Thursday, 23 April 2015

Quotes of the Week: From Operation Elveden undone to an interview tip from Lynn Barber

Stig Abell ‏@StigAbell on Twitter: "Operation Elveden: 42 charges against Sun journalists, 0 convictions."

The Times [£] in a leader: "The acquitted journalists, three from The Sun and one from the Mirror, are relieved but understandably angry. Like ten others before them and those spared and still awaiting trial, they have been subjected to long legal ordeals at a cost of £20 million in a process that juries have consistently rejected as flawed. The prosecutions appear to have ignored almost to the end the real nature androle of journalism as a foundation of free speech. Only today has that fundamental right been acknowledged but only as an attempt to justify previous misjudgments."

Ex-Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Macdonald on the Today programme: “It looks as though in the charging decisions that were made in the past in the Elveden cases, not enough weight was attached to the public interest in free expression and the freedom of the press, and that was an error I think the DPP [Alison Saunders] has tried to correct by dumping these cases.”

Tim Walker ‏@ThatTimWalker on Twitter: "Surely we are at the point where the people who approved Operation Elveden ought to be considering their positions."

Mick Hume on Spiked: "The authoritarian fiasco of Operation Elveden is only the end result of a campaign to sanitise Britain’s unruly press, involving everybody from political leaders and top judges to police chiefs, celebrity crusaders and assorted media snobs. All of them share the same contempt for what one top prosecutor called ‘the gutter press’."

Brian Cathcart on Inforrm's blog: "It might be thought that News International (now News UK), having failed to give its journalists proper legal advice about paying public officials and then having presented evidence against them to the police, might have shown shame and humility. The fact that it now attacks the police and the CPS for taking proper independent decisions demonstrates, yet again, the breathtaking hypocrisy to which the big newspapers are particularly prone."

Simon Usborne in The Independent on Katie Hopkins: "Hopkins has children to feed and dress - and we can unfollow her, and avoid what she writes and says. Free country, free speech. Just look the other way. But when a national newspaper, which gives this brand an audience of two million people, happily prints language that might give Hitler pause, is that still OK? Or is it worth responding this time, even if she’ll love every minute?"

Daily Mirror ‏@DailyMirror on Twitter: "As a public service we are live blogging pictures of nice things while @KTHopkins is on@LBC"

Jonathan Liew in the Telegraph: "Increasingly, and worryingly, a consensus is emerging that the only interpretation of sport worth hearing is by those involved in it. 'You’ve never played the game' is a frequent jibe aimed at reporters, and yet this world-view is an assault not just on the media, but on everyone. Had sport been allowed to write its own history over the years, Lance Armstrong would still be a seven‑time Tour de France winner, the Pakistani spot-fixers would have gone unpunished, and everyone would be looking forward to a wonderful 2022 World Cup in Qatar."

The Times [£] in a leader on Twitter: "But, contrary to its image, Twitter is not just a medium for exchanging banal experiences. It is a means for social exchange whose value lies precisely in its capacity for being used as the individual wants or needs. If you want to promote a book or an idea or a product then Twitter can connect you to a discriminating audience. If you want to receive links to the best expert arguments at home or reports from far-off countries, a judicious use of Twitter will furnish you with them. And if you merely want to be involved in some small way in the nation’s conversation, then you can do that too. Without paying."

An interview tip from Lynn Barber in @XCityMag"A trip to the loo is often instructive - it's where people put their awards and cartoons - things they're proud of and want visitors to see...look for the pills!"

[£] = paywall

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