journalists is that they have all the urges and desires of TV stars, but rarely work in front of the camera. By “rarely work”, of course, I mean “are hideous” — we are a dismal phylum of pasty, anxious, shrivelled, crusty-socked, nose-picking lemurs and gargoyles."

Carrie Gracie after winning her fight for equal pay with the BBC, as reported by BBC News: "In acknowledging the value of my work as China editor, the BBC has awarded me several years of backdated pay. But for me this was always about the principle and not about the money, so I'm giving all of that money away to help women who need it more than I do. After all, today at the BBC I can say I am equal.'

From OECDONTHELEVEL: "Sparse court lists are just one of the problems undermining the openness and transparency of the court system. The inaccessibility of court documents is another. A UK journalist can more easily access court documents from any federal court in the United States than from the Royal Courts of Justice in London, which houses many of England’s most senior judges."

From the Society of Editors: "Research, conducted by Mediatique, has found that circulation and print advertising revenues have dropped by more than half over the last decade, from nearly £7 billion to just over £3 billion. Over the same time, the number of frontline print journalists has dropped by over 25% - from around 23,000 in 2007 to 17,000 in 2017."

 [£] =paywall

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From hospital scandal shows why we need local newspapers to can journalists and footballers ever be friends?

How the News covered the story in 2001

Former editor of The News, Portsmouth, Mike Gilson, on HoldTheFrontPageafter the paper was praised in the report into suspicious deaths at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital for highlighting the story from 2001: "What is heartening is that our stories did have the effect of emboldening those inside the system who knew something was wrong to come forward. A salutary lesson in these days when the democratic deficit arising from local journalism’s slow retreat from the frontline is causing real concern. Shortly after our first story, Pauline Spilka, a nursing auxiliary, explained that reading the article had led her to come forward...Of course I don’t claim The News did anything other than what it should have been doing. We did though go at it with a fire in the belly that makes me proud of the team even now. Primarily its shows that a partnership between people in need and public service journalism can get results…no matter how long it takes. We lose that bond at our peril."

Chairman of the George Orwell Journalism Prize judges David Bell on the Observer's Carole Cadwalladr who broke the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data mining story: “This year’s winner – Carole Cadwalladr – deserves high praise for the quality of her research and for her determination to shed fierce light on a story which seems by no means over yet. Orwell would have loved it.”

Tim Walker @ThatTimWalker on Twitter: "Interesting the journalists getting the biggest stories on newspapers now are all at the Guardian group & all women."

Chris Morley, NUJ northern and midlands senior organiser, in a statement on plans by CN Group's new owner Newsquest to cut four out of five staff photographers on the Cumbria-based newspapers"Our members at CN Group have been long suffering in terms of falling pay in real terms and an attrition of jobs over a number of years. But what shines out has been a dogged and determined commitment to quality local journalism that has kept the company going in the harshest of conditions – and they should be congratulated on this great achievement. Instead, new corporate master Newsquest has axed staff throughout the business and is about to now scythe through newsroom photographic capacity in a move that undermines this hard-won reputation for journalistic excellence."

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!"

Guardian reader's editor Paul Chadwick backing editor Kath Viner's decision to spike a Steve Bell cartoon: "Intended or unintended, I believe that in this cartoon an allusion to the ovens of the concentration camps of the Holocaust is obvious. I don’t regard the image as antisemitic, which is important to state because Bell has been accused of it more than once before. Rather, I see the image as insensitively and counterproductively ill-judged...In this case I believe Bell delivered a clanger, amplified by the publicity his own actions prompted. It made Bell and potential antisemitism the story, and muted his cause, which I take to be a demand that Israel’s allies press it to explain the violent death of an articulate young woman who was just starting to come to attention."

From The Times [£]: "Facebook has always claimed that digital is the future, which makes the decision to create its own print magazine all the more remarkable. The social media giant has quietly launched a British-based quarterly magazine aimed at wealthy executives, in an apparently belated conversion to the power of the printed word. Grow is being distributed free in first and business-class airport lounges with the slogan “Grow Your Business. Grow Your Network. Grow Your Mind.” The tech giant’s executives seem unconcerned, or unaware, that Grow is already the name of a popular cannabis horticulture magazine published in the US, which has its own Facebook page. Facebook, which to escape closer regulation has always denied being a publisher, made no public announcement about the magazine’s launch."

Jen Skerritt  on Bloomberg: "As if the U.S. newspaper business didn’t have enough trouble coping with decades of lost readers and advertising dollars. An escalating trade dispute with Canada is poised to make every edition cost a lot more to publish. Newsprint prices have jumped since October to a three-year high and may keep increasing if, as expected, the administration of President Donald Trump slaps duties on imported paper from Canada next month."

Raheem Sterling on "If you grew up the same way I grew up, don’t listen to what certain tabloids want to tell you. They just want to steal your joy. They just want to pull you down. I’m telling you right now … England is still a place where a naughty boy who comes from nothing can live his dream."

Manager Gareth Southgate after a picture of an England team sheet was published by the media, as reported by BBC Sport: "Obviously any time, if we were to give the opposition the opportunity of having our team it's a disadvantage to us. So of course our media has to decide if they want to help the team or not."

Former England and Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy, on BBC Sport: "Some of the press guys want the best of both. They want to be playing darts and bowling with the lads and getting on and having banter with them but as soon as there is problem they will jump on you and hammer you. Make no mistake, a lot of that going and mixing with the press is fake, you do it because you have to do it as players. You know they [the media] will come for you as soon as they have a bad game."


Thursday, 21 June 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: Editors urged to call out Donald Trump as a Fascist to deviilsh ad tries to lure 'disillusioned hacks' to the PR dark side

Former Sun editor David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Every serving editor, both sides of pond, each have a hand of history on their shoulder. When the US President locked separated children up and behaved as a Fascist they need to be able to look back and say the called it right. This man is a Fascist. Call him that."

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump"Washington Post employees want to go on strike because Bezos isn’t paying them enough. I think a really long strike would be a great idea. Employees would get more money and we would get rid of Fake News for an extended period of time! Is @WaPo a registered lobbyist?"

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop after this year's Paul Foot award went to the Guardian's Amelia Gentleman for her investigation into the Windrush scandal: “Congratulations to Amelia Gentleman for a campaign that was revelatory, important and amazingly effective. This was the Windrush scandal – where a cabinet minister was thrown overboard and the ship of state nearly sank.”

Suzanne Moore in the Guardian on David Dimbleby leaving Question Time: "Who will  replace Dimbleby on Question Time? The nation frets. Who can do this demanding job of pointing to a man in a jumper and then apologising because it is a woman. Well, possibly a woman. Samira Ahmed, Emily Maitlis, Emma Barnett. There are loads of great women broadcasters around at the moment. But surely Question Time went from being unmissable event TV to eminently missable banal and tribal pantomime of spin a long time ago? Too many panelists, too many briefed-up politicians sticking to party lines, and the always spare “alternative” comedian who is neither funny nor clever."

Thomas Markle interviewed on ITV'S Good Morning Britain on why he colluded with a photographer for staged paparazzi photographs before the Royal wedding: "I thought it was improving my look, but that obviously went to hell. I didn't do this for money I did it to change my image. I was presented for a whole year as a hermit hiding out in Mexico, it was a mistake."

Mail target Patience Wheatcroft in the Guardian: "On Brexit, as so many other things, the Mail has a completely closed mind. This saddens me, as I started my Fleet Street career there, on the City pages, under the expert tutelage of Patrick Sergeant, who insisted on thorough analysis of issues and fair interviewing of individuals."

The Times [£] in leader: "Only one in 50 children can tell if a news story is real or fake, according to a survey published yesterday, and other research has found that adults are little better. It is vital, therefore, to preserve sources of information the public can trust. People buy and subscribe to newspapers like The Times because they know, from years of experience, that what appears, in print or online, is not the propaganda of a hostile foreign state, nor the attempt of a fraudster to generate clicks for commercial gain, nor a meme intended as a joke that has got out of hand. It is journalism, as it always has been."

Nick Cohen @NickCohen4 on Twitter: "Very much enjoying the long, slow vindication of @carolecadwalla. Many people, including journalists, do not understand that reporting isn't always a wham bam exclusive but months and years of knocking away at the walls, which protect powerful interests."

Lindsey Hilsum @lindseyhilsum on Twitter: "I’m excited too - and a bit nervous. It’s hard to write the biography of a friend who died.... to write with honesty and love about someone whom so many people cared about and who was a role model for many young journalists."

Job ad for a "disillusioned hack" to join  PR company, on HoldTheFrontPage: "Rhizome Media, a PR firm made up mostly of ex-hacks, is looking for an experienced (and probably thoroughly disillusioned) journalist who is happy to sell his or her soul to the devil for the right price. To hell with it, money makes the world go round."


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Paul Dacre defended as 'newspaperman of genius' in Guardian letter to there's nothing as ex as an ex-editor

Former Observer and Independent editor Roger Alton in a letter to the Guardian: "Could I correct a couple of points in Polly Toynbee’s extraordinarily mendacious article about the Daily Mail (Bully-in-chief Dacre is off. Good riddance, 8 June). As someone who has knocked around a few newsrooms, let me assure you that there is less “racism, homophobia and philistinism” – to quote Toynbee – at the Daily Mail than at many of the other places I have known. Paul Dacre is a very great man and a newspaperman of genius who has done as much to improve the quality of life in Britain as anybody I can think of. One of my great regrets about his departure is that the scoundrels, rogues and thieves who stalk this pleasant land will soon have a much freer ride than before. They will not be sad that he is going. Ms Toynbee refers to the 1950s: a pleasant decade in my memory, not least because no one had to listen to Polly Toynbee talking nonsense."

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian on Paul Dacre: "Asked for the winning formula of his Daily Mail, Lord Northcliffe replied: 'I give my readers a daily hate.' No one has kept that flame burning more brightly than Paul Dacre, poisoner of the national psyche, bully-in-chief, whose iron whim has terrified prime ministers for a quarter of a century...Like all bullies he targets underdogs, imposing on the country racism, homophobia and philistinism, and shunning complexity and evidence."

Leave backer Arron Banks, appearing before the Media and Culture Committee looking into fake news: "We teased journalists. They are the cleverest, stupidest people on earth."

Carole Cadwalladr, after the Sunday Times and the Observer both splashed on Russian links with Leave campaigners amid claims story was given to the Sunday Times to 'spoil' the Observer scoop, quoted by Press Gazette: “Journalists jealously guard their scoops. However in this instance I thought if this is what it took to get this information out in the public domain, it also had to go in the Sunday Times, I was delighted, really pleased. The objective was to get it into the public domain. Whether that’s in the Observer or the Sunday Times I don’t care that much.”

Les Hinton in the Mail on Sunday on Norman Scott: "I found myself appointed Scott’s ‘minder’ when my newspaper, The Sun, did a deal with him for exclusive interviews. In my media career, I’ve spent time with presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and princes, the Sex Pistols, a couple of Rolling Stones, and a few billionaires but I’ll never forget my days in the depths of Devon with Norman Scott. It was a bleak period for the media — hoodwinked into believing Scott was a freak and a liar.When the Sunday Mirror received a dossier of powerful evidence to support Scott’s claim, the editor sent it to Thorpe and didn’t publish a word. Even in 1976, when the Thorpe-Scott scandal blew up into a national story, the Sunday Times published a front-page lead, headlined: The lies of Norman Scott."

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, interviewed in the Daily Telegraph [£]: "My job is to walk into an editor's office, throw a dead rat full of lice on their desk and say 'this what I want to do for the next three months, it's going to cost you a lot of money, you are going to get sued, you are going to get threats, and you are going to lose customers - but let's go at it!'"

The Committee to Protect Journalists' North America program coordinator Alexandra Ellerbeck in a statement on the seizure of phone and email records from New York Times reporter Ali Watkins by the United States Justice Department: "In order to perform their public accountability function, journalists must be able to protect their confidential sources. Efforts by government that undermine this ability therefore represent a fundamental threat to press freedom. This is why we believe that the government's seizure of Ali Watkins's data sets a dangerous precedent. We fear it could be an opening salvo in an ongoing battle over reporters' ability to protect their sources."

Steve Bird, father of chapel at the Financial Times, backing an NUJ campaign for journalists to take a proper lunch break outside their newsrooms on the longest day of the year next Thursday (June 21): "NUJ activists should follow the example set in Leeds to organise and promote a picnic outside of the office on the longest day of the year. Hopefully, this will provide an extra reason to get out of the office and will draw attention to the central issues of work stress and long hours.

Findings of a study into decline of local press in the US, reported by the Guardian: "When a local newspaper closes, the cost of government increases. That’s the conclusion of new survey from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, which draws a direct line between loss of the watchful eyes of local newspapers and a decline in government efficiency."

Dominic Ponsford in Press Gazette"Reading the Daily Mail is for me a little like eating foie gras.  There is some guilt about the suffering that has gone into its production, but you cannot deny that it somehow adds to the richness of the flavour."

David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Putting remainer Geordie Greig in at the Daily Mail isn’t just big news it is revolutionary. This changes everything for Brexit and the consequences could be historic."

Paul Dacre in The Spectator [£]: “Support for Brexit is in the DNA of both the Daily Mail and, more pertinently, its readers. Any move to reverse this would be editorial and commercial suicide.”

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian: "At times, such as the front-page attacks on judges and Gina Miller, Dacre appeared to have lost all reason. How, one was given to saying, can Rothermere live with this stuff? Why is he keeping him in the chair? Now it is all too late. Greig will certainly pursue a less strident line, but the damage has been done. Dacre, the grand old Duke of York, marched his army up to the top of the Brexit hill, and they are still there, firing Mail-manufactured missiles at the so-called Remoaners. Greig cannot march them down again. He cannot turn back the clock. Although Brexit will be seen as Dacre’s legacy, see it instead as Rothermere’s. The last of Britain’s press barons has let his country down."

Matt Kelly @mk1969 on Twitter: "Logistics of the Mail changes make it seem likely that Dacre was pushed. No way he’d be happy with Greig as successor and no way would he be happy with him reporting to Rothermere He’s been totally bypassed in 24 hours. Some legacy!...and as @campbellclaret once told me; there’s nothing as ex as an ex-editor."