Quotes of the Week: From the Sun's shame over Hillsborough to going drinking with Caitlin Moran
Dominic Mohan, editor of the Sun, apologises for its infamous 'The Truth' Hillsborough front page: ''Twenty-three years ago The Sun
newspaper made a terrible mistake. We published an inaccurate and offensive
story about the events at Hillsborough. We said it was the truth - it
wasn't. The Hillsborough Independent Panel has now established what really happened
that day. It's an appalling story and at the heart of it are the police's
attempts to smear Liverpool fans. It's a version of events that 23 years ago The Sun went along with and for
that we're deeply ashamed and profoundly sorry. We've co-operated fully with
the Hillsborough Independent Panel.''
Sun editorial: "THE Sun’s reporting of the Hillsborough tragedy 23 years ago is without doubt the blackest day in this newspaper’s history... The people of Liverpool may never forgive us for the injustice we did them. All we can do is offer them an unreserved and heartfelt apology that is profound, sincere and unambiguous."
Kelvin MacKenzie in a statement, as reported by the Daily Telegraph:"It has taken more than two decades, 400,000 documents and a two-year
inquiry to discover to my horror that it would have been far more
accurate had I written the headline The Lies rather than The Truth. I
published in good faith and I am sorry that it was so wrong."
AA Gill in the Sunday Times[£]: "The
undoubted winner of both Olympic and Paralympic Games has been Clare
Balding, now the go-to PE teacher to the nation. Taking advantage of the
transfer window, she was loaned to Channel 4 and has managed to repeat her
earlier success on the BBC, leaving all the other contenders, including that
bloke who does the crisps ads, tossing in her spume."
Peter Preston in theObserver: "The arguments for letting the PCC and Lord Hunt get on with reform are
pragmatic as well as political. The arguments for calling in
parliament's draftsmen are neither."
Charlie Brooks interviewed in theSunday Times[£]: “It was March, first day of the Cheltenham
Festival. Baby asleep. Eighteen of them [police]. They came running up the
stairs shouting their heads off. It felt like a very over-the-top operation.
The nanny was totally traumatised.”
Ray Snoddy in an article in the new edition of the book 'The Phone-Hacking Scandal: Journalism On Trial', as reported on Roy Greenslade's blog:"Save in one respect – dealing with illegal phone hacking – the PCC is
not a failed organisation. It is one that has worked tirelessly to get
fast free redress for those who have been subject to inaccurate or
intrusive reporting without reasonable cause and a strong case can be
made that, on the whole, press behaviour has improved over the past 20
Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield in memo to staff, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “A key finding from the first phase was that we need to do even more
to improve our content – particularly where we are increasing cover
prices – so each editor is being asked to provide a content improvement
plan that will serve as a blueprint for their relaunch. We also need to think about what types of content will help us reach
new audiences – a big focus for relaunch – while keeping our heartland
readers happy. We need more research to understand what content people
would look for if they’re to become regular purchasers.”
Caitlin Moran (above) looks back at her 20 years on The Times [£]: "When I started here, in 1992, I was an overexcitable, chain-smoking
18-year-old who wouldn’t rise until 5pm, and who just wanted to write lots
of jokes, and earn enough money to never have to move back to Wolverhampton,
where I was aware there were only two employment possibilities that lay open
to a working-class girl with no GCSEs or A levels – either, a) working the
cheese counter at Gateway supermarket, Warstones Drive, or b) becoming a
Time Out journalist Alexi Duggins after interviewing Caitlin Moran for three hours in a pub: "My stomach can take no more. After three hours of talking to Caitlin
Moran, my gag reflex jerks violently, my abdomen pulsates like something
out of ‘Alien’ and I decorate a toilet with my gastric lining. The
walls pirouette madly, the floor leaps up to smack me in the face and
everything goes black. Interview over."
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