Thursday, 21 October 2021

Media Quotes of the Week: From Murdoch's remade Britain in his own malevolent image to journalists vilified daily just for doing their jobs



Lord Puttnam in a speech announcing his retirement from the House of Lords: "
Mirroring the anxieties of many of those angry Brexiteers in 2016, I feel I’ve had my country of birth, and the values I believed it to represent, stolen from me. It’s worse than that, I find myself embarrassed by what, on an almost daily basis I see it becoming – my old enemy Rupert Murdoch’s dream made real. He never liked Britain, and he’s kind of won, he’s helped remake it in his own malevolent image."


Didi Tang in The Times [£]: "China will require more than 200,000 accredited journalists to take at least 90 hours of continued education each year to ensure they are “politically firm”, “professionally excellent” and toe the party line. The move, announced in a draft document from the National Press and Publication Administration and the country’s human resources ministry, is the latest attempt to tighten control over journalists."


Robert Peston talking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival on how he became obsessed with getting scoops when he was covering New Labour in the 1990s, as reported by the Sunday Times [£]:
“There were a couple of occasions around then when people told me things as friends that I put in the newspaper that I should never have done, and it actually almost cost me quite a lot personally. And I did eventually sort of grow up and wake up a bit. But news is, because of the excitement and the adrenaline, intrinsically addictive and I have a very strongly addictive personality — and a bit corrupting. Sometimes I was just too obsessed with getting the story. And that was bad.”






Government advisory notice to press: "Following the arrest of a man in Essex on Friday 15 October, the Attorney General reminds editors, publishers and social media users that for the purpose of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 (the Act), proceedings are active and the strict liability rule under the Act therefore applies. In particular, the Attorney General wishes to draw attention to the risks in publishing material, including on-line, that asserts or assumes, expressly or implicitly, the guilt of any of those arrested, or that otherwise interferes with the administration of justice in this case, for example allegations of wrongdoing of any individual arrested in relation to this matter.The Attorney General’s Office will be monitoring the coverage of these proceedings."


Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, on The Times investigation into police misconduct hearings:“The findings by The Times which show the level of secrecy surrounding police misconduct hearings is deeply alarming, especially in the light of the Sarah Everard case. The fact that the newspaper has had to use FOI requests to gain clarity on this issue tells its own story. The results of their investigations show that one in four hearings were held in private, that journalists were routinely blocked when they argued for open proceedings, and that almost half of 40 misconduct outcome notices relating to officers and staff in England and Wales in the past month were anonymised."


David Sassoli, the president of the European parliament, after the inaugural Daphne Caruana Galizia prize was awarded to the journalists from the Pegasus Project coordinated by the Forbidden Stories Consortium
: “Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death has brought about a resurgence of investigative journalism by colleagues committed to continuing her work. Recent examples, such as the Pandora papers, have demonstrated the unique power of journalism that is daring and adamant, particularly when carried out in the context of an international consortium. By creating transparency, investigative journalism allows voters to make informed decisions. Protecting and supporting journalists is in the vital interest of democratic societies.”


Committee to Protect Journalists reports:
"Leading press freedom organizations Free Press Unlimited, Reporters Without Bordersand the Committee to Protect Journalists launch The People’s Tribunal to indict the governments of Sri Lanka, Mexico and Syria for failing to deliver justice for the murders of Lasantha Wickremathunga, Miguel Ángel López Velasco, and Nabil Al-Sharbaji. The Tribunal, a form of grassroots justice, relies on investigations and high-quality legal analysis involving specific cases in three countries. The opening hearing will be held on 2 November in The Hague."


Marianna Spring on BBC News:
 "I'm the BBC's first specialist disinformation reporter - and I receive abusive messages on social media daily. Most are too offensive to share unedited. The trigger? My coverage of the impact of online conspiracies and fake news. I expect to be challenged and criticised - but misogynistic hate directed at me has become a very regular occurrence. Messages are laden with slurs based on gender, and references to rape, beheading and sexual acts."


Chief reporter Lee Trewhela on leaving CornwallLive after 30 years covering Cornwall: "
I have to say that one of the reasons I'm going is down to the amount of abuse and negativity journalists face on social media these days. Regional reporters live in the communities we write about, share the same concerns as the people we write about, and despite many people's opinion of CornwallLive the reporting team cares deeply and thinks long and hard about what is published. And, yes, that does mean we have to challenge sometimes."


Reach's first online safety editor Dr. Rebecca Whittington, quoted by Press Gazette: “Journalists are vilified online on a daily basis simply for doing their jobs, with types of abuse ranging from personal attacks to hate crimes. Not only does this cause harm to the victims of abuse, but it also causes harm to the audience witnessing it. It is time these issues were addressed and by leading the way and creating the position of online safety editor, Reach is taking an important step in doing just that. In my role I aim to support staff facing online abuse and harassment and I also want to address the issue externally, by working with platforms and audiences to prevent and protect.”

[£]=paywall


Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Press Freedom in the UK: Article for InPublishing

 

From lofty promises to media boycotts, attacks on the BBC and C4, an unlawful police raid, libel laws and threats to jail journalists and whistleblowers. My article on Press Freedom in the UK is up on InPublishing.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Media Quotes of the Week: From Nobel Peace Prize award is a tribute to journalism to concern over journalists SLAPPED with legal proceedings



The Nobel Peace Prize: 
“The Norweigian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace. Ms Ressa and Mr Muratov are receiving the Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia. At the same time, they are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.”

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire in a statement on Ressa and Muratov: "This prize is an extraordinary tribute to journalism and a mobilisation appeal, because this decade will be absolutely decisive for journalism. It is a powerful message at a time when democracies are being undermined by the spread of fake news and hate speech.”

International Federation of Journalists general secretary Anthony Bellanger in a statement: “We welcome the Nobel Committee's recognition of the importance of freedom of the press and the role of journalism in the service of democracy and peace, especially at the moment when journalists' rights are under unprecedented threats globally".

Committee to Protect Journalists' executive director Joel Simon in a statement: "These are journalists under personal threat, who continuously defy censorship and repression to report the news, and have led the way for others to do the same. Their struggle is our struggle.”


The Times
 [£] in a leader: "
The award of the Nobel peace prize to two journalists who have exposed crimes of the powerful is among the best decisions in the history of this often contentious accolade. Maria Ressa, co-founder of a Philippine news site, and Dmitry Muratov, a Russian investigative journalist, have shown raw courage in exposing repression perpetrated by the rulers of their respective nations...The Nobel award may not sway the regimes whose depravities are exposed by courageous journalists, but the world is a better place for such heroism."


John Simpson on Twitter:
 
"Two journalists win the Nobel Peace Prize for their courage in reporting the truth about the Philippines and Russia, at the moment when Newcastle United is bought by someone accused of murdering a journalist who had the courage to report the truth about Saudi Arabia."


BBC News reports:
 "Hours after independent editor Dmitry Muratov was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Russian authorities have designated several publications and journalists as foreign agents. Investigative group Bellingcat and BBC Russian journalist Andrei Zakharov are among those listed."


Kelvin MacKenzie on Twitter: "
Just heard that Rupert Murdoch is paying an astonishing £50million over 3 years to @piersmorgan for his nightly show which will be broadcast in the UK, US and Australia. Rupert at 90 negotiated the deal personally. Piers is now the highest paid TV guy anywhere outside the US. Murdoch's London arm couldn't afford the deal so Fox is bearing most of the cost. It was so expensive because Murdoch wanted Piers to move his columns and 7million followers from Mailonline and the Mail on Sunday to The Sun and New York Post. ITV's management do look idiots."


The Guardian
reports:
"Tommy Robinson has been given a five-year stalking protection order after he shouted abuse outside the home of a journalist and threatened to repeatedly return to her address. The founder of the English Defence League, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, went to the property of the Independent’s home affairs correspondent Lizzie Dearden and her boyfriend, Samuel Partridge, in January of this year. Westminster magistrates court heard he stood outside Dearden’s house and shouted unsubstantiated allegations about Partridge. The deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram said Robinson’s behaviour 'crossed the line between mere harassment and stalking'.”


News Media Association chief executive Owen Meredith in The Times [£]:
"In its BBC Across the UK plans, the Beeb reveals ambitions to use its privileged position to encroach further into local news in an unprecedented assault on the space already well-served by commercial news media...By increasing its local news footprint, the BBC would create a democratic deficit by putting local publishers out of business. That does nothing to enhance the voice of the overlooked, hold the powerful to account, or sustain media plurality and access to high-quality journalism."
  • Paul Wiltshire on Twitter: "So utterly bored of this tired, demeaning, divisive line. The regional media faces many challenges. The BBC recruiting more journalists is not one of them."

Gill Phillips, GNM director of editorial legal services, in the Guardian:
 "Freedom of speech is a fundamental part of any democracy, but exercising and defending it can be a difficult and expensive thing.The rich, the famous and the powerful don’t like criticism and don’t like having their dirty laundry aired in public. They can be well-resourced, and will spend heavily on expensive lawyers. They don’t always tell the truth, or fight fair."


The RAID website reports:
 "Fifteen organisations express their serious concern at the legal proceedings that have been filed in a UK court against journalist and author Tom Burgis, his publisher HarperCollins, and his employer the Financial Times. Two lawsuits have been filed by Kazakh multinational mining company, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), for what it claims are a series of 'untrue' and 'highly damaging' allegations made by the defendants about the company...'We are extremely concerned that the lawsuits against Tom Burgis, HarperCollins, and the FT are Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs). SLAPPs are a form of legal harassment used by those with deep pockets to silence journalists and other public watchdogs by exploiting intimidatingly long and expensive legal procedures,' the organisations said."



[£]=paywall

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Media Quotes of the Week: From Culture Secretary says BBC has forgotten about the working class to best of British journalism is often in local press



Culture secretary Nadine Dorries interviewed in the Sun: "
When I talk about access, I mean the make-up of who works at the BBC. They often tell us what percentage of their employees are gay, black or trans. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about what the BBC is doing to represent the vast number of low socio-economic, non-diverse areas in the UK. Places like Breck Road, like Leicester and Bradford. Towns and cities with big council estates and strong working-class communities. It’s almost like they have forgotten about them. They didn’t think they really mattered because nobody was raising the issue. It’s about group-think. The BBC thinks in one way about lots of issues. But that groupthink is out of step with what the majority of other people in the UK think.”


Nick Robinson interviewing Boris Johnson on the Today programme:
"Prime Minister, stop talking. We are going to have questions and answers, not where you merely talk, if you wouldn’t mind."


John Simpson on Twitter:
 "Margaret Thatcher was the first British political leader to question publicly whether the BBC should have a future. ‘It’s so left-wing,’ she told a group of us. ‘But you say you never watch tv; how do you know?’ I asked. ‘Rupert Murdoch keeps me informed about it,’ she replied."


Michelle Stanistreet NUJ general secretary in a statement on the £75k a year pay increase for BBC director general Tim Davie: “NUJ members gave their all over the past 18 months to provide the best possible service to the public during the pandemic. Their reward was a pay freeze last year, and a below-inflation deal this year. This lavish bung for the director general, accompanied by briefings that try to justify his pay in relation to the so-called ‘market’, is tone deaf and represents an insult to staff whose remuneration is repeatedly approached through the prism of public sector constraints."


The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on its Pandora Papers investigation:
"The ICIJ obtained the trove of more than 11.9 million confidential files and led a team of more than 600 journalists from 150 news outlets that spent two years sifting through them, tracking down hard-to-find sources and digging into court records and other public documents from dozens of countries. The leaked records come from 14 offshore services firms from around the world that set up shell companies and other offshore nooks for clients often seeking to keep their financial activities in the shadows. The records include information about the dealings of nearly three times as many current and former country leaders as any previous leak of documents from offshore havens."


Ed Cumming in the Observer on doing work experience at the NME:
"One evening I was offered 24 cans of Carling to stay late and transcribe an interview with Keith Richards. The next morning I was asked if there were any 'news lines'. Not really, I said. Just the usual Keith Richards stuff. A few days later I saw some of the words I’d typed up on the front page of the Sun under the headline: KEITH: I SNORTED MY DAD."


Joe Thomas in the Liverpool Echo on Kier Starmer writing for the Sun: "
When Mr Starmer stood on a stage in this great city and vowed not to speak with the S*n during his leadership campaign he was content to receive the support that followed. Now that he is leader he may argue he is involved in a different campaign that requires a different approach. Yet if this is a calculated political gamble it is one that, to many on Merseyside, renders his past words hollow and creates the sense that it is the support of this Labour stronghold that he is willing to risk in his pursuit of power."


Afghan journalists in an appeal to the international community via Reporters Without Borders:
"In the short term, we need strong support for evacuations of journalists in danger, by assigning them all necessary diplomatic, consular and financial resources. Journalists who have fled the country must be given facilities so that they continue to work as journalists. At this historic and also chaotic time, the disappearance of Afghan journalism would be disastrous. Ensuring the safety of media professionals is crucial in order to preserve the fundamental right of all Afghan citizens to receive accurate news and information, a prerequisite for any hope of one day seeing Afghanistan on the road to a lasting peace. Help us to make Afghan journalism survive."


Bill Browder interviewed by John Sweeney for  Index on Censorship on the libel action against ex-Financial Times journalist Catherine Belton's book Putin's People: “I’ve known Catherine for many years. She’s one of the most rigorous reporters I’ve ever come across. I’ve read her book. And my own view is that the libel action against her is creating a climate of fear among journalists...This is, in my opinion, not just about terrorising Catherine Belton, this is an act of terror that terrorises you and every other journalist and every other publishing company. And so I fear this will have a huge damping effect on vigorous reporting about what’s going on in Russia, without question. And I think it goes well beyond Catherine Belton."


Alastair Campbell on Twitter: 
"It’s such a shame that most people in the country do not see the best of British journalism. So often it is local and regional. Most of the national front pages these days are now either propaganda or trivia."

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Media Quotes of the Week: From don't blame the media for petrol crisis to Trump sues NY Times and reporters over 'insidious plot' to obtain tax records




Iliffe Media editorial director Ian Carter in an opinion article on Kent Online: "For all those complaining about media ‘scaremongering’, ask yourself one simple question - would you really prefer to live in a society where inconvenient truths are hidden from you? Where the media deliberately censors information because it doesn’t feel the public can be trusted with it? Maybe you would; I wouldn’t. Where would that end? Don’t report incidents of serious crime in case it deters people from leaving the house? It’s also obvious that the moment the first garage ran low on fuel it would spread across social media networks at breakneck pace - and then it wouldn’t be long before the mainstream media were getting it in the neck for not warning people...

"Bashing the MSM is something everyone in the industry has got used to and by and large we take it on the chin.In this instance, I think remaining silent would be a disservice to readers - there are people with questions to answer about why we are where we are, and by choosing to scapegoat the media, the spotlight is in the wrong place. The fuel crisis is a complex, concerning scenario involving Covid, Brexit, the logistics of transporting hazardous materials and salary levels. Traducing it to simply ‘media scaremongering’ is plain wrong."



YouGov on Twitter: "
Britons hold the media most responsible for petrol stations running out of fuel."
  • The media - 47% say are most to blame
  • The government - 23%
  • The public - 22%


Henry Winter in The Times [£]:
"Here we go again, footballers should be seen but not heard. So says the Spectator following Gary Neville’s observations about the paucity of political leadership, whether red or blue. Open your eyes. Footballers like Neville, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling feel and suffer more of life’s vicissitudes in this great country than columnists playing at life rather than experiencing it."


Andrew Neil interviewed in the Daily Mail on his departure from GB News:
"The reason I am quite emotional is that I’m angry. I thought after ten years at the Economist, 11 years at The Sunday Times, the launch of Sky Television and Sky News, ten years as publisher of The Scotsman and, for 25 years working to become the BBC’s premier interviewer, GB News would be the final big career move and then I’d pack it all in. I am angry. I’m also quite unforgiving of this chief executive and the board. They are the ones who put me through this – the disrespect. Why pay me all that money? Why make me chairman? Why make me lead presenter and then just not listen? 

"So I’m angry that what should have been my last big media gig – which, if we’d made it work, could have been great – turned out to be the worst eight months of my career, the worst by far, from early January to last weekend when I finally got free of everything. Don’t forget, I’ve been on the IRA hit list twice. I’ve had special protection – anti-terrorist forces outside my house. I’ve been on the jihadists’ hit list. This feels worse."


Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the NUJ, in a statement on the 20th anniversary of the murder of Sunday World journalist Martin O'Hagan“The failure of the authorities to properly investigate the brutal murder of Martin O’Hagan is a stain on the history of policing in Northern Ireland. The passage of time does not obliterate the need for an independent investigation drawn from outside the UK to investigate the murder and the subsequent police failings...Martin would be horrified by the recent threats to journalists across Northern Ireland. The use of social media to undermine journalists is a disturbing trend but Martin would be unsurprised by the cowardice of keyboard warriors, having challenged so many who operated in the shadows during his career."


International Federation of Journalists general secretary, Anthony Bellanger, in a statement after a report published by Yahoo News that the CIA allegedly planned to kidnap and assassinate Julian Assange as they feared he was planning to escape to Russia from the Ecuadorian embassy in London: 
“If these accusations are true, it would cast a long shadow over all independent journalism and they would once again prove that extraditing Assange to the United States would put his life at serious risk. We are calling for a full investigation and for the British authorities to release him immediately."


New York Times
reports:
 "Former President Donald J. Trump filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing Mary L. Trump, The New York Times and three of its reporters of conspiring in an 'insidious plot' to improperly obtain his confidential tax records and exploit their use in news articles and a book. The lawsuit claims that the Times reporters, as part of an effort to obtain the tax records, relentlessly sought out Ms. Trump, the former president’s niece, and persuaded her 'to smuggle the records out of her attorney’s office' and turn them over to The Times."

New York Times investigative reporter Susanne Craig responds on Twitter: "I knocked on Mary Trump’s door. She opened it. I think they call that journalism."

  • In 2019, three Times reporters — David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner — were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for articles about Trump’s taxes. In announcing the award, the Pulitzer judges called the work “an exhaustive 18-month investigation” that “revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges.”
[£]=paywall


Thursday, 23 September 2021

Media Quotes of the Week: From pandemic pressures pushing journalists to quit to Culture Secretary's eye-watering threat to reporter


Sara Guaglione on Digiday:
"The effects of the pandemic on journalists are ongoing. People are continuing to quit their jobs, leave the industry or shift roles, citing burnout from the pressures of working under the shadow of a pandemic while already in a stressful career path. The pandemic seems to be pushing journalists who were already on the verge of leaving to the brink, and those that have left are not looking back."
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts journalism jobs in US will decline by 4.8% by 2030, after already shrinking from nearly 66,000 workers in 2000 to 52,000 in 2019.

Andrew Neil, asked on BBC's Question Time about his departure from GB News: "I had made it clear, it wouldn't be a British Fox News, and I think you could do something different without going anywhere near Fox. Fox deals in untruths, it deals with conspiracy theories, and it deals in fake news and that's not my kind of journalism...More and more differences emerged between myself and the other senior managers and the board of GB News. Rather than these differences narrowing, they got wider and wider and I felt it was best that if that’s the route they wanted to take then that’s up to them, it’s their money."

Andrew Neil on Twitter: "After weeks of talks with @GBNEWS, resulting in exit settlement, the channel then broke it by briefing Mail on Sunday with load of smears/lies then unilaterally cancelling exit deal. Leaving me free to do, say whatever I want + never again be on GBNews. Couldn’t be happier."
  • Alan Rusbridger on Twitter: "The BBC should, IMHO, hire back @afneil asap. Whatever his politics, he is a true professional and understands the BBC rules perfectly well. The same, I suspect, is true of @jessbrammar."


Piers Morgan on Twitter on joining News UK's new national television station talkTV and writing a column for the Sun: "I’ve gone home. Great to be rejoining Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation after 28 years. The place I started my media career, with the boss who gave me my first big break. We’re going to have a lot of fun…."

  • Rupert Murdoch on Piers Morgan: “Piers is the broadcaster every channel wants but is too afraid to hire. Piers is a brilliant presenter, a talented journalist and says what people are thinking and feeling.”


Mic Wright on Byline Times:
  "The moment that Andrew Neil – a former sinister apprentice to the dark lord of News Corp during his time at The Sunday Times and Sky – announced his departure from GB News on Monday, Murdoch’s plan for a new right-wing news channel, which had been ‘scaled back’ in April, twitched to life. Murdoch has seen an opportunity to take the anti-woke, far-right slot that GB News has failed to dominate through lack of investment, paucity of talent, and technical ineptitude."


Will Hutton in the Observer:
 "Right-of-centre British newspapers have done an unparalleled job in attempting to move public opinion to the right, but as their circulation declines so their influence wanes. Without a politician of the campaigning zest of Boris Johnson, Tories concede, their chance of winning elections will fade. The imperative is to use the current conjuncture to follow the US and build a broadcast media as effective as the fading print media in cheerleading the Conservative cause. Public service broadcasting and, above all, broadcast regulators’ attachment to impartiality are in their crosshairs."


Journalist and trade unionist in Afghanistan interviewed by the International Federation of Journalists: "
As a journalist it is hard to work under the Taliban because they don't respect journalists' rights, they see every journalist as an enemy or as working against them. They have violated the existing legislation, they have not set out any clear policy, they don't allow access to information and prevent news coverage each time they don't wish an issue to be reported on. I have worked mostly with international media, mainly from the UK and US and they want to punish journalists who have worked with US, UK and other western media. My life is at risk and every minute I fear they will try to find and arrest me or kill me.

"As a unionist I feel my life is even more in danger because I was protecting national and international journalists and media workers' rights and I was critical of the Taliban policy, fighting for press freedom and freedom of expression."







Jennifer Rankin in the Guardian: "EU governments have been urged by Brussels to take action to protect journalists, after an increase in physical and online attacks on members of the press. Issuing its first-ever recommendation on journalists’ safety, the European Commission called on EU governments to set up free contact points for media workers who face physical or online threats, in order to ensure a rapid response from police and prosecutors. It also wants to make sure journalists who become victims of crime have assured access to counselling, legal advice and shelters. According to the commission, 908 journalists and media workers were attacked in 23 EU member states in 2020, resulting in physical and mental injuries, as well as damage to property."


Hadley Freeman in the Guardian in her last column on the changing attitude to columnists: 
 "Ideological disagreements were just a normal part of life on the paper back then, and mixing only with those you agree with would have been seen by many journalists as embarrassingly partisan and unprofessional. I don’t know if that’s quite so true any more. I’ve tackled some highlycontroversial subjects in my time, from Israel to – most controversially – the ugliness of combat trousers, so I’m no stranger to heated debate. But where once people could argue with one another and then go out for a drink, now it feels as if people just argue. A difference of opinion becomes a seismic breaking of alliances, and certain subjects are verboten in social situation."

Our new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries profiled by Press Gazette: "
In 2013 Dorries threatened to nail a Sunday Mirror journalist’s testicles to the floor after he doorstepped her to ask about her daughter’s taxpayer-funded job. She tweeted: 'Ben Glaze of the Sunday Mirror has an interest in my three daughters which borders on decidedly creepy/ stalker-esque. Here is a message….'Be seen within a mile of my daughters and I will nail your balls to the floor… using your own front teeth. Do you get that?'”

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Media Quotes of the Week: Was Andrew Neil's vision for GB News bound to fail? to Taliban will force foreign journalists out of Afghanistan



Andrew Neil on Twitter: "It’s official: I have resigned as Chairman and Lead Presenter of GB News."
Jake Kanter in The Times [£]: "Two camps are said to have emerged at the channel. On one side of the divide are those who consider themselves traditional news journalists, who joined because of the pedigree of senior presenters including Neil and [Simon] McCoy. On the other is a growing roster of populist commentators, who under the leadership of [chief executive Angelos] Frangopoulos are making the station’s agenda more like Fox News."


James Ball in the New Statesman:
 "Neil’s vision for GB News appeared to be based sincerely on that belief: the channel tried to hire local journalists to report – or at least do talking head spots – from across the country for 'out of London' perspectives. The channel hired various presenters and pundits from the BBC and mainstream outfits. There was an attempt to be a mainstream but non-left channel. The result was, frankly, boring. The gap turned out not to exist – and so an amateurish channel with appalling lighting and sound, no half-hourly bulletins and horribly under-rehearsed presenters, producers and tech, was interesting to watch only as an example of how not to produce television."


Marina Hyde in the Guardian
"You’ll recall that Neil launched GB News with a lengthy series of broadsides at the 'metropolitan mindset' and the failures of the 'London media'. Can’t argue with a lot of that. And yet, it must be said that there has simply never, ever been more 'London media' behaviour than that we have witnessed at GB News since then. Backbiting, flouncing, courtly factionalism, seemingly daily resignations, the cancellation of one of its own presenters, briefing wars, declining to come back to work from the south of France for literally months – my dear, the sheer pompous luvviedom of this station has been absolutely unparalleled."


Daniel Finkelstein in The Times [£]:
"Launching a new television station is hard, and I always thought GB News would find things tough. I was surprised they thought there were enough people wanting to watch programmes about cancel culture in the middle of the afternoon. How many viewers would be shouting through to the kitchen: 'I’ll come to dinner in a minute darling, but Dan Wootton is on. He’s just talking to Ann Widdecombe about lockdowns and I want to find out if she’s for them or against them'?"



Private Eye's Adam Mcqueen, interviewed by Press Gazette: "I keep saying to people who take photos of their favourite stories in Private Eye on the Wednesday when we come out and put them all over Twitter: this stuff’s really expensive. Every story that gets in that there’s probably six or seven that each journalist has looked into that haven’t actually come to anything, but you have to put a lot of resources into checking things out and seeing them through. In a lot of cases lawyers get involved, there have been injunctions and things that you ended up spending months and a hell of a lot of money on. And you need the resources to do that stuff. And it is much easier as a lot of publishers [have found out] just to get a load of people who’ve got opinions to come in and spout off about them and with that goes to the picture byline and the personal brand side of things."


BBC News reports:
"A complaint by a journalist over 'a complete failure' by the Police Service of Northern Ireland to properly investigate an online threat to sexually attack her baby has been upheld. Patricia Devlin, a crime reporter with the Sunday World, took the case to the Police Ombudsman last year. Ms Devlin received the threat a year ago in a direct message to her Facebook account, signed in the name of neo-Nazi group Combat 18. Police Ombudsman, Marie Anderson, said the threat made against the journalist was 'repulsive'. She added that it was 'concerning that police failed to take measures to arrest the suspect at the earliest opportunity'."


Andrew Roth in the Observer:
 "For more than a decade, the Kremlin has been engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with Russia’s independent media. Outlets with independent journalists were periodically purged by their businessmen or state owners. Those journalists found new jobs, then founded new media, and sought other means to protect their work, sources and livelihood from the threat of a new government crackdown. But in the past year, since the protests in neighbouring Belarus, the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and Vladimir Putin’s “resetting” of his presidential terms, the Kremlin is taking broader steps to bring the media and individual journalists to heel. Some think it’s possible to keep on reporting, but others see it as a death knell for the profession of journalism."


Ian Burrell in the i
 on the task of replacing Fran Unsworth at the BBC: "Being BBC director of news and current affairs is probably the most prestigious job in the British news industry, but in the age of social media it is close to becoming an impossible task. Of course, there will always be applicants for a role that comes with immense status and a £340,000 salary but, aside from that, it’s strangely unrewarding and surprisingly powerless. Much of the remit concerns making job cuts and withstanding the political controversies that result from the endless online dissection of the output of a 6,000-strong news division that serves 468m people around the world."


Jake Kanter in The Times [£]:
"There is an atmosphere of fear and loathing at the BBC as demoralised news staff fret over creeping politicisation of senior roles, job cuts and a fresh assault on the licence fee. The Times has obtained a copy of the BBC’s 2021 employee survey, which provides a snapshot of the anxiety about the future among rank-and-file staff. Only 41 per cent of employees believe the BBC will succeed over the next three years, according to the survey completed in May."


 Los Angeles Times
reports:
"Journalists from the Etilaat Roz newspaper, Nemat Naqdi, 28, a video journalist, left, and Taqi Daryabi, 22, video editor, show their wounds. They said Taliban fighters tortured and beat them while they were in custody after being arrested while reporting on a women’s rights protest in Kabul, Afghanistan." (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Anthony Bellanger, the International Federation of Journalists' general secretary, interviewed in the Guardian: “The Taliban don’t want to make too many waves right now, but they will want to take control of everything, including the foreign press in Afghanistan. And as often happens in such situations, foreign journalists will be considered agents of foreign governments.  I believe what we will see emerge is an official media – a Taliban media – and no women. All other journalists will just disappear."

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