Friday, 9 August 2013

Media Quotes of the Week: From earthquake as Jeff Bezos buys Washington Post to Michael Wolff on Rupert Murdoch's life taking a tabloid turn

Donald Graham on the sale of the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon:  "Our revenues had declined seven years in a row. We had innovated, and to my critical eye our innovations had been quite successful in audience and in quality, but they hadn’t made up for the revenue decline. Our answer had to be cost cuts, and we knew there was a limit to that. We were certain the paper would survive under our ownership, but we wanted it to do more than that. We wanted it to succeed."

James Fallows on The Atlantic website on the sale of the Washington Post: "I think I'll remember where I was when I first heard the news -- via Twitter! -- and I am sure it will be one of those episode-that-encapsulates-an-era occurrences. Newsweek's demise, a long time coming, was a minor temblor by comparison; this is a genuine earthquake."

Johnston Press boss on Twitter: "First Warren Buffett, now Amazon's Jeff Bezos buys into regional newspapers: Washington Post purchase."

on Twitter: "So ironic @washingtpost should be consumed by a pioneer of the industry that almost destroyed it." 

The Grey Cardigan on The Spin Alley: "It’s time to accept that Twitter, as it is today, is lawless. It is the Wild West with keyboards instead of Colt 45s. It is ungovernable, as is any form of freedom of speech. So if you’re going to expose yourself to its ego-driven eccentricities, then you’re just going tohave to live with it."

Liz Jones in the Mail on Sunday: "When I read last week that two female journalists had received threats, via Twitter, telling them a bomb had been placed outside their homes, I immediately contacted my agent. ‘Can you check if someone has sent me a bomb threat via Twitter?’ I don’t have a Twitter account. I started to tweet, briefly, for about two hours last summer, before I was phoned by this newspaper and asked to desist.  They weren’t so much worried that I would start calling other journalists obscene names and accusing them of bestiality – which has since happened to me." 

Guardian readers' editor Chris Elliott in his Open door column on the paper's duty to whistleblower Edward Snowden: "No editor can give a whistleblower a cast-iron guarantee. The most important issue in the relationship is to act honestly and fairly, taking every step to ensure that he or she has the best understanding of the consequences of his or her actions. And don't give up on the story or the storyteller. This has a long way to run."

Peter Preston in The Observer: "Media plurality in existing law is pretty simple – and wholly out of date. Enforcing monopoly rules, it prevents companies that command more than 20% of the newspaper market from owning more than 20% of terrestrial Channels 3 or 5. That "Murdoch clause" betrays fear of a ravenous Rupert swallowing all competition and ruling the world. Park that apprehension as Google surges past Murdoch Inc, with BT knocking on his door. Old plurality was about caging the beast, keeping a diversity of voices. New plurality wants to define those voices afresh. The BBC, notes the DCMS, spends £430m a year on news provision – more than all other UK broadcasting put together. It reaches 86% of the population and accounts for 73% of TV news-watching. How, for plurality purposes, can you pretend it doesn't exist?" 

GMG chief executive Andrew Miller on why the Guardian is not supporting the industry proposed press regulator IPSO, as reported by Press Gazette: "For the industry to propose a system that does not enjoy support from either the main political leaders or the victims of press intrusion seems counter-productive." 

Michael Wolff on USA Today on Rupert Murdoch: "That Rupert Murdoch's life has turned into a tabloid tale is ... well, more justice than anyone might reasonably ever wish for. He's on his way to looking like the louche, out-of-control, sex-crazed older men (at 82, he pushes that envelope) who are so joyfully featured in his tabloid properties, the New York Post and The Sun in London."

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