Friday, 2 August 2013

Quotes of the Week: From should the BBC stop doing online news? to Daily Mail blasts Guardian

The Times [£] in a leader: "The review — which will help to decide the content of the next BBC Charter — is an opportunity to go much farther still. Serious consideration should be given to allowing BBC audio and video to be used more freely by other media organisations. After all, the content has been paid for by licence fee payers and not by the BBC itself. More significantly, the scale of the online offering remains inhospitable to free and fair competition. The settlement that is most likely to guarantee a level playing field for other media organisations would be for the BBC to focus on television and radio but to stop producing written online news reports and analysis."

Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, on the conviction of Bradley Manning for giving WikiLeaks classified documents:"While Manning was not convicted of the most serious charge, we're still concerned about the chilling effect on the press, especially on reporters covering national security issues," said  "This aggressive prosecution has sent a clear message to would-be leakers."

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian: "The internet is a wondrous thing that has changed and liberated people. It also threatens our idea of ourselves as private persons and citizens. It has become a masked ball, whose concealed dancers may be corporations or governments, paedophiles or rapists, weirdos or fools. It must be regulated. This is not a "feminist issue", but we can thank feminism for bringing the threat to the fore."

The Telegraph in a leader: "It has emerged in recent weeks that newspapers were not the only organisations hiring private investigators to carry out allegedly illegal inquiries. Blue-chip corporations, management consultants, oil companies, accountancy firms, venture capitalists and two dozen law firms are among around 100 companies that may have paid rogue private investigators to obtain personal information. Yet there has been no political clamour for action against the people who commissioned these nefarious activities, nor any emergency sessions of Parliament to debate the subject."

Independent editor Amol Rajan in an email to staff on the NUJ ballot on industrial action: "A 'Yes' vote will give him [Evgeny Lebedev, the paper's owner] very little confidence that we are prepared to steer the Independent print brands on a course that can lead them to safety and sustainability. This could be catastrophic for the titles. A 'No' vote on the other hand will be seen as a genuine commitment to securing the Independent print brands as a credible and valued part of a wider dynamic and influential media company. I'm sure the owner would respond positively to this."

Damian Thompson, editor of Telegraph blogs, in the Telegraph on claims by Private Eye that Charlie Brooker has quit his regular column in the Guardian after a request to have the reader comments switched off was refused: "From time to time, Left-wing trolls throw abuse at our blogger Lord Tebbit which, while not libellous, is appallingly rude. Not once in five years have I had a call from Norman asking for a comment to be removed; instead, he ridicules the author in his next blog post for their oafish manners and feeble arguments. You should try that some time, Charlie Brooker. It’s called growing a pair."

Charlie Brooker in the Guardian denies the Private Eye story but says he is taking a break from the Guardian and adds: "These days most newspaper sites are geared towards encouraging interaction with the miniscule fraction of readers who bother to interact back, which is a pity because I'm selfishly uninterested in conducting any kind of meaningful dialogue with humankind in general. I'd say Twitter's better for back-and-forth discussion anyway, if you could be arsed with it. Yelling out the window at passersby is another option."

 The Grey Cardigan on The Spin Alley lashes out at banal web stories like the big chip: "What no-one outside the newspapers concerned seems to be worried about is the damage such juvenile japes do to the reputations of those newspapers. They should be fine upstanding pillars of the communities they serve, not an international laughing stock. And what credence will readers give to a newspaper’s exposure of wrongdoing on the local council when the last story they read was about a ‘dead’ hedgehog that came back to life at Easter? (It was fucking hibernating, you morons.)"

: "I long ago discovered that the best way to deal with twitter "trolls" is to respond to their nonsense in latin!"

Graham Freeman, one of four private detectives jailed last year after admitting conspiring to defraud people by blagging personal information in a Soca operation code-named Millipede, quoted in the Telegraph: “Soca doesn’t want to give up the Millipede names because if they did they would be forced to investigate them and charge them for conspiracy to defraud as they did us. On that list are the names of law firms, banks and insurance companies who all used private detectives for all sorts of reasons.”

The Daily Mail in a leader: "After almost six weeks of deafening silence, the Guardian and the BBC finally make passing references to the revelations that law firms, blue-chip companies and others routinely hired private investigators guilty of hacking, blagging and stealing private information. ..To borrow a phrase from a Guardian headline, attacking other newspapers for failing to clear their front pages for the NoW story: 'Why the silence?'  Isn't it hard to avoid the conclusion that the Left-wing media's crusade for Press curbs was driven less by horror of hacking than hatred of viable papers that express popular opinions contrary to theirs?"  

[£]  = paywall

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