Thursday, 16 October 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From Home Sec to act over police spying on journalists to sex text MP says media is not to blame for his downfall

The Mail on Sunday: "Police are to be stripped of the power to secretly spy on journalists’ phones, striking a major blow for press freedom. The move – expected within weeks – marks a victory for The Mail on Sunday after we exposed how police had used anti-terrorism powers to hack our phones. Officers bypassed legal protections designed to protect whistleblowers to find out who was behind a series of devastating stories that led to the downfall of shamed Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne. Now Home Secretary Theresa May will drive through a new law to stop officers snooping on reporters unless they are investigating serious crimes. And she will ensure that they need approval from judges or watchdogs for the intrusive surveillance – which at the moment can be approved simply ‘on the nod’ from colleagues."

Theresa May in a speech at the College of Policing conference: "I am already aware that there have been concerns over the use of RIPA to access journalists’ phone records and that is why we are revising the relevant code to make clear that specific consideration must be given to communications data requests involving those in sensitive professions, such as journalists. This code will be published in draft this autumn and will be subject to a full public consultation so that anyone with concerns can feed in their views."

Mail on Sunday comment on plans to stop Ripa being used to obtain journalists' phone records: "What a straightforward victory for strong and independent journalism this episode has been. In a few short weeks, The Mail on Sunday, followed by many other publications, has successfully exposed, highlighted and now ended some serious state wrongdoing. It is hard to think of any other force that could have achieved this apart from unregulated, fearless and vigilant newspapers."

Press Gazette: "Suffolk Police has become the third force to admit using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to obtain a journalist's phone records. Former Ipswich Star reporter Mark Bulstrode was targeted after he questioned the force about the re-opening of a rape investigation. After being warned that reporting the case could jeopardise the investigation, the Star chose not to publish the story - but officers still used RIPA to trawl through Bulstrode's mobile phone records and find his source."

Press Gazette: "A police force used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to bug a journalist's car - but has denied using it to obtain a news agency's phone records. Thames Valley Police bugged part-time Milton Keynes Citizen journalist Sally Murrer's car in December 2006 to find the source of leaked stories about the force."

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, speaking at the Journalism in the age of mass surveillance conference: "What Ed Snowden revealed is a world which should scare all journalists  and anybody who gives a promise of confidentiality to anyone."

Rusbridger said journalists should: "Fight for better protections; understand the technology; do a better job of protecting our sources."

David Boxhall, head of information security at Guardian News and Media, speaking at the  conference: "The smartphone is not your friend. It gives away where you are and who you are talking to."

John Battle, head of compliance at ITN, at the same conference: "The law has worked to provide protections for journalists but now we realise they amount to nothing.  The game has changed...In the past we had control of information but now it's held by third parties."

John McDonnell MP, secretary of the NUJ parliamentary group, also at the conference:"The next 12 months will be crucial for privacy, civil rights and journalistic practice in the U.K."

Mike Darcey, chief executive of News UK, addressing Press Gazette’s News on the Move conference, as reported by the London Evening Standard“In one day on Twitter, you can read millions of different opinions, some controversial, some insightful, and those are just the tweets from Rupert.”

Ex-local press sub-editor John Richards whose campaign to save the apostrophe has landed him a place in the 2015 Dull Men’s Club calendar, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “I walk around town and see so many misplaced or omitted apostrophes it beggars belief. The local fruiterer sells pounds of banana’s, the public library, of all places, had a sign saying CD’s."

Daily Telegraph obit on former Daily Express Newspapers' managing director Sir Jocelyn Stevens: "Such was his reputation for belligerent cost-cutting that when he was appointed chairman of English Heritage in 1992, one commentator described it as 'like putting Herod in charge of childcare'. It was an image in which, in public at least, Stevens revelled.""

6 hours ago

Mick Hume on Press Gazette: "The debate about IPSO to date encapsulates the problem with the entire issue of press regulation in the UK. By far the loudest complaints are that the new regulator is not independent enough of the industry, echoing the wider pro-Leveson prejudice that the British press has somehow been too free to run wild and cause trouble. The reality is that the UK press is nowhere near free enough, and the very last thing we need is the dead hand of another regulator."

MP Brooks Newmark in the Mail on Sunday: "When a newspaper exposed one of these episodes – involving a male freelance reporter using stolen pictures to impersonate a young female Conservative Party activist – I stood down as a Minister. Now, in response to what seems to be a new text-and-tell story, I am standing down as an MP at the next Election...I do not blame the media for my downfall. It is for others to judge their behaviour and their ethics. The fault is mine alone. If I had sought help earlier, none of this would have happened."

Alex Wickham @WikiGuido on Twitter: "As we always said, we knew Newmark was a cheat and that social media was his MO. It was a narrow, justified, successful investigation."

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