Friday, 9 September 2011

Quotes of the Week: From PM to PR and pasties

David Cameron, speaking at the parliamentary liaison committee: "The expenses scandal was just that – a scandal – and we must not be seen in any way gleeful in leaping on this opportunity to over-regulate the media. There is a danger of the pendulum swinging too far the other way."

Ex-News of the World legal manager Tom Crone to the DCMS select committtee: "We went to see Mr [James] Murdoch and it was explained to him what the document was and what it meant. It was clear evidence that hacking was taking place beyond Clive Goodman."

Duncan Campbell in the Guardian: "It is already a criminal offence to give police money for information, and for officers to receive it. (I have to say that the only person ever to ask me for money for an interview was a judge.) It is also an offence to imperil an ongoing investigation. But if it ever becomes illegal for an officer to talk to a journalist without the permission of superiors, it will encourage, not prevent, corruption."

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-Fran├žois Julliard on new technology companies that cooperate with authoritarian regimes: “A total of 122 bloggers and netizens are currently detained worldwide. The companies that work with these governments are complicit and responsible for the fate of these detainees. Financial sanctions should be imposed on companies collaborating with governments that jail bloggers or censor the internet."

Kevin Marsh in Press Gazette on covering the aftermath of the riots: "What if the press and broadcasters - especially local and regional media - saw their role as helping to find the answers? What if we realised that whining on the margins wasn't good enough any more? Maybe that would change the way we looked at and reported the deep-seated problems that affect us all. And maybe we journalists would find we were relevant, respected and trusted once more."

Andrew Harrison in The Word magazine on a press release about a journalism student who has quit his course to concentrate on music: "This struck me not so much as frying-pan-into-fire as springing from a medieval cauldron of boiling oil into Irwin Allen's Towering Inferno. There is precious little money in journalism any more and even less in music, but he's doing it anyway. I didn't know whether to cheer or call for an intervention."

Steve Coogan in the Guardian: "The tabloids operate in an amoral parallel universe where the bottom line is selling newspapers. It's like blaming a scorpion for not being moral. They just sting people. That's what they do. Sometimes they might sting someone who deserves it. But it's not through any moral imperative. And this idea that for every 20 stories they do about a pile of shit, they do one story that has some sort of nobility to it – I don't buy it."

Folkestone Herald editor Simon Finlay on HoldtheFrontPage on the paper's 'Mum buys out-of-date pasty' story: “I received abuse from members of the public, asking why I had put the pasty story on the front page. I didn’t have the heart to tell them we didn’t have anything else.”

PR Week while revealing the average PR professional in the UK earns more than £48k: "There is a perception among some - journalists, for example - that PR professionals are extremely well-paid and many a hack has declared that if they ever 'needed the money' they would move into PR. However, among other industries, PR is very much considered the 'poor cousin'."

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