Friday, 28 March 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: Are subs vital or a luxury? and let's put journalists first not digital

Fraser Nelson on the Spectator blog: "I’ve worked for newspapers that have unwisely cut back on sub-editing. It seems to work, at first, because there is no immediate cliff-edge drop-off in quality. But the rot accumulates. Errors creep in that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Sloppy writing goes unchecked, flabby ideas go unchallenged. And even then, the newspapers don’t suffer immediate penalty – readers who have been with the same title for years put up with a lot, before cancelling their subscription. But when they do, the reputation for quality is hard to win back. The management respond to falling revenues with even more cuts, which sends even more readers into despair. This is what I call the cycle of doom."

Neil Fowler in InPublishing: "If we are to have a sensible view of the role of sub-editors, we must acknowledge that the funding model of news has changed. The luxury of having time and resource to rewrite and fact check every reporter’s story has gone. That doesn’t mean that copy should not be checked and revised when necessary, but it does mean that there needs to be a great deal more of ‘right first time, every time’."

David Yelland ‏@davidyelland on Twitter: "Kudos to Editor @davedins for reminding us The Sun is about fun (not boring politics like what I filled it with!)"

Comedian Mark Steel blogs about his disastrous gig at the Sports Journalism Awards: "There all sorts of reasons why a comedy gig becomes a disaster, some of which are beyond your control and some of which aren’t. It can’t have helped that John Inverdale introduced me with the words 'He’s just completed a sell-out tour of Croydon.' But maybe it’s fitting that sport, with its inbuilt uncertainties and fluctuations, should provide such a stinking 16 minutes. And just as the most viewed sporting clips on youtube are disastrous goalkeeping errors, shambolic run-outs, and athletes tripping over, in its way this night was funnier than if it had gone to plan. The image of Terry Venables frowning with part derision and part extreme bafflement is comedy at its purest. So I suppose afterwards I should have done an interview in which I apologised to my fans, promised I would get back to the training ground to prepare for the next gig, insist I wasn’t even considering resigning, and then blame everything on the referee."

Catherine Bennett in The Observer: "But how does Hacked Off's brilliant exploitation of celebrity, for its own sake, help advance the case against media celebrity exploitation that is, in the opinion of Hacked Off's star supporters, so severe as to require the end of the free press? Mick Jagger's right not to be ignorantly gossiped about could depend upon the answer."

Steve Hewlett in the Guardian: "The idea of decriminalising TV licence fee evasion is hardly new. After all, the idea of poor people being locked up for not being able to pay for television – I mean, it is only television – will strike most people as at least too harsh and quite possibly really wrong."

Harold Evans tweets on plans to sub the Northern Echo in Wales:

Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan on Twitter: "Tell me about it.. > RT @BBCWorld American dream, which promised the good life, is now a nightmare for the unemployed"

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian on local tv: "In a near 50-year career, I have watched people retreat from news, and most notably local news. The idealists, and there is nothing wrong with idealism, seem to think that, if people are turning their backs on print, then give them the news on TV. History suggests otherwise, as the regional television news programming offered by the BBC and ITV down the years has shown. Gradually, audiences have deserted and, as a consequence, the resources devoted by mainstream broadcasters to such output have been reduced."

The Grey Cardigan on coriander and the Guardian, on TheSpinAlley: "I AM beginning to think that the Guardian, now allegedly safe for perpetuity after selling off its holding in AutoTrader, is now just taking the piss. I refer the honourable reader to the front page blurb of today’s newspaper: 'Do something,' it implores. 'Go busking. Bake macarons. Forage for cocktails. Play ping pong.' Click on the website and one of the most-read articles is: '17 recipes for leftover coriander'. Forage for fucking cocktails? Worry about leftover coriander? Don’t these hipster twats realise that normal people are far too busy drinking beer and playing bingo to be concerned with such humdrum matters?"

Neil Benson, Trinity Mirror's regional editorial director, in a statement: "In an era when audiences want access to live-up-to-the-minute information across a variety of platforms, our working day will no longer be built around our print products. The new structure gives us the capability to produce more digital content all day and every day, while still producing brilliant newspapers."

GuardianObserver NUJ on Twitter: "Web first? Digital first? Put quality first - by employing journalists rather than cutting jobs"

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