Thursday, 5 February 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: Let judge decide on identifying sources to local press hits back at BBC

The Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office (IOCCO) inquiry report into police using Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to identify journalistic sources: “The current Home Office Code of Practice (and the recently revised draft Code said to provide protection for sensitive professions) do not provide adequate safeguards to protect journalistic sources or prevent unnecessary or disproportionate intrusions. After careful consideration of all the evidence and the sensitivities and complexities of the considerations required when contemplating an interference with Article 10 of the Convention it is recommended that Judicial authorisation is obtained in cases where communications data is sought to determine the source of journalistic information.”

Stig Abell @StigAbell on Twitter: "Press Gazette called "annoying" for asking questions of Met about its misuse of RIPA. I call it "journalism"

Dominic Ponsford, editor of Press Gazette, in The Times [£]: “I’ve had lots of ‘no comments’ in my time, but never before a ‘no questions’.”

Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, in letter to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan Howe: “It is sad that the Metropolitan Police still seems to be missing the point about the nature and level of the media's concern regarding the use of RIPA when journalists are concerned. Your officers and other forces may have been acting within the precise wording of the law. You say they took the unusual step of releasing information about the accessing of Tom Newton Dunn's phone records. However, I am afraid you seem to fail to understand the special importance of journalists' sources that are widely recognised not least by the courts."

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Crown Prosecution Service, responds to an editorial in The Times: "The law affords a great deal of protection to journalists who break the law in pursuing public interest investigations. Our guidance makes clear that journalists who act in this way are unlikely to be prosecuted. However journalistic practices are not above the law either. The work of two parliamentary select committees and the subsequent Leveson inquiry revealed serious questions over the techniques used by some journalists which may have amounted to systematic and flagrant breaches of the law. In these circumstances a police inquiry was inevitable as was the subsequent duty on prosecutors to decide if the evidence was sufficient to prosecute as the law stands."

Louise Casey in her scathing report on Rotherham Council: “Even if The Times articles had been politically motivated (though we found no evidence in the [Andrew] Norfolk coverage), the fact was that Rotherham Council, rather than addressing or investigating the abuse of girls and the suggested failings of the council and police, preferred to ignore what was being reported and declare it was untrue with no apparent grounds for doing so.”

IanJSherwood @IanJSherwood on Twitter: "Remember #KenjiGoto like this, not a photograph of him with a masked coward armed with a knife. "

Committee to Protect Journalists' Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Sherif Mansour:"Islamic State militants have proven they do not care if you are a journalist from Syria, from the West or from the East. They only care about expanding their reign of terror. We are deeply concerned about the safety of all journalists in territory controlled by the militants--and about the information vacuum that has resulted from their bloody, intimidatory tactics."

Peter Greste interviewed in the Guardian after being freed from jail in Egypt: “It’s great to be out, but I’m really worried and really concerned that amidst all of the euphoria, people will lose sight of the fact that there are many others who were caught up with this. And the core message that I really want to send out is that if it’s not right to keep me in prison, then it’s equally not right for any of the others to be caught up in this case. Everyone involved in the case must be exonerated. The whole case must be thrown out.."

The Independent:"A group of activists from an anarchist magazine have made the most of a Daily Mail discount ferry deal to take supplies and blankets to migrant refugees in Calais."

Santha Rasaiah, News Media Association legal, policy and regulatory affairs director, responds to the BBC's Future of News report“Local journalism is not failing. The local news media industry has bigger overall audiences than ever before across print and online platforms, reaching 73 per cent of the UK population each week. They are at the heart of their local communities, championing their readers, campaigning in their interests, changing the law. They perform a fundamental role in democracy, covering local courts, local councils and other public authorities, and holding the powerful to account. The industry has stressed repeatedly over many years that the licence fee funded BBC must not do anything that could damage the commercial independent news media industry and its ability to perform this vital role."

David Higgerson on his blog: "There is one key fact that the BBC’s report ignores WalesOnline reaches more people in Wales every week than all of the papers had for decades."
when dealing with the local press. More people locally are reading local news and information via local newspaper websites than ever before. The BBC reports the well-worn academically-sourced numbers about the number of people working for Media Wales. It fails to mention that

Johnston Press chief Ashley Highfield in a letter the Guardian“We’ve not folded a single paid-for title in the three years I’ve been at Johnston Press. Moving a title online is simply not the same as closure and this seems a disappointingly analogue view from the BBC.And moving a daily to a weekly does not signal an end to daily news and daily publishing.”

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog: "I concede that the perception that papers/brands are not doing their job properly may be wrong, as publishers argue. But the BBC’s report cannot be ignored. It makes a powerful case for a proper investigation into the state of local and regional journalism."

  • Chris Wheal nominates a quote from former James Bond Sir Roger Moore in the News Shopper, speaking from his home in Switzerland wishing the paper a happy 50th birthday: "If the News Shopper had been around when I was living in Bexley, I would still be living in Bexley."

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