Friday, 10 January 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From pardon plea for Edward Snowden to tributes to Simon Hoggart

Guido Fawkes backs Edward Snowden

Guido Fawkes calls for  Edward Snowden to be pardoned: "His motivation was ideological and principled – it has cost him his personal freedom and his career. People who Guido would normally expect to side with the cause of liberty have focused on the medium not the message – because it was Alan Rusbridger’s Guardian that broke the story they have got their backs up."

The Guardian in a leader on Edward Snowden: "Mr Snowden gave classified information to journalists, even though he knew the likely consequences. That was an act of some moral courage. Presidents – from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan – have issued pardons. The debate that Mr Snowden has facilitated will no doubt be argued over in the US supreme court. If those justices agree with Mr Obama's own review panel and Judge Richard Leon in finding that Mr Snowden did, indeed, raise serious matters of public importance which were previously hidden (or, worse, dishonestly concealed), is it then conceivable that he could be treated as a traitor or common felon? We hope that calm heads within the present administration are working on a strategy to allow Mr Snowden to return to the US with dignity, and the president to use his executive powers to treat him humanely and in a manner that would be a shining example about the value of whistleblowers and of free speech itself."

Assange: 'Unchallenged by BBC'

Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail on Julian Assange's contribution on the Today programme edited by singer P.J. Harvey: "I would have qualms about this morning’s circus even if Assange were due to be interrogated by John Humphrys in his most aggressive Rottweiler mode. As it is, I am aghast that he should be allowed to maunder on unchallenged. Would P. J. Harvey be given complete editorial freedom if she wanted to parade a highly controversial politician on the run from the law? I

Trinity Mirror managing director North West and Manchester Steve Anderson-Dixon on plans to launch a Sunday edition of the Liverpool Echo, as reported by Press Gazette: "The Liverpool Echo is a strong and respected brand. It has a connection with its audience that is unparalleled across Merseyside. We already have in place brilliant local journalists, an excellent local sales force and a well-established readership which we believe will welcome the Echo seven days a week."

Daily Mail in a leader: "Mr Cameron may claim to be a defender of free speech and a Press that has been free for 300 years. In reality, however, isn’t he the worst kind of fairweather friend?"

on Twitter: "As an ex- industrial Corr I now realise we missed a story even after miners strike. Scargill wasn't lying!"

: Trevor Kavanagh: “I gave Twitter up in the new year and I feel liberated..I didn’t read a book for six months..."

Daily Telegraph in a leader: "The 2010 leaders’ debates [on television] were perhaps the most exciting aspect of that year’s general election – and there is no good reason why they should not return in 2015. Unscripted confrontations undermine some of the politicians’ ability to control the agenda. In recent years, election campaigns have become obsessively choreographed – a series of photo opportunities with pretty locations and hand-picked party activists."

Philip Johnston in the Telegraph on the Leveson Inquiry: "Any disinterested observer looking back on those hearings two years ago must be astonished at how out of touch they were with the modern media world. The idea that the press retains the power that it had when Baldwin denounced it in the 1930s – or even what it had in the 1990s – is fanciful, with many newspapers struggling to survive and other platforms growing in reach and influence. Just before Christmas, the Liverpool Post became the latest casualty of this market fragmentation, closing after 158 years in print. Moreover, tasteless behaviour and flagrant breaches of the law are far easier to find on social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook or internet giants like Google and Yahoo, yet these were not covered by the inquiry."

Corinna Schumacher, the wife of ex-Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher, appeals for privacy and for reporters to leave the clinic where he is being treated following a skiing accident in the French Alps, as reported by BBC News: "It is important to me that the doctors and the hospital be left in peace to work - please trust their statements and leave the clinic...please leave our family in peace".

Simon Hoggart

Alan Rusbridger on Simon Hoggart who died this week: "Simon was a terrific reporter and columnist – and a great parliamentary sketch writer. He wrote with mischief and a sometimes acid eye about the theatre of politics. But he wrote from a position of sophisticated knowledge and respect for parliament. A daily reading of his sketch told you things about the workings of Westminster which no news story could ever convey. He will be much missed by readers and his colleagues."

on Twitter: "Tragically early death of Simon Hoggart, last of a heroic generation of sketch writers and a man you bought a paper for & who made you care."

From the Guardian's obit on Simon Hoggart, about his early days on the Guardian in Manchester: "He once earned a famous reproach for writing too highfalutin a match report of a game between Chelsea and Blackpool, evoking Greek tragedy and, specifically, the blinding of Oedipus ('Will you tell me one thing?' a grizzled night editor asked him,'were they playing with a ball or a discus?')."

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