Quotes of the week: What to tell Alex Crawford if you want to die and why anyone with investigative skills wouldn't go into journalism
Richard Edmondson in the Independent: "If you want to make my wife, Alex Crawford, angry you might either call her a female reporter or suggest she does not care much about her children. If you want to end it all you could mix a fatal cocktail of the two. Tell her that a woman journalist should not be going to war zones, especially when there are kids back home to cuddle. It would be a swifter end than strychnine."
Photographer Joao Silva in a speech to the Bronx Documentary Center describes the moments after he was injured in Afghanistan: "Immediately, there were medics working on me. I picked up a camera, shot a few frames. The frames weren’t very good, quite frankly, but I was trying to record. I knew it wasn’t good, but I felt alive. Adrenaline kicked in. I was compos mentis; I was on top of things. So, I made some pictures. I dropped the camera, then I moved to Plan B, which was to pick up the satellite phone. I called my wife, Vivian, and told her, 'My legs are gone, but I think I’m going to live'.”
Ulrika Jonsson in the Guardian on Piers Morgan: "I would just like to see how his mentality has changed now that he himself is a celebrity. It's hard to think of anybody more hypocritical. He spent his time making people miserable and now he's spending his time sucking up to the people he tried to screw over."
Conrad Black on Rupert Murdoch in Vanity Fair:"Murdoch deserves all the credit for building so powerful a company that most of its institutional self-confidence was justified, and most of the discredit for the sleazy way he operated it. I would add that I was more offended by the cowardice and hypocrisy of those in the British establishment who licked his boots—not to mention other places—for decades, and now swaddle themselves in shock sanctimony, than I was by the offensive activities.” Polly Toynbee in the Guardian: "The great majority of those in professions and good jobs were born to them. My father was a writer and journalist: would I be writing this if I hadn't had a head start? The successful are smug if they deny their luck, either in birth or other good fortune, including talents. Too often 'effort' is overclaimed and luck ignored by those eagerly justifying their class and income advantage over the very hard-working low-paid."
Jonathan Ross on Richard Bacon's Radio 5 Live show: "Well if you are not upsetting the Daily Mail you are doing something wrong. They are the most noxious human beings, the people who write for the Daily Mail. We know they are hypocrites and insincere and they have got their own reasons for doing stuff."
Alex Ariel guest blogs on Fleet Street Blues: "As we have been repeatedly told, the print media industry is diminishing. Why, then, do journalism graduate numbers increase each year? As one investigative journalist once told me (a career for which I still harbour romantic intentions): 'If you had any investigative skills you’d know this is the wrong career to get into'."
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
You can contact me with stories, ideas and comments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also follow me on Twitter @jonslattery