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."

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