Friday, 4 July 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: Rolf Harris and the Leveson effect, more hacking trial reaction and is the Daily Star becoming the new Sunday Sport?

Mr Justice Saunders at the end of the hacking trial, as quoted by the Daily Telegraph: "All the defendants that I have to sentence, save for Mr Mulcaire are distinguished journalists who had no need to behave as they did to be successful. They all achieved a great deal without resorting to the unlawful invasion of other people's privacy. Those achievements will now count for nothing. I accept that their reputations and their careers are irreparably damaged."

The Guardian: "Lawyers for Rolf Harris used a controversial passage in the Leveson report to try to dissuade the media from naming the entertainer after his arrest on suspicion of sexual offences.
The London law firm Harbottle & Lewis cited Lord Justice Leveson's contentious proposal that the public should be prevented from knowing the names of arrest suspects in all but "exceptional" circumstances."

The Daily Mail in a leader: "It was only when Harris was named by journalists – four months after police first interviewed him, in relation to a single victim – that the dam broke and the other women were able to come forward. Disturbingly, post-Leveson, there are many examples of police holding, arresting and even charging suspects in secret. This chilling practice is not only an affront to open justice and the hallmark of totalitarian regimes. It also hands a gift to predators like Harris who depend upon their frightened victims believing they are on their own."

BBC Radio 4 Today @BBCr4today on Twitter: "Liberal MP Cyril Smith wrote to the BBC in 1976 asking it not to investigate the 'private lives of certain MPs'."

From HoldTheFrontPage: "Google yesterday notified Newsquest Oxfordshire, publishers of the Oxford Mail, that it had removed from its search listings a story about Robert Daniels-Dwyer, an archaeology specialist who was convicted of trying to steal £200 worth of Christmas presents from Boots in Oxford in 2006. It follows the recent ruling by the European Court of Justice which allows people to apply to the search engine giant to have 'irrelevant' or 'out of date' stories removed."

Peter Oborne in the Telegraph: "Today’s opposition leader, Ed Miliband, is suffering from exactly the same treatment as Kinnock, Major and Hague. In the wake of the phone hacking trial, the Murdoch newspapers – confronted so bravely by the Labour leader three years ago – are back in full cry. They have long memories at News International – now News UK – and may believe they have Mr Miliband’s measure. But the company is not alone: Mr Miliband is being hunted by nearly all of Fleet Street."

Pic: BBC
Jill Parkin on Press Gazette on the demolition of the Yorkshire Post building in Leeds:"Bulldozed concrete doesn’t speak of past love. All the same, this was a building packed with life – not just of those who worked there, but of those whose lives filled the columns every day. And for that, its dust deserves a nod of recognition."

Piers Morgan @piersmorgan: "Humbled to have been voted Britain's most influential journalist on social media by @pressgazette ...well, not really. I deserved it."

The Spectator in a leader: "All but 13 members of parliament voted for a Bill to end press freedom. Mercifully, this ‘Royal Charter’ has been ignored, as the press has instead declined to be regulated by politicians and retains its independence as it continues what is, for many, a fight for survival. Newspapers have lost more than a third of their circulation since the hacking scandal erupted. Each day, 1,500 people stop buying newspapers and never start again. Rather than being too strong, the press is weaker now than at any time in modern history. This was the ideal time for the enemies of press freedom to pounce. Luckily, the threat has been seen off, the law is being allowed to run its course and press freedom has been conserved. This is about the only comfort to be drawn from an episode which has reflected so badly on so many."

Alex Massie in The Spectator: "I also don’t think it is wrong or disgraceful for The Guardian (with some assistance from the BBC) to try to destroy Murdoch. That’s their prerogative. But let’s at least be honest and acknowledge that’s the aim."

Tim Adams in the Observer: "The flashbulb detail of the News of the World's methods revealed in court showed a level of intrusion in the private lives of individuals that often seemed disturbed or pathological."

Tim Crook on The Conversation: on the hacking trial: "The trial’s context is a determined mood in the British state along with the country’s political, cultural, academic, and entertainment elite to reset the capacity of the media to embarrass, outrage, insult and mock the peccadilloes, indulgences and hypocrisies of the rich and powerful."

Michael Wolff on USA Today: "Various of his biographers, myself included, have learned the hard way about Rupert Murdoch: Just when you think he's peaked or has hit an impassable wall, the chips break his way, and he keeps going on, his story ever bigger and more operatic than before. The acquittal last week of Rebekah Brooks, his former top lieutenant in Britain, along with most of the other defendants in the London phone-hacking and police-bribery trial — in the British press, "the trial of the century" — is a reversal of fortunes in Britain on the order of, say, were the top Watergate defendants to have gotten off in America. It creates a topsy-turvy sort of history in which Murdoch, surely mortally wounded, suddenly rises from the battlefield, jauntily dusting himself off."

Peter Jukes ‏@peterjukes whose Twitter coverage of the hacking case was crowd funded: "If news organisations relied on my detail, and therefore didn't employ a court reporter - then this is a bad precedent...For that reason - undercutting other court reporters while giving news organisations a free feed - I doubt I'll repeat the experiment."

George Monbiot in the Guardian: "In countries such as ours, the principal threat to freedom of expression comes not from government but from within the media. Censorship, in most cases, happens in the newsroom."

Sunday Sport ‏@thesundaysport on Twitter: "So, @Daily_Star you want to play that game, do you? "

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