Friday, 29 January 2010

Quotes of the Week

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger on paywalls: "If you erect a universal pay wall around your content then it follows you are turning away from a world of openly shared content. Again, there may be sound business reasons for doing this, but editorially it is about the most fundamental statement anyone could make about how newspapers see themselves in relation to the newly-shaped world."

Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff on what Rupert thinks of Rusbridger: "In my many conversations with Murdoch, he would occasionally and with some anxious attention bring up Rusbridger, who can seem like a Delphic and mysterious character. Murdoch did not know quite what to make of Rusbridger and his Internet ambitions, seeing him as something quite different from a newspaper man, at least one in the Murdoch mold.  He did not insult Rusbridger, as he does most of his competitors, but he didn’t quite regard him as someone he might ever want to be alone with either: “Kooky,” was his description. “And what’s with the way his hair falls in his face?” Murdoch asked once, scowling in his dark way, about Rusbridger’s bangs and mop-top. “How old is he? He looks like a kid.”

Independent media columnist Stephen Glover: "The New York Times intends to charge online readers for the simple reason that it is losing lots of money. So too is The Guardian. Could it really afford to stand on its principles if The New York Times made a go of its paywall? Whether or not to charge on the net should be a commercial consideration, not an ideological one."

Guardian writer "Sir Bufton Tufton KBE" in a missive to the paper's Open Door column: "I noticed a 'rushed to hospital' in an intro last week. I winced but let it pass. Two days later, it was in a front-page caption. Can you deal with it in the appropriate ­fashion? Surely only news if the ambulance carrying the grievously injured victim dawdles on the way to hospital, stopping at a drive-thru McDonald's, taking in a movie etc etc. What's to become of us all?"

Sky News associate editor Simon Bucks on a celebrity threatening to sue a national newspaper over a crossword clue: "This is the extent to which minor celebrities are prepared to exploit our absurd libel laws to make themselves a few hundred smackers for minimal effort, aided and abetted by avaricious lawyers with eye-watering rate-cards."

Milton Kenes Citizen journalist Sally Murrer, who was prosecuted after being accused of encouraging a police officer to leak information, on her soon to be published novel According to Bella: "Because the main characters were a local newspaper journalist and a detective sergeant, bearing a striking similarity to my co-defendant Mark Kearney, they [the police] assumed it was evidence. Thus we assume Thames Valley police had to plough through all 94,000 words of it. Perhaps I ought to ask them to do a review."

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