Thursday, 2 August 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Sun gagged from naming flasher by Cliff privacy ruling to when journalists were working class troublemakers

The Sun reports"A TOP union official suspended over claims of flashing has used the Sir Cliff Richard privacy ruling to keep it secret. A whistleblower saw vile internet blog pictures of the person allegedly performing solo sex acts at work and on public transport. An internal investigation was launched but when The Sun made inquiries, the official hired expensive celebrity lawyers Carter Ruck in a bid to avoid being named. They argued that, as a judge last week ruled the BBC invaded Sir Cliff’s privacy by reporting a police raid at his home, the internal investigation was also private."

Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray  on the Cliff Richard privacy ruling: “Sir Justice Mann said that for anyone that was under an investigation it is now not legal under privacy laws to say that that individual is under investigation. You cannot name them. This has already had a deadening effect on the free press in England and Wales. I have spoken with editors and news editors who have said that they are not quite sure what to do now. It is not just naming someone but treading carefully about what the police are doing and whether the police are investigating somebody. If the police are raiding someone’s home for instance and it is reported to us can we now report that this is taking place? Is there a risk that we will actually be infringing someone’s privacy rights? At the very least this law needs to be clarified.”

The Times [£] in a leader on the Cliff Richard privacy ruling: "The ruling requires that the BBC pay substantial damages, amounting to £210,000, including an amount for damage to Sir Cliff’s reputation. This award goes far beyond that in any previous privacy case and will have a chilling effect on the media because it enables claims to be brought in privacy that have been traditionally brought under libel law. The BBC must also pay Sir Cliff’s costs, so far totalling £850,000. The judgment will have a predictable and damaging outcome: it will protect the wealthy and famous from scrutiny, and not only them. It is an incursion into the ability of journalists to report on matters of public interest, and specifically the actions of the police. If the media does not scrutinise the workings of the legal and policing system, then who will?"

CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta on Twitter: "Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy."

Pic: Getty Images
New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger on his meeting with Donald Trump, as reported by the Washington Post: “I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous. I told him that although the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists ‘the enemy of the people.’ I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”

Fox News president Jay Wallace in a statement after CNN White House reporter Kaitlan Collins (above) was banned from a White House event for asking "inappropriate questions": "We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press."

Jon Sopel in the Observer on covering Trump: "It is the reporting job of a lifetime. There’s no way I could have imagined this four years ago. On air, I’ve talked about grabbing pussy, shithole countries, and being spanked with a rolled-up magazine. I want to do it a while yet, but it is exhausting as well as exhilarating. It’s both my privilege and my curse."

The Economist @TheEconomist on Twitter: "In Asia, a region with 4.5bn people, only two countries, Taiwan and Japan, are considered to have a free press #OpenFuture."

Peter Sands in InPublishing on grammatical errors in copy: "What is really needed is a return to a culture where mistakes are not tolerated. I teach young journalists – national and regional, online and print. Almost all boast a degree or post-grad in journalism. After red-penning dozens of wrong possessive apostrophes, missing hyphens, misspellings, incorrect pronouns and mismatched verbs and nouns, I ask if anyone has gone through their copy in detail before. The answer is usually ‘no’. They have spent three years studying a degree in journalism and still write ‘a 27 year old engineer was electrocuted but suffered only minor injuries’, ‘its not known what the Cabinet are discussing’ and ‘Mo Salah who's 32 goal season broke the record’. It takes time and determination to learn the basic tools of their trade. And if the message from the top is that it doesn’t really matter, why should they make the effort? If the newsdesk allows misspellings in headlines and text on the website and if journalists get no feedback on basic errors, they will, understandably, believe grammar is a low priority."

Troublemakers: Lemmon and Matthau in The Front Page
Kyle Pope in the Columbia Journalism Review: "For students of journalism history, from The Front Page to the Daily Bugle, the dismal journalism jobs picture is familiar. For decades in America, reporters were working-class troublemakers, the kind of people who would walk into a room (or, more often, a bar) and prompt everyone else in the place to groan. Then, beginning in the late 1980s, journalism became professionalized. Reporters snagged book deals. They started appearing on TV. Their salaries climbed. That sense of being an outsider faded away. In fact, it was insider cred that a lot of these people most craved. Before long, journalism became cool...Now we’ve come full circle. Terrible pay for reporters, a shortage of jobs, even a social stigma in some circles have filtered the business to the point that most of the journalists I meet—and especially the young people trying to get into the field—are here because they desperately want to be here, and can’t imagine themselves anywhere else."


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