Thursday, 20 June 2013

Media Quotes of the Week: Lord Grade the press regulation peacemaker, why we still need reporters and when did sub editors stop being journalists?

Lord Grade in The Times: “It’s very, very important that the future of press regulation is settled as quickly as possible and if anybody thinks I can help in that process obviously I would contribute.
I am presently a member of the PCC [Press Complaints Commission] so I am fairly up to date on everything. If anybody asks me to try and help of course I would help. It is very important for the public that we get to a settlement on this.”

Hacked Off supporters in a letter to the Guardian, after the paper backed the idea of Lord Grade trying to reach a compromise on press regulation: "It is baffling and disappointing to us, as people who have suffered some of the worst press abuses of recent years, that the Guardian suddenly appears ready to surrender to the manipulations of press corporations responsible for many of those abuses."

Robin Lustig accepting the Charles Wheeler award: "Without reporters, there is no journalism worthy of the name. So in this age of talking heads, of wall-to-wall pundits, of hastily rewritten press releases, I would like simply to say we still need reporters as much as we ever did, to be where the story is, to dig, to question, and to challenge."

George Brock on his blog on The Times' Prince William DNA splash: "I can see that The Times might well argue that the DNA of an heir to the throne is a matter of public interest: the accompanying editorial (£) simply takes that for granted before going on to argue for the benefits of DNA testing for medical and general knowledge. But to pretend that there is no ethical issue at all insults the intelligence of the paper’s readers." 

Kent Messenger Group chairman Geraldine Allinson in the Guardian: "New media, including the global giants, are competing with traditional media on the net. We view Google, Monster, Facebook and Gumtree as our major competitors. They may not have offices in Kent. They may not have journalists out in Kent talking to people in the community. But they're our competitors, and the competition regime should recognise that. There appears to be an overbearing desire to regulate and control traditional media when it would be more constructive for public policy and the regulatory agenda to focus on how local media can be unburdened and nurtured."

Grey Cardigan on The Spin Alley: "I really don’t like the Guardian, or the sinister organisation that runs it. Not content with wrecking the entire publishing industry by giving away all their content for free – easy to do when you’re protected from dirty words like profit – they’re now just taking the piss by playing with Lego, opening a coffee shop and running courses for people who want to be food bloggers. Of course, that’s just what the world needs – more fucking food bloggers. Though if you’re daft enough to give the Guardian £400 just to learn how to take pictures of your dinner, you probably sincerely believe that the world is waiting with bated breath for your clichéd culinary crap-spittle."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog: "A couple of weeks ago I asked whether there was any point to the continued publication of the Sunday People. Ever since – and I know it's not because of what I wrote – the paper has been coming up with must-read stories. But none was more spectacular than yesterday's old-fashioned Fleet Street scoop – the pictures of Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi. Talk about agenda-setting. The Twittersphere went crazy. News website hits went off the scale. Every newspaper followed it up. It went round the world because Nigella is a global brand."

Amol Rajan  on Twitter on being made editor of the Independent: "Really don't care how trite this sounds: best thing about my new job is leading the most fantastic team of journalists in Fleet St."

London Evening Standard art critic Brian Sewell in Press Gazette: “My only problem with it [the Standard] is it is largely run by young and inexperienced people. And it doesn’t have any authority. There was a time when Members of Parliament were scared of the paper – what will the Evening Standard headline be if we do this? - but that's going back 20 years or so. No longer does it have that sort of clout.”

Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail on the Guardian's spying revelations: "Treachery is too strong a word, but it is impossible to find any decent motive for what The Guardian has done. These supposedly world-shattering revelations were intended to damage the British government at the beginning of a crucial summit. More and more, it looks like a paper driven by its own obsessions, convinced only of its own virtue, which has simply lost the plot."

Gameoldgirl on the Sub Scribe blog: "When did subs stop being journalists? And why do executives everywhere now refer to them as the production department? The production department used to be where the type was made and put into pages, whether in hot metal or bits of sticky paper. Then it was the area where a clutch of people would chase for pages and send them via computer to the printers. Now it refers to the subs. They are no longer thinking, talented journalists, masters of language, mistresses of design,  but 'producers', conveyor-belt handlers of copy, fit only to write a Google-friendly heading and to do the bidding of whoever happens to be sitting on the newsdesk. Never mind how experienced the sub or how green the news editor."

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