Thursday, 25 May 2017

Media Quotes of he Week: From terror attacks and lazy journalism to defending 'death knocking' and is a vote for the Tory Party a vote for a free press?

Indira A.R. Lakshmanan on Poynter on the Manchester terror attack: "Yes, the attack is news. But does replaying footage of victims for hours or turning over the entire homepage to the story, as CNN, Fox News and Breitbart did, elevate the public understanding of why terrorism is committed or how to stop it? Or is it just lazy and sensationalist tabloid journalism, blowing the murder of 22 people out of proportion to stoke fear?...Does flooding the public with images of terrified innocents further the malevolent agenda of those who seek to foment fear and hate in civilized society, by terrorizing those watching at home?"

Manchester News MEN‏@MENnewsdesk on Twitter: "We are aware of the leaked images circulating of evidence at the Arena after the bomb. We have taken the decision not to publish them."

Rodney Edwards‏@rodneyedwards on Twitter: "So much respect for journalists at @MENnewsdesk as they report amid such personal difficulty with care. Proud to be a regional reporter."

Dominic Ponsford on Press Gazette in defence of 'death knocking': "It was suggested to me yesterday on Twitter that journalists should refrain from contacting the families of those killed in the Manchester terror attack out of respect. I would argue that when you are writing a story about someone’s death or serious injury it would be disrespectful not to contact the family. This gives them a chance to put their comments on the record and gives the reporter an opportunity to make sure they get their facts right. It is a task which no journalist enjoys, but it has to be done. And as a mark of respect it is something which should be done face to face."

Adam Tinworth on One Man & His Blog on "death knocks" in the digital age: "The single local face at your door has been replaced by a digital barrage of national and international journalists and “journalists”, at the time in your life that you’re least well placed to manage that onslaught. You might say “just ignore them” – but they’re coming through the very device you’re using to keep in contact with friends and relatives: your phone. The journalist at your door is no longer a singular chance to tell your loved one’s story – but just another wave in the endless tide. The death knock that [Dominic] Ponsford [above] describes can no longer exist, because the new context is the relative being besieged on social media before the local journo has got to his car, let alone arrived on the doorstep."

Media academics in a letter to the Guardian: "Our concern as media educators, however, is that whole sections of the media are already committed to a narrative that paints Labour as unelectable and Corbyn as a barely credible candidate. This is not a new phenomenon. Academic surveys have shown how newspapers belittled him from the moment he won his first leadership election, while broadcast bulletins systematically gave more coverage to his opponents than to his supporters. Serious discussion of Labour’s proposed policies has been negligible – drowned out by memes focused on Labour’s apparent lack of opposition and Corbyn’s lack of leadership. We are not asking for eulogies of Corbyn, but for reporting that takes seriously the proposals contained in the manifesto and that doesn’t resort to a lazy stereotype of Corbyn as a 'problem' to be solved."

Brian Cathcart on Byline: "If there is a single leading national journalist, in broadcast or in print, who is seriously concerned that modern British journalism might itself be an important problem, and might be contributing to our national troubles, he or she is keeping quiet about it. The Mail, the Sun and the Express lie and distort on their front pages today to a degree that would have astonished Lord Beaverbrook or Lord Northcliffe, the most swaggering and thuggish press barons in British history. The journalists doing this are a disgrace, but they are beyond hope: nobody expects them to change. The people who are really failing the country and failing journalism are the rest of the trade, the journalists with platforms who are not under the yoke of the proprietors – at the BBC and ITV, the Guardian and the Financial Times, the New Statesman and Huffington Post."

Emily bell@emilybell on Twitter: "Wondering if there will be a pause in the 'journalism is broken, let's fix it' talk, while we fix all the things journalism has exposed."

Neuroscientist Dr Tara Stewart announcing the results of her study into the mental resilience of journalists at the London Press Club: “It shows that the highest functions of journalists’ brains were operating at a lower level than the average population, due to dehydration, self-medicating, and fuelling their brains with caffeine and high-sugar foods. However, the pressures of the job are not affecting journalists’ ability to endure and bounce back from adversity in the long term, due to a belief their work has meaning and purpose.”

Index on Censorship in a statement: "Index on Censorship welcomes the Conservative Party’s promise in its manifesto to repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. This repressive legislation would gravely jeopardise the local and regional press and endanger investigative journalism."

Toby Young on the Spectator Coffee House blog welcomes Tory manifesto pledge to scrap Section 40 and Leveson 2: "So the decision not to activate section 40 is a victory, not just for the press, but for Brian Leveson too. I daresay he’s not too unhappy about the fact that he won’t be holding the ring in another three-ring circus, either. But the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and the enemies of the press in the Lords will no doubt already be plotting to insert something similar to section 40 in another bill in the next Parliament. Let’s hope the fact that the manifesto could not be clearer on this issue means they won’t succeed."

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