Friday, 27 August 2010

Quotes of the Week: From libel laws to Lola

Lord Lester interviewed in the Independent:"Evidence clearly shows that the present law of libel has a serious chilling effect on freedom of speech, not only of the press but of any citizen critic, including non-governmental organisations. You need a law which is the friend of free speech and not the enemy of free speech. The present law I think is the enemy of free speech in some respects."

The Daily Mail revealing a second England player has won an injunction gagging reports about his private life: "The latest example of media censorship will reignite the row over judge-made privacy laws which have never been approved by Parliament. Instead, the orders are based on judges' personal interpretation of human rights laws. Under the strict terms of the injunctions, neither of the footballers involved in this week’s actions can be named, despite the Daily Mail knowing who they are."

Stephen Glover in the Independent: "Five years ago, I would have been horrified by the prospect of Parliament passing a privacy law because I would have assumed it would operate against the interests of a free press...Times, however, have changed. A series of rulings, many delivered by Mr Justice Eady, have so developed judge-made privacy law that judgments are being handed down all the time preventing newspapers from publishing true stories about public figures."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog on the proposal for a privacy law:
"I think newspaper editors (and Glover) have lost the plot on privacy. If McNally gets his way - and I'd be amazed if he did - then journalists will rue the day they supported parliament's enactment of a privacy law. Never has the phrase "be careful what you wish for" had more resonance."

Paul Lewis on his decision to stay at the Guardian, rather than move to The Times, to head up a new multimedia special projects team: "I'm delighted to be staying at the Guardian in this exciting new role, which offers the irresistible opportunity to drive forward innovative multimedia reporting of real depth and engagement."

Peter Robins blogs on MediaGuardian on the decline of regional newspaper sales: "Over the past 20 years, some of Britain's regional daily newspapers have lost just under half their sales. Those are the successful ones."

Steve Dyson on his blog steps up his campaign for sex ads to be banned by regional newspapers:
"Even if unofficial conversations from vice squads at a local level have taken place and have indicated a preference for a 'blind eye' to further investigations, is that really the reason why some newspaper groups are agreeing to illegally help vulnerable women sell sex? Or is it more of a dirty excuse for continuing a torrid affair that some bosses want to continue because it's worth a large wad of banknotes, albeit somewhat soiled? Because I just don't believe that the ads would be continuing if they weren't worth it to the bottom line of these companies."

Liz Hoggard in the Independent on the cat dumped in a wheelie bin story: "So where do you stand on Catgate? Should Mary Bale, the Coventry woman who threw four-year-old tabby Lola into a wheelie bin, be strung up? Sectioned? Forced to make a public apology on YouTube (the modern equivalent of the medieval stocks). Or is the public outcry – Bale has received death threats – a massive over-reaction?"

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