Thursday, 1 June 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Stephen Fry flays Facebook to bashed up journalist's broken glasses are donated to news museum in Washington

Pic: BBC
Stephen Fry at the Hay Festival on reforming the internet, as reported by the Guardian“One thesis I could immediately nail up to the tent flag is to call for aggregating news agencies like Facebook to be immediately classified as publishers. At the moment, they are evading responsibility for their content as they can claim to be platforms, rather than publishers. Given that they are now a major source of news for 80% of the population, that is clearly an absurd anomaly. If they, and Twitter and like platforms recognised their responsibilities as publishers, it would certainly help them better police their content for unacceptable libels, defamations, threats and other horrors, that a free belief in the value of the press would, as a matter of course, be expected to control.”

The Times [£] in a leader: "YouTube added a black ribbon to its logo this week as a mark of respect to those killed and maimed in Monday’s gruesome attack. Yet as the site mourns today’s victims, it aids tomorrow’s terrorists. The Times reveals that YouTube, which is owned by Google, is publishing how-to guides for mass murderers, including video manuals for bomb-makers. Facebook publishes similar content. With every week that the internet giants continue to shirk their moral and legal responsibilities as publishers, the case for robust regulation grows stronger."

The Society of Editors in a statement on the MEN's coverage of the terror attack in Manchester: “Not only did the paper’s journalists work throughout the night to put together 34 pages of coverage in the immediate aftermath of the atrocity, they have continued to provide comprehensive, sensitive and informative updates on a daily basis in the wake of the attack. A fundraising appeal set up by the paper to support the victims of the bombing has also raised more than £1 million in a matter of days. In what must have, at times, been challenging and difficult circumstances, the paper has produced timely reports, asked the difficult questions and provided a voice to a community that is both grief stricken and united. An example of truly exceptional local journalism, the MEN’s coverage has provided a trusted and valued source of information and updates for the people of Manchester and a national and international community that stands by its side.”

Jeremy Corbyn after antisemitic attacks on BBC presenter Emma Barnett [above] who interviewed him on Woman's Hour: “Journalists . . . do a job that does require asking difficult questions . . . Under no circumstances whatsoever should anyone throw personal abuse at anyone else because they are doing the job that they have been employed to do and I will not tolerate it.”

Peter Preston in The Observer: "The proudest accolade for correspondents during this churning election campaign is already evident: the Award of the Raised Finger for TV reporter most booed and heckled at party meetings. So far, to her credit, Laura Kuenssberg is in the lead, with Michael Crick of C4 News in hot pursuit. Watch Robert Peston of ITV these next weeks, though. Plenty of time for catcalls during the pauses in mid-question as well as at the end."

Brendan O'Neill on Spiked on Katie Hopkins being sacked by LBC: "It doesn’t matter what you think of Hopkins. It doesn’t matter if you violently hate her, as the Twitterati does, or if she just think she’s a foghorn made flesh, as I do, or if you like her: whatever, you should still be worried that she has lost her job at the behest of a clamouring mob of self-righteous tweeters and bleaters."

Hugo Rifkind in The Times [£]: "The Twitter-age shock-jock doesn’t cause offence by mistake, or even just for the thrill of it. Enrage opponents and they’ll do your outreach work for you, having no means by which to express their anger without saying again the thing they don’t think should have been said. Even after [Katie] Hopkins had deleted her tweet, those who were appalled kept sharing it via screengrabs. Of course they did. That was the point."

Marina Hyde in the Guardian: "Still, this latest unemployment development is all exactly as predicted in the Book of Hopkins. As she explained portentously last year: “One day I will say something that takes it so far over the line I will have to go and I accept that too. I think that is part of the condition of living your life on the line.” Living your life on the line … I do like how Katie makes “being a twat on the radio” sound like fighting in ’Nam."

Donald J. Trump‏@realDonaldTrump  on Twitter: "Whenever you see the words 'sources say' in the fake news media, and they don't mention is very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!"

The Guardian in a leader after Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte was accused of “body-slamming” its reporter Ben Jacobs: "The incident comes amid the demonising of journalism by the US right, which Donald Trump has escalated dramatically. The constitution enshrines freedom of the press; the president has declared reputable media organisations “the enemy of the American people”. Earlier this month a reporter was arrested for trying to ask the health secretary a question. Ask yourself why those who purport to serve the people, or say they want to, do not simply reply or walk away. No one should be assaulted. But when it happens to someone asking important and unwelcome questions, it is not only an attack on an individual, and on the media, but on the public’s right to know."

From the Guardian: "Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs replaced his glasses on Tuesday, after they were broken when he was assaulted by Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte. At the request of the Washington DC media museum the Newseum, Jacobs has agreed to donate his broken glasses to the museum for display in their collection."


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