Thursday, 21 June 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: Editors urged to call out Donald Trump as a Fascist to deviilsh ad tries to lure 'disillusioned hacks' to the PR dark side

Former Sun editor David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Every serving editor, both sides of pond, each have a hand of history on their shoulder. When the US President locked separated children up and behaved as a Fascist they need to be able to look back and say the called it right. This man is a Fascist. Call him that."

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump"Washington Post employees want to go on strike because Bezos isn’t paying them enough. I think a really long strike would be a great idea. Employees would get more money and we would get rid of Fake News for an extended period of time! Is @WaPo a registered lobbyist?"

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop after this year's Paul Foot award went to the Guardian's Amelia Gentleman for her investigation into the Windrush scandal: “Congratulations to Amelia Gentleman for a campaign that was revelatory, important and amazingly effective. This was the Windrush scandal – where a cabinet minister was thrown overboard and the ship of state nearly sank.”

Suzanne Moore in the Guardian on David Dimbleby leaving Question Time: "Who will  replace Dimbleby on Question Time? The nation frets. Who can do this demanding job of pointing to a man in a jumper and then apologising because it is a woman. Well, possibly a woman. Samira Ahmed, Emily Maitlis, Emma Barnett. There are loads of great women broadcasters around at the moment. But surely Question Time went from being unmissable event TV to eminently missable banal and tribal pantomime of spin a long time ago? Too many panelists, too many briefed-up politicians sticking to party lines, and the always spare “alternative” comedian who is neither funny nor clever."

Thomas Markle interviewed on ITV'S Good Morning Britain on why he colluded with a photographer for staged paparazzi photographs before the Royal wedding: "I thought it was improving my look, but that obviously went to hell. I didn't do this for money I did it to change my image. I was presented for a whole year as a hermit hiding out in Mexico, it was a mistake."

Mail target Patience Wheatcroft in the Guardian: "On Brexit, as so many other things, the Mail has a completely closed mind. This saddens me, as I started my Fleet Street career there, on the City pages, under the expert tutelage of Patrick Sergeant, who insisted on thorough analysis of issues and fair interviewing of individuals."

The Times [£] in leader: "Only one in 50 children can tell if a news story is real or fake, according to a survey published yesterday, and other research has found that adults are little better. It is vital, therefore, to preserve sources of information the public can trust. People buy and subscribe to newspapers like The Times because they know, from years of experience, that what appears, in print or online, is not the propaganda of a hostile foreign state, nor the attempt of a fraudster to generate clicks for commercial gain, nor a meme intended as a joke that has got out of hand. It is journalism, as it always has been."

Nick Cohen @NickCohen4 on Twitter: "Very much enjoying the long, slow vindication of @carolecadwalla. Many people, including journalists, do not understand that reporting isn't always a wham bam exclusive but months and years of knocking away at the walls, which protect powerful interests."

Lindsey Hilsum @lindseyhilsum on Twitter: "I’m excited too - and a bit nervous. It’s hard to write the biography of a friend who died.... to write with honesty and love about someone whom so many people cared about and who was a role model for many young journalists."

Job ad for a "disillusioned hack" to join  PR company, on HoldTheFrontPage: "Rhizome Media, a PR firm made up mostly of ex-hacks, is looking for an experienced (and probably thoroughly disillusioned) journalist who is happy to sell his or her soul to the devil for the right price. To hell with it, money makes the world go round."


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Paul Dacre defended as 'newspaperman of genius' in Guardian letter to there's nothing as ex as an ex-editor

Former Observer and Independent editor Roger Alton in a letter to the Guardian: "Could I correct a couple of points in Polly Toynbee’s extraordinarily mendacious article about the Daily Mail (Bully-in-chief Dacre is off. Good riddance, 8 June). As someone who has knocked around a few newsrooms, let me assure you that there is less “racism, homophobia and philistinism” – to quote Toynbee – at the Daily Mail than at many of the other places I have known. Paul Dacre is a very great man and a newspaperman of genius who has done as much to improve the quality of life in Britain as anybody I can think of. One of my great regrets about his departure is that the scoundrels, rogues and thieves who stalk this pleasant land will soon have a much freer ride than before. They will not be sad that he is going. Ms Toynbee refers to the 1950s: a pleasant decade in my memory, not least because no one had to listen to Polly Toynbee talking nonsense."

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian on Paul Dacre: "Asked for the winning formula of his Daily Mail, Lord Northcliffe replied: 'I give my readers a daily hate.' No one has kept that flame burning more brightly than Paul Dacre, poisoner of the national psyche, bully-in-chief, whose iron whim has terrified prime ministers for a quarter of a century...Like all bullies he targets underdogs, imposing on the country racism, homophobia and philistinism, and shunning complexity and evidence."

Leave backer Arron Banks, appearing before the Media and Culture Committee looking into fake news: "We teased journalists. They are the cleverest, stupidest people on earth."

Carole Cadwalladr, after the Sunday Times and the Observer both splashed on Russian links with Leave campaigners amid claims story was given to the Sunday Times to 'spoil' the Observer scoop, quoted by Press Gazette: “Journalists jealously guard their scoops. However in this instance I thought if this is what it took to get this information out in the public domain, it also had to go in the Sunday Times, I was delighted, really pleased. The objective was to get it into the public domain. Whether that’s in the Observer or the Sunday Times I don’t care that much.”

Les Hinton in the Mail on Sunday on Norman Scott: "I found myself appointed Scott’s ‘minder’ when my newspaper, The Sun, did a deal with him for exclusive interviews. In my media career, I’ve spent time with presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and princes, the Sex Pistols, a couple of Rolling Stones, and a few billionaires but I’ll never forget my days in the depths of Devon with Norman Scott. It was a bleak period for the media — hoodwinked into believing Scott was a freak and a liar.When the Sunday Mirror received a dossier of powerful evidence to support Scott’s claim, the editor sent it to Thorpe and didn’t publish a word. Even in 1976, when the Thorpe-Scott scandal blew up into a national story, the Sunday Times published a front-page lead, headlined: The lies of Norman Scott."

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, interviewed in the Daily Telegraph [£]: "My job is to walk into an editor's office, throw a dead rat full of lice on their desk and say 'this what I want to do for the next three months, it's going to cost you a lot of money, you are going to get sued, you are going to get threats, and you are going to lose customers - but let's go at it!'"

The Committee to Protect Journalists' North America program coordinator Alexandra Ellerbeck in a statement on the seizure of phone and email records from New York Times reporter Ali Watkins by the United States Justice Department: "In order to perform their public accountability function, journalists must be able to protect their confidential sources. Efforts by government that undermine this ability therefore represent a fundamental threat to press freedom. This is why we believe that the government's seizure of Ali Watkins's data sets a dangerous precedent. We fear it could be an opening salvo in an ongoing battle over reporters' ability to protect their sources."

Steve Bird, father of chapel at the Financial Times, backing an NUJ campaign for journalists to take a proper lunch break outside their newsrooms on the longest day of the year next Thursday (June 21): "NUJ activists should follow the example set in Leeds to organise and promote a picnic outside of the office on the longest day of the year. Hopefully, this will provide an extra reason to get out of the office and will draw attention to the central issues of work stress and long hours.

Findings of a study into decline of local press in the US, reported by the Guardian: "When a local newspaper closes, the cost of government increases. That’s the conclusion of new survey from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, which draws a direct line between loss of the watchful eyes of local newspapers and a decline in government efficiency."

Dominic Ponsford in Press Gazette"Reading the Daily Mail is for me a little like eating foie gras.  There is some guilt about the suffering that has gone into its production, but you cannot deny that it somehow adds to the richness of the flavour."

David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Putting remainer Geordie Greig in at the Daily Mail isn’t just big news it is revolutionary. This changes everything for Brexit and the consequences could be historic."

Paul Dacre in The Spectator [£]: “Support for Brexit is in the DNA of both the Daily Mail and, more pertinently, its readers. Any move to reverse this would be editorial and commercial suicide.”

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian: "At times, such as the front-page attacks on judges and Gina Miller, Dacre appeared to have lost all reason. How, one was given to saying, can Rothermere live with this stuff? Why is he keeping him in the chair? Now it is all too late. Greig will certainly pursue a less strident line, but the damage has been done. Dacre, the grand old Duke of York, marched his army up to the top of the Brexit hill, and they are still there, firing Mail-manufactured missiles at the so-called Remoaners. Greig cannot march them down again. He cannot turn back the clock. Although Brexit will be seen as Dacre’s legacy, see it instead as Rothermere’s. The last of Britain’s press barons has let his country down."

Matt Kelly @mk1969 on Twitter: "Logistics of the Mail changes make it seem likely that Dacre was pushed. No way he’d be happy with Greig as successor and no way would he be happy with him reporting to Rothermere He’s been totally bypassed in 24 hours. Some legacy!...and as @campbellclaret once told me; there’s nothing as ex as an ex-editor."


Thursday, 7 June 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From barbs and bouquets for Dacre to sons of murdered journalist say she was 'harassed' by London libel lawyers

Lord Rotheremere on Paul Dacre, who is resigning as editor of the Daily Mail after 26 years to become chairman of Associated Newspapers before his 70th birthday in November: “Paul is, quite simply, the greatest Fleet Street editor of his generation not only for his huge circulation successes on both the Mail and Standard but also for the sheer power of his many campaigns, investigations and crusades that have held power to account, given a voice to the voiceless and often set the political agenda through six prime ministerships. He has done this while working tirelessly to defend press freedom to the benefit of our whole industry."

Alastair Campbell @campbellclaret on Twitter: "Dacre retires to spend more time with his EU grants on his Scottish estate and bronzing his corpulent frame in his fourth home in the British Virgin Islands. Worst of British values posing as the best. Malign influence on media culture. Good riddance xx"

David Wooding @DavidWooding on Twitter: "End of an era as Paul Dacre announced he is stepping down after 26 years as Daily Mail editor - few have been as successful AND lasted so long in a top role."

Andrew Adonis @Andrew_Adonis on Twitter: "Paul Dacre became Mail editor in 1992, as Maastricht rebellion starting. He overnight turned it into a vitriolic hard right Brexit rag. His proprietor Lord Rothermere is more balanced, so likely it will tilt towards centre & we are now past peak ‘media’ Brexit."

Tim Shipman @ShippersUnbound on Twitter: "Thing is, people, when he got it right, Paul Dacre was a bloody genius. And he got it right more often than most of you would like. My 2p. *plans to spend the next 24 hours off Twitter*"

Paul Dacre in a message praising the Mail team, as reported by Press Gazette: “Whether it has been justice for Stephen Lawrence and the Omagh bomb victims, plastic in supermarkets and in the seas, dignity for the elderly, thwarting Labour’s plans for supercasinos, or putting sepsis and prostate cancer on the map, we have shown that newspapers make a difference...It’s this team that’s spearheaded the battle for freedom of expression against those who seek to impose statutory regulation of the press. This battle is on-going and I plan to continue playing as great a part in it as ever."

Lord Rothermere on appointing Geordie Greig, the Mail on Sunday editor, to succeed Dacre at the Daily Mail, quoted by the Guardian“Geordie has been an outstanding editor of the Mail on Sunday, and I am delighted that he will continue the high-quality journalism that Paul has made a hallmark of the Daily Mail for more than 25 years.”

Leeds Live reporter Stephanie Finnegan, who has faced threats and abuse after getting reporting restrictions lifted in the Tommy Robinson contempt case, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “I’ve received threats to harm me and members of my family, both physically and sexually. I’ve also gotten an overwhelming amount of support, including from the co-author of McNae’s, [Twitter account] the Secret Barrister and [Daily Mirror associate editor] Kevin Maguire as well as interviews on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and BBC Asian Network, which I think takes precedence over the abuse."

Manchester Evening News political editor Jennifer Williams @JenWilliamsMEN on Twitter: "Northern newspaper front pages this morning. Am told there was a degree of panic about this yesterday when it dawned on govt we were all doing it #OneNorth"

David Corn on Mother Jones on the Trump Russia investigation: "In this ongoing fight, it is Trump and his bumper stickers versus a media presenting a wide variety of disparate disclosures that come and go quickly in a hyperchaotic information ecosystem, often absent full context. No wonder then that a recent poll found that 59 percent of Americans said Mueller has uncovered no crimes. In fact, he has secured 17 criminal indictments and obtained five guilty pleas. Accurate news reporting alone does not always carry the day."

Former Ham&High editor Emily Banks after it was revealed the paper will no longer have its own editor, as reported by Press Gazette: “It is a historic newspaper and the pride of Archant’s London portfolio. It’s had such a great reputation for so many years and now it doesn’t even have its own editor or its own news team.”

Grant Feller in the Guardian on Evening Standard editor George Osborne: "As an industry, journalism has never been more vital to society. Yet because of the scourge of fake news it is also one of the least trusted. Osborne’s editorship can only dent that level of trust further. There are many talented journalists who work on the Evening Standard and the paper’s columnists are some of the best-connected writers around. But they will never again be able to write about individuals who are conflicted by multiple interests without knowing, deep down, that their boss is one of the most conflicted of all."

Former cabinet minister  Jonathan Aitken, who was jailed for lying on oath in a libel trial against the Guardian, in the Sunday Times [£] on becoming a prison chaplain:  “I’m every bit as excited as I was on my first day on the East Anglian Daily Times as the assistant tennis and funerals correspondent.”

Les Hinton @leshinton on Twitter: "The Liverpool Echo was my first link to the glamour of newspapers. My uncle was a cleaner there and brought home huge black-and-white news photos he took from the trash cans @LivEchonews #Bootle #Liverpool #Merseyside...My gran loved the Liverpool Echo. She tore up squares of the Daily Mirror for loo paper in the outhouse, but NEVER @LivEchonews."

Juliette Garside in the Guardian: "A British law firm has been accused by the family of the murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia of harassment, intimidation and an attempt to “cripple” her financially by threatening to sue her in the UK. When Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in October 2017, she was fighting 47 civil and criminal defamation lawsuits from an array of business people and politicians, brought by multiple law firms. In the months before her death, the anti-corruption journalist received letters from the London office of the blue-chip firm Mishcon de Reya, which specialises in bringing defamation cases. Mishcon had been hired to defend the reputation of a client doing business in Malta. 'The firm sought to cripple her financially with libel action in UK courts,' Caruana Galizia’s three sons claim in a letter to the writers’ campaign group English PEN...It has triggered a debate at English PEN, which in December appointed Mishcon’s deputy chairman, Anthony Julius, to its board of trustees."

PEN in a statement: "We are aware that libel threats remain a problem for investigative journalists, particularly those operating independently and who may not have access to the legal advice available at larger media companies. We are therefore consulting with journalists – particularly those operating independently – on how the current law operates in practice."

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From staged 'murder' of Russian journalist feeds fake news to is the press really out to get England's World Cup stars?

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko at a press conference after revealing that his 'murder' had been faked in order to expose a suspected attempt on his life in Ukraine, as reported by BBC News: "I have buried many friends and colleagues many times and I know the sickening feelingI am sorry you had to experience it. But there was no other way."

Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent: "There can be few more glaring examples of 'fake news' than the deliberate misreporting by a sovereign government of a prominent journalist's death. Russia already denies any involvement in the attempted assassination of its former spy Sergei Skripal in the UK city of Salisbury in March, calling it fake news. It will now likely seize on this deception in Kiev to strengthen its claim in that case, and in others."

Lindsey Hillsum ‪@lindseyhilsum‪ on Twitter: "So now every time a journalist is murdered, those responsible will unleash their bots and propagandists to say it’s fake news. Thanks, Ukrainian security services. That’s really helpful to all who care about journalists’ safety. #Babchenko"

James Cusick on Open Democracy: "London’s Evening Standard newspaper, edited by the former chancellor George Osborne, has agreed a £3 million deal with six leading commercial companies, including Google and Uber, promising them “money-can’t-buy” positive news and “favourable” comment coverage."

A spokesman for ESI Media told Open Democracy:“The allegations about the Evening Standard are baseless and wrong. We would never offer ‘positive news’ coverage and ‘favourable’ comment as part of a commercial deal. The Evening Standard’s editorial integrity and independence is always at the heart of everything we do and is beyond question. That’s why we have such a big and loyal readership. No commercial agreement would ever include ‘favourable’ news coverage. Like all British newspapers, the Evening Standard has valued commercial partners and works with them on specific campaigns for the benefit of our readers. Indeed, editorial independence is and remains guaranteed in the contracts we sign.”

The Times [£] in a leader: "Since this newspaper exposed the Oxfam scandal, Save the Children has been accused of spending £100,000 on lawyers in an attempt to shut down reporting of harassment allegations against two of its former senior executives. The charity has been active in its internal reporting of abuse allegations, but the breach of trust the entire sector must repair is external — with donors, governments and above all those it exists to help. They deserve nothing less than full accountability."

The New York Times @nytimes on Twitter: "President Trump falsely accused The New York Times on Saturday of making up a source in an article about North Korea, even though the source was in fact a senior White House official speaking to a large group of reporters in the White House briefing room."

Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard  on why he's back on Twitter: "Decided to dip my toe back in the Twitter water (as some people told me I would!). I hadn't realised you can set your mentions to block anyone you don't follow. Should make for an altogether more pleasant experience. And satisfyingly the screamers will be whistling in the wind."

Nick Cohen in the Observer on top law firms in the UK working for wealthy oligarchs: "One day, the security and intelligence services will have to ask when law firms that seek the lucrative business of repressive states and organisations, or threaten investigative journalists, become a threat to the national interest."

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian on the Observer columnist Katharine Whitehorn who is suffering from Alzheimer’s: "This is a terrible thing to write – but I know that the old Katharine Whitehorn, the wittily honest Observer writer, would not have flinched. That’s what her two loving sons say and they want it written the way she would have. Her friends and former colleagues have been told, yet it may appal some lifelong admirers to have it said out loud. But her ability to confront hard truths and break old ideas of decorum is the reason so many read her for decades. With her usual no-nonsense rationality, she wrote with fearless clarity on the end of life. Katharine is now 90, living in a care home, suffering from Alzheimer’s, with little understanding left, no knowledge of where she is or why. She often doesn’t recognise people, can no longer read and curiously sometimes talks in French, not a language she knew particularly well: she will never read or understand this article. In other words, she is not herself. Her old self would not recognise herself in this other being who sits in the care home dayroom. What or who she has become is a difficult philosophical question, but she is no longer Katharine Whitehorn as was."

The Times [£] in a leader on Elon Musk: "His patience snapped this week in a series of tweets denouncing the “holier-than-thou hypocrisy” of “big media companies who lay claim to the truth but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie”. Few journalists know much about electric powertrains. Equally, there are gaps in Mr Musk’s understanding of journalism. It is to get at truth, which by its nature is often inconvenient. This can require patience, bloody mindedness and the sort of resources available to “big media companies”, like the one that owns The Times. Serious journalism has to fend off plenty of baseless but damaging attacks as it is. The thin-skinned Mr Musk has better things to do than add to them just because he is going through a rough patch."

Gary Lineker @GaryLineker on Twitter: "Unique to this country to attempt to destroy our players morale before a major tournament. It’s weird, unpatriotic and sad."

Oliver Kay in The Times [£]: "Lineker’s contention was that this is all a bid to undermine England’s forthcoming World Cup campaign. Sorry Gary, but that does not add up. As was confirmed by a subsequent post on Lineker’s timeline — reminders of front-page headlines labelling the Manchester City forward “obscene” for “showing off blinging house”, of him being described as “footie idiot”, “greedy” and “Prem rat”, and even the inoffensive, if totally trivial, stories about a multi-millionaire buying his batteries from Poundworld or “queuing for pasties and sausage rolls” at Greggs — the timing was not a factor. World Cup on the horizon or not, Sterling can barely break wind without making headlines. That is the reality facing many of the Premier League’s biggest stars in 2018, their lives — their spending habits, their homes, their cars, how they spend their days off and their holidays, and particularly their partners — are a source of peculiar fascination to sections of the media and the public who are interested in footballers but not football."

Piers Morgan @piersmorgan on Twitter: "Remember, most top footballers sell interviews & books etc to tabloid newspapers & magazines all the time (I know, I used to write the cheques!). It’s a 2-way publicity street that benefits both sides very profitably. So let’s stop this ‘Leave them alone!’ bullsh*t..."


Thursday, 24 May 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Donald Trump told journalist why he bashes the press to Ken Livingstone's pet 'Adolf' story was fake newts

Donald Trump revealed why he bashes the press, according to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, as reported by CNBC "You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you."

Peter Barron @PeteBarronMedia  on Twitter: "Love the way the @MENnewsdesk has marked today's first anniversary of the terror attack. Pure class."

Joshua Rozenberg on the Law Society Gazette on the Cliff Richard vs BBC privacy case: "I shall resist the temptation to express my own view of this case. But I know what will happen if news organisations are prevented from identifying suspects and perhaps even unconvicted defendants. Names – sometimes accurate, sometimes not – will start circulating on social media. The mainstream media will not be allowed to confirm or deny those rumours. And legitimate news organisations will forfeit such trust and respect as they still have. We shall all be the poorer."

Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard on Reaction on why he's giving up Twitter: "There’s much to Twitter I love, and I’ve ‘met’ some fabulous people on it. But the mechanism it gives to total strangers to infect your life with poison is too great a downside for me."

Philip Collins in The Times [£] on Tom Wolfe: "Even at the time the new journalism attracted the criticism that it was subjective and, therefore, partisan. In a way the accusation was true but not much of an accusation. It was deep reportage with an agenda and, as long as the reader was aware what he or she was getting, that was fine. And what the reader was getting was some of the best journalistic writing in the canon. At his best, such as in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which is a wonderful account of the Merry Pranksters, Ken Kesey’s band of manic counter-cultural followers, Wolfe really hits pay dirt. Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers skewers Leonard Bernstein’s plans to raise money for the Black Panthers and provides a template for the fashionable bourgeois leftie ever since."

Tom Wolfe quote: "I have no idea who coined the term 'the New Journalism,' or when it was coined. I have never even liked the term. Any movement, group, party, program, philosophy or theory that goes under a name with 'new' in it is just begging for trouble, of course."

Tom Wolfe quote: "God, newspapers have been making up stories forever. This kind of trifling and fooling around is not a function of the New Journalism."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian on coverage of the Royal wedding: "In truth, two institutions, monarchy and the press, are walking hand in hand towards their doom after 400 years of interdependence. Viewed rationally, we can see how popular newspapers – which is an oxymoronic term nowadays – spent months manufacturing synthetic public excitement about the marriage. Their coverage, far from reflecting modernity, was marked by all the old tropes: fawning fascination, carping criticism, preposterous speculation and the elevation of the trivial to an implausible level of significance."

Press Gazette reports: "News publishers and broadcasters were reaping the rewards of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding in sales of Sunday newspapers, online readers and TV viewing figures. Early newspaper wholesale estimates for the Sunday newspaper market, shared by the Daily Mail, put the week-on-week sales uplift at between 15 to 20 per cent. The figures, based on the expected final unsold volume returned from retail, estimated that more than 650,000 additional Sunday newspapers had been sold, with an extra £1.2m generated in UK retail sales value."

Jon Craig @joncraig on Twitter: "Very disappointed to learn reports that Ken Livingstone has or had a pet newt called Adolf, which I referred to y’day on TV & online, may not be correct. Am now told original source of this claim was satirical website “The Daily Mash”. Shame!"