Thursday, 7 September 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From the rise of Left leaning journalists and demise of the Tory Press to what the death of a paper means to a community

Tim Montgomerie in the Guardian: "Large percentages of teachers in schools, academics in universities, journalists, playwrights and other ideas-generators lean towards left, liberal perspectives. While the left has marched through the institutions of learning, entertainment and the arts, taking over the commanding heights of culture, the right’s own once powerful generators of values – including the Tory press and the church – are of declining power."

Les Hinton in a promo for his autobiography The Bootle Boy: An Untidy Life in News due to be published next year: "Rupert Murdoch was a big part of my working life and this book contains my version of the truth about him. Rupert could be hell to work for and he earned many of his enemies. He’s a driven businessman with heavy boots who bruised a lot of people. But, love or hate him, he’s an authentic colossus. I saw him at all angles: brilliant, brutal, and often - to the surprise of many - extraordinarily kind."

Matthew Syed in The Times [£] on Wayne Rooney: "I am a great believer in the right to privacy, but I have to confess that I am not terribly sympathetic to the plight of Wayne Rooney. The former England football captain has talked openly about the strength of his marriage in lucrative autobiographies, and let the BBC cameras into his home to project an image as a good family man. His handlers are aware that strong family values can be a powerful commercial asset. Last week, however, he was picked up by the police for allegedly drink-driving in circumstances that bring his personal life directly into the frame (he was driving the car of a woman he had met in a nightclub). When someone’s public image, carefully cultivated to maximise earning potential, is contradicted by their own private actions, the press has a right to expose it. This is a hole that Rooney has dug for himself."

Gaby Hinsliff in the Guardian on the Tower Hamlets fostering story: "Mistakes do happen, sometimes to good journalists, and it ill behoves any of us to get on our high horse. Reporting on children in care, or in hospital, or in custody battles, is incredibly tricky because you only really get one side of the story; constrained by a legal duty of confidentiality to the child, professionals can’t disclose much even if they want to, which makes it devilishly difficult to know who is telling the truth. Even abusive parents often desperately miss their children, who in turn may beg to go home even when it could literally be the death of them. But that’s precisely why caution is needed, and doubly so when a newspaper is playing with fire."

The Guardian in a leader on the Tower Hamlets fostering story: "The whiplash effect of successive revelations in the Tower Hamlets fostering case has been astonishing. The publication of the court’s judgment makes it clear that all of the details which gave the original story its racist and xenophobic power were false. One thing the case shows clearly is the monstrous power of the tabloid press to cut and crush the complexities of private lives till they fit into stereotypes...This is a case that will cause deserved and lasting damage to the reputations of both the reporter and the newspaper which placed the original version on the front pageThis is a case that will cause deserved and lasting damage to the reputations of both the reporter and the newspaper which placed the original version on the front page"

The Times [£] in a leader on the Tower Hamlets fostering story: "Given the religious and cultural sensitivity of the story there was always the likelihood that those less concerned with children’s welfare than with superficial social harmony would cry foul. Sure enough, The Guardian newspaper has seized on a court order issued after our initial reports to claim that it contradicts the facts on which they were based. It does nothing of the sort. Our journalist, Andrew Norfolk, reported the story with care, protecting the child’s welfare and anonymity. That included observations compiled by social services employees that this newspaper’s critics have chosen to ignore. They cast essential light on child protection in a local authority whose children’s services, from the available evidence, are in disarray and in urgent need of reform."

PA Media Lawyer"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been awarded €103,000 (£95,000) in privacy damages by a court in Paris following the trial of six people over topless photographs of Kate which were published in September 2012. France’s Closer magazine was ordered to pay €100,000 (£91,700) at a Paris court over the long-lens images of Kate sunbathing on a terrace, after it was ruled they had breached her privacy."

Bedfordshire on Sunday editor Sarah Cox‏ @says_sarah who is leaving after it was announced the paper is to become a midweek free title and website closed: "Goes without saying my team and I are devastated about closure of @bedfordnews. Unfathomable. We need a strong local press more than ever."

Paul Flint, partner at KPMG and joint administrator on the decision to close the Oldham Evening Chronicle, launched in 1854and related titles, as reported by Prolific North: “The company was faced with an increasing deficit in its defined benefits pension scheme in addition to the challenging trading conditions arising from the changing nature of the local media landscape. Unfortunately despite a rigorous sales process, a buyer for this long standing paper has not been found and it’s not commercially viable to continue operating. We will work to ensure all employees receive the maximum levels of practical and financial support through the redundancy process. We are also seeking buyers for the assets of the business, including the newspaper title to try and ensure its heritage will be preserved and continued.”

Oldham West MP Jim McMahon on his blog: "NEWS that the Oldham Evening Chronicle has gone into administration will hit Oldham hard. More than a newspaper it is part of our heritage, our community and has worked hard to help build a future for us too. Observers of the media will have seen the demise of the printed press and with it the cracks in the foundations of our democracy. Freedom of speech is important and it’s aided significantly by quality journalism based on research, facts and balance. For the 49 staff made redundant the news will be devastating but the tears run further because it was more than a company, it was a family and has been since 1854."

Brian Cox‏ @ProfBrianCox on Twitter: "Very sad news - grew up reading this paper. Still have clippings of my band's first interviews in 86 - we'd made it cause we were in't Chron."

Kevin Duffy commenting on the Oldham Evening Chronicle closure on HoldTheFrontPage: "Editor Dave Whaley rather brilliantly summed up just now, in an interview with BBC North West why, from a journalistic point of view, the loss of his title – or any other, for that matter – is to be so greatly regretted, with this remark: 'The lunatics of social media will inherit the asylum.' How true."

 [£] =paywall

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