Thursday, 13 June 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From demagoguery not the media is the enemy of the people to if we gain Boris Johnson as PM will we lose Max Hastings?

Bryan Cranston, after winning a Tony Award for his portrayal of a broadcast journalist in Network, as reported by the New York Times“I would like to dedicate this to all the real journalists around the world, both in the press — the print media — and the broadcast media, who actually are in the line of fire with their pursuit of the truth. The media is not the enemy of the people. Demagoguery is the enemy of the people.”

Patrick Wintour @patrickwintour on Twitter: "The whole habit of blending press conferences with political rallies is grim. Nasty feature of 2015 election and before - a practice followed by Labour as much as the Tories. Audience jeers a hostile question, and then gracious leader urges his flock to show tolerance."

Chris Cook @xtophercook on Twitter: "Michael Gove taking cocaine while a journalist is paired in my mind with Sarah Sands saying journalism is like going to wonderful embassy parties where you meet amazing people. I can’t help but wonder if I’m doing it wrong."

Rory Cellan-Jones @ruskin147 on Twitter: "Wife and I who were both journalists in London in that period now feeling desperately provincial that we got by on white wine and pints of London Pride..."

The Guardian reports: "Russia’s three major newspapers have put out nearly identical front pages of their Monday editions in a show of solidarity with a detained journalist. Kommersant, Vedomosti and RBK, among the most respected daily newspapers in the country, published a joint editorial under the headline “I am/We are Ivan Golunov”, calling for a transparent investigation into the case of the prominent investigative journalist. Golunov was beaten and kept in custody for 12 hours without a lawyer."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Today The Times stands shoulder to shoulder with courageous Russian journalists and citizens defending press freedom... Targeting journalists is almost always counter-productive. Mr Golunov has written critically about the army, censorship of the media and the running of Moscow city. Predictably, interest in his work has rocketed since his arrest, and his articles have been placed under the Creative Commons licence to allow readers around the world to share the stories far and wide. "
  • On 11th June, the Russian police announced it dropped all charges against Ivan Golunov.
International Federation of Journalists general secretary Anthony Bellanger in a statement: "The mobilisation of civil society and newsrooms in support of Ivan Golunov is good news for the state of press freedom in Russia. It indicates that the regime can no longer silence critical voices with impunity. Harassment of journalists in Russia has to stop."

Sean Spicer @seanspicer on Twitter: "I wonder what female journalists think of @TheAtlantic @JeffreyGoldberg ‘s comments: 'It’s really, really hard to write a 10,000-word cover story. There are not a lot of journalists in America who can do it. The journalists in America who do it are almost exclusively white males'.”

Caitlin Moran @caitlinmoran on Twitter: "I don't know a single British female journalist in my social circle who couldn't knock out a 10,000 word piece in between childcare, three other pieces, dying their eyebrows, and pissing around on Twitter posting Madonna memes. So I don't know what's going wrong in America."

PA City editor Simon Neville @SimonNeville ‏on Twitter: "Dear PRs. Gentle reminder: saying 'that's not a story' is never a sensible line to use on a journalist."

Committee to Protect Journalists executive director Joel Simon in a statement condemning police raids on ABC in Australia: "The raids on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation newsroom and the home of reporter Annika Smethurst are deeply troubling and directly threaten Australia's standing as a country that respects press freedom. Because government abuse can be hidden or covered up through the assertion of national security, journalists must have the ability to report on such matters and protect their confidential sources. Democratic governments understand this, and provide journalists the legal protections they need to do their job."

The Sunday Times [£] on Bryan Appleyard being made CBE: "Whenever something complicated needs explaining in an accessible style, the cry goes up from Sunday Times editors: 'Get me Appleyard.' During 34 years with the newspaper, Bryan Appleyard has explained the mysteries of the brain, gene editing, intelligent design and the cultural politics of Justin Bieber’s hairstyle."

Christopher Spencer aka Coldwar Steve @Coldwar_Steve whose work has featured on Twitter on being commissioned to do a Brexit cover for TIME magazine: “I have never created something specifically for an American/international audience before, being commissioned to do the cover of TIME was mind-blowing and capped off a remarkable first half of 2019 for me.”

Blast from the past: Max Hastings, who as editor of the Daily Telegraph was Boris Johnson's boss,  in the Daily Mail in 2012: "I would not trust him with my wife nor — from painful experience — with my wallet. It is unnecessary to take any moral view about his almost crazed infidelities, but it is hard to believe that any man so conspicuously incapable of controlling his own libido is fit to be trusted with controlling the country...If the day ever comes that Boris Johnson becomes tenant of Downing Street, I shall be among those packing my bags for a new life in Buenos Aires or suchlike, because it means that Britain has abandoned its last pretensions to be a serious country."

 [£] =paywall

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From Trump trusts me to be fair says Piers Morgan to police tell reporter vile online abuse is part of being a public figure

CNN's Brian Stelter @brianstelter on Twitter: "When I asked @PiersMorgan how he has snagged 3 sit-downs with Trump since Inauguration Day, he replied with characteristic thunder: 'He trusts me to be fair, something that so few journalists seem prepared to be about President Trump'."

Verified account

Krishnan Guru-Murthy @krishgm on Twitter: "Trump gives interviews to The Sun and Times. Theresa May calls questions only from Sky and the Times. Trump sees Gove privately. There’s a theme. It starts with M and ends with h. And has urdoc in the middle."

NUJ assistant general secretary Seamus Dooley in a statement welcoming the decision of three appeal judges at the High Court in Belfast to quash warrants for the arrest of No Stone Unturned documentary makers Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey: “This is a victory for Trevor and Barry, for the NUJ and for press freedom.The High Court has affirmed the right of journalists to protect confidential sources of information and provided clear and unambiguous directions for the appropriate manner in which the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the courts should behave in seeking to access journalistic material. There can be no shortcuts when it comes to fundamental principles of human rights.”

Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey in a statement, quoted by the Belfast Telegraph: "The police have dropped the case for one reason only: Finally, they accept that by arresting us and raiding our homes and offices, they were the ones that acted unlawfully...The Lord Chief Justice told the court last week that we had no case to answer. We were right to protect our sources. The PSNI put the cudgel in the hands of Durham Constabulary and let them loose on us and on press freedom itself."

Rory Cellan-Jones @ruskin147 on Twitter: "PR emails to ask whether I received her previous email headed: ‘Revealed: Brits’ most desired smart bathroom technology.’Dilemma - should I tell her where I flushed it?"

Roy Greenslade on the Sun's 50th anniversary  in the British Journalism Review"The paper that was once Murdoch's cash cow, providing him with the funds to expand his empire, now cannot generate profits. At the beginning of this year, News UK declared that it had lost £91 million. The game is surely up. It is simply impossible to imagine The Sun lasting a further half-century, or even much beyond Murdoch's death. Murdoch is 88."

Playwright James Graham @mrJamesGraham on Twitter: "So gutting that the Evening Standard is losing its theatre critics @henryhitchings @FionaLondonarts. The arts is one of the very last things we're heavyweights in. Art changes lives. The city's local paper MUST champion it. Its 60yr old theatre award ceremony is hollow without it."

The News Media Association objecting to the Information Commissioners Office Age Appropriate Design draft code:“Unless amended, the draft code published for consultation by the ICO would undermine the news media industry, its journalism and business innovation online. The ICO draft code would require commercial news media publishers to choose between their online news services being devoid of audience or stripped of advertising, with even editorial content subject to ICO judgment and sanction, irrespective of compliance with general law and codes upheld by the courts and relevant regulators."

BBC director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth in the Observer: "The BBC is trying to report on and analyse an issue of deep complexity that crosses traditional party boundaries. Are we broken? Well, we pick up bruises most days of the week, but that goes with the territory. I don’t see any fractured limbs. Or even a lack of confidence, as your commentators suggest. People have the right to their opinions about the BBC. But don’t mistake them for facts. Yes, we interview people that some might not want to see or hear. That’s never seen as proper journalism, properly carried out. Instead we’re told we’re giving them 'a platform'.”

Guardian readers' editor Paul Chadwick on the difference between those who phone or email the paper and those who write letters: "Emails and phone calls naturally relate mostly to very recently published material and to the most prominent and controversial issues of the day. These communications may be formulated in anger or exasperation, and sent with haste that is evidenced by typos and misspellings. Letter writers are generally different. They mull. The topics they choose often suggest considerable time spent reflecting. And the issues they raise frequently have nothing to do with recent Guardian coverage of news and current affairs."

Amy Fenton, chief reporter of The Mail, Barrow-in-Furness, on HoldTheFrontPage“Over the last 18 months I’ve been subjected to some of the most vile and vociferous abuse on social media solely for doing my job. I’ve been threatened, targeted, belittled and humiliated by mostly anonymous bullies who seem to relish the prospect of hurting and scaring me. During that time I have involved the police on three separate occasions, for what I and my editor believed were legitimate grounds, only to be told that as a ‘public figure’ such abuse has to be expected."

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: Booing of journalists at Farage rallies shows we've been Trumped to if Assange is jailed are investigative reporters next?

Lewis Goodall in the Observer: "People have spoken of the fear of the Americanisation (by which they really mean the Trumpification) of British politics. I followed Farage from his first rally to the last and I can assure them, it is already here. The tenor of the rallies, the rhetoric from the stage, the way the party’s messages are communicated. The bitterness, the anger, the contempt of the crowd, the boos for journalists."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, in a statement welcoming the indication that the High Court is set to quash the warrants against No Stone Unturned documentary makers Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey: "We welcome the decision of the High Court and eagerly await the formal quashing of the warrants on Friday. Three High Court judges have vindicated the stance taken by Trevor, Barry and the NUJ. We have said all along that there was no legal basis for the searches and the intrusion into the family life of our members."

Dame Liz Forgan, in the Guardian on former Ham & High editor Gerald Isaaman, who has died aged 85: “Gerry Isaaman is what you mean when you mourn the loss of local and regional papers. He knew his patch, posh and poor. He was a player in local affairs but also a formidable critic of local politicians. He thought global and acted local. And he hired and trained an extraordinary band of future politicians, scholars, and national figures in culture and the media.”

Hunter Davies in the Camden New Journal on Gerald Isaaman:  “Gerry was ‘Mr Hampstead’. He had a finger in every pie, knew everyone and everything, and even when he didn’t he knew someone who did. But he didn’t just know the gen, he got involved. He was in many ways the last of the old editors who saw themselves as part of the fabric of the community, with a social conscience, a political nose, who was not just passing through on the way to Fleet Street, to better things, but felt he was here to stay, to serve his parish, his readers, the locality.”

Reach's regionals digital editor-in-chief Alison Gow asked by Press Gazette what she was most proud of: "Playing a small role in the digital transformation of our regional newsrooms. Working in any disrupted industry, at any level, is hard! You can’t ever be complacent or think 'that’s it, we’ve done it' because the world shifts, or what you know of it shifts, and you start the process again. I can’t believe how far we’ve travelled, culturally and operationally – I don’t know what will come next but I feel we are better journalists now. We listen more, react faster, have bigger audiences we talk to more openly and regularly than ever – as a result of the tumult of recent years."

Sky's special correspondent  Alex Crawford"The Sky News crew - clearly identified as journalists - was deliberately targeted and attacked by Syrian regime forces using military drones to pinpoint our location, before launching a series of strikes."
Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary: "We are appalled by this deliberate targeting of our colleagues from Sky News and we remind President Bashar al Assad that journalism is not a crime and that he should abide by his international commitment towards press freedom. The Syrian president should be providing the media with the necessary safety to carry out their duties, not treat them as terrorists to be attacked. "

Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg, interviewed by Ray Snoddy in InPublishing magazine, on Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's plans to join with Canada to launch a worldwide campaign to protect journalists and the media, promoted by a conference in London in July: “I am always cautious about these kinds of initiatives because I worry they are more about talk than action. We haven’t seen a response from the UK on Saudi Arabia on the Jamal Khashoggi killing. There has been condemnation but we haven’t seen any further action or demonstration that perhaps the UK won’t do business with, or otherwise support, countries that systematically harm their journalists.”

Ben Woods in the Sunday Times [£]: "National newspaper the i and more than 200 regional titles could be auctioned off as the owner of JPI Media starts hunting for buyers. A group of bondholders led by GoldenTree Asset Management has appointed bankers at Stella EOC to lay the groundwork for a potential sale of part, or all, of the business formerly known as Johnston Press."

Sabine Dolan, interim executive director of Reporters Without Borders North America bureau: “The latest charges against Assange could be truly disastrous for the future of national security reporting in the United States. We have seen the Espionage Act used far too many times against journalistic sources already. RSF worries that this extraordinary measure by the Trump administration could set a dangerous precedent that could be used to prosecute journalists and publishers in the future for engaging in activities that investigative reporting relies on.”

Alan Rusbridger in the Observer"Assange is a problematic figure in many ways. But the attempt to lock him up under the Espionage Act is a deeply troubling move that should serve as a wake-up call to all journalists. You may not like Assange, but you’re next."


Thursday, 23 May 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: Prince Harry wins Splash helicopter pics privacy payout to Guardian re-writes style book to reflect scale of climate crisis

Court statement on behalf of Prince Harry after he won damages from the Splash news agency for breach of privacy, as reported by the Guardian: "The helicopter flew over the home at a low altitude allowing Splash to take photographs of and into the living area and dining area of the home and directly into the bedroom. The photographs were taken for commercial gain and syndicated for that purpose. As a result, the photographs were published by the Times newspaper and elsewhere online by a number of other media outlets. No consent was given to the action taken by Splash... The syndication and publication of the photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of the duke and the home to the extent that they are no longer able to live at the property.”

Stephanie Sugars for the  Committee to Protect Journalists: "Since announcing his candidacy in the 2016 presidential elections to the end of his second year in office, U.S. President Donald Trump has sent 1,339 tweets about the media that were critical, insinuating, condemning, or threatening. In lieu of formal appearances as president, Trump has tweeted over 5,400 times to his more than 55.8 million followers; over 11 percent of these insulted or criticized journalists and outlets, or condemned and denigrated the news media as a whole."

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "The Mainstream Media has never been as corrupt and deranged as it is today. FAKE NEWS is actually the biggest story of all and is the true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE! That’s why they refuse to cover the REAL Russia Hoax. But the American people are wise to what is going on....."

Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear @bendepear on Twitter: "We hope to resolve our access ban from Brexit Party events ASAP. We were unaware of the 6-week ban until last Thursday when we broadcast this Nigel Farage investigation, revealing he had been bankrolled by £450k from Arron Banks. Until then we had full access, including to Farage."
Marina Hyde @MarinaHyde on Twitter: "The other broadcasters should show solidarity and decline to cover until Channel 4 is reinstated - this is just Trump bullshit and should be resisted."

  • The Brexit Party lifted its ban after a meeting between Channel 4 News and Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice.

Amy Fenton, chief reporter of Newsquest's The Mail, Cumbria, attending a meeting of parent company Gannett shareholders in there US"I've travelled all the way from England to be here today because amid all the uncertainty and confusion facing our industry I wanted to act as a reminder that you have some incredibly talented and dedicated reporters, here and in the UK, who work their socks off, but ultimately we do that because we love the papers we work for and the communities we serve. I'm here to ask you to bear in mind those committed journalists when considering any changes to the company."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after being asked by a reporter if he was being accused of “receiving money” through separate payments from the club’s Abu Dhabi owners, following City's FA Cup win, as reported by the Observer“Do you know the question you’re asking me? Did I receive money for another situation, right now, today? Honestly, do you think I deserve to have this type of question, the day we won the treble, did I receive money? Are you accusing me of receiving money?”

Jane Bradley @jane__bradley on Twitter: "I’ve never seen this before: a government press release/advert on its much criticised Universal Credit dressed up as 4-page investigative news report, basically framed around the ‘fake news’ narrative."

The Guardian on updating its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world: "Instead of 'climate change' the preferred terms are 'climate emergency, crisis or breakdown' and 'global heating' is favoured over 'global warming', although the original terms are not banned."
Guardian editor-in-chief Katherine Viner“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue. The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity. Increasingly, climate scientists and organisations from the UN to the Met Office are changing their terminology, and using stronger language to describe the situation we’re in.”

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From Nigel Farage's war on BBC is out of the Trump playbook to UK's greatest tabloid headline was fake chews

Nigel Farage in response to questioning on the Andrew Marr Show“What’s wrong with the BBC? I’ve been going round the country speaking at packed rallies every night and do you know who’s not there? The BBC. And from this line of questioning I can see why. You’re just not interested, are you?.. I've never in my life seen a more ridiculous interview than this. You are not prepared to talk about what is happening in this country."

Ian Birrell @ianbirrell on Twitter: "Farage calling BBC 'now the enemy' shows how much he is following the Trump playbook suggested by his white supremacist pal Steve Bannon - tell lies, attack critics, flip-flop shamelessly, pose as anti-elitist - and then berate the media even as it gives you non-stop platforms."

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "After the @afneil/Shapiro encounter and the Farage/Marr meltdown I hope the BBC is urgently thinking about how to handle demagogues who refuse to submit to journalistic questioning. Normal rules not working."

Rob Burley, editor of BBC Live Political Programmes  @RobBurl on Twitter:  "My timeline before the interview with Farage: you are pro-Brexit and promoting Farage. My timeline since the Farage interview: you are metropolitan liberals and you hate Nigel and Brexit. The truth: we ask difficult questions of all politicians without fear or favour."

Marc Reeves @marcreeves on Twitter: "Always amazed at the resilience of Mr Burley as he patiently, endlessly, explains to the wingnuts on both left and right How Journalism Works. Keep it up, Rob - they might get it one day."

Nick Cohen in the Observer:"Brexit has as much been a failure of British journalism as British politics. The basic questions have not been asked. You promised the electorate a trade deal with the EU should be the easiest in history. You said the German car industry would force Merkel to capitulate. Are you a fool or a liar or both? When the honourable exceptions have been listed, the British media have not held politicians to account or followed stories regardless of the consequences."

The White House in a statement after President Trump granted a pardon to former Daily Telegraph owner Conrad Black, who was convicted of fraud charges, stating he had: “Broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character. This impressive list includes former Secretary of State Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Sir Elton John, Rush Limbaugh, the late William F. Buckley, Jr., and many additional notable individuals.”

Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times [£] on Danny Baker: "I’ll miss his cheerful Radio 5 Live show and I hope he comes back soon, having probably been to a re-education camp. If he does, here’s a tip: stay off Twitter. It is a pit of madness inhabited by the perpetually enraged, where nuance and context don’t exist and everything you say will destroy you."

The Sun @TheSun on Twitter: "Freddie Starr joins his hamster. RIP our favourite pet-eating comedian."

Ray Snoddy @RaymondSnoddy on Twitter: "The "truth"about Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster from Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie - story heard in a Fleet Street pub from the wife of a newspaper executive whose friend had told her over lunch ...nothing like fact-checked journalism...In fact the story was that Starr had put the hamster sandwich in his mouth - not even that he ate it! Starr protested for the rest of his life that nothing like it had actually happened."

According to the i newspaper: "A vegetarian since his teens, Starr wrote with tangible exasperation in his 2001 autobiography: “I have never eaten or even nibbled a live hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, mouse, shrew, vole or any other small mammal.”

Mark Lawson in the Guardian: "Starr’s sensational supper never happened: the late publicist Max Clifford admitted to making it up. It was a clever invention, because, whereas readers would have found it hard to believe that, say, Des O’Connor ate pets, the anecdote seemed plausible, given Starr’s dangerous, impulsive performing persona."


Thursday, 9 May 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From lay off Nicholas Witchell to Fleet Street's response to climate emergency could leave it doomed to extinction

Kay Burley @KayBurley on Twitter: "For those who think they can do a better job than the supreme professional #nickwitchell, I’d like to see you try. Doctors bury their mistakes, lawyers jail theirs and TV journalists broadcast theirs. Get off his case and get on with your day."

Jeremy Corbyn in a letter to the president of the Board of Jewish Deputies, reported by the Jewish Chronicletakes aim at The Times and columnist Daniel Finkelstein: "I note that the Hobson story was written by a Conservative party peer in a newspaper whose editorial policy, and owner, have long been hostile to Labour."

Mark Kleinman on Sky News: "A consortium of hedge funds which seized control of Johnston Press last year is plotting a quickfire strategic review that could trigger the sale of prized newspaper assets such as the i and The Scotsman. Sky News has learnt that the owners of JPIMedia, the company's new name, are sounding out advisers about launching an auction of parts or all of the business, which publishes hundreds of regional titles.City insiders said this weekend that the likeliest outcome was the sale of the i in one transaction, and the rest of the group in another. The likely valuations of the regional titles, which include the Yorkshire Post, Arbroath Herald and Belfast Newsletter, is unclear but is expected to reflect the dwindling financial prospects of news outlets hurt by the shift towards online, often free, rivals."

From The Times [£] obit on former Mirror journalist John Knight: "Knight belonged to Fleet Street’s finest tradition of bons vivants. Once he disappeared for lunch for three days. Upon his return he was asked where he had been. 'On the piss,' he said. 'Oh, thank goodness,' replied his editor. 'We were worried in case you were ill'.”

Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen J Adler in a statement: “We are enormously pleased that Myanmar has released our courageous reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. Since their arrests 511 days ago, they have become symbols of the importance of press freedom around the world. We welcome their return.”

Sean O'Neill @TimesONeill on Twitter: "Two journalists [Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney]  were arrested by armed police under the Official Secrets Act in Northern Ireland last year after exposing police collusion in the Loughinisland murders. But Downing Street says Gavin Williamson’s national security breach is a 'closed matter'."

Prisoners of Conscience chief executive Gary Allison: “Until 2014, we received a handful of application each year for emergency hardship grants for journalists. However, given the increasingly world-wide threats to freedom of speech and the often dangerous circumstances within which journalists report, the numbers applying for these grants are rising rapidly. We know there are many more people that need support, but due to the fact human rights defenders are so often driven underground, it’s impossible for us to calculate the exact scale of the problem. We want people to help us help others. Spread the word among colleagues that grants are available, and if you're able to, please donate. Because if journalists are not supported, their voices die. And in some cases, so do they.”

Simon Jack on BBC News: "The publishers of the Sun and now-defunct News of the World, along with the publishers of the Mirror Group newspapers, could face a total bill for phone hacking of up to £1bn, says the group representing the victims. Settlements to victims, plus legal costs, already total nearly £500m. There are hundreds more claims already under way and many thousands more victims who could potentially claim."

Gavin Esler on the Huffington Post: “Balance in politics has been easy in Britain because we have all fallen into the 20th century idea if you have a Tory on you get a Labour Party person. If you have the left you have the right. That’s not what politics is like anymore. Brexit is not only not just about left and right. Brexit is about expertise. You cannot and should not have someone who really knows what they are talking about balanced by someone who is essentially the village idiot.”

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "This is surely a diary paragraph rather than a front page splash? If this is the British press’s best response to climate emergency then Fleet Street is doomed to extinction (hopefully not taking the rest of us with them)."

 [£] = paywall