Friday, 24 August 2012

Media Quotes of the Week: From Prince Harry's naked romp to the BBC 'peeing' on business

The Sun on why it published Prince Harry naked pics on Friday: "The Royal Family’s lawyers claim there is no public interest in The Sun running the photos. This is a favourite mantra of those who wish to muzzle the world’s most vibrant newspapers, here in Britain — stuffily declaring that a story has 'no public interest', as though it were an unassailable fact. But there is a clear public interest in publishing the Harry pictures, in order for the debate around them to be fully informed. The photos have potential implications for the Prince’s image representing Britain around the world. There are questions over his security during the Las Vegas holiday. Questions as to whether his position in the Army might be affected. Further, we believe Harry has compromised his own privacy." 

Guido Fawkes on his blog on why he published Prince Harry naked pics: "This situation illustrates the threat to a free press in Britain. The truth is the old media have been scared into submission by the Leveson Inquiry. This is the third in line to the throne, the son of Prince Charles and one of the biggest names in British public life. Yet not one British newspaper is reporting the story with pictures. Nevertheless everyone in Britain will be searching online for these pictures and will find them regardless. The old rules won’t work in the internet age."

Alison Phillips in the Daily Mirror, before the Sun published Harry pics: "I’ve always had a soft spot for Prince Harry and these pictures have just made me like him even more. Unlike the royal stuffed shirts, he seems genuine and a bit of laugh. Which is why it was so disappointing when his aides called in lawyers to ban the pictures from UK newspapers – even though they’re being published in Ireland. It’s the same mindset that in 1936 ensured the last people to know about Edward and Mrs Simpson’s affair were the King’s own subjects. Us."

Neil Wallis on the Huffington Post, before the Sun published Harry pics: "Lord Justice Leveson, your work here is done. In just a few short months you have managed to do what the massed phalanxes of the Guardian and BBC have been trying to do for years but failing. You have neutered the great British press, and made it a laughing stock. And that is a damned disgrace. I am, of course, talking about Fleet Street's collective decision this morning to cave in and not dare to publish perfectly good pictures of a naked Prince Harry that are all over the internet and being printed in newspapers all over the rest of the world."

Daily Mirror headline: Nudes! Nightclubs! Nazis! A decade of Harry scandals

Charlie Brooker in the Guardian on the demise of the Dandy in print: "Why is the Dandy going all-digital? Because it's a magazine for children, and today's children don't seem to want magazines any more than I wanted a 1920s whirligig when I was their age. Kids today have Moshi Monsters and the Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster. Traditional ink on paper looks like medieval tapestry to them. This is the price you pay for technological advancement. On the plus side: fewer cases of rickets." 

The Guardian's readers' editor Chris Elliott in his Open Door column: "Over the 17 Olympic days the Guardian and Observer sold a total of 250,000 extra copies, considered by editors a healthy uplift when sales normally go down during school holidays. However, there was more coverage on the web than ever before, and it was here that the impact of the Games was most notable."

Johnston Press boss Ashley Highfield on the company's latest results, as reported by HoldtheFrontPage: “The first half has been a period of tremendous activity and we have made significant progress. Johnston Press is going through a strategic transformation. As we continue to develop our digital portfolio, refresh our print offering, reduce costs, and use our substantial operating cash flow to bring down our debt, we are increasingly confident about the success of the strategy and the benefits that it will deliver.”

Financial Times [£] comment on Johnston Press results: "Although some industry observers may raise an eyebrow at Johnston blaming poor weather and the Olympics for a fall in print advertising, one point is clear: publishers must adapt to the changing ad market, and fast. Johnston has made an admirable fist of it, cutting costs – including a sizeable chunk of its workforce – while keeping margins high at 17 per cent. Trading at a forward price/earnings ratio of 2, the shares are cheap, but still higher than fellow struggler Trinity Mirror on 1.2. However, the whole sector looks dire and should be only tackled by the brave. Both should be avoided."

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian: "British courts jail at the drop of a headline. One of the few cabinet ministers in recent years to show a sincere desire to relate punishment to crime and imprisonment to consequence is the justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke. He is now being bad-mouthed out of his job by Downing Street's dark arts, frightened not of Clarke but of the rightwing press."

Michael Wolff on Comment is Free reviews new video internet channel HuffPost Live: "Like fingernails on a blackboard, it is brutal in its insipid banality and obviousness. But whether this is good or bad for the enterprise, or whether quality is in any way a relevant point, is not at all clear. In some sense, HuffPost Live just dramatically furthers a determined trend. It's another leap in turning media – that is, content – over to amateurs and know-nothings. Anybody who wants to be an expert can be. All blowhards are equal."

Elisabeth Murdoch giving the MacTaggart lecture at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, as reported by the Guardian: "Profit without purpose is a recipe for disaster."

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith in the Mail on Sunday bashes the BBC and its economics editor Stephanie Flanders: "Last month, there was a marginal rise in youth unemployment so they centred on that. This time it came down so they cast doubt on the figures. [Flanders] said it could be industry is so bad they have to take on two people where one person could do the job. She was peeing all over British industry and the private sector. It was terrible. Our private industry is unbelievably robust compared to much of Europe."
  • Intro of the Week comes from KentOnline: "Firefighters have warned of the dangers of driving into a petrol forecourt while your car is on fire."

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