Friday, 30 August 2013

Media Quotes of the Week: From journalists under fire for attacking journalists to a newspaper group accused of not wanting to sell newspapers

David Carr in the New York Times: "If the revelations about the N.S.A. surveillance were broken by Time, CNN or The New York Times, executives there would already be building new shelves to hold all the Pulitzer Prizes and Peabodies they expected. Same with the 2010 WikiLeaks video of the Apache helicopter attack. Instead, the journalists and organizations who did that work find themselves under attack, not just from a government bent on keeping its secrets, but from friendly fire by fellow journalists. What are we thinking?"

Letter to David Cameron from WAN-IFRA presidents Tomas BrunegĂ„rd and Erik Bjerager: "That your government felt the need to threaten legal action in order to block reporting into issues of public interest is deeply regrettable. Furthermore, WAN-IFRA is extremely concerned that the government’s actions were an act of intimidation that could have a chilling effect on press freedom in the UK and beyond." 

Nick Cohen in the Observer: "Liberal Democrat ministers do little or nothing as scandals break about secret courts, the snoopers' charter and the detention of the partners journalists under the Terrorism Act. They are so shameless that Nick Clegg aides boasted to the Financial Times that the deputy prime minister had personally approved plans to force our sister paper, the Guardian, to destroy a hard disk containing Ed Snowden's leaked secrets on state surveillance. I remember a time, not so long ago, when the Lib Dems worried about the secret state. But that was another age."

Janet Daley in the Sunday Telegraph on the forced destruction of Guardian computers: "The reasons that this scene – which looks, on the face of it, like something out of East Germany in the 1970s – is apparently perfectly acceptable seem to be: a) the data in the computers was a threat to the national security of this country and to that of our American allies; b) this information was stolen from the US government and published illegally by people who are narcissistic/eccentric/of dubious political judgment, and c) the newspaper in question was the Guardian, which is full of annoying Left-wing prats."

Sun journalist Chris Pollard, after he was cleared of handling a stolen mobile phone, to Press Gazette:  “I have no problem with the police making arrests when they suspect wrongdoing. But the way they are doing it is totally over the top and ridiculous. You don’t need to send nine police officers at dawn to a journalist’s house because you suspect them of handling a stolen mobile phone."

Mail on Sunday leader: "When it comes to state investigations into invasions of privacy, it seems that there is a huge imbalance between treatment of the press and treatment of blue-chip companies. Even lawyer Mark Lewis, who represents the family of hacked murder victim Milly Dowler, says there must be consistency – whether dealing with a newspaper, a pharmaceutical company or a law firm. There cannot be one rule for the press and another for everyone else."

Robert G. Kaiser, Washington Post associate editor, on the paper's coverage of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech": "In that paper of Aug. 29, 1963, The Post published two dozen stories about the march. Every one missed the importance of King’s address. The words 'I have a dream' appeared in only one, a wrap-up of the day’s rhetoric on Page A15 — in the fifth paragraph. We also printed brief excerpts from the speeches, but the three paragraphs chosen from King’s speech did not include 'I have a dream.'  I’ve never seen anyone call us on this bit of journalistic malpractice. Perhaps this anniversary provides a good moment to cop a plea. We blew it."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog on Newsquest's cover price increases and falling sales: "Newsquest editors and journalists be warned. The company isn't trying to sell newspapers. It is trying to make as much money as possible before it kills off the golden goose."

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