Friday, 16 November 2012

Media Quotes of the Week: From the crisis at the BBC to is the Sun 'a blot on Fleet Street'?

George Entwistle resigning as director-general of the BBC, as reported by BBC News: "In the light of the fact that the director general is also the editor-in-chief and ultimately responsible for all content, and in the light of the unacceptable journalistic standards of the Newsnight film broadcast on Friday 2nd November, I have decided that the honourable thing to do is to step down from the post of Director-General."

Jeremy Paxman, quoted in the Daily Mail: "George Entwistle's departure is a great shame. He has been brought low by cowards and incompetents. The real problem here is the BBC's decision, in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry, to play safe by appointing biddable people. They then compounded the problem by enforcing a series of cuts on programme budgets, while bloating the management. That is how you arrive at the current mess on Newsnight."

Lord McAlpine, on BBC Radio 4's World at One: "Suddenly to find yourself a figure of public hatred, unjustifiably, is terrifying."

BBC acting director of news Fran Unsworth in an internal email, leaked to the press: "It would be helpful if some of our problems were not played out publicly across social media and in the pages of the national press."

The Daily Mail in a leader: "Despite all these calamitous mistakes, two journalists prove that a strong seam of excellence still runs through the BBC. John Humphrys’ forensic demolition of his own boss, and Eddie Mair’s assured presentation of Newsnight’s apology programme, were nothing short of exemplary."

The Daily Telegraph in a leader: "The chilling effect of Leveson is already being felt: publications are under greater pressure to abandon particular inquiries while others are reluctant to pursue stories likely to cause controversy, even when they are in the public interest. This is especially harmful to cash-strapped local newspapers which fear for their very survival. How is that good for democracy? Politicians like to claim they are thick-skinned; but given the chance, they will legislate to keep nosey journalists out of their business. It is self-serving – or downright na├»ve – to claim that they would be doing so in the interests of maintaining 'a free press essential for a free society'."

PCC chairman Lord Hunt at the Society of Editors conference, as reported by the Guardian: "I do have a certain amount of sympathy with some of the views that Hugh Grant has expressed. I think he genuinely does share my basic belief in freedom of expression and, like me, he understands that freedom is a privilege not an unqualified right, bringing with it certain responsibilities – not to harass, not to bully, not to intrude gratuitously."

Guido Fawkes on Daily Mail splash attacking Leveson panel member Sir David Bell: "It’s more Thick of It than Watergate, but it does highlight the cosy close-knit group lobbying for an unfree press."

NUJ deputy general secretary Barry Fitzpatrick in a press statement about stress levels among Johnston Press journalists: "Current events clearly demonstrate that the future of the media is dependent on the quality of journalistic content and adequate resources to fund it."

Mary Killen in The Lady: "Mark Boxer, a former editor of Tatler, would pay expenses for his writers to have lunch with each other. He thought it would stimulate - and judging by the fact that Boxer Tatlers can now fetch $200 in New York, he did."

The Sun in a leader: "THE danger of the Westminster paedophile witch-hunt is that the guilty escape while the innocent suffer. And the worst offenders? That sanctimonious Left-wing grubsheet The Guardian and its toadies at BBC Newsnight. Both are in the firing line of senior Tory Lord McAlpine, victim of false child abuse accusations. A Guardian writer had to grovel for defaming Lord McAlpine on Twitter. The hysteria over paedos in high places was started by Labour MP Tom Watson, who mouthed off in the safety of the Commons without producing any proof. As a former Prime Minister once said, power without responsibility is the prerogative of the harlot."

Guardian's David Leigh ‏@davidleigh3 on Twitter: "Sun tells lies about the Guardian today [I know this is not news]. What a blot it is on Fleet St!"

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