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."

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