Friday, 20 September 2013

Media Quotes of the Week: From Leveson attacked as 'disastrous' by Guardian legal chief to Daily Mail defends the BBC against politicial interference

Leveson: 'Worst of all worlds'

The Guardian’s director of editorial legal services Gill Phillips on the outcome of the Leveson Inquiry, as quoted by Press Gazette: “What Leveson has come up with is the worst of all worlds. His attempt to please everybody and avoid being a dusty footnote on a shelf somewhere has led him down a road that has proved to be pretty disastrous. We don’t have anything that could be perceived as effective or credible by either side of the debate.”

Peter Oborne praises Ed Miliband in the Telegraph: "For roughly three decades all senior British politicians had deferred in the most demeaning and improper way to the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. Mr Miliband refused to go along with this, thus helping to remove a giant stench from the heart of British public life." 

Russell Brand in the Guardian on the GQ awards: "We witness that there is a relationship between government, media and industry that is evident even at this most spurious and superficial level. These three institutions support one another. We know that however cool a media outlet may purport to be, their primary loyalty is to their corporate backers. We know also that you cannot criticise the corporate backers openly without censorship and subsequent manipulation of this information."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement on 75 more job cuts at the BBC: "We are in this position because of the former director general Mark Thompson's shabby, behind-closed-doors, deal with the government. His decision to agree to freeze the licence fee until 2017 and take on an extra £340 million in new financial responsibilities, such as the World Service and the provision of fast broadband, has proved a disaster for the corporation. Last week we watched Thompson and members of the BBC Trust defending £1 million pay-offs to former executives, this week we hear hard-working journalists committed to the BBC and public service broadcasting are to be shown the door."

Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley takes issue with the NUJ and general secretary Michelle Stanistreet's support for members to clock off at 5.30pm on September 25 [Go Home On Time Day]: "The day of inaction is planned for a Wednesday, which also happens to be deadline day for a whole host of weekly newspapers. The NUJ obviously doesn’t know this, but if Ms Stanistreet can point me to a single editorial employee of those titles who will be able to leave at a notional 5.30pm on that particular day, I’ll show my arse in Woolworth’s window." 

Roy Greenslade on his blog: "Suggestions that the 'new' Sun on Sunday (SoS) would move closer to the old News of the World proved to be unfounded.It was a damp squib that amounted to a succession of very average news page leads." 

Mike Harris of Index on Censorship, in the Guardian on proposals that libel litigants should only have to pay their own costs: "We are concerned about the implications for freedom of expression in that someone could sue a newspaper vexatiously because they know they don't have to pay the costs even if they lose." 

Sir Ray Tindle, quoted by HoldtheFrontPage: "One swallow doesn’t make a summer but I’m pleased to tell you that, for the first time for a considerable period, last week every one of our London titles went into profit.” 

Richard Sambrook in the Guardian on the BBC: "Newspaper editors should pause before rubbing their hands in glee. If the government can push the boundaries of interference under this guise of transparency and accountability, what hope for a truly independent post-Leveson settlement?" 

Daily Mail in a leader: "If politicians are given influence over the BBC’s output – as they would be, under this plan to transfer the Trust’s functions to Ofcom and the National Audit Office – this will fundamentally undermine the Corporation’s independence and, with it, the public’s right to know. Indeed, any scrutiny of Ofcom – that nest of politically-correct Blairites – should demonstrate how unsafe it would be to entrust it with rulings on what the BBC may and may not broadcast."

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