Friday, 9 January 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: Paris terrorism attack "A newspaper is not a weapon of war.”

Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Biard: “I don’t understand how people can attack a newspaper with heavy weapons. A newspaper is not a weapon of war.”

Ian Hislop, quoted by Press Gazette: "I am appalled and shocked by this horrific attack - a murderous attack on free speech in the heart of Europe. I offer my condolences to the families and friends of those killed - the cartoonists, journalists and those who were trying to protect them. They paid a very high price for exercising their comic liberty."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary: "The assassination of journalists at Charlie Hebdo, cynically targeted on press day to maximise casualties, is an attempt to assassinate the free press. Our hearts go out to the families of the 10 journalists and police officers killed in this despicable raid. The newspaper had already been the subject of attacks by people who want to supress democracy and freedom of speech. These journalists have now paid with their lives; the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice. Supporters of free speech and civil liberties must stand together with governments to condemn this act and defend the right of all journalists to do their job without fear of threats, intimidation and brutal murder."

Committee to Protect Journalists deputy director Robert Mahoney: "This is a brazen assault on free expression in the heart of Europe. The scale of the violence is appalling. Journalists must now stand together to send the message that such murderous attempts to silence us will not stand."

David Aaronovitch in The Times [£]: "A reason why Charlie Hebdo could be singled out for attack is because the rest of us have been cowards. There should, of course, be satires on Islam as on Christianity as on capitalism as on Russell Brand. But there aren’t. Part of this is because of a misplaced decency ("why make people feel uncomfortable?”) but most of it is fear."

The Daily Telegraph in a leader: "It does not follow that because many newspapers, such as this one, do not publish cartoons of Mohammed that somehow we have been intimidated into not speaking out. Any suggestion that a publication failing to follow Charlie Hebdo’s example is caving into terrorism is absurd: we all make editorial decisions to avoid offending people that have nothing to do with appeasing militant Islamists."

The Financial Times: "The response of the free world to this must be unwavering. Charlie Hebdo may be a very different publication to our own, but the courage of its journalists — and their right to publish — cannot be placed in doubt. A free press is worth nothing if its practitioners do not feel free to speak."

Nick Cohen in The Observer"The palace and the politicians expect a smooth succession to the reign of Charles III, even though he is a man who has spent his life demonstrating how woefully unqualified he is to be a constitutional king. A small measure of his failure lies in the BBC’s decision to postpone and possibly ban Reinventing the Royals."

Yasmin Alibhai Brown in the Independent: "Freedom of speech and expression is held up as a shining British value. But the Queen and her brood can and do stop the media and authors from pursuing legitimate investigations and asking tough questions. They can come down so heavy that seasoned journalists shake with terror and give up."

The NUJ Photographers' Council on the Campaign for Children’s Privacy call for legislation to prevent the media from publishing photographs of children without consent from parents or a legal guardian: "This proposal is simplistic, dangerous, wrong in principle, unworkable and not the answer to the problems they raise. Banning photographs of children – all children – without prior parental consent would have a chilling effect on a free press. The campaign does propose exceptions for crowd shots and photographs published in the public interest."

Nick Robinson @bbcnickrobinson on Twitter: "Pre-election memo to all parties : when your members laugh at or jeer unwelcome questions from journalists it says more about you than us"

PressThink: 'When to Quit Your Journalism Job': "If you work in any kind of editorial organization, it is your job to understand the business model. If you feel you can’t do that, you should quit. By 'understand the business model,' I mean you can (confidently) answer this question: What is the plan to bring in enough money to sustain the enterprise and permit it to grow? Can’t answer? You have the wrong job."

Johann Hari, interviewed in the Guardian: “I can talk to you about why what happened in my life happened. But I just think that’s a way of trying to invite sympathy, and that would be weaselly. If you tell a detailed personal story about yourself, you’re inherently asking people to sympathise with you, and actually I don’t think people should be sympathetic to me. I’m ashamed of what I did. I did some things that were really nasty and cruel.”

James Bloodworth in the Independent on Katie Hopkins' Twitter comments being investigated by the police:"Dare to be rude about the wrong person or group and, in a bad parody of Erich Honecker’s East Germany, you could hear the knock on the door in the middle of the night and be dragged off to some dreary police cell for questioning. I exaggerate of course, but not much: around 20,000 people in Britain have been investigated in the past three years for comments made online, with around 20 people a day being looked into by the forces of the law, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act."

Stephen Fry ‏@stephenfry on Twitter: "Some good suggestions as to what to do with my door-stepping journos. Everything from sandwiches to Rottweilers. Maybe coffee is the answer."

Rolf Dobelli in the Guardian:
"News is toxic to your body. It constantly triggers the limbic system. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High glucocorticoid levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side-effects include fear, aggression, tunnel-vision and desensitisation."


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