Thursday, 17 August 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Kavanagh hits back in Sun racism row to only one journalist was in court to hear how police paid a child rapist

Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun: "SOME Sun readers may have missed the concocted explosion of Labour and Islamic hysteria over a column I wrote on Monday about Muslim sex gangs.This fake fury was largely confined to a small circulation, mostly-online newspaper and a letter from Labour lefties dragooned by the Muslim Council of Britain. My offence was to write about the attitude of predatory Muslim men towards white women – what I called “the Muslim Problem”.I was instantly denounced for fomenting a Nazi-style “Final Solution” comparable only with the Jewish Holocaust. It was a ludicrous, offensive and perverse distortion of the truth. A letter calling for my dismissal signed by 105 cross-party MPs was led by Labour’s Naz Shah, the Bradford MP suspended last year for anti-Semitism."

From the letter sent to Sun editor Tony Gallagher, signed by107 MPs, as reported by the Independent“It is shocking that in the 21st century a columnist is using such Nazi-like terminology about a minority community...We implore you to not only retract this article but given the sacking of Mr Myers following his disgraceful anti-Semitic article in the The [Sunday] Times, strongly consider whether Mr Kavanagh’s brand of bigotry fits with your vision for the paper.”

Brendan O'Neill on Spiked on the MPs letter to the Sun's editor: "They want the article taken down and Kavanagh taken down too: the letter asks the Sun’s editor to think about whether ‘Mr Kavanagh’s brand of bigotry fits with your vision for the paper’. Who do they think they are? For 350 years Britain has had a press largely free from state interference, independent of the political class, and yet here we have a significant section of the legislative arm of government — a sixth of it — issuing dire warnings to a newspaper. The arrogance and disregard for historically hard-won liberties are astonishing. And the precedent set is a potentially lethal one: if politicians get the idea that they can bully the press whenever it says something they don’t like, then we’re all in trouble."

NUJ ethics council chair Chris Frost, in a statement, calling for the Independent Press Standards Organisation to investigate racism in the press following Trevor Kavanagh's Sun article which referred to "The Muslim Problem": "Trevor Kavanagh's comments are an abuse of free speech and the press standards watchdog should accept complaints that traduce social groups in our society. Kavanagh is using the actions of a small group of individuals to place blame on a whole religion of 1.8 billion people.  IPSO should launch an immediate investigation into the prevalence of Islamophobia, racism and hatred espoused in the press. IPSO claim to be set apart from their predecessor, the Press Complaints Commission, because they can run investigations and do monitoring - now is the time to prove it."

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion resigning as shadow secretary for women and equalities after writing an article in the Sun about grooming gangs, as reported by BBC News: "I apologise for the offence caused by the extremely poor choice of words in the Sun article on Friday. I am concerned that my continued position in the shadow cabinet would distract from the crucial issues around child protection which I have campaigned on my entire political career. It is therefore with regret that I tender my resignation as shadow secretary of state for women and equalities."

Mo Farah, as reported by the Telegraph: “I find it bizarre how certain ­people write certain things to suit how they want to sell the story. Sometimes, you guys get to me – you never write the facts. The fact is, over the years, I have achieved a lot through hard work and pain. If I have crossed the line – ‘Mo Farah has done something wrong’ – then prove it. I've achieved what I have achieved - you're trying to destroy it.”

Tony Blair, interviewed by Patrick Hennessy, on BBC Radio 4: "What we should've been doing is trying to get to a situation where the media was not so empowered and instead what we did was empower them significantly because we played into that theme or that climate they operated in. This is something now with social media has become a bigger bigger media so far from being a discipline on conventional media has put a booster rocket on the worst aspects of the conventional media...We back then were determined not to be kicked around like Neil [Kinnock] and his team had been."

HoldTheFrontPage reports"A council rejected a weekly newspaper’s Freedom of Information request because of the 'unnecessary distress' it would cause to the authority’s former chief executive. Teignbridge Council has knocked back two requests from the Mid-Devon Advertiser for the details of the pay-off given to Nicola Bulbeck, who served as the authority’s chief executive until June. In turning down the Advertiser’s latest request, the authority said the information concerned Ms Bulbeck’s private life because it related to her 'identity and financial standing'."

The Society of Editors: "The publisher and CEO of the world’s most popular English-language newspaper website will deliver this year’s Society of Editors’ Lecture. Martin Clarke, who launched MailOnline in its current form in 2008, will deliver the prestigious address at the Society’s ‘Fighting for Real News’ conference on 12 November in Cambridge."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian: "If you want a definition of irony, then consider this. Martin Clarke, publisher of Mail Online, is to deliver the keynote lecture at the coming Society of Editors’ conference on 'fighting for real news'. According to a press release, the agenda will focus on 'the importance of original reporting, analysis and comment on both print and digital platforms'. Original reporting? Many of my former students who have worked for Mail Online have told me that their entire shifts were taken up by rewriting articles from newspapers and magazines...Yes, he can point to the fact that his site has a vast readership. But what 'real news' will he be able publish in future when all the ripped-off media outlets are forced out of business because of Mail Online’s activities?"

Jacqui Hodgson, editor of BBC factual programmes North East, on the About the BBC Blog reveals how there was only one reporter, Inside Out producer Dan Farthingin court to hear how police paid £10,000 to XY, a child rapist to go undercover: "Dan was following a series of interlinked trials of more than twenty Asian men, accused of grooming vulnerable young teenagers in the west end of Newcastle. Reporting restrictions banning broadcasts until the conclusion of the final trial meant we’d seen little early evidence of Dan’s regular days on the press bench. Then, out of the blue, the prosecution revealed Northumbria Police had used a CHIS - a covert human intelligence source - to supply information on so-called 'parties' where teenagers were plied with drink and drugs and sexually assaulted. And in this case, the CHIS chosen by Northumbria Police was a man convicted as part of a group who raped a child in 2002. In an extraordinary turn of events, XY, as he was known, had fallen out with his police handler and was threatening to go to the press - alleging he’d been asked to plant drugs and even drive girls to the 'parties'. His fee from the public purse? More than ten thousand pounds. For the lone figure on the press bench it was a red flag moment...had producer Dan not been paying attention in his lone press bench vigil - perhaps none of us would have been any the wiser."

Northumbria Police in a warning to journalists after the Newcastle grooming trial, as published by Press Gazette: “Despite issuing two notes to media requesting journalists do not directly contact victims we are aware that some media are still continuing to do this and have provided them with an update from court. We would like to make it clear that we are incredibly concerned this is having a damaging effect on the victims and has the potential to cause them psychological harm. If we become aware any further approaches are made by journalists to contact victims and they have been previously asked to stop that journalist will be served with a harassment notice.”

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: Is PR a better career move than churnalism? to US press hits back at leaks crackdown and a new paper is launched

Agency Provocateur on Press Gazette: "As a career, PR offers young journalists stability, a chance to move up the ladder and a decent wage – at least eventually. Why the hell wouldn’t a trainee graduate with half a brain move over to a profession where they get a chance to be creative rather than one where they sit at a desk rewriting copy from other journalists who did the hard work in the first place?"

Catherine Mayer in the Observer: “I literally know not one single female journalist who has not been in some way discriminated against in the work place, or harassed, whether by interviewees or colleagues or both.”

Ray Snoddy quoted the Observer: “What we’ve seen this year is that ‘mainstream media’ has changed from a general description into a term of abuse. We’ve seen trust in media ebb and flow over many years but there’s been nothing like this before. There is now a completely different way of self-manufacturing and distributing news outside of the mainstream. These new outlets can be very diverse and exciting, but they exist outside any conventional sense of journalistic principles – of fact-checking and at least trying to get it objectively right.”

Nick Cohen in the Observer: "Russian nobles decided that Grigori Rasputin was such a threat to the empire they poisoned him, shot him and dumped his body in a tributary of the Neva. They didn’t stop the reckoning of the Russian Revolution. Nick Timothy, by contrast, has received jobs as columnists on the Telegraph and Sun. The Tory press is his natural home, where his ability to strike radical right postures without a thought for the consequences will be appreciated."

Chris Deerin in The Herald on Nick Timothy becoming a newspaper columnist: "When it emerged recently that he had been asked to write a weekly newspaper column, the response – an outrageous reward for failure – was as hysterical as it was bizarre. Shouldn’t the man be able to earn a living? Must he live in a remote cave, surviving on roots and berries, until the mob decides his penance is served? Aren’t his thoughts, now that he has popped out of the other side of the pipeline of power, of interest?"

The Sunday Times [£] in a leader: "Last weekend we published a column about BBC presenters’ pay in the Irish edition of this newspaper and online which included unacceptable comments that caused offence to many, in particular to the Jewish community. We removed the article and apologised promptly to Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, who had been named in the column. Now we apologise to our readers.Newspapers publish controversial articles that often cause upset. It is important to generate forthright debate about issues affecting our lives. It is also important, however, not to publish comments that overstep the mark. Where this column did so, we are deeply sorry."

Donald J. Trump‏ on Twitter: "Hard to believe that with 24/7 #Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTIMES & WAPO, the Trump base is getting stronger!"

US attorney general Jeff Sessions, as reported by Politico: “We respect the important role that the press plays and we will give them respect, but it is not unlimited. They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. We must balance the press’ role with protecting national security and the lives of those who serve in the intelligence community and all law-abiding Americans.”

The Chicago Tribune in a leader: "The job of preventing leaks belongs to the federal government, which has plenty of existing tools to do so. If the Trump administration can't keep its own secrets, it shouldn't expect the news media to do that job."

The San Francisco Chronicle in a leader: "The value of whistle-blowers and an unencumbered media to a democracy is not hypothetical. The history of government lies — throughout the Vietnam War, the malfeasance of Watergate and, more recently, the government’s use of torture and illegal surveillance of Americans — all came to light only through anonymous sources. The embattled Sessions, channeling the president who belittles him, is going down a dangerous path."

Tyler Brûlé, editor in chief and chairman of MONOCLE, on the launch of his new newspaper:Monocle – The Summer Weekly is our latest adventure in ink and paper. Everyone is very down about newspapers but there is some- thing very exciting about this form. You don’t mind if it gets a bit of suncream on it, or if it gets waterlogged. It can follow you around for the day – or for the week. We thought that August was the perfect time to let people dive into this again.”


Thursday, 3 August 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From when will print newspapers die? to Saudi takes stake in the Indy

Brian Cathcart on Byline predicts the end of printed newspapers: "The press is a very close-knit industry despite its affectations of rivalry, and the companies are prone to group-think, so instead of a series of dismal one-by-one announcements there could be a big bang, maybe around 2025, with almost all the rest of the titles stopping their daily presses within a few months. When that big bang comes, the great, sad obituaries of the printed morning newspaper will be written and many who have seen newspapers in their pomp will shed a tear, but the bitter truth is that for most people in this country – that is, for the very large numbers who have stopped buying them over the past few years or who never started buying them – print papers are already dead."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian on the Brexit supporting right-wing tabloid press: "Where once they affected to inform, they now indulge in undisguised propaganda. Where once they were merely conservative, they are now defiantly reactionary. Where once they shouted, they now scream."

Ian Jack in the Guardian,  on his days on the subs desk on the Scottish Daily Express in the 1960s: "We were a kind of brotherhood. What did we have in common? That we were all men, that none of us had a university degree, that we worked night shifts, that most of us smoked, that we hated excessive length in reporters’ copy...Headlines were the pinnacle of the craft. A typeface such as 72-point Century Bold Expanded allows very few letters across two columns and it could be a struggle to find words that would fit – it was writing headlines that turned me into a smoker. 'FIRST FLUSH OF VICTORY,' I wrote proudly one night, over a planning row about new public toilets in Inverness. 'We’ll have no puns about piss and shit in this newspaper,' said the chief sub sternly, and told me to try again."

Jeremy Corbyn interviewed in the NUJ's national executive digital magazine Informed: “The print media have not been particularly fair to me or to Labour. Broadcast media coverage has varied greatly. We have had issues with various parts of BBC broadcasting, although I am a strong supporter of the BBC and a licence fee. In the election campaign what fundamentally changed was our intensive use of social media and a very good social-media team. Broadcasting rules mean that, instead of talking about political process, we got more of a hearing and were able to shift the focus of the debate.”

Ex-White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, according to Ryan Lizzi in the New Yorker, when seeking the source of a leak: “You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”

Anthony Scaramucci on Twitter: "I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won't happen again."

Middle East Eye reports: "A mysterious Saudi-based investor has ploughed millions of dollars into a British news organisation renowned for championing liberal causes, in a move that will enrage human rights and press freedom campaigners. Sultan Mohamed Abuljadayel, 42, listed in company records as a Saudi-based Saudi Arabian national, has acquired up to 50 percent of the Independent website, whose newspaper shook Britain's journalism establishment in the 1980s before struggling financially and ditching the printed word in 2016."

Independent editor Christian Broughton in an email to staff, reported by Press Gazette: “I have been given cast-iron, unequivocal reassurances that we will be able to continue to publish as we see fit about Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East, just as we always have, including throughout the period of the negotiations that have led to this new investment."

Amol Rajan on his BBC blog:"The Independent newspaper - of which I was editor between June 2013 and its closure last March - was founded by idealists who wanted an upmarket, centrist paper free from editorial interference. Goodness know what they would have made of the modern publication, a left-wing multi-platform digital title, pursuing a viral social media strategy with frequently salacious stories, whose main owners are the son of a former KGB economic attaché and the scion of Saudi property owners."