Arrest of Journalists
Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford on his blog, commenting on the arrest of more than 20 journalists in the UK: "For eight of the nine years I've worked for Press Gazette the arrest of a journalist in the course of their work has been an extraordinarily rare occurrence in the UK. Today it is commonplace. In previous years, editors and publishers would have protested from the rooftops at the sight of police bids to disclose sources and close down unofficial leaks of information by use of draconian powers. Today, at News International anyway, editors and publishers are not just mute - but complicit in the arrest of journalists and disclosure of sources."
Mail's Lawrence campaign leads to convictions
Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian: "He made an unlikely anti-racist campaigner, but there were few voices more critical in the demand for justice for Stephen Lawrence than Paul Dacre and the Daily Mail. It was the Mail's 1997 front page headline, branding Lawrence's alleged killers "Murderers", that helped make the case impossible to ignore. It was, without question, the Mail's finest hour."
Tony Parsons on Twitter: "Congratulations to Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan for bringing Stephen Lawrence's killers to justice - oh, sorry, I mean the British press."
Marie Colvin killed in Syria
Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph: "Some will observe that many other people died in the Syrian fighting yesterday, and may very reasonably ask what is so special about one Western journalist. There is great insight in this question because it points to the solipsism of a world in which it seems sometimes that terrible events only really register when an affluent white person gets killed. But remember this: without the staggering fortitude and self-sacrifice of Marie Colvin, and her journalist colleagues still reporting from the carnage in Syria, we simply would not have a sense of the nature or the scale of the killing."
Channel 4 News' Jon Snow on Twitter: "Assad's assassination of Marie Colvin:Utterly devastating: the most couragious journalist I ever knew and a wonderful reporter and writer."
Marie Colvin in an email to Jeremy Bowen, the BBC's Middle East editor, about her final Sunday Times article on Homs: "I thought yesterday's piece was one of those we got in to journalism for. They are killing with impunity here, it is sickening and anger-making."
Leveson gives his verdict
Lord Justice Leveson in his Report: "There have been too many times when, chasing the story, parts of the press have acted as if its own code, which it wrote, simply did not exist. This has caused real hardship and, on occasion, wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people whose rights and liberties have been disdained. This is not just the famous but ordinary members of the public, caught up in events (many of them, truly tragic) far larger than they could cope with but made much, much worse by press behaviour that, at times, can only be described as outrageous."
David Cameron in the House of Commons, as reported by BBC News, after saying he had "serious misgivings" about independent self regulation of the press being underpinned by law because: "We would have crossed the Rubicon of writing elements of press regulation into the law of the land, we should be wary of legislation that has potential to infringe free speech and a free press."
The Daily Mail in a leader: "To his enormous credit, however, David Cameron sees this report for what it is — a mortal threat to the British people’s historic right to know. If he prevails in protecting that right, with the help of like-minded freedom lovers in the Commons and Lords, he will earn a place of honour in our history."
Chris Horrie, quoted in the Independent, on Leveson: "Kelvin MacKenzie is a national treasure and he's very funny, but asking him for advice on the ethics of journalism is like asking Harold Shipman for advice on medical ethics. This thing is just a circus."
Baroness Buscombe, ex chair of the Press Complaints Commission, at Leveson: "I remember towards the end of my time there, one of the editors asked me 'Peta, don't you trust us?'. And I said with an incredibly heavy heart 'How can I?'. We felt we hadn't been told the truth."
Sir Harold Evans at Leveson: "We have a situation where newspapers employ private detectives. We used to employ reporters".
Rupert Murdoch at Leveson: "I love newspapers... my shareholders would like me to get rid of them all."
Gordon Brown at the Leveson Inquiry: “Would any mother or father presented with a choice as to whether the medical condition of their four-month-old son should be broadcast on the front page of a tabloid newspaper, and who had a choice in this matter, allow it?”
Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher @gallaghereditor on Twitter on the post-Leveson meeting of national newspaper editors in Downing Street: "It felt like the summoning of the Five Families in The Godfather "
Dan Sabbagh in the Guardian: "There is, behind the scenes, an almost comic attempt to get all the newspaper groups to sign up to some sort of statement on regulatory reform. But it would be easier to get 10 cats to sashay down Oxford Street in a straight line."
Emily Bell on the Guardian's Comment is Free: "Leveson deals with the nefarious ways of publishing personal information; it deals with the fallout of incestuous relationships run from the heart of government; and it deals with the personal cost of people crushed by journalism-as-showbusiness. What it cannot deal with is the regulation of the press in the 21st century."
Harry Evans vindicated on Times
Sir Harold Evans on the Today programme about the revelation Margaret Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch met shortly before he was allowed to buy The Times and Sunday Times: "It's highly improper. Here's a prime minister meeting one of a number of bidders for Times Newspapers in secret. There's no mention of the law on monopolies. The whole thing is so squalid, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at being vindicated after all this time."
Good press, bad press
Ben Fenton, of the Financial Times, speaking in a discussion on the Leveson Inquiry at the Frontline Club: "The difference between a good newspaper and a bad newspaper is that on a good newspaper the reporter tells the newsdesk what the story is and on a bad newspaper it is the other way around."
Regional press under pressure
Chris Oakley on the regional press in the book What Do We Mean By Local?, edited by John Mair, Neil Fowler and Ian Reeves: "The real losers from the financial folly of the past decade are communities up and down the country which are now worse informed than a century ago."
Chris Oakley at the Society of Editors' regional conference in Manchester: "Time has run out for big city dailies, the internet has hit regional daily newspapers particularly hard, I wouldn't buy a big city daily even for a pound."
The Leicester Mercury NUJ chapel in an open letter to their boss - publisher David Simms - protesting at more job cuts: "We are being run by a man - you, Mr Simms - who recently told journalists here that you did not read a daily newspaper. You also said that you did not like sport - one of the main drivers of the Mercury’s sales. Neither statement inspired confidence, and now our fears have been abundantly justified."
Ex-Western Daily Press editor Terry Manners in Press Gazette: "I will never forget the words of the time-and-motion man who was assigned with a team to cut operational costs in the building. They hurt us all greatly. 'The trouble with you and your team, Terry, is that you are trying to be too professional,' he said. 'You don't need to be. Leave it to the nationals.' Sadly he won."
Gordon Brown at Leveson: "My own local newspaper has just had its editorial staff merged with the next door newspaper. They’re running down the numbers of staff that are providing this local service and I think you would find this in every part of the country that you go into, and more than that, you’re finding it all across the world now, because an internet journalist, who is someone who’s sort of doing their own, if you like, self-journalism, can put their views up on a screen and put their views across the world, but if they’re not resourced and they’re not doing proper research and there’s no investigative journalism, then we’re diminishing the quality of the output that is available to us.”
Peter Oborne at Leveson: "For all its blissful parish magazine quality the regional press does not play a serious role in addressing Poulson-style scandals which go on to this day."
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.”
Brooks to CameronRebekah Brooks in email to David Cameron, leaked to the Mail on Sunday: "Brilliant speech. I cried twice. Will love working together."
Clarkson on Watson
Jeremy Clarkson on Tom Watson MP on Have I Got News For You: "A neckless, adenoidal Brummie who is a pitiful waste of blood and organs."
Fired up tweet
Lambeth Council PR Sam Masters sets fire to his job and resigns after tweeting: “Having spent a considerable amount of time in Streatham, my solutions for supporting the High Road mostly involve napalm.”
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt in a text message to James Murdoch re-BSkyB: “Great and congrats on Brussels, just Ofcom to go!”.
The Last Word
David Hepworth on the closure of his magazine The Word : "We regret to announce that the August issue of The Word, which will be published in the second week of July, will be the last. In the nine years since the magazine launched there have been dramatic changes in the media and the music business. These changes have made it more difficult for a small independent magazine to survive and provide its staff with a living. This hasn't been made any easier by the economic climate of the wider world."
Richard Ingrams in the Telegraph celebrating 20 years of his magazine, The Oldie: "Soon after issue one went on sale, Julie Burchill sent me a fax saying: 'Congratulations on producing the most pathetic magazine ever published.' I felt more confident. It was exactly the kind of attack from exactly the kind of person to suggest that we must be doing something right."
Tory MPs clash over Prince Harry pics
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?"
Jonathan Chait in New York magazine: "The British press is an outrage-generating machine the likes of which we American reporters can only gaze upon with awe."
Saving the Guardian
David Leigh in the Guardian: "A small levy on UK broadband providers – no more than £2 a month on each subscriber's bill – could be distributed to news providers in proportion to their UK online readership. This would solve the financial problems of quality newspapers, whose readers are not disappearing, but simply migrating online."
The Sun in a leader: "THOSE deluded and arrogant hand-wringers at The Guardian have come up with a bonkers scheme to impose a tax on broadband users to fund money- haemorrhaging publications like their own. We have a more sensible proposal. Why not simply put together a product that excites and engages the British public."
Sun's Shame over Hillsborough
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."
Charles Moore interviewing Labour leader Ed Miliband in the Daily Telegraph: "At this point, a mosquito settles on my shoulder. With a commanding show of decision, Mr Miliband squashes it, spattering its remarkably copious blood over my light grey suit. So that’s how he deals with capitalist parasites."
Careful what you tweetGuardian 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 medium."
Ex-Loaded editor Martin Daubney in Press Gazette: "We live in the age of the trolls. You get a shit storm of Tweets, in real time, for saying anything opinionated. My advice? Don’t take online feedback to heart, be dignified and never engage in a Tweet-off with the haters. Remember: you’re getting paid to write, they’re not. Tall poppies will always attract scythes."
Newsnight and Jimmy Savile
Liz MacKean, one of the Newsnight journalists who investigated sex abuse claims against Jimmy Savile, in an email to BBC director general George Entwistle, as reported by the Independent: "To see what began as a BBC story running large on ITV is a hard thing. For it not to be mentioned in any way on Newsnight is another, quite absurd, thing. But worst of all has been what seems like a concerted effort to make it appear that our story was about something else, something that could be dropped and forgotten ahead of fulsome tribute programmes. It is this which seems to be fuelling the damaging claims of a cover-up."
Nick Pollard in his review of how the BBC handled the Savile story: "The efforts to get to the truth behind the Savile story proved beyond the combined efforts of the senior management, legal department, corporate communications team and anyone else for well over a month."
Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail: "If Jimmy Savile was alive today, he’d have been a star witness at Leveson, given the full ‘Sir James’ treatment by his lordship and allowed to trash the Press without fear of contradiction or cross-examination."
Do I go or do I stay now?
Lord Patten on what the BBC Trust conveyed to George Entwistle, as reported by the BBC: "We are not urging you to go. But we are not urging you to stay."
Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It: "The Guardian...a newspaper that hates newspapers."
Is it a bird? is it a plane?..no, it's a blogger
Clark Kent (aka Superman) on quitting the Daily Planet to become a blogger, as reported by the Telegraph: "Why am I the one sounding like a grizzled ink-stained wretch who believes news should be about – I don't know – news?"
Iliffe News and Media staff memo on plans to scrap subs, as reported by HoldtheFrontPage: “Although there could be some reduction in head count if our proposal to eliminate the sub editing role is confirmed, it is important to recognise that the overall aim of our strategy is to increase our audience through the delivery of high quality content.”
Max Hastings in the Daily Mail: "If the day ever comes that Boris Johnson becomes tenant of Downing Street, I shall be among those packing my bags for a new life in Buenos Aires or suchlike, because it means that Britain has abandoned its last pretensions to be a serious country."
Johnston on journalists
Boris Johnson in the Telegraph: "You can’t 'strike journalists off”, as if they were accountants or lawyers or gynaecologists. They aren’t a profession: they are a great pulsating rabble of people who are distinguished only by our desire – I will not say our ability – to write any old thing for any kind of ephemeral publication. Anyone can be a journalist. You just have to start a blog, break a few stories, and bingo, you are a household name."
Print takes gold at the Olympics
Grey Cardigan in Press Gazette's Journalism Weekly on the Olympics: "Those Geeks might sneer at what they call the Dead Tree Industry, but London 2012 provided a superb example of how grubby old newsprint can still work its magic. The Times deserves a special mention for that excellent series of wraps, but the 28-page supplements in the Sunday Times were an absolute joy. Superb job, chaps."
The demise of The Dandy
Simon Heffer on MailOnline on the demise of The Dandy, Britain's oldest comic which went online only in December: "Children from eight to 80 felt a kick from the hob-nailed boot of harsh reality yesterday. The Dandy, a staple of so many British childhoods, and the nation’s oldest surviving comic, is on the brink of closure...After all these years, so much of the D.C. Thomson world has passed into our culture: a world in which children waged a constant battle of spiteless amusement against their elders, and got nothing worse than a clip round the ear for it, seemed to sum up not just a more black-and-white approach to life, but came close to representing that most elusive of qualities, the true nature of Britishness."
Simon O'Neill on Twitter: "Working at Derby Telegraph in 90s was like being in a real life edition of The Dandy. Both now things of the past."
Don't do what I did
Joshua Rozenberg, writing on the Legal Cheek blog: "As a job it is very easy, which is why so many people go into journalism when they have nothing better to do. What’s difficult now, though, is getting a job in journalism. With newspapers in rapid decline and the electronic media paying little or nothing to contributors, the chances of making a living out of it – unless you started when I did – are vanishingly small. So my advice for anyone seeking to follow in my footsteps is: don’t."
Flying the flag
Joanna Hindley, special advisor to Culture Secretary Maria Miller, to a Telegraph journalist investigating the expenses of her boss: “Maria has obviously been having quite a lot of editors’ meetings around Leveson at the moment. So I am just going to kind of flag up that connection for you to think about.”
Pincered by the police and press
Andrew Mitchell in the Sunday Times: "The dangerous and corrupt relationship between the police and certain newspapers has been exposed again and again during the Leveson inquiry. Now I have had a taste of how extraordinarily powerless an individual is when trapped between the pincers of the police on one side and the press on the other. If this can happen to a senior government minister, then what chance does a youth in Brixton or Handsworth have?"