Thursday, 9 October 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From press rounds on 'grim Ripa' to PR laments demise of sub-editors

The Mail on Sunday"Police used anti-terrorism powers to secretly spy on The Mail on Sunday after shamed Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne falsely accused journalists of conspiring to bring him down. Detectives sidestepped a judge’s agreement to protect the source for our stories exposing how Huhne illegally conspired to have his speeding points put on to his wife’s licence. Instead they used far-reaching powers under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) – originally intended to safeguard national security – to hack MoS phone records and identify the source....In our strenuous efforts to protect our sources and resist handing over emails to Huhne’s lawyers, The Mail on Sunday ran up a £150,000 legal bill, none of which can be recovered."

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, to Mail on Sunday"It is deeply disturbing that the police have hacked into offices of a major UK newspaper. They have struck a serious blow against press freedom."

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian: "One of the many services performed by Edward Snowden was to show that nothing beyond constant press vigilance will curb “big security” from trampling on civil liberty, even in a democracy. In Britain, the coalition’s appeasement of such trampling means that no whistleblower is safe in talking to a friend, a lawyer, a journalist or, for that matter, anyone via a phone or the internet. Anything said may be available to a potential prosecutor or opponent’s law firm. We are back to the Soviet Union, with private conversation confined to public parks."

The Sun [£]: "THE Sun has made an official complaint about the Met Police using anti-terror laws to snoop on the phone calls of our journalists."

Press Gazette: "The Interception of Communications Commissioner has announced an inquiry into police use of spying powers against journalists. The move comes less than a month after Press Gazette launched the Save Our Sources campaign urging the Commissioner to take action after it emerged that the police had secretly grabbed the phone records of The Sun newspaper."

The Guardian in a leader: "Journalists are not above the law, but they need its protections to play a legitimate role in our free society. Ripa as it stands fails to provide such protections. It must be changed."

Nick Cohen in The Spectator: "The Tory press does not stop to consider that their journalists are a despised minority who also need human rights laws to defend them. The left-wing press and the BBC are no better. They stayed silent when the police arrested dozens of Sun journalists — not for hacking the phones of celebrities, but for stories from the police, prisons and armed forces which may turn out to be in the public interest. To left-wing journalists, the Tory tabloids are reviled enemies against whom any use or abuse of police power is justified. They never worry that the state will use the same tactics against them. People go on about the might of the British press. They do not see that, consumed by hatreds and torn by civil war, it can no longer stand up for its own best interests, let alone the best interests of a free society."

Sun leader on murder of Alan Henning: "We are not publishing images from the video... We refuse to give his absurd murderers the publicity they crave."

Toby Harnden ‏@tobyharnden on Twitter: "The Sun shows you can mark Alan Henning's murder by highlighting his life. Telegraph uses propaganda of his killers."

Lloyd Embley ‏@Mirror_Editor on Twitter: "After David Haines was murdered pix of him on his knees were on all the front pages. We decided not to do that again. They can't win."

Neville Thurlbeck ‏@nthurlbeck on Twitter: "BBC News on-line showing stills of Mr Henning moments before execution. Good for their web hits. Good for ISIS. Wise up guys."

ISIS rules for journalists: "10 - The rules are not final and are subject to change at any time depending on the circumstances and the degree of cooperation between journalists and their commitment to their brothers in the ISIS media offices."

Sky News in a statement: "We were saddened to hear of the death of Brenda Leyland. It would be inappropriate to speculate or comment further at this time."

The Times [£] in a leader: "It should be far easier to report abuse on social media, far easier for victims to be protected and far easier for prosecuting authorities to trace the identities of those who exploit such sites as a means of abuse, and then to pursue them through the courts. Only then can we protect the innocent and prosecute the offenders. The trolls need themselves to be trolled."

Grey Cardigan on SpinAlley on the editor of the Derby Telegraph asking readers on Facebook if the paper should do a story on a public sector working caught looking at porn on a work computer: "Neil White might have thought that he was being inclusive by involving what he hoped were readers in making this decision, but in my opinion he was wrong, very wrong. Newspapers cannot be run by committee. They need a strong editor who is not afraid to make the tough calls and to back his own judgement. What next? Shall we publish the news list and let social media tell us what to publish and what to bin? It’s a huge mistake and one which undermines every journalist on that newspaper."

The NUJ in a statement: "The chief executive of Newsquest signed off his final year with a 9.5 per cent pay rise, while his staff's wages went down by almost £5 million. Paul Davidson, stood down as CEO in April, but stayed on as chairman of the group. He raked in £610,458 as Newsquest's highest paid executive in 2013 – an increase of £53,000 on the previous 12 months. His salary was the equivalent of 25 journalists' jobs."

Piers Morgan in the Guardian: “Cameron was one of Andy Coulson’s closest friends and both were incredibly embedded with each other. And at no stage has Cameron shown support for Andy, either publicly or privately, and I find that reprehensible. I would never do that to a real friend and I don’t think real people would. And frankly to just do it for political expediency stinks.”

PR writing on the Guardian's Media Network about the demise of sub-editors: "We’re aware that the properly trained sub – that professional wordsmith who’s a stickler for house style, accuracy and grammar as well as a dab hand at honing shoddy copy – is a rare, dying, much-lamented breed. The slow demise of this unsung hero is devastating not just for the publications themselves (it’s difficult to take seriously a title that gets wrong the one sentence it tweaked from provided copy, or misspells the simplest of names), but also for PRs who have painstakingly done the due diligence that is a prerequisite for perfect copy. As the medium between media and client, we get it in the neck."


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