Thursday, 6 April 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Robert Redford backs US press against Trump to Gary Lineker supports sport reporters against angry managers

Robert Redford in the Washington Post"This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Watergate scandal. Because of my role in the film, some have asked me about the similarities between our situations in 1972 and 2017. There are many. The biggest one is the importance of a free and independent media in defending our democracy. When President Trump speaks of being in a “running war” with the media, calls them “among the most dishonest human beings on Earth” and tweets that they’re the “enemy of the American people,” his language takes the Nixon administration’s false accusations of “shoddy” and “shabby” journalism to new and dangerous heights."

The Times [£]: "The Guardian is 'actively considering' moving back to Manchester in an attempt to save money. Senior executives at Guardian Media Group have held 'top secret' talks about moving the newspaper’s headquarters from north London back to its birthplace in Manchester, The Times has learnt. The newspaper, which began its move to the capital in 1964, has been suffering from falling advertising revenue as retailers turn to Google and Facebook. Last year it made 250 staff redundant and employees have been told that more job cuts are on the way, with the newspaper expecting to make heavy financial losses again this year."

The Daily Mail comments on the possible move North by the Guardian in a leader: "The move might even put its journalists in touch with real people, inspiring them to write articles of interest beyond the Islington echo-chamber of sociology lecturers and the public sector elite. It would certainly be worth paying money to see Polly in a Salford two-up two-down. One word of advice to the great people of Manchester. If the Guardian (which loses £95million a year) really ran the country – instead of telling everyone else how to manage our affairs – we’d all be living in mud huts."

Jeremy Corbyn after being asked by ITV News political correspondent Paul Brand if he would consider standing down as leader of the Labour Party:  “You’re obsessed with this question, utterly obsessed...We have a strong opposition in this country, if you bothered to report what we were doing. It’s your responsibility to make sure the opposition voice is heard as well as the government’s. It’s your failings.”

John Collings, editor of the Plymouth-based Sunday Independent, speaking to HoldTheFrontPage about the closure of the newspaper after more than 200 years: “Sadly, the decision has been made this morning to stop trading the Sunday Independent as of today – unless something totally unforeseen happens in the next day or so. The news has not totally sunk in yet with any of the 20 or so staff, and a host of contributors from Bristol, to Swindon, to Weymouth and all the way down to Land’s End, who we are in the process of contacting."

Brexit backer Aaron Banks interviewed in The Observer: “As businessmen, we sat down with a clean sheet of paper and said, ‘How do we beat these people?’ And then we figured out how the mainstream media works – how they operate – and we turned it back on them.We worked out how to take their outrage, how to take their pain – in your case – and feed it back into the system. You know we spent £12-14m on the campaign? And we calculated what our column inches and TV coverage was worth. It was over £150m .”

Nick Clegg interviewed in the Guardian: claimsBritain was being run by a "curious cabal of old men", namely the power brokers on Britain’s pro-Brexit newspapers – the Telegraph’s Barclay brothers, the Sun’s Rupert Murdoch and the Daily Mail’s Paul Dacre. Describing them as puppet masters, he said they wanted to turn Britain into an offshore economy, calling them a "bunch of old men – not elected by anybody – [with] Theresa May as their hostage."

The Society of Editors in a statement: "The deterioration of media freedom and the use of emergency powers to jail journalists in Turkey is deeply worrying at a time when the country requires a free press more than ever. 180 news outlets have been shut down in the past eight months under laws passed by presidential decree and the Committee to Protect Journalists has stated that Turkey is now the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. This is an accolade unprecedented in Europe and the western world."

MPs in a letter backing BBC coverage of Brexit, as reported by the Guardian: “The BBC rightly guards its independence and should resist attempts at political interference or pressure. We expect the BBC to defend its independence and report impartially, robustly and fearlessly on all issues relating to Brexit and not succumb to any pressure to skew its coverage one way or another.”

Gary Lineker‏@GaryLineker  on Twitter on Sunderland manager David Moyes telling a BBC reporter she might get a slap: "Moyes incident highlights a tendency for some managers to treat interviewers with utter disdain. Pressured job. Well rewarded. Inexcusable."


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