Friday, 4 April 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From outrage over police threats to reporter who pursued fraudster to Alan Rusbridger's chilling warning on sources

Gareth Davies, chief reporter of the Croydon Advertiser, on what a police officer said as they served a harassment order on him for putting allegations to a convicted fraudster, as reported by Press Gazette: “Because you’re a journalist that doesn’t give you special privileges. You say you are just doing your job, but that’s what the News of the World said and look what happened to that.”

The Croydon Advertiser responds to the Police action against Gareth Davies: “NEELAM Desai – a self confessed fraudster – has said she feels 'persecuted' by articles written about her in the Advertiser. Those articles are the result of an extensive investigation through which our chief reporter has exposed a complex dating website scam, which cost one victim £35,500. Desai, 33, is accused of conning at least three men out of thousands of pounds after contacting them through Asian marriage site She used a fake identity and claimed to be raising money for homeless children, but the woman they fell for did not exist. As a newspaper we have a responsibility to put those allegations to Desai, to give her the chance to respond...Our reports have prompted two police investigations into her actions which, for one alleged victim, follows months of fighting for his accusations to be taken seriously. That progress has come from good old fashioned journalism – not ‘harassment’."

Daily Mail comment on the treatment of Gareth Davies.

Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors: "This is a ridiculous misuse of a law originally introduced to deal with stalkers. It is also extremely silly. It is time someone gave the police an injection of common sense. It seems some police officers do not understand that the media is simply a conduit to the public who they are supposed to serve and who have a right to know. If this is a reaction to critical headlines about the police they have only themselves to blame for increasing public concern about their behaviour."

Jeremy Clarkson ‏@JeremyClarkson on Twitter: "Nothing damages journalism more than the Mail online. They absolutely could not give a shit about the truth."

MailOnline headline: BBC faces £1MILLION racism lawsuit over Jeremy Clarkson's 'slope' quip on Top Gear Burma special

SubScribe blog on the Reading Chronicle and its football hooliganism story which caused outrage: "Call me an old softie, but it seems so sad. A local paper trying to do "proper" journalism and coming unstuck spectacularly. The editor is suspended, the reporter is under siege, the readers are outraged, the PCC and the Attorney-General are on their case. How much less trouble would it have been simply to have gone down the road of UGC and let the police, the council and the WI fill their pages?"

Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley: "So where are these Wunderkids going to come from? The truth is that nobody’s perfect. I am a good designer, a good headline writer, a half-decent columnist, a poor interviewer and a lousy reporter. I know this; the people who have employed me for 30 years have known this. The idea that we can suddenly produce a generation of multi-skilled journalists capable of excelling in all disciplines is just risible."

Western Morning News editor WMN editor Bill Martin on plans to publish seven days a week, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “The WMN on Sunday will build on established Western Morning News values and issues, and give our journalists the chance to tell West country stories differently - backed by quality design and pictures. It is a real privilege to be involved in a project that combines innovation, top quality design and investment in top quality journalism. The project is testament to Local World’s commitment to quality journalism and the regional press.”

Nigella Lawson on the Michael McIntyre Chat Show:
 "If anything all I’ve done is stop reading newspapers. Which is a bit of a shame as I’m a bit of a print fanatic. But of all the things to go, that’s relatively alright."

Nick Cohen on his Spectator blog on job cuts at Index On Censorship: "Among the recipients of redundancy notices are Padraig Reidy who was Index’s public face and its most thoughtful writer, and Michael Harris, who organised the lobbying to reform England’s repressive libel laws, the most successful free speech campaign since the fight to overturn the ban on Lady Chatterley’s Lover in the 1960s."

Index in a response to Nick Cohen: "Index almost alone among similar organisations, took the position after Leveson that we should campaign against state involvement in the regulation of the press. This almost certainly cost us donors and continues to be a highly controversial position...The result of the shortfall was a retrenchment and some redundancies, inevitably involving very valuable and respected staff members. This was painful and necessary but there was no other credible way of safeguarding Index’s position. The financial outlook for Index is now much more robust."

Alan Rusbridger, at the London School of Economics, as quoted by Press Gazette: "Every journalist should understand that there is no such thing as confidential digital communication. None of us have confidential sources. Peer to peer encryption is difficult for most journalists and it is quite time consuming and most journalists don't do it. We are all going to have to work on this in this world where people can intercept everything."

Alan Rusbridger after Guardian named Newspaper of the Year at The Press 
Awards: "It's a great honour for the Guardian to be named newspaper of the year by a jury of our peers. The story was not, in the end, publishable out of London and I want in particular to thank colleagues on ProPublica and the New York Times for collaborating with us. The support of editors and press freedom bodies around the world was also crucial. I want to acknowledge the personal cost to Edward Snowden involved in his decision to become a whistleblower. I must thank a team of extremely talented colleagues on the Guardian. And I dedicate the award to our friend and former deputy editor, Georgina Henry, who died recently."

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