Friday, 22 March 2013

Media Quotes of the Week: From lashing the liberal-left to being hacked off with Hacked Off

 John Kampfner in the Guardian: "Many on the liberal-left sense a once-in-a-generation opportunity to 'tame' the unruly papers. They believe a more decent society cannot be achieved with the media we currently have, so it's time to act. Rather than seeing free expression as the bedrock of a strong society, they see it as providing an opportunity for nasty people to bludgeon nasty views on to a vulnerable public. They cannot tolerate an intolerant press."

Nick Cohen in The Observer: "We are in the middle of a liberal berserker, one of those demented moments when 'progressives' run riot and smash the liberties they are meant to defend...The Labour and Liberal Democrat parties are custodians of the best of Britain's radical traditions: the traditions not only of Orwell, but of John Milton, John Stuart Mill and the men and women who struggled against the Stamp Acts and the blasphemy and seditious libel laws. Their successors are not worthy to follow in their footsteps. For the sake of a brief partisan victory, for the chance to shout: 'Yah boo sucks' at the hated tabloids."

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian: "This is not the end of the world, and any such suggestion will sound self-serving from British papers. But, unlike the supine press so common abroad, they still have the irreverent vigour and diversity of a true political safeguard. This has been a grim, vengeful saga. The press faces tough times anyway, and must now do so wearing a ball and chain."

The Guardian in a leader: "The deal done should unblock the government's legislative programme, and secure early passage of a defamation bill, a potentially momentous advance for free speech. But doubts continue to linger, not only about powerful titles setting up secessionist self-regulators but also about fears of ruinously punitive damages for publications prospectively outside the system, such as Private Eye. After doing a deal among themselves, the politicians will breathe a sigh of relief and hope they can move on. But as the industry alights on grievances, both real and hyperbolic, the political class as a whole could discover that the brokering has only just begun."

Guido Fawkes on his blog: "Guido is opposed to all the proposals to control the press including the government’s misguided plan to enforce extra-territorial control of publications. We won’t be cooperating with any legislation that tries to control a foreign publication like this blog because it is, in the words of the Charter, 'targeted primarily at an audience in the United Kingdom'. Imagine if the Soviets had tried to do the same to Radio Free Europe during the Cold War, or the Iranian regime demanded today to regulate the BBC’s Persian Service on the grounds that it is 'targeted primarily at an audience in the Islamic Republic of Iran'."

Ben Brogan on his Telegraph blog: "For my part – and this is a personal view – I've concluded that we should note the outcome, thank the politicians for their engagement, and quietly but firmly decline to take part."

Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, in the Financial Times: “There is a fair amount of concern and anger in some quarters – from regional newspapers in particular. The regional editors feel they have nothing to be ashamed of, yet they are caught in all of this.”

Rupert Murdoch ‏@rupertmurdoch on Twitter: "Oz media censorship beaten back. UK holy mess with Internet unworkably included. Cameron showing true colors shocking many supporters."

:"on Twitter: "Cynical, poisonous, manipulations of Hacked Off exposed in own words in memo leaked to MoS -a coup against free speech is under way"

Peter Oborne on his Telegraph blog on why he is quitting the NUJ: "I have been increasingly disturbed by the NUJ's growing sympathy for state control over the press. If the union represented journalists, as it claimed to do, it would have been up in arms at yesterday's squalid deal which has granted politicians power over newspapers for the first time in more than 300 years. It would have fought all the way. Instead the NUJ has been a largely silent and shamefaced collaborator with Hacked Off and its rich and powerful backers."

Simon Kelner in the Independent on Hacked Off: "They certainly represent the victims of phone-hacking, but they cannot claim to speak for the great British public, who - in case you may have forgotten - bought the News of the World in their millions, lapping up the tales of private indiscretions by public figures without a thought about how those stories reached them."

Daily Mail in a leader: "Labour has been hijacked by Hacked Off, a self-appointed cadre of Press-hating zealots, tarnished celebrities and small-town academics."

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