Friday, 15 August 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From papers slammed over Robin Williams suicide coverage to is there a course on regional press management claptrap?

James Ball ‏@jamesrbuk on Twitter: "Samaritans circulated an email via PCC to all papers today. The papers were warned, and ran those front pages anyway. I don't have words."

Sarah Boseley in the Guardian: "The Samaritans produced a set of guidelines for the media reporting suicides some years ago, in conjunction with journalists, in the understanding that there is a genuine public interest in exploring why people kill themselves. Nobody has ever suggested a news blackout. But the Samaritans and other mental health groups such as Mind say that, above all else, reporting details of the manner in which somebody killed themselves may give the depressed individual information they lacked or an idea they had not thought of and spur them to try it. But in the rush to understand and report the death of Robin Williams, even that basic rule has been flouted."

SubScribe: "It is a long time since I have felt so angry and ashamed of our industry as a whole. From just after midnight on Tuesday until 10pm there was a constant stream of tweets from all sorts of people urging restraint in the reporting of the actor's suicide...Yet the tabloids put a collective two fingers up at everyone and blithely went their own way...We have been on the back foot in the fight to protect press freedom ever since the phone hacking scandal broke. Yet in failing to show any self-control in this, in failing to show the slightest concern about whether our actions might cost people their lives, we have handed Hacked Off and those who say we can't be trusted a gift."

David Banks on the Robin Williams coverage on his Media Law blog"This is a very complex issue. People sometimes criticise the tabloid press for reporting an issue, while still reading every word of the content. Conversely, sometimes criticism is levelled at the papers for a ‘sensational’ (ie attention-grabbing) front page – and the nuances of coverage inside might be overlooked. Some people feel that any examination of the lives of the dead while their families are still grieving is an unjustifiable intrusion. At the opposite end of the spectrum, some believe that after a life lived in the limelight, the death of a celebrity is public property too. A reasonable path lies somewhere between those two extremes...It is interesting to note that the one media that seems to have caused greatest distress in the immediate aftermath of Robin Williams’ death is social media, in particular Twitter, where trolls attacked his daughter, Zelda, causing her to close her account."

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, on CNN: "We are hopeful that there is willingness in the media industry to listen and act on the concerns raised by the mental health charities, experts and their own audiences. Social media is giving readers a voice like never before and editors now know quickly when they are out of step with the public mood. We believe we can work collaboratively with the media to make mental health and suicide reporting safe."

Neville Thurlbeck on his blog after being released from Bellmarsh Prison: "Despite being left in a 'Category A' prison, Andy Coulson is in good spirits and is getting on well with his fellow inmates. Reports that he has been attacked are totally untrue. We have been in each others' company for between 22 to 24 hours per day and I have witnessed nothing other than the hand of friendship to both of us. We would like to put the record straight on this."

The Daily Telegraph in a leader headlined 'Move the NoW One': "Six weeks ago, Andy Coulson, once the Prime Minister’s chief spokesman, was jailed for conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications, more popularly known as phone hacking. Notwithstanding some of the hysteria surrounding the nature of this offence, it is, in the scheme of things, pretty low on the list of heinous crimes. Yet Coulson, who was sentenced to 18 months’ custody, remains in a cell in Belmarsh Prison, east London, a Category A jail more usually associated with murderers, terrorists and bank robbers."

Cliff Richard in a statement, reported by BBC News: "The allegations are completely false. Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen. However, the police attended my apartment in Berkshire today without notice, except it would appear to the press."

Ex-Mail on Sunday editor Peter Wright in a letter to the Guardian: "Roy Greenslade is wrong to say I deliberately 'withheld' from the Press Complaints Commission and the Leveson inquiry 'vital information' about how some Mail on Sunday journalists’ phones were hacked by the News of the World. We were contacted by police in October 2006 and told some of our journalists’ phones had been hacked. The police recommended our journalists improve their phone security, but did not want them to make statements, nor suggest the hacking had involved anyone other than Goodman and Mulcaire."

Roy Greenslade responds on his MediaGuardian blog: "Wright, as emeritus editor of the Mail group, has been the leading light in the foundation of the PCC's replacement, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso). So a man who spent years withholding significant information from one regulatory body is now the architect of another (much disputed) regulatory body. Does his record really suggest a willingness to shed light into the dark corners of Fleet Street?"

YouGov poll: "Around two thirds of British people trust the authors of Wikipedia entries to tell the truth, many more than trust newspaper journalists."

Celia Walden [aka Mrs Piers Morgan] in the Telegraph: "Now, my loathing of social media runs so deep that my husband – a Twitterholic who prides himself on having 4.2 million followers – has been banned from mentioning the ghastly life-sapping force or employing any of its cultish, playground lingo in my presence."

David Hepworth in the Guardian on advertorials: "Back in the 80s on Smash Hits we once told an advertiser to re-do an entire creative execution because it contained a word we didn’t like. They did it. But that won’t happen again. Nowadays only one person will get their own way and it’s the one with the chequebook."

Fleet Street Fox on the Mirror: "A lot of what people say on Twitter would make Hitler happy."

The Grey Cardigan on TheSpinalley: "ANOTHER chief exec off to spend more time with his money is Archant’s Adrian Jeakings, who departed the group rather suddenly this month. Like his boardoom peers, Adrian also appears to have adopted the weird vocabulary common in the marbled halls. While Monty thinks he’s running a ‘digitised transaction business’, Mr Jeakings thinks he’s transformed the company from ‘a primarily print and product-focussed group to a customer and community-focussed media solutions business’. Where do they get this claptrap from? Is there a special course they go on? I wonder if back in 1845, Jeremiah Colman, one of the founders of the group, ever thought that his fortune wasn’t based on making world-famous mustard, but was instead ‘delivering a food-focused condiment application’. Somehow I doubt it."

No comments: