Thursday, 22 January 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From editors unite to fight RIPA to did media boob over page 3 cover up?

Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford: “It is unprecedented in my experience for every national newspaper editor to agree on anything. So it is highly significant that here [in a joint letter to the PM] they have said with once voice that RIPA needs tougher controls to protect journalists' sources. Giving police the ability to secretly view the phone records of law-abiding journalists is not compatible with an open democratic society.”

Edward Snowden
James Ball in the Guardian: "GCHQ’s bulk surveillance of electronic communications has scooped up emails to and from journalists working for some of the US and UK’s largest media organisations, analysis of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals. Emails from the BBC, Reuters, the Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde, the Sun, NBC and the Washington Post were saved by GCHQ and shared on the agency’s intranet as part of a test exercise by the signals intelligence agency....New evidence from other UK intelligence documents revealed by Snowden also shows that a GCHQ information security assessment listed 'investigative journalists' as a threat in a hierarchy alongside terrorists or hackers."

Statement by Professionals for Information Privacy Coalition, which includes the NUJ, Law Society, Bar Council and The British Association of Social Workers: "Privacy and trust is crucially important to the British public and our professions. We need to be assured that certain data will always remain confidential in all but exceptional and extreme circumstances. Insufficient regard for professional confidentiality undermines the public’s trust in our individual members, organisations and our public institutions. We are united in our belief that the current system needs to be changed. We have seen a growing number of instances where data and surveillance powers have been seriously and repeatedly overused. This has included police using secret methods to expose journalistic sources and to monitor journalists' activities and it has also been revealed that the intelligence agencies have been spying on conversations between lawyers and their clients."

Guardian readers' editor Chis Elliott on the paper publishing the front cover of Charlie Hebdo:"I am aware that many Muslims, some of them friends and colleagues, will have been offended by the Guardian’s use of that image, and I am sorry for that. However, I believe the countervailing argument is that on this occasion the image of the cover had an important and legitimate news value. Showing the magazine’s response in the wake of the deaths was an important part of telling the story, and the Guardian did so in a measured, restrained fashion. It has to feel free to tell it in its own way."

Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday"Using the excuse of terrorism – whose main victim is considered thought – Theresa May’s Home Office is making a law which attacks free expression in this country as it has never been attacked before. We already have some dangerous laws on the books. The Civil Contingencies Act can be used to turn Britain into a dictatorship overnight, if politicians can find an excuse to activate it. But the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, now slipping quietly and quickly through Parliament, is in a way even worse. It tells us what opinions we should have, or should not have."

George Monbiot in the Guardian: "The BBC’s business reporting breaks its editorial guidelines every day by failing to provide alternative viewpoints. Every weekday morning, the Today programme grovels to business leaders for 10 minutes. It might occasionally challenge them on the value or viability of their companies, but hardly ever on their ethics. Corporate critics are shut out of its business coverage – and almost all the rest."

Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley: "AT LAST, a confession – and confirmation – of what I have been banging on about for what seems years. A senior suit – in this case Tom Thomson of the Herald & Times group in Glasgow – finally comes clean on the financial reality of the modern media business by admitting that 90% of his company’s revenue still comes from its flagship print title. In that case, I’m bound to ask once again why newspaper managers have butchered their titles by binning editions, closing district offices and massacring staff numbers while pumping out yesterday’s news tomorrow, just to piss millions of pounds up a profitless paywall. I await an answer with interest."

The Times  [£]: "The Sun will no longer feature topless models on page 3 after quietly dropping one of the most controversial traditions in British journalism. The Times understands that Friday’s edition of the paper was the last that will carry an image of a glamour model with bare breasts on that page, ending a convention that began in 1970, shortly after Rupert Murdoch bought the newspaper."

The Sun on Thursday: "Further to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that this is Page 3 and this is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth. We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us."

Janice Turner in The Times: "The truth is that The Sun hung on to page 3 long after its sell-by date out of a cussed bunker mentality, a determination not to capitulate to leftie campaigners. Rebekah Brooks told me she didn’t abolish it just to defy those who assumed that, as the paper’s first woman editor, she would."

David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Alleged 'dropping of P3 at The Sun' must not divert us from fact many fine Sun staff were 'dropped in it' by past leadership at company...."

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