Friday, 28 August 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: Should press have splashed on killer's video of TV shootings? to Salmond and Robinson go to war over BBC

Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan on Twitter: "So we're all agreed? Publishing photo of a woman being shot dead live on TV is MUCH WORSE than her being shot dead on live TV? Bulls**t...No, America, don't shirk from posting this image. It sums up your appalling, senseless gun culture. DO something."

David Banks ‏@DBanksy on Twitter: "Many examples of media showing person being shot dead - Viet Cong execution, Albert Dryden. Difference with #WDBJ is it was shooter's video."

Peter Jukes ‏@peterjukes on Twitter: "Doesn't anyone get it? Killers who film their atrocities crave the vindicating oxygen of publicity. Once again tabloid collude with terror."

Peter Sands on his blog: "So, would I have used the picture of Alison Parker's last seconds of life on my front page? I am not sure. I would have agonised over it, I would have consulted senior staff and done some inner soul-searching. I would, inevitably, have related it to my own family. And in the end I probably wouldn't have used it. But it would have been a very tough call."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog: "Widespread public disgust at the publication of the pictures and the footage was matched by widespread public accessing of the same images. Many hundreds of thousands of people bought the newspapers that published the photographs... and will do again tomorrow. There, in a nutshell, is the problem faced by all media organisations in dealing with controversial material. The public, the people they serve, do not think or act alike."

Liz Gerard on her Sub-Scribe blog: "It is an editor's job to decide what is important to his or her readers. Half a dozen stills from a video are no more enlightening for the British audience than one - if you must - or even the file photographs used by the Guardian and Express. But it's 'out there'; 'you can't put the genie back in the bottle'; 'everyone else will have it'. Like everyone else in your teenager's class will be going to the party or getting that pair of designer trainers? Time to grow up. Newspapers are not obliged to replicate what is on the internet or to match it horror for horror. And, anyway, isn't 'It's been everywhere all day' the classic argument for downgrading a story rather than promoting it?"

Zeynep Tufekci in the New York Times: "Graphic footage may be appropriate at times to shock the conscience toward corrective action, for example with victims of war or state violence. But when a murder is carried out in a way that seems to be courting sensationalized coverage, not publicizing the killer’s name, face or screeds is the right response. These killers seek our attention. It’s time we learned how to deny them."

Catherine Bennett in the Observer: "The accessibility of such material, for those who want to see it, should mean that news organisations are not so much powerless to maintain standards as empowered to edit, without being accused of sanitising or censoring the news. Nobody needed to witness the terror on the face of Alison Parker. To show it was to let [Vester] Flanagan edit your front page."

Peter Preston in the Observer"This isn’t, at heart, a debate about media regulation, taste and public susceptibilities. It’s a debate about 8,500 people gunned down in the US this year alone and how to stop the slaughter. You won’t begin to turn the argument there unless you show ordinary people, ordinary voters, the horror of putting guns too easily into the hands of the wild and the deranged. If thousands upon thousands are allowed to die each year virtually unmarked and unmourned – small, routine items at the foot of page two – then the tide of opinion will never turn. Newspapers, news channels and news blogs are there to chronicle and inform. They don’t exist to sanitise life. They exist to do – and tell – what’s necessary....It is, I’m afraid, necessary at least to make Vester Lee Flanagan’s macabre video onslaught available to those who want to view it because the millions who have seen it can glimpse a new circle of hell. You can’t stop this world and get off."

David Thomas in the Mail on Sunday imagines a Britain under Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn: "Meanwhile, the media reporting the growing opposition to the Government, and the whispers of a ‘no confidence’ vote in the House of Commons, were accused of treachery. The Far Left had always believed that their inability to win elections was due to the machinations of Right-wing press barons who poisoned the people’s minds against them. They needed little excuse to censor the press and broadcasters in the interest of ‘fair, honest and truthful reporting’. A blogger who wrote that Britain was descending to the level of Zimbabwe was prosecuted for libelling the memory of President Robert Mugabe."

Jeremy Corbyn in the Financial Times: "I think there is far too much concentration in the hands of too few and so I would look at that again. Diversity in media is something that is intrinsic to a democratic society. We do not want the whole media owned by one person."

Paul Holleran, NUJ national organiser, in a statement after Newsquest announced a new round of redundancies at its Scottish newspapers: “This treadmill of redundancies cannot continue. I have told Newsquest it is not sustainable to keep cutting jobs without putting a robust alternative structure in place. In response they said they will be coming back to us later in the year for a fundamental restructure in editorial areas and they wonder why people are so angry. They should just seek an interested buyer and sell the titles if their plan is to shrink the business to nothing.”

Tony Walford in The Drum"It’s often said that the future for newspapers, and local papers especially, is bleak, and the outlook is terminal. I’m not sure I agree. The success of a broad range of publications, from The Economist and The Week, through to Metro, the Evening Standard and Shortlist indicates that there are still possibilities in print. But the future for the locals, if there is to be one, will be very different. Advertising will need to focus on local business – SMEs, retailers, restaurants and services – both online and in print; editorial will need to be very relevant, up to date and provide opinion, not just reporting."

Emily Bell in the Guardian on the New York Times revelations about working for Amazon: "The modern newsroom is increasingly a place of measurement, and the more you measure (runs the theory), the better you will be as an organisation. Amazon, by the way, recorded $816,000 per employee in revenue last quarter, versus the New York Times’s $441,000 per employee. It is a matter of opinion as to whether this signals Amazon is a far worse or far better employer than the New York Times. Although this is certainly not what inspired the NYT reporting it is true to say that in most newsrooms there is particular curiosity about the quantified workplace as it becomes an ever closer threat (or amazing opportunity) for journalists themselves."

Les Hinton ‏@leshinton on Twitter: "Did #MailOnSunday actually keep the air show disaster off its front so it didn’t spoil their free flight promotion?"

Nick Robison on his row with Alex Salmond that led to protests against the BBC in Scotland, as reported by Press Gazette: "I don't think my offence was sufficient to justify 4,000 people marching on the BBC's headquarters, so that young men and women who are new to journalism have, like they do in Putin's Russia, to fight their way through crowds of protesters, frightened as to how they do their jobs. That, you may agree with me or disagree with me, is not how politics should operate either in the UK or in future independent Scotland if there is to be such a thing. We should not live with journalists who are intimidated, or bullied, or fearful in any way".

Alex Salmond in the Courier: "The BBC’s coverage of the Scottish referendum was a disgrace. It can be shown to be so, as was Nick’s own reporting of which he should be both embarrassed and ashamed. To compare, as Nick did last week, 4,000 Scots peacefully protesting outside BBC Scotland as something akin to Putin’s Russia is as ludicrous as it is insulting. It is also heavily ironic, given that the most commonly used comparison with the BBC London treatment of the Scottish referendum story was with Pravda, the propaganda news agency in the old Soviet Union.”

The Guardian in a leader"Scotland, like the rest of the UK, is a far healthier place when governments take a generally hands-off approach towards the press and media."

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