Thursday, 9 July 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From the BBC's secret licence fee deal blasted to what's the NME?

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement on the BBC's secret licence fee agreement with the Government: "NUJ members trusted that this time round there’d be a fight by the current leadership at the corporation to preserve the BBC’s independence and capacity to continue delivering quality journalism and programming. I’m sure those individuals running the BBC have kidded themselves into believing they’ve got the best deal possible, just like Mark Thompson no doubt did last time round. There will be many more millions of licence fee payers who roundly object to the principle of the BBC allowing itself to be annexed by the Department for Work and Pensions.”

Paul Farrelly in the Guardian: "For the second time in five years, the BBC has been the victim – and a willing one – of a 'drive-by' shooting. Only this time, in buckling to pressure to cough up £600m for free TV licences for the over-75s, the new BBC top brass have shown even less backbone than their predecessors."

Ray Snoddy on mediatel: "It almost defies belief that the Government, this time without any Lib-Dem brake to apply, should impose such a deal for the second time in five years behind closed doors and with no public consultation of any kind."

Dominic Ponsford on Press Gazette: "It’s all been an unedifying exercise in smoke and mirrors politics which has played the public for fools."

Matthew Bannister in a letter to The Times [£]: "Once again, licence fee payers’ views have been ignored in favour of fulfilling unfunded election promises. This is no way to treat a valued cultural institution and one of the UK’s most successful global brands."

The Guardian in a leader: "This is the third settlement in a row where the chancellor of the day has raided the licence fee to fund some other project. First it was the digital switchover, and then the same fund was redirected to extending broadband. In 2005, it was the cost of the World Service. And now, pensioner policy. This may be the way the licence fee ends, absorbed bit by bit into general government spending."

The Daily Mail in a leader: "Nearly 200 local newspapers have closed across Britain in the last decade – causing incalculable damage to local democracy and snuffing out the most effective source people have of finding out what goes on in their community. It means local politicians, police and health services in those areas are far less likely to be held to account and corruption and malpractice more likely to flourish. Several factors have contributed to this sad decline – the migration of advertising to the internet, ever-rising costs of newsprint and distribution, and failure of some papers to adapt to the digital age. But there’s no doubt many were tipped over the edge by the relentless expansion of the BBC website. With its vast resources this behemoth is simply steamrollering papers out of business."

Jon Griffin, the award winning business editor of the Birmingham Mail on taking redundancy, as quoted by HoldTheFrontPage: “The job has changed and my essentially analogue soul finds itself at odds with the digital world and its trolls, its mob-rule mentality, its platforms for abuse and abusers."

Der Spiegel in an editorial on the way the US spied on the German magazine's journalists: "SPIEGEL itself became the target of spying by an American intelligence agency. When the CIA then passed along information about a SPIEGEL journalist's source to the Chancellery, the government took no steps to inform justice authorities about what had happened. Instead it began deceiving parliament and the public. The fact that the press no longer has a special protected status and can be spied upon in the same way as corporations, associations or government ministries, lends a new quality to the spying scandal. That the press appears to have been betrayed by its own government is outrageous."

Ashley highfield ‏@ashleyhi on Twitter: "Johnston Press announces that we've concluded a deal to buy the Brighton and Hove Independent."

Greg Hadfield ‏@GregHadfield: "A momentous day in my 35-year journalistic career - and great news for #Brighton + #Hove, and @BrightonIndy!"

Former editor of The Sentinel, Stoke, Richard Bowyer, on his Media Village blog: “As an editor, I was asked to make decisions on story placement based on how well they performed online, this is now gaining momentum in some quarters. It may have some merit, but falls down on some key principles. Firstly, as we all know, stories which perform well online do so because the audience is different.  If the performance of stories online was reflected in the front pages of our daily papers then editors would be forced to make their front page splash football gossip, food hygiene reports or a trivial video showing probably a cat or dog performing some bizarre trick."

James Brown in the Telegraph on music mag NME going free: "The internet robbed the NME of its reason to exist which was clear seven years ago as I was chatting to a friend’s 16 year-old son. He looked just like I did 30 years before - all teen rebel haircut, band T-shirt and tight jeans. His scuffed Converse were half on, half off a skateboard and he showed me his iPhone and a record sleeve with a woman holding a handful of blood. I told him I used to work for the NME. He replied 'What’s that?'"

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