Friday, 22 February 2013

Media Quotes of the Week: From the Oscar Pistorius case to will Peter Hitchens end up in jail?

The Independent on the Oscar Pistorius case: "The slow grind of South Africa's justice system, which barely recognises contempt of court, has been unable to keep pace in the era of social media and rolling TV news. As a consequence, the first disabled global sports superstar has found himself deluged with accusations and insinuations masquerading as facts."

The Daily Telegraph in an editorial: "In refusing to 'cross the Rubicon' of statutory regulation, David Cameron displayed commendable courage. But now he must summon that courage again. If the Royal Charter proposals are allowed to drift into the sand, we risk ending up with confusion and chaos – the three parties utterly divided; Lord Puttnam’s slapdash proposals slipping in through the back door; separate regimes in Scotland and perhaps Northern Ireland; and a press that has been free for 300 years trammelled and intimidated by those with privilege and power. Such people claim to be determined to make Fleet Street suffer for its sins. They do not seem to care that if they get their way, the health of our democracy will suffer even more."

The Guardian in an editorial: "It is ironic – to put it at its lowest – that the senior ranks of the Met and other forces have taken advantage of the phone-hacking affair to try to make it more difficult for their officers to work with journalists to disclose information which is being concealed to the detriment of the public interest."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, as reported by the Telegraph, to a reporter: "Why do you look at me?" Reporter: "Because it's your press conference."

Steve Dyson on HoldTheFrontPage on ads for the Daily Mirror's free iPad edition appearing in Trinity Mirror's daily regional papers: "These Daily Mirror iPad adverts in regional dailies are clumsy, wrong-footed and potentially very damaging. Worse, the national, red top parent has barged in wearing its hobnailed size-13s at the worst possible time – just when staff are desperately trying to muster enough resource in the latest restructure that sees scores of regional hacks axed to help fund dozens of new Daily Mirror staff."

Lord Lester in the Sun: "Free speech in this country is in grave danger of being stifled by party political gamesmanship. The threat comes from politicians who have hijacked an attempt to reform our out-of-date, repressive libel law by clogging the Defamation Bill with wrecking amendments. They and the Hacked Off campaign want to use the Bill — which is currently going through Parliament and should be purely about libel reform — to force through a draconian version of Sir Brian Leveson’s proposals."

Dan Hodges on his Telegraph blog: "If we want our press operating under the protective blanket of Leveson, fine. But let’s not continue to peddle the myth that blanket regulation won’t prove restrictive to good journalists, as well as bad. We don’t need to stare into the crystal ball to know what impact Leveson will have on public interest journalism. We can see it every day, as another journalist or public official receives the 6am knock at the door."

Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday: "I genuinely fear that I will go to prison before I die, for writing or saying something that is no longer allowed. I have met quite a lot of people who hate me and my views so much that they would very much like this to happen."

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