Friday, 2 April 2010

Quotes of the Week

BBC Radio 4 Today presenter John Humphrys in the Sun: "Good journalism has to be paid for, just as we have to pay for the plumber who fixes a leak, or it will not survive. And let's be clear: We have the best papers in the world. Full stop."

Former BBC Radio 4 Today editor Kevin Marsh: "One thing we absolutely, certainly, assuredly don't have here in the UK is the best newspapers in the world. Full stop. If we did, a quarter of those who used to buy them wouldn't have stopped doing so over the past 20 years - a desertion that long predates the web, incidentally. If we did, our press wouldn't be one of the least trusted institutions in the land and our newspaper journalists the least trusted in the world."

Independent founder Stephen Glover on the paper's takeover by Alexander Lebedev: "The dream of a profitable, non-partisan newspaper free of proprietorial control has been dead for many years. To be precise, it died when Mirror Group Newspapers became dominant shareholders in the titles in 1995. We could argue whether, if mistakes had not been made, the dream could have been sustained, but the fact is that it collapsed long ago."

Former Sun editor David Yelland in the Mail on Sunday: "I know it sounds mad but I began to take huge comfort in poetry, my first love, and would often reach for one of the slim volumes I kept hidden at the back of my office. I felt a love of T. S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas and Keats was not wholly compatible with being editor of The Sun. Indeed I once hid a copy of The Waste Land inside my own paper  -  had it been Playboy, no one would have batted an eyelid."

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger in a memo to staff: "Of all media companies I truly believe we are better placed than the great majority to make the transformative change that will be demanded of us. The editorial future has the potential to be richer than anything any previous generation of journalists could have imagined. We can imagine it – and we are well on the way to achieving it."

Northcliffe journalist on new blog The Death of Journalism: "No wonder no one is picking up newspapers if the people who write it are being relentlessly ground into submission. The end result of all this will be the end of our paper...What’s happening at our paper, what’s happening across the country is nothing short of the death of journalism."

Charlie Brooker in the Guardian: "It's perhaps the biggest threat to the nation's mental wellbeing, yet it's freely available on every street – for pennies. The dealers claim it expands the mind and bolsters the intellect: users experience an initial rush of emotion (often euphoria or rage), followed by what they believe is a state of enhanced awareness. Tragically this "awareness" is a delusion. As they grow increasingly detached from reality, heavy users often exhibit impaired decision-making abilities, becoming paranoid, agitated and quick to anger. In extreme cases they've even been known to form mobs and attack people. Technically it's called "a newspaper", although it's better known by one of its many "street names", such as "The Currant Bun" or "The Mail" or "The Grauniad".

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