Thursday, 14 January 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From when an evening paper had 85 journalists and was like a live blog to why a good newspaper can beat the web for quality

Jeremy Vine on his first day as a trainee reporter on the Coventry Evening Telegraph in 1986, as told to the Guardian: "There were 85 editorial staff and it was all manual typewriters. When it was close to deadline, and the whole office was typing, it sounded as if the room was going to take off. It was almost like hearing birdsong. For me, it was just like a dream to be turning up at work [as a journalist]. The paper had three or four editions a day. There was one called the 3pm edition and one called the late final, so the paper was almost like the equivalent of a live blog now."

Johnston Press editor-in-chief Jeremy Clifford in a memo to staff: “We expect the review of our newsroom structures will lead to a reorganisation for some of our teams as well. In some cases that will mean a reduction in team sizes."

The Johnstoon Press NUJ group chapel in a statement: "It is very difficult to see how the company can continue to function after yet more editorial job cuts. The lack of consultation also raises concerns that this could be to make short-term savings which will ultimately be self-defeating. Newsrooms around the company are already carrying high levels of staff vacancies and we hope the company is fully aware of this. Meaningful talks need to happen as a matter of urgency and our members should be involved in any decisions about possible restructuring."

Press Gazette on the Johnston Press job cuts: "The latest proposed job cuts at Johnston Press will mean the company’s editorial headcount has more than halved since 2009...According to the company’s accounts, in 2009 it employed 2,222 editorial and photographic staff and 1,029 production staff. In 2014, Johnston Press had 1,133 editorial and photographic staff, and 355 people in production. These numbers are likely to have fallen further in 2015 and, with the latest cuts, the editorial and photographic count is likely to be around 1,000."

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal at a press conference after a question about Wayne Rooney, as reported by BBC Sport: "You have criticised him, I don't...You too. Fat man. There."

Sun journalist Neil Custis told BBC Sport he was the reporter Van Gaal was talking to and later wrote: "You are right Louis I am fat. I had a knee operation four months ago that stopped me running and going to the gym."

BBC’s live political programmes editor Robbie Gibb defends the way Labour MP Stephen Doughty announced his resignation from the shadow cabinet live on Daily Politics: “It is a long standing tradition that political programmes on the BBC, along with all other news outlets, seek to break stories. It is true that we seek to make maximum impact with our journalism which is entirely consistent with the BBC’s editorial guidelines and values.”
grounds that it wasn't as good as PA."

BuzzFeed News: "The Daily Telegraph has installed devices to monitor whether journalists are at their desks, BuzzFeed News has learned. The newspaper confirmed the move in email to staff after multiple employees said they came into work on Monday morning to find small plastic monitoring boxes attached to their desks. Journalists were baffled by the unannounced appearance of the boxes. Staff resorted to googling the brand name and discovered they were wireless motion detectors produced by a company called OccupEye that monitor whether individuals are using their desks."

BuzzFeed News: "UPDATE: The devices have been removed following this story."

Lord Kerslake in The Times [£] on the Freedom of Information Act: "Given its success, you might expect the government, which regularly declares its commitment to greater transparency, to celebrate its success and look for ways to strengthen it. Instead it has set in train a process that, unless challenged, will lead to a watering down of the act."

Harold Evans, interviewed in The Observer: “A good newspaper is a mosaic of attractions, and investigations are a part of that broad appeal. So far the web can’t imitate that quality of a newspaper.”


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