Alan Geere in Press Gazette: "Yippedeedoo, at long last something 'unprecedented in the industry', just what we need to revitalise the dying patient."
David Higgerson on his blog: "Audience targets aren’t something to be fearful of if they’re done in the right way. And there is no incentive to go about them the wrong way. Journalists should always be asking whether they are doing something because it will interest readers, or just because they’ve always done it. It’s what the many new competitors ask themselves when they get going. It’s a big question, but the answer helps us focus on making our journalism essential daily reading for our audiences. For those who have been so quick to announce this as the end of journalism, I can’t help but think they’ve fallen into the oldest trap of all: Not letting the facts get in the way of a good headline. I think that’s called clickbait these days."
Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley: "As regular readers will know, I despair of local newspaper websites that post national or even international clickbait. It has no relevance to readers, is of no value to advertisers, and irritates the shit out of people who expect local news from the local media. Trinity Mirror’s latest cowardly withdrawal from the front line of news will only make things worse. They may not be waving the white flag quite yet, but they certainly deserve a white feather."
Hugh McIlvanney in the Sunday Times [£]: "What was foreseen as Newcastle United’s public confirmation of Steve McClaren as the club’s new manager wasn’t public at all. Only selected media partners, Sky Sports and the Daily Mirror, were permitted interview access to McClaren. All other reporters were shut out. Though an undercurrent of contempt for journalists is hardly unknown elsewhere in football, Wednesday’s pantomime was unmistakably characteristic of the demented fiefdom Newcastle United seems to have become under the ownership of Mike Ashley."
Peter Preston in The Observer: "When Leveson was first called to inquire four years ago, national dailies sold 9,774,845 copies a day and national Sundays 9,661,298. Those figures respectively are now 6,992,804 and 6,624,137. At this rate, there’ll soon be nothing recognisable left to regulate anyway."
Mick Hume in the Sunday Times [£]: "The free-speech fraud around the Paris killings did not come out of the blue. Almost everybody in public life pays lip-service to the principle of free speech. Scratch the surface, however, and in practice most will add the inevitable 'but . . .' to button that lip and put a limit on liberty. It is the culmination of a steady loss of faith in freedom of speech and the ability of people to handle uncomfortable words or images. In recent years it has become fashionable not only to declare yourself offended by what somebody else says, but to use the 'offence card' to trump free speech and demand that they be prevented from saying it."
The Daily Mail in a leader: "The Mail has grave reservations about giving increased surveillance powers to the state but we believe passionately that public safety is paramount. By sabotaging investigations, Twitter and the rest (who, by the way, make a living out of spying on their own customers and selling on personal data) have become the terrorists’ best friends."
Henry Mance, lunching with Richard Desmond, in the Financial Times: "In Richard Desmond’s hands, simple objects become terrifying. There’s the receptionist’s bell that he uses to interrupt executives in board meetings, or the cups of tea that occasionally fly over underlings. For me, the terror begins when he picks up the wine list. This is Coq d’Argent, a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Bank of England. The prices look like cricket scores — and Desmond is on the hunt for an innings victory. 'We’ll have that one,' he says, before I can intervene. As the sommelier skips away, the sum of £580 lingers on my retina. So this, I think, is how it feels to be screwed by Richard Desmond. It took less than 10 minutes."
Henry Mance @henrymance on Twitter: "Last night I asked Richard Desmond if he was annoyed by the interview. He turned to his security guy and said, 'Use nice concrete, yeah?' "