Thursday, 10 December 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From why FoI is good VFM to could 100 quality weekly papers launch?

City University journalism lecturer Tom Felle, quoted by the Daily Mail: "Freedom of Information has saved taxpayers money because overspending, pork barrelling and cosy deals have been exposed by campaigning reporting. Ultimately the money saved as a result of exposures of waste is often many multiples of the cost of administering the FOI regime."

Paul Dacre in the Daily Mail: "In my 27 years as an editor I have never seen Britain’s political process held in such low esteem by voters. Curtailing FoI will inevitably contribute to even greater voter cynicism about an elitist political class protecting its own interests, rather than the public’s. In the main, I suspect, dislike of FoI is driven by Whitehall’s belief that civil servants should be exempt from public scrutiny. This is in my view counter-productive, and perceived by the public simply as a compulsion to cover backsides."

Tom Watson on his blog: "When he was in opposition, David Cameron said he wanted to head the most transparent Government in the world. Now, as Prime Minister, he wants to unpick the Freedom of Information Act, which has arguably shed more light on how the Government works than any other law in our history."

The Media Blog ‏@TheMediaTweets: "Bold word play and photo combination..."

Nick Cohen in The Observer"Comics and writers tear into Daily Mail and Sun readers but never Guardian and Observer readers. They assume that you are virtuous."

NUJ general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, in a statement: "The changes to the editor’s code of practice will not make any difference to the culture, practices or ethics of the press. The pre-Leveson Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and the post-Leveson Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) have both excluded working journalists from decisions about reform, they also share the same chair of the code committee Paul Dacre. The NUJ believes journalists should have a say in the code of conduct, we want a conscience clause introduced and the union continues to call for a regulatory body that is independent of politicians, editors and publishers."

NHS whistleblower Gary Walker, speaking at the British Journalism Awards: “My personal story continues today as I remain blacklisted from the NHS and find getting work very difficult. That is I'm sad to say the plight of most whistleblowers whether they win or lose their cases in court. They are seen as the troublemakers.”

A Newsquest south London NUJ chapel spokesman"The feeling you have after you are told by well-paid Newsquest executives that they plan to lay off your colleagues and friends is hard to describe. But the emotional toll is plain to see when leaving speeches are made and they disappear out of the door for the last time. The draining of hard-won journalistic experience not only hurts those left behind, but also does a disservice to trainee reporters joining the newsroom, who now have far fewer wise heads to rely on for guidance.”

Greg Hadfield, former director of the weekly Brighton and Hove Independent newspaper, speaking at News:Rewired: "There is money to be made out of quality content in print in free  weekly newspapers, distributed usually around a town and city. My ambition now is to help set-up a sustainable network of perhaps 100 free weekly, quality independent newspapers in 100 towns and cities."

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