Thursday, 8 March 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From most people don't feel journalists look, sound, think, or feel like them to paper says sorry for a front page after 21 years

Amol Rajan giving the Bob Friend Lecture at the University of Kent: "My concern is that the crisis of trust in newspapers is directly related to the fact that most people don't feel journalists look, sound, think, or feel like them in the way they used to. The gradual decline of Britain's tabloid newspapers accentuates this. Of course the tabloids have done some awful things, and coarsened our culture; but in their heyday they were tribunes of the poor. The Mirror of my hero, Hugh Cudlipp, carried a slogan below its masthead: 'Forward with the People'. I just can't think of many British media organisations that espouse that philosophy now. Similarly, local papers made journalism a reasonably remunerated trade for those from poorer backgrounds around the country. But no more, for the most part."

Paul Cheal, Time Inc. UK group managing director, announcing NME is stop publishing a print version and go digital only, as reported by Music Business Worldwide: NME is one of the most iconic brands in British media and our move to free print has helped to propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on NME.COM. The print re-invention has helped us to attract a range of cover stars that the previous paid-for magazine could only have dreamed of. At the same time, we have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. Unfortunately we have now reached a point where the free weekly magazine is no longer financially viable. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”

New Statesman editor Jason Cowley on why the magazine is introducing a paywall: "Recent years have seen our print magazine revitalised, while our website has continued to introduce millions of readers to our celebrated journalism. But great writing isn’t cheap, and we don’t want to rely on advertisers alone. While we’re happy for you to continue to read some of our content for free, we’re asking those who get the most out of the New Statesman online to contribute to our journalism."

Index on Censorship in a statement: "Index on Censorship welcomes the announcement by Secretary of State Matthew Hancock that the government will not implement Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. Implementing Section 40 would have meant that Index, which refuses to sign up to a state-backed regulator – and many other small publishers – could have faced crippling court costs in any dispute, whether they won or lost a case. This would have threatened investigative journalists publishing important public interest stories, as well as those who challenge the powerful and wealthy."

The Times [£]: in a leader: The post-Leveson architecture of press regulation stands exposed as iniquitous and illiberal. Impress should get no further public funds. And press liberty should never again be treated by policymakers with such insouciant disregard. he post-Leveson architecture of press regulation stands exposed as iniquitous and illiberal. Impress should get no further public funds. And press liberty should never again be treated by policymakers with such insouciant disregard."

The Guardian in a leader: "Proceeding with Leveson 2 would raise the threat of press regulation while there is no sign of a regulatory framework for Silicon Valley firms that would make the polluter pay."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement"Leveson Part 2 is unfinished business. It is vital that the public learns the extent of the unlawful conduct within News International and other publications. Recent settlements made by Trinity Mirror with individuals whose phones had been hacked demonstrate the industrial scale of the problem. The corporate cover-ups of phone hacking has resulted in costly litigation, significant payoffs to hacking victims at the same time as ruining the careers of many journalists who have been shafted by their employers. This has all served to damage trust in journalism and completing this inquiry would play a crucial role in restoring that trust."

Neville Thurlbeck‏ @nthurlbeck on Twitter: "Having witnessed Leveson One from close quarters as a participant, I found it skewed against the tabloid press and a waste of time and public money. The only beneficiaries were the wallets of a few sneering lawyers."

Hacked Off director Dr Evan Harris in a statement“This is probably the first time that a Government has over-ruled the views of the judicial Chair of a statutory Inquiry by cancelling an inquiry against his will. If this was any other industry the press would demanding that an inquiry must happen immediately, but when it is about them they applaud the cover-up of a cover up. The Government will find it very difficult to maintain this cover-up for long.”

Chris Williamson MP‏@DerbyChrisW on Twitter: "Today's statement in the House of Commons, formally closing the 2nd half of the #Leveson Inquiry, demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Tories are in the pocket of the gutter press. But make no mistake #ChangeIsComing with the next Labour Govt."

Culture secretary Matt Hancock, in his Commons statement on scrapping Leveson 2 and aiming to repeal Section 40, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage“Our local papers, in particular, are under severe pressure. Local papers help to bring together local voices and shine a light on important local issues – in communities, in courtrooms, in council chambers. And as we devolve power further to local communities, they will become even more important. And yet, over 200 local newspapers have closed since 2015, including two in my own constituency. There are also new challenges, that were only in their infancy back in 2011. We have seen the dramatic and continued rise of social media, which is largely unregulated. And issues like clickbait, fake news, malicious disinformation and online abuse, which threaten high quality journalism. A foundation of any successful democracy is a sound basis for political discourse. This is under threat from these new forces that require urgent attention. These are today’s challenges and this is where we need to focus.”

Olly Duff in the I: "The two most powerful publishers on Earth, Google and Facebook, have created a socially destructive news ecosystem in the UK that imperils thousands of titles. This includes small publishers vital to the communities they serve, as well as national newsrooms needed to scrutinise the most powerful interests. Digital advertising revenue is siphoned off by the tech giants with no recompense for the “content” shared. With every passing month newspapers shutter their doors. This is unsustainable, a crisis for our democracy and society. The Culture Secretary, Matt Hancock, wants a solution, and has announced a review into the future sustainability of news publishers. Without lasting change here, Britain’s brilliant investigative journalism will become an anachronism, harming us all."

Jeremy Vine‏@theJeremyVine on Twitter: "This reminds me of the old adage: 'Never pick an argument with a man who buys his ink by the gallon'."

Mike Norton, editor of the Bristol Post, apologising for a front page published 21 years ago featuring 16 police pictures of black men jailed for dealing in crack cocaine under the headline 'Faces of Evil': "I don’t blame the journalists who conceived it. I wasn’t the editor then but - if I had been - I’m sure I would have published the page, too. But it was a huge mistake. That one image essentially destroyed what little credibility and trust the Post had within Bristol’s African and Afro-Caribbean community. So, today, I want to apologise for that page. I want to say sorry for the hurt it caused - and continues to cause - to an entire community of my city. Moreover, I want to try to make amends for it."


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