Friday, 20 July 2012

Quotes of the Week: From silence over arrested UK journalists to how Burchill boosted the Oldie

Dominic Ponsford in the the weekly online edition of Press Gazette  and his blog, commenting on the arrest of more than 20 journalists in the UK: "For eight of the nine years I've worked for Press Gazette the arrest of a journalist in the course of their work has been an extraordinarily rare occurrence in the UK. Today it is commonplace. In previous years, editors and publishers would have protested from the rooftops at the sight of police bids to disclose sources and close down unofficial leaks of information by use of draconian powers. Today, at News International anyway, editors and publishers are not just mute - but complicit in the arrest of journalists and disclosure of sources."

Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times [£]: "The man standing on the street corner with a placard warning 'The end of the world is nigh' is invariably ignored. He should have gone into journalism instead. In our trade the worse the news, the more the impact. Like the fat boy in the Pickwick Papers (“I wants to make your flesh creep”), we understand how to compel fearful attention."

Huff Post founder Arianna Huffington in the Observer: "In the US alone we have 500 reporters and editors. We are doing great journalism around the world. At the same time, we believe that aggregation is a great service to our readers."

Claire Enders at Leveson, as reported by Guido Fawkes on his blog: “The Huffington Post is an interesting phenomenon but in terms of being able to really employ journalists to do very complex work – I mean, the Trafigura investigation, the Wikileaks, the MPs’ expenses scandal, the phone hacking story – these are not enterprises that have been taken forward by any enterprise but print enterprises.“

Peter Preston in the Observer on the Leveson Inquiry: "You can visualise LJL frowning over the headlines on a Times law report, or Jay thumbing languidly through the FT. Maybe, on the benches beyond, Carine Patry Hoskins (Emmanuel College, Cambridge) reads Femail under the desk, maybe not. Perhaps an usher or two passes their shorthand breaks breaking open the Bun. But the five expert assessors Leveson put on his team have, famously, no tabloid experience whatsoever, and nor has anyone else. This, emotionally and practically, is a red-top- and middle-market-free zone."

A letter from the NUJ Derby and Burton branch to Ashley Highfield, Johnston Press chief executive, objecting to the proposed closures of the Matlock Mercury and the Ripley and Heanor News: "Both are well-established newspapers serving the towns and communities where they are based. The Matlock Mercury used to have a sister title, the Matlock edition of the Derbyshire Times. I am sure that you are aware of the paper achieving considerable fame and glory during the time of former editor Don Hale for its work involving the Wendy Sewell murder case and the conviction and subsequent release after years in gaol of Stephen Downing which made national headlines."

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger in a briefing for Guardian and Observer staff announced editorial cuts of £7 million and said the newspapers: "Will do less, less of what's called commodity journalism, so that we can do more on our core purpose and the type of journalism that we're here to do".

Professor Steven Barnett at Leveson: "This is a formative moment in public life." 

Lord Justice Leveson: "I hoped people would stop saying that."

Richard Ingrams in the Telegraph celebrating 20 years of his magazine, The Oldie: "Soon after issue one went on sale, Julie Burchill sent me a fax saying: 'Congratulations on producing the most pathetic magazine ever published.' I felt more confident. It was exactly the kind of attack from exactly the kind of person to suggest that we must be doing something right."

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