Friday, 31 August 2012

Quotes of the week: From Mandelson on the dangers of internet news to Leveson's 'loaded gun'

Lord Mandelson (top) in a letter to the Financial Times: "Internet “news” has ransacked conventional media business models. The profit motive is (or has been) central to quality journalism over the past century and it is hard to see how some of the best-known sources of quality English language journalism – The Times, New York Times, The Guardian spring to mind – will ever make money again. We fund quality in the case of the BBC by means of a licence fee. Can this apply to newspapers? The only alternative (the FT being an honourable exception) would seem to follow the Daily Mail’s model – profitable but in a race to the bottom in the selection and presentation of news – or even the path of tabloids in using digital technology to become even more intrusive and even less concerned about individual privacy in order to attract readers."

Neil Wallis quoted in the Independent on Sunday on the Sun's publication of naked Prince Harry: "This was a decision taken by Rupert. Rupert cares passionately about newspapers. He thinks this stuff is important. This is the only good thing that has happened at News International for a year. Once they knew they were going to do it, there was just a magnificent morale boost. They have stood up and looked the rest of the media in the eye, Parliament in the eye, and looked Leveson in the eye. Rupert has done an enormous amount for the morale of his own newspaper. And also, I know, journalists from other companies, although they can't publicly say so."

The Sunday Times [£] in a leader: "There is a dangerous coalition forming of aggrieved film and television stars, out-of-sorts Labour politicians and bien pensants who would happily bring much greater regulation and censorship to the press."

Brian Cathcart, founder of Hacked Off "No, nobody wants to censor the press, but plenty of people would like it to obey its own rules, rules which editors never tire of telling the public they support, and rigorously adhere to....The Sun’s actions are just the latest proof of the inability and unwillingness of the press to regulate itself, a failure that has been consistent for at least 60 years."

on Twitter: "Simple equation: free, open uncontrollable Internet versus shackled newspapers equals no newspapers. Let's get real."

Louise Mensch quoted in the Sun supporting the paper's publication of naked Prince Harry pics: “We cannot have our press scared to publish things that are in the public interest. Someone, a total stranger, took those photos — and honeytraps have happened.” 

MP Nadine Dorries on ConservativeHome on Louise Mensch:  "I would ask the former MP, next time she wants to open her mouth about a boy who lost his mother at the hands of the media in a way which shocked the world, she might want to look to her own heart and wonder how she would feel? After all, it’s not as though Prince Harry has admitted to taking illegal drugs, abandoned his post, or failed to turn up to work every Thursday in the style of Louise Mensch, now is it?"

Independent editor Chris Blackhurst on BBC Radio 4's The Media Show on letters sent by the Leveson Inquiry to give prior notice of possible criticism in the final report: "The best way I can describe it is he's loading a gun, and this document - well over 100 pages - is all the ammunition. And believe you me there is plenty of ammunition, you read the ammunition and you just gulp."

[£] paywall

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