Thursday, 10 September 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From press slams door on 'open' BBC plan for 100 shared journalists to arsenic and strychnine cure for a broken editor

BBC director-general Tony Hall in his speech on an 'open BBC': 'We will open up the BBC to other news providers, through a new partnership which will help local journalism to thrive."

The Times [£] in a leader: "As the chequered history of nationalised industries shows, corporations operating in a protected market have an inherent tendency to laziness and bureaucracy. This is true of the BBC, too. It increasingly exhibits (in the phrase of George Osborne) imperial ambitions. These are a threat to newspapers far older than the BBC. Instead of cosmetic palliative, the corporation should decide now on either charging a subscription for its online news or getting out of the publishing business. There is no third way."

The Telegraph in a leader: "As the corporation faces the renewal of its Royal Charter and the licence fee that underpins its £5 billion budget, one of the issues it faces is that its vast regional news operation is putting local newspapers and other commercial media out of business. They cannot compete with a rival that has near-limitless resources and the ability to give away its news for free.
The almost surreal response offered by Lord Hall to this concern was the creation of 'a network of 100 public service reporters across the country' who will provide video and other content for commercial media outlets. In effect, the BBC’s answer to a problem caused by there being too many BBC journalists providing local news is to recruit more BBC journalists to provide local news."

News Media Association vice chairman and Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield, quoted by Press Gazette"It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the BBC’s proposal - to create a network of 100 local public service reporters for towns and cities ‘run by the BBC’ and with the BBC itself able to ‘compete to win the contract’ – are anything other than BBC expansion into local news provision and recruitment of more BBC local journalists through the back door."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog: "Newspaper publishers, although they plead for cooperation, really want the BBC to fold its tent and walk away in the misguided belief that it will stop their audiences from deserting them. Meanwhile, who is the loser? The public, of course, which is getting less and less information at a local and regional level."

Gareth Davies ‏@Gareth_Davies09 on Twitter: "So, the BBC is going to share content with local papers. How? Sending our stories back to us after they've nicked them?"

Kelvin MacKenzie interviewed in the Sunday Times [£]: “If I was doing it now, I would be editing The Sun from Wormwood Scrubs. I never asked where stories came from.”

Hugo Rifkind ‏@hugorifkind on Twitter: "One day somebody will chase Michael Crick down a street, demanding to know why he chased somebody else down a street."

Ian Katz ‏@iankatz1000  on Twitter: "@MichaelLCrick has done some great doorsteps in his time but this one is up there.."

David Yelland ‏@davidyelland on Twitter: "Kudos to my old paper for leading a turnaround in national mood. Wonderful. It will save lives. @TheSun #AylanKurdi"

Photographer Nilufer Demir, of the Dogan News Agency, who took the picture of Aylan Kurdi, speaking to CNN: “I thought the only thing for me to do was to take their photographs to make sure Turkey and the world sees this..I thought, 'This is the only way I can express the scream of his silent body.' "

Martin Shipton, chair of the NUJ’s Trinity Mirror group chapel: “Once again Trinity Mirror has announced a development of its newsroom model in tandem with job losses. The group’s strategy for audience growth is based on greatly increasing website clicks - yet reducing the number of writers will make that more difficult to achieve. We are extremely concerned by the potential implications of setting individual click targets for journalists. At its worst, this could encourage reporters to sensationalise stories, to trivialise the news and make news out of trivia, and to give up on more challenging, public interest journalism that takes time to research and deliver."

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, on plans by Newsquest to cut the number of staff photographers in York, Bradford and Darlington: "Newsquest is clearly stripping away its support for quality, professional staff photography. This leaves this business reliant on the public or submitted pictures from vested interests or freelance photographers, often those it has made redundant. The NUJ has warned this is detrimental to the journalism being produced because independence of content creation is compromised. Reporters cannot, and will not, take up the slack as they do not have the time and have not had the training or support or equipment. This represents Newsquest completing the first part of making its news an amateur pursuit."

A spokesperson for Tony Blair after the Independent Press Standards Organisation rejected his complaint against the Daily Mail: "It would seem that the truth counts for little in the eyes of IPSO."

Kay Burley ‏@KayBurley on Twitter: "I don't buy @TheSun says Corbyn to loud cheers from the audience. It is biggest selling paper in UK #LabourDebate."

Les Hinton on the stresses of being an editor, in the British Journalism Review: "No Murdoch editor suffered more than Arthur Christiansen (pictured) in his 24 years at the Daily Express. In Headlines All My Life, he writes: 'The telephone constantly rang. Wherever Beaverbrook went, the telephone followed.' When he cracked under the pressure, a dodgy Harley Street doctor injected Christiansen for 12 days with a preparation of strychnine, iron and arsenic. This treatment restored his broken confidence but seemed a little extreme to me. Reading this story as a teenager, I resolved never to work at close quarters with an overbearing proprietor. Not everything works out in life."


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