Friday, 21 February 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: Trebles all round at Private Eye to Brooks and Blair via Newsquest

Editor Ian Hislop, after  Private Eye announces an ABC of 224,162 copies for July to December 2013 , maintaining its position as the biggest selling UK news and current affairs magazine: “Thatcher’s death, Prince George’s birth, Rebekah Brooks’ trial – we’ve done well in a quiet year…”

The Co-ordinating Committee of Press Freedom Organisations, in a letter to David Cameron: "We note that the unprecedented pressure on the Guardian comes at a time when the British public is engaged in a fierce debate over media regulation. We believe the issues are linked, as together they create the impression that British authorities are seeking to constrain and control the work of the media."

Phil Harding on this blog, from new book Is the BBC in Crisis?: "While an editor might receive the most vigorous complaints about his or her programme they are never accompanied by a threat to cut the licence fee. That was what made the recent intervention by the current Conservative Party Chairman, Grant Shapps, in which he explicitly linked the future of the BBC licence fee to political coverage by the BBC’s Home Editor, Mark Easton, so remarkable and why it provoked such a storm (Ross 2013). Shapps was, in fact, the fourth front-bencher to pick on Easton for his reporting. While some think that is because of the controversial nature of Easton’s journalistic beat, others think the Conservatives are now calculatingly taking a page out of the Labour Party spinbook of dark arts, by singling out one individual journalist and then picking on them at every opportunity."

David Lloyd on this blog, from new book Is the BBC in Crisis?: Is the BBC in Crisis?: "The BBC has devoted hundreds, perhaps thousands, of hours of radio and television to the ‘Lord Rennard Affair’ on the justified ground that it goes to the heart of attitudes – even a possible schism – within the Liberal Democrat Party and its credibility and governance. But did anyone think to ask how it was that the mighty cohorts of BBC Westminster, numbers far in excess of any other parliamentary team, failed to break that story in the first place, but that was left to Channel 4 News?

Jeremy Clarkson@JeremyClarkson on Twitter: "So Piers Morgan was interviewed under caution re phone hacking. But do remember people that he is innocent until a court decides otherwise."

Robert Booth@Robert_Booth on Twitter: "Prince William to Guardian:' Why don't you put the notebook down and give us a hand with the sandbags?' I offered but was told no by minders."

John McDonnell MP, secretary of the NUJ Parliamentary Group, on the Newsquest dispute:
"The great strength of local newspapers is that the reporters, subs, and editors who put them together are rooted in their communities. The idea that they can be put together remotely from another country without this impacting on the quality of the product is absurd. The Newsquest staff who have been forced to take this action in defence of local journalism deserve our full support and solidarity."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog on the Newsquest strike: "There is a human cost to rational cost-cutting decisions taken at head office which, in Newsquest's case, means Virginia USA, home of its parent media conglomerate, Gannett. That is surely the reason, at least in part, for the reaction of the NUJ chapels. They just don't feel it fair for a company that has no interest in the fate of their newspapers beyond squeezing as much a profit as possible from them to treat staff so poorly."

on Twitter: "Please fellow journalists do not agree to the absurd conditions for covering . I've even just been told what I should tweet. No."

Helena Kennedy in the Guardian: "Yesterday's Miranda judgment has worrying implications for press freedom, race relations and basic justice. We always hope our judiciary will be the restraining hand on this kind of state conduct, but too often the very mention of national security also has a chilling effect on the courts."

Rebekah Brooks email about advice from Tony Blair re-hacking scandal:

1. Form an independent unit that has a outside junior council, ken macdonald, a great and good type, a serious forensic criminal barrister, internal counsel, proper fact checkers etc in it. Get them to investigate me and others and publish a hutton style report.
2. Publish part one of the report at same time as the police closes its inquiry and clear you and accept short comings and new solutions and process and part two when any trials are over.
3. Keep strong and definitely sleeping pills. Need to have clear heads and remember no rash short term solutions as they only give you long term headaches.
4. It will pass. Tough up.

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