Thursday, 14 May 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: Shock, loathing and blame: the press and the 2015 General Election

Peter Preston in the Observer: "No ifs, no buts. This, in the small, stifling area of the universe where journalists and politicians mingle, was a bonfire of the certainties, a pyre of punditry. No one – except John Curtice and his exit pollsters – emerges with reputation intact. No prophet of a columnist saw this coming. No editor believed it possible. Everyone settled for the supposed stasis of a parliament hung, drawn and divided into multi-party segments. So the one great lesson for May 2020 and elections beyond is inescapable. We’re used to the pollsters telling us what’s happening (as opposed to finding out for ourselves). We somehow believed the politicians have an inside track – until we saw their mouths gape incredulously on Friday morning. Data journalism is only as good as the data it deploys. Shoe leather and inquiring minds still count."

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian: "The press will be rewarded for their filthy North Korean election coverage. Forget Leveson, Murdoch can expect bounty and the savage pruning of the BBC he always demanded."

Ian Leslie in the New Statesman: "No left-wing account of this defeat will be complete without a reference to the Tory press (bonus drink for 'Murdoch-controlled') and its supposed inexorable hold over the political psyche of the nation. Funny: the day before the election everyone decided The Sun was a joke and nobody reads newspapers anyway."

Francis Beckett on his blog: "At first they thought they could win by mocking Miliband. Miliband confounded that strategy, simply by being the calm, thoughtful, intelligent man he is. But the last minute localised blitzkrieg of rumour and innuendo did the job, against all expectations. It shows what you can do if you have unlimited money and the unqualified backing of most of the national press."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog: "As the Labour party tears itself apart trying to come to terms with its general election performance, it should understand this reality: the right-wing press was overwhelmingly responsible for its defeat."

Les Hinton ‏@leshinton  on Twitter: "Here's a crazy theory - Fleet Street was more in tune with real people than the Labour Party. #GE2015"

Nick Cohen in the Observer: "The universities, left press, and the arts characterise the English middle-class as Mail-reading misers, who are sexist, racist and homophobic to boot. Meanwhile, they characterise the white working class as lardy Sun-reading slobs, who are, since you asked, also sexist, racist and homophobic."

Michael Wolff in USA Today: "Labour not only got the mood of the country wrong, but so did the news media. Indeed, part of Labour's problem was likely to have only seen its future, and understood the ambitions of the electorate, through its own favored media. The left-leaning BBC was wrong; the left-leaning Guardian was wrong; digitally centric Buzzfeed, trying to make inroads in Britain by targeting news to a young audience, was wrong."

Andrew Marr in the New Statesman: "A big election defeat ought to shatter old ways of thinking. It’s important not to waste a good defeat. I have spent the past few days doing two things – sleeping and worrying about how I do my job. Defeated politicians, as well as humbled journalists, could do worse."

John O'Farrell @mrjohnofarrell on Twitter: "I fear Twitter has not helped the Left since the 2010 election. We create our own digital bubble & forget that millions don't agree with us."

Gary Shipton, editor-in-chief of  Eastbourne Herald and Hastings & St Leonards Observer on the use of Tory front page ads, as quoted by HoldTheFrontPage: "We very much regret it if some readers were given the impression that our neutrality has been compromised. In those circumstances it is wholly appropriate to review our advertising policy so that we clearly respond to the genuine concerns of our readers and the people in this community.”

Daily Mail in a leader: "Licence-fee payers should rejoice over the appointment of Mr Whittingdale, who will oversee the renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter next year. As a Commons committee chairman, he took a robust stand against the Corporation’s bloated bureaucracy and entrenched Left-wing bias, calling for a radical rethink of funding."

Rupert Murdoch ‏@rupertmurdoch on Twitter: "UK poll explodes myth of social media power. Great time for competitive free press."

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