Quotes of the Week: From what not to tweet to the dilemma facing David Cameron over Leveson
David Aaronovitch in The Times [£]:"Lastly, the golden rule, the rule of rules. Never, ever tweet
anything about anybody that you wouldn’t say to their face. There’s a REASON
why you wouldn’t say it to their face. They might hit you, or sue you. So
why would you want to tweet it?"
David Banks in the Mirror on the threat by Lord McAlpine's lawyers to sue thousands of Twitter users: "This
affair will perhaps show the public the threat libel laws pose
to anyone in the UK – a threat journalists face every working day. There
is no doubt some famous tweeters will be taking more care about what
they say in those 140 little characters."
Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger on Twitter, in the Guardian's Open door column: "People have to understand that when they use Twitter
they have the same ethical and legal responsibilities as with any other
Local World chairman David Montgomery, as quoted by Press Gazette: “This is an entirely new type of media business. The
value of Local World will lie in its people, its franchises and its IP.
It will be unencumbered by the infrastructure of the industrial past
such as property, printing presses and large scale distribution or any
legacy issues such as high levels of debt. Local World signals the
fightback in Britain’s regional media industry.”
NUJ's Barry Fitzpatrick in a statement: “We would also like to warn the managers of Local World that there is no
fat left on these titles to cut. Year- on-year cuts to staffing and
resources have left very little to trim. These cuts mean that courts
are not being covered and councils are not being held to account."
Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield in a staff memo, published by HoldTheFrontPage: “Our mission is straightforward: by 2015 we need to have paid
down our debt sufficiently so that we can get the banks off our backs –
they are currently rapaciously sucking up all our (not inconsiderable)
profits – so that we can build and invest for the future."
Ian Jack in the Guardian on the axing of sub editors and other experienced journalists: "The phenomenon extends beyond the media. Equivalent effects can be felt
in government departments, local authorities, hospitals – wherever
labour costs have been drastically reduced, jobs outsourced and
consultants hired. In this fracturing and fragmenting of old workplaces,
more than comradeship is being lost. Error is on the loose."
Boris Johnson, as reported by the Daily Mail: "MPs don't you for a minute think about regulating the Press, which has been free in this country for centuries."
Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times [£]: "What the Daily Mail has uncovered isn’t a conspiracy at all — it’s just the
new Establishment: well-heeled, authoritarian, middle-class liberals who,
for the most part, have done little more than espouse views agreeable to the
salons of Islington and Notting Hill."
MPs, don’t you for a minute think about regulating the Press, which has been free in this country for centuries,’
Nick Robinson on his BBC blog: "If Leveson recommends any form of new law to regulate the press the
prime minister will face an unpalatable choice. Say yes and he will face
an angry backlash from most national newspapers and most Conservatives
including close allies in the Cabinet. Say no and he will be confronted by a coalition of the
victims of phone hacking, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and some Tory
[£] = paywall.
Sir Brian Leveson is one of Britain’s most respected judges, welcomed by
editors and proprietors to scrutinise the industry’s practices.
The same cannot necessarily be said of the assorted experts appointed to
None have any direct experience of tabloid newspapers.
We now know some are actively hostile towards them.
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