Friday, 24 July 2009

Quotes of the Week

Roy Greenslade on Richard Desmond suing Tom Bower: "It ill behoves newspaper proprietors to use the law of libel. They are supposed to champion press freedom. They are supposed to be committed to reforming libel law to prevent marginal instances of libel leading to expensive litigation in the high court. But it simply confirms my view that Desmond is a rogue proprietor."

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger on the decline of the regional press: "It makes me worry about all of those public authorities and courts which will in future operate without any kind of systematic public scrutiny. I don't think our legislators have begun to wake up to this imminent problem as we face the collapse of the infrastructure of local news in the press and broadcasting."

Daily Telegraph's Andrew Gimson on Andy Coulson's appearance before the culture and media committee:"For some Tories, it has always been a bit of a mystery that Mr. Cameron wanted to employ a former editor of the News of the World. But Mr. Coulson at least went a long way to clearing up that mystery, by managing to sound intelligent, helpful and even normal, while supplying no new information."

Stephen Glover on the impact on the press of the BBC website: "I find it difficult to see how most titles can successfully apply even a modest charge as long as the BBC offers so much content online free of charge. In effect, the publicly-funded broadcaster is pointing a dagger at the heart of the free Press."

Chris Morley, NUJ northern organise, on cuts at Trinity Mirror's papers in the Midlands: “Trinity Mirror need to stop finding excuses to ignore the opposition of their workforce to these drastic cuts. Journalists want the opportunity to save these papers but the company can see no options but slash and burn.”

Former senior editorial manager at Trinity Mirror in a posting on MediaGuardian: "Regional papers have always been profitable, making money hand over fist. Even though circulations have declined, ad revenues have increased. Then back in the late '90s early 00s the Johnston Press group restructured their business and started posting 40% profits, a ridiculous sum in any industry.
"But the shareholders of the other groups demanded the same and so in the relatively boom years of the turn of the century newspaper groups were cutting costs, losing staff, cutting numbers of editions and consolidating print operations. At the same time they were increasing pagination. So reporters could not be sent to court and council, it was time consuming. Better to chain them to the desk getting stories on the phone and e-mail - the 'churnalism' derided by Nick Davies in Flat Earth News. Then the recession hit and what did the managerial geniuses do to weather that - cut costs even further. Brilliant."

Unleashing Aspiration report: The typical journalist of the future will today be growing up in a family better off than 3 in 4 of all families in the UK."

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