Thursday, 11 October 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Strictly snog blows climate change off front page to local council secrecy stops journalists being watchdog for public

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "Most UK papers think a drunken snog at Strictly is the most important story today. More important than a terrifying new #IPCC report saying we have 12 years to stave off the catastrophic effects of global warming."

The Committee to Protect Journalists' European Union representative Tom Gibson in a statement on the murder of Bulgarian journalist Victoria Marinova: "CPJ is shocked by the barbaric murder of journalist Victoria Marinova. Bulgarian authorities must employ all efforts and resources to carry out an exhaustive inquiry and bring to justice those responsible."

The Committee to Protect Journalists' deputy executive director Robert Mahoney on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi: "CPJ is alarmed by media reports that Jamal Khashoggi may have been killed inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi authorities must immediately give a full and credible accounting of what happened to Khashoggi inside its diplomatic mission. The country has stepped up its repression of critical journalists in the past year at home. We hope this has not now spread abroad."

The Guardian in a leader: "Without sustained pressure – including for independent or joint investigations, should domestic ones fall short – those responsible for journalists’ deaths will go unpunished, and more journalists will die."

Lionel Barber  on Twitter: "The murderous attacks on journalists are becoming ever more prevalent. When an American president regularly denounces the media as “enemies of the people” it is hardly a surprise when less savoury regimes regard reporters and broadcasters as fair game."

BBC director general Tony Hall, giving the inaugural Society of Editors Bob Satchwell lecture: “People who try to undermine the BBC’s reputation for their own political ends should be careful what they wish for. Nobody wants to end up in the highly polarised, almost separate, political and media cultures we see across the Atlantic. Nor the monocultural landscape of state-run media in some other countries."

Adam Barnett on "So far from improving on the media's factual errors and political bias, outlets like the Canary seem to be trying to outdo them on falsehood and partisanship, with a few sinister quirks added in...These sites are not a plucky alternative to the mainstream press. They are the aspirant state media for a future autocracy. If they will help governments defame journalists in other countries, and shrug when those journalists are arrested, imagine what they would do to people here who they actually know and dislike."

Jane Bradley @jane__bradley on Twitter: "Huge exclusive from the HSJ, followed up by almost every mainstream news org in the UK. Invest in good specialist journalists and give them time to burrow into their beat, it pays off."

Kyle Pope in the Columbia Journalism Review on the New York Times' 18-month investigation into the Trump family's financial affairs: "One of its great benefits, to my mind, is that it transcends the headlines of the day, focusing on an elemental, fundamental aspect of this man and this presidency that, it turns out, is even more divorced from our common understanding than we might have previously thought. It is an example of journalism as long game, a sport that more of us need to be playing."

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian on his father, the journalist Michael Freedland, who died last week: "As fate would have it, the day after his death this newspaper carried an article written by him a few months earlier: an obituary of Charles Aznavour, who, like him, died on Monday. So Michael Freedland went out the way he would have wanted – with a byline."

Cornwall Live editor Jacqui Merrington on the BBC 1 drama Press, via HoldTheFrontPage“As a journalist, it’s impossible not to get a bit defensive about a programme painting a dark picture of an industry I know so well. And I’m not alone in feeling a bit hacked off by it...But journalism has changed beyond recognition. This programme fails to appreciate that, dragging up some of the worst elements of journalism in the 1980s and setting them in the here and now. It’s made journalists out to be arseholes, doing nothing to help restore the battered reputation of an industry I know and love. And for that, I hate it.”

The Times [£] in a leader on local government secrecy and the press: "It is not as if the problem is a recent change in the political climate. The Local Government Act of 2000 was a well-intentioned attempt to streamline decision-making at municipal level by moving from a committee-based system to an executive system. In practice it has tended to concentrate power and encourage secrecy. Nobody disputes that in granting contracts councils may have to keep some information confidential. However, our report today suggests that there is instead a culture of aggrandisement and avoidance of public accountability. The role of journalists is to be the eyes and the ears of the public and to tell voters of the decisions that are being made in their name. For that, they need access."


Thursday, 4 October 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Canary accused over deportation of journalist to Labour drops press complaints over Corbyn wreath-laying stories

Mark Di Stefano on BuzzFeed: "The Committee to Protect Journalists says a freelance journalist writing for the Guardian and Washington Post has been arrested and deported from Nicaragua after a 'targeted online harassment campaign'. Last week, Carl David Goette-Luciak's reporting on anti-government protests in Nicaragua was attacked by US journalist Max Blumenthal in an article published on an American website called Mint Press and British left-wing site the Canary.The Mint Press article was titled "How an American Anthropologist Tied to US Regime-Change Proxies Became the MSM's Man in Nicaragua", while the Canary ran the headline, "Investigation slams Guardian cooperation with novice reporter linked to US regime-change machine."

The NUJ in a statement: "Carl David Goette-Luciak, who has been reporting from the country [Nicaragua] for The Guardian and The Washington Post, was seized from his home in Managua on Monday, held in detention for five hours at the airport and then deported to San Salvador in El Salvador. During his detention and interrogation he was accused of attending illegal protests, disseminating false information, threatened with torture and accused of being a CIA agent. His arrest came in the wake of online reports, smears and personal information, including his home address, being widely circulated."
  • Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary:“Unfounded accusations against journalists of being spies, agents and terrorists are tactics used by repressive regimes throughout the world. Online smear campaigns designed to add to that pressure clearly serve to increase the risk and danger to all journalists working in already difficult environments."

The Canary encouraging a Twitterstorm against the Guardian for its coverage of Jeremy Corbyn and antisemitism: "On 27 September, Media Reform UK released a report that said the media wrongly reported on antisemitism in the Labour Party. And the Guardian is named as one such culprit. But it’s not just media analysts that have questioned the Guardian‘s stance. Plenty of readers, including those on the left, have started to wonder what role the newspaper really plays. That’s why the #BoycottTheGuardian Twitterstorm will be an important moment. It will display, in public, a growing suspicion of the newspaper’s relationship with the powerful. And it’s something we can all take part in."

Canary editor-in-chief Kerry-Anne Mendoza  @TheMendozaWoman on Twitter: "You did it! #BoycottTheGuardian is trending! Well done everyone for making a stand for quality, diverse and honest journalism. Together we're going to rebuild the media. And everyone but the establishment will benefit from it."

Financial Times editor Lionel Barber @lionelbarber on Twitter: "So we now have Corbynistas #BoycottTheGuardian on top of promised press regulation from official Labour. What exactly are they afraid of?"

Jim Waterson and Peter Walker in the Guardian: "The Labour leader also showed his attitude to the media by simply skipping much of the press round, which usually accompanied a party conference speech, such as a traditional interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Newspaper reporters learned the hard way about how they were now perceived by the party – their desks at the conference were situated outside the main building, in a tent in a car park accessed by following signs for a 'dog exercise area'."

Julia Hartley-Brewer @JuliaHB1 on Twitter: "I have now been BANNED from Labour Party conference for making THIS Twitter joke about their absurd #SafeSpace. It seems we now have to get all jokes pre-approved by @jeremycorbyn. Ridiculous & sinister to ban a journalist from doing her job cos you don’t like her joke."

Donald Trump mocking reporter Cecilia Vega of ABC at press conference, as reported by Business Insider: "I know you're not thinking. You never do."

Owen Jones in the Guardian on the Sky News interview with Tommy Robinson: "The British media are not going to defeat the far right. They will continue to give a platform to them and legitimise their leading figures. The press, in particular, will keep feeding them by spreading hatred and lies about Muslims, migrants and refugees. The far right will not be debated out of existence. It will be defeated, not by the media’s clever bastards, but by a left that offers hope and combats racism and bigotry without apology."

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian on party conferences: "Don’t go to party conferences. Ignore them. They should be banned. When blind loyalty meets crazed dissent fuelled by personal ambition, the result is a disease, a ghastly rash on the body politic. The overheated, hysterical, alcoholic, distorting atmosphere of these events leads to misjudgment – not least by journalists disoriented by being corralled for weeks far from London."

Jim Waterson in the Guardian: "Labour’s mass complaint to the press regulator Ipso over this summer’s press coverage of Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to a Tunisian cemetery in 2014 has been dropped, according to individuals at the newspapers involved. The party made the unprecedented decision to complain against most national newspapers, complaining that the Sun, the Times, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Express and Metro had misrepresented the event, which saw the Labour leader attend a ceremony commemorating Palestinians who died in the country. The party had complained that the articles suggested he was commemorating members of the Black September terrorist group or those who carried out the 1972 Munich massacre, which Corbyn denied."

Dan Hodges @DPJHodges on Twitter: "Corbyn’s decision to drop his complaint over the wreath laying confirms what we always knew. The press told the truth. He didn’t....Corbyn’s decision also confirms something else we’ve always known. His definition of a ‘media smear’ is in reality a factual news report that paints him in a negative light."

  • The Guardian has further reported: "It can now be revealed that the complaint was shelved after the party missed a deadline to tell Ipso that it still wanted to push ahead with the challenge to newspapers. Labour is now asking the press regulator to make an exception to its rules and reopen the case despite missing the deadline, on the basis of the “extenuating circumstances” that officials were too busy dealing with party conference preparations and a staff member had been ill for several days."

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Corbyn tells UK press you smear the powerless and don't take on the powerful to why be an editor when reporters have more fun?

Jeremy Corbyn in his Labour Party conference speech"Journalists from Turkey to Myanmar and Colombia are being imprisoned, harassed or sometimes killed by authoritarian governments and powerful corporate interests just for doing their job. But here, a free press has far too often meant the freedom to spread lies and half-truths, and to smear the powerless, not take on the powerful."
  • Emily Bell @emilybell on Twitter: "Disappointing Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t seem to know (or doesn’t care) that attacks on journalists in the parts of the world he namechecks are often justified by pointing to press criticism from leaders such as himself and Donald Trump in western democracies."
  • Jane Merrick @janemerrick23 on Twitter: "Jeremy Corbyn lecturing the British press about "failing to take on the powerful" when he's appeared on Press TV and Russia Today is a bit bloody rich."
David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Macron is right. Message to every Brexit editor: he is talking about YOU. What a total and unmitigated disaster much of the UK press has led its readers to."

Alan Rusbridger on ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, in his new book Breaking News: "Today, MacKenzie's  13-year dominance at the paper seems an era of considerable bigotry, cruelty and prejudice rather than wit, brio and much-envied (and imitated) professionalism. There are editors, then and now whose behaviour would - in any other context - seem borderline unhinged. They appear, to an outsider, worryingly aggressive and obsessive. They seem to derive pleasure from threatening, humiliating, harassing or intimidating their targets. A newspaper is probably the last institution or organisation  in the democratic world  where such people would be allowed to operate with quite so little scrutiny or redress."

Evan Davis on Twitter on his move from Newsnight to presenting BBC Radio 4's PM:  "So.. guess what. Having survived several years of people saying "you're not as good as Jeremy Paxman", I now look forward to people saying "you're not as good as Eddie Mair". I'll be moving to @BBCpm at the end of October."

From HoldTheFrontPage: "A police force says it is unable to confirm that armed officers arrested a publisher over suspected “hate crimes” – despite his own newspaper covering it on its front page. Danny Lockwood, publisher of Dewsbury weekly The Press, splashed on his own arrest in Friday’s edition after being stopped by police as he drove to work last Monday. According to The Press, he was then questioned about three hate crimes at Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff’s office, which are thought to involve swastikas being deposited at her doorstep. Danny has denied any involvement in the alleged incidents, while Ms Sherriff has publicly stated she has 'no reason' to suspect he was involved."

The News Media Association in its submission to the Cairncross Review  into the future of sustainable journalism: “The primary focus of concern today is the loss of advertising revenues which have previously sustained quality national and local journalism and are now flowing to the global search engines and social media companies who make no meaningful contribution to the cost of producing the original content from which they so richly benefit...Introduce a fair, open and equitable content licence fee agreement, supported by a UK Publishers Right, enabling the tech companies to demonstrate the value they extract and to pay for the content from which they benefit, without discrimination between news publishers."

News Media Association chief executive David Newell in The Times [£]: "Publishers should be fairly rewarded so that they can continue to maintain independent journalism. But the rise of the internet, and in particular its two dominant platforms, has snapped the relationship between the content creators and revenues. News media journalism has never been more in demand, reaching greater audiences than ever before across print and digital platforms. Yet between them Google and Facebook, which produce no original news content yet benefit greatly from it, are siphoning off all the growth in digital revenues by making money out of our content without any fair exchange. Not only is this fundamentally unjust, it poses a direct threat to the sustainability of journalism."

The NUJ in its submission to the Cairncross Review: "The NUJ is calling for an economic stimulus plan for the media including arms-length government subsidies, the strategic use of central and local government advertising, tax credits, tax breaks, and a combination of funding such as grants, loans and community-share schemes. Any new funding available must be attached to specific objectives and criteria. This should include a range of commitments to quality and ethical standards. Organisations that systematically cut corners and rely upon free content and user-generated pictures should not be entitled to receive any public subsidy, funding or support."

James Harding, giving the inaugural Journalists' Charity lecture on his new media venture Tortoise,  which will offer a slower supply of news sourced from experts across a wide range of fields: "We’re trying to see how we might think about opening up journalism, how we might think about systems of organised listening in every form, whether that’s in live open leader conferences but also in forms of digital journalism."

Ewen MacAskill interviewed in the Guardian on retiring from the paper after 22 years: "Kath Viner joined a few months after me and rose to become editor-in-chief. I stayed as a reporter but I think I got the better deal. Reporters have more fun."


Thursday, 20 September 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From the Daily Mail is a changin' to the media has always been disliked but Trump's turned it into a political philosophy

James O'Brien @mrjamesob on Twitter: "The Mail has moved so quickly towards the light under its new editor that Littlejohn's unhinged rantings already stick out like a sore thumb. Remarkable to watch. Wish they were selling tickets to Dacre's daily perusal of the paper."

David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Geordie Greig is changing the Daily Mail very fast. Kudos to him. It is smarter, softer..."

Henry Mance in the Financial Times: "Mr Greig is the reformer on the inside, the man who knows the system has to change. He’s the Mikhail Gorbachev of the tabloid world. It’s glasnost on Derry Street. It makes you think. Given the right editor, could any Fleet Street title change its spots? Could the Telegraph, for example, decide not to cover the Duke of Shropshire’s niece’s 18th birthday party? Could The Guardian reveal that Christmas is an unproblematic celebration of family values? ...As for the Financial Times, you’ll know the revolution has come when you receive the first ever How To Spend It: Lidl Edition."

Emily Thornberry @EmilyThornberry on Twitter: "This, from @DailyMailUK and not a sneering word in sight!!!>>"

Fleet Street Fox on the demise of Katie Hopkins: "Even with training, she would never have made much of a journo. She has a thick skin and bloody-mindedness, but seems to lack empathy, accuracy, self-doubt or persuasiveness. She is a curiosity, but doesn't have any. The first rule of journalism is 'never become the story'. Not just because it's professionally embarrassing, but because all copy finishes the same way - with the word 'ends'."

Roy Greenslade, who was a consultant on BBC TV drama Press, about complaints from journalists it's unrealistic, in the Guardian: "Amid the nit-picking, I wonder how a piece of populist drama about newspapers could avoid cliches and stereotypes. And dare I point out that it ill-behoves journalists who have lived off cliches and stereotypes, to complain about them representing their trade."

The Sunday Times [£] in a leader on new claims that MI6 believed Michael Foot took payments from the KGB: "This is not an attempt to re-run that libel case but to suggest that the circumstances might have been different in one respect. Had the case been conducted in America, the fact that the country’s spy agencies were aware of the allegations, and believed them, would have probably found its way into the public domain. It certainly was in the public interest. Britain’s intelligence apparatus, and the political establishment, were instead happy to sit on their knowledge and see a newspaper successfully sued for libel."

Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter: “Michael Foot loved this country. That’s why he wanted to make it better for everyone. Smearing a dead man, who successfully defended himself when he was alive, is about as low as you can go.”

Rachel Oldroyd, managing editor of The Bureau for Investigative Journalism, welcoming a European Court of Human Rights judgment that mass surveillance by GCHQ and other intelligence agencies without adequate safeguards to protect the freedom of the press is unlawful: “The Bureau believes the freedom of the press is a vital cornerstone of democracy and that journalists must be able to protect their sources. We are particularly concerned about the chilling effect that the threat of state surveillance has on whistleblowers who want to expose wrongdoing, and this ruling will force our government to put safeguards in place. It is an extremely good day for journalism.”

The Swindon Advertiser NUJ chapel in a statement after publisher Newsquest proposed more  redundancies: "The newsroom at the Swindon Advertiser was knocked sideways by the announcement on Friday that it is set to lose two members of its features department and the sports editor. The proposed cuts are being made to an editorial department that is already slashed to the bone following the loss of three subs, a news editor and the web editor to redundancy just before Christmas last year. Since then the newsroom has lost the assistant news editor and the deputy editor to more lucrative and probably less stressful employment in PR...The affected staff, who were described as ‘resources’ in their consultation letters, now face having to justify their existence in interviews. It is a horrific situation. They are being asked to fight among themselves for their survival."

Natalie Sanders, managing editor, of the newly launched Uranus Examiner serving the town of Uranus in Missouri, on the naming of the newspaper,  as quoted by BBC News: "We had thought about 'Constitution', but most of the people who love us, and who were part of coming up with the name, liked the Examiner better."

David Simon asked in a Rolling Stone interview why the media is disliked by so many: "We were always disliked by everybody. It just never metastasized into a political philosophy because we never had somebody who was, frankly, as morally depraved as the current president. Trump’s willing to trade on American fundamentals in a way that no other national leader has attempted since Huey Long. It’s populism wedded to totalitarianism. Very few people have been so devoid of ethic to go there. But it was always there. You felt it if you were a reporter and you went to your mailbox and read the furious rage of random people whose candidates were not supported or whose enemies were not vanquished in the pages of the newspaper."


Thursday, 13 September 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Polly Toynbee's dream job in journalism to how Burt Reynold's bombed the National Enquirer with manure

Polly Toynbee, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions on the opportunity she most regrets missing out on: "The Daily Mail has just appointed a new editor. I did so want that job more than any other in journalism...I would've liked the chance to turn it into a Guardian-type paper."

Elon Musk in an email to the Guardian after being asked about smoking a joint during an interview:  Guardian is the most insufferable newspaper on planet Earth”.

Barack Obama, as reported by Business insider"I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them 'enemies of the people'."

Geordie Greig in a speech to Daily Mail journalists, as reported by Jim Waterson in the Guardian: "The new editor, who replaced Paul Dacre after his 26 years in charge, said he wanted the paper to be 'forward-looking and valuing of our traditions' and use 'persistence, ruthless cunning, polite persuasion and relentless drive' in a bid to overtake the Sun to become the best-selling daily newspaper in Britain."

Lancashire Post chief news reporter Brian Ellis @BrianEllis7 on Twitter: "There are now only 17,000 frontline print journalists covering the whole of the UK, around 6,000 fewer than in 2007. Who is going to hold the establishment to account when we've all gone? Support your local papers - it will be a poorer world without them."

Jim Dao on why the New York Times published its controversial anonymous op-ed by a White 
House insider: "In our view, this Op-Ed offered a significant first-person perspective we haven’t presented to our readers before: that of a conservative explaining why they felt that even if working for the Trump administration meant compromising some principles, it ultimately served the country if they could achieve some of the president’s policy objectives while helping resist some of his worst impulses. We’ve certainly read excellent news stories that quoted anonymous officials making similar points and criticizing the president’s temperament and chaotic style. What distinguished this essay from those news articles was that it conveyed this point of view in a fleshed-out, personal way, and we felt strongly that the public should have a chance to evaluate it for themselves. The only way that could happen was for us to publish the essay without a byline."

Sir Alan Moses, Chairman of IPSO, in the press regulator's annual report“Successful press regulation depends on scrutiny of the judgement of editors. The central distinction between the press IPSO regulates and babble on the web, is that the content of it depends on the judgement of editors; it is their responsibility to comply with the Editors’ Code. IPSO’s duty is to hold them to that Code and provide guidance to avoid breaches in the future. IPSO stands at the boundary between protection of the public and freedom of speech; it preserves both bystriking a balance. I am confident and proud of our ability to continue to do so."

Newsquest editorial development director Toby Granville in a message to the company’s staff , as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “Due to a reader comment on one of our stories during live criminal proceedings, a crown court judge abandoned the trial and ordered a re-trial out of area. Our newspaper has also been reported to the Attorney General. In circumstances like this there could be a prosecution under the Contempt of Court Act as well as statutory power under the Courts Act 2003 that allows the courts to recover wasted costs of re-trial from a third party where the ‘serious conduct’ of that third party affects a case. Therefore (while I’m sure many of you deactivate them already in circumstances like this) the policy going forward must be to not allow comments on stories about live criminal proceedings. Please ensure your staff are aware.”

Burt Reynolds, who has died aged 82,  interviewed by the Observer Magazine in January 2017: "Dumping a helicopter full of horse shit on the National Enquirer made me feel great. They’d been writing crap about me for years so I thought it was only fitting. One Christmas Eve my pilot and I loaded my helicopter with manure from my ranch, flew over the building and watched it cascade down their giant Christmas tree."

  • Correction of the week from Brazilian news magazine Veja"The candidate likes to spend his free time reading Tolstoy, and not watching Toy Story, as originally reported"