Thursday, 19 April 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From 45 journalists working to finish investigations by murdered Daphne Caruana Galizia to why the BBC must win against Cliff Richard or police will act in secrecy

Laurent Richard, founder of the Forbidden Stories platform, in the Guardian: "You killed the messenger. But you won’t kill the message. Over the past six months 45 journalists from 15 different countries have been working in secret to complete and publish investigations by the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed on 16 October 2017. Cooperation is without a doubt the best protection. What is the point of killing a journalist if 10, 20 or 30 others are waiting to carry on their work?"

Peter Caruana Galizia interviewed in the Guardian about the police investigation into his wife's murder in a car bombing: “It is clear to us that the three men arraigned so far are simply contractors commissioned by a third party. My sons and I are not convinced that our government really wants to establish who sent them, for fear such persons are in fact very close to our government. For this reason we may never know the truth.”

John Sweeney‏ @johnsweeneyroar on Twitter: "Did he fall? Or was he pushed? Maxim Borodin was a Russian journalist who broke the story about Wagner hiring Russian mercenaries to fight in Syria. Now he’s dead. People who equate Russia with the West need to get this. In Russia if you oppose power, you may die."

Committee to Protect Journalists Europe and Central Asia program co-ordinator Nina Ognianova: "We call on Russian authorities to launch an effective, fair, and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Maksim Borodin's death and not to rule out foul play. Russia has a record of brushing aside suspicious deaths of members of the press. We urge authorities on both the regional and federal level to consider that Borodin may have been attacked and that his investigative journalism was the motive."

BuzzFeed UK's Heidi Blake @HeidilBlake on Twitter:"Utterly blown away that our From Russia With Blood series is a Pulitzer finalist. Working with @SchoofsFeed, @TomBWarren, @JasonLeopold, @Richard_AHolmes,  @jane__bradley &  @alexcampbell on this story (and many others) at @BuzzFeedNews has been the greatest privilege of my career."

Caroline Lucas @CarolineLucas on Twitter on the Windrush scandal: "Let us be very clear about what's happening. The Govt wants to create a hostile environment for migrants. This isn't a design flaw, it's central to their programme. Only perseverance from journalists like @ameliagentleman & MPs like @DavidLammy that caused Govt to think again."

Alan Travis, the Guardian's home affairs editor, who is leaving the paper after 34 years reflecting on the changes he's seen: "Whitehall departments, including the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice, have completely closed down, with very limited access to briefings with ministers or even senior officials. All but the most routine press inquiries are now channelled through a ministerial special adviser, which means it can take hours to receive even the blandest replies. There are a few gems left in Whitehall press offices who take the trouble to really make sure they know about their subject and have the confidence to discuss them with a specialist journalist in a non-confrontational way. But they are few and far between."

Mick Hume on Spiked: "Rod Liddle of The Sunday Times, the Sun and the Spectator has been reported to police and press regulators for making a ‘morally repugnant’ joke about Wales and its native tongue, with Welsh officials demanding new laws to ‘stop these comments… and to prevent language hate’. Meanwhile, the moral guardians of theatreland want Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail banned from writing reviews for his ‘blatantly racist attitude’, after the critic criticised a black actor in a Royal Shakespeare Company play...attacks on these very different columnists reveal the underlying truth about the campaign to curb press freedom further in Britain. Whatever those leading it may claim, that campaign is not about upholding the rule of law, protecting the public interest or any other apparently high-minded principle. It is about silencing dissenting voices and thought-policing an increasingly conformist intellectual climate."

The Times [£] in a leader: "No traditional publisher is allowed to merely shrug its shoulders when accused of plagiarism, or copyright theft, or facilitating hate, violence, self-harm, stalking, paedophilia or terrorism. Successes in combating online child pornography show that, when properly motivated, tech giants are well-placed to solve the problems they themselves have exacerbated. While there is a balance to be struck between the privacy of users and the transparency of social media platforms, it should not be the platforms’ choice where to strike it. It is no longer enough for technology companies to smirk behind algorithms and claim that there is nothing they can do. Where their inventions are ravaging the norms of law, culture and society, they must come up with solutions. If they will not, they must expect governments to tame them with the full force of the law. If that hits their vast profits, that, too, is their problem."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian on Cliff Richard's privacy case against the BBC: "If Richard’s action were to succeed, the ramifications for press freedom and, as a corollary, for open justice, are awful to contemplate. It could create a situation in which the media would be unable to report the early stages of police investigations, such as revealing the identity of arrested people. They would enjoy anonymity until and unless they were charged. This would be a fundamental change to custom and practice. It would have the effect of allowing police officers to operate in secrecy and would deny journalists the right to scrutinise the activities of the police. The media’s role as a public watchdog, holding power to account and acting on behalf of the public interest, would be fatally compromised."


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