Thursday, 18 July 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From it's up to editors to decide what leaks to publish not the police to newsroom jobs in US down a quarter in 10 years

Met Police assistant Commissioner Neil Basu in a statement“The publication of leaked communications, knowing the damage they have caused or are likely to cause may also be a criminal matter. I would advise all owners, editors and publishers of social and mainstream media not to publish leaked government documents that may already be in their possession, or which may be offered to them, and to turn them over to the police or give them back to their rightful owner, Her Majesty’s Government.”

The Mail on Sunday in a leader: "There can be no serious argument, in a free democracy, that the act of helping the people to be better informed should be a matter for the police, who after all keep telling us that they already have too much to do and too few staff with which to do it. It is absurd, if not actually ridiculous, that a truthful and accurate leak of significant material, enabling the voters of this country to be better informed and to make better choices, should be met in Whitehall and in Scotland Yard by threats of arrest and prosecution."

David Davis in a letter to The Times [£]: "Any competent senior police officer should have been aware that only a matter of weeks ago the lord chief justice of Northern Ireland struck down the search warrants and, implicitly, the case against two journalists arrested for receiving stolen property and breaching the Official Secrets Act. Their “crime” was broadcasting a leaked document detailing the scandalous failure by police to solve a UVF murder in Loughinisland 25 years ago. Had the lord chief justice not struck down the case, investigative journalism in the UK would have been crippled. The action should have telegraphed to senior police officers like Mr Basu that prosecuting journalists for embarrassing the state is not what we do in the UK."

Jeremy Hunt @Jeremy_Hunt on Twitter: "These leaks damaged UK/US relations & cost a loyal ambassador his job so the person responsible MUST be held fully to account. But I defend to the hilt the right of the press to publish those leaks if they receive them & judge them to be in the public interest: that is their job."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Fortunately, both the candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party have stressed that freedom of the press is paramount. It would have been even more reassuring had the leader of the opposition come out in defence of the media’s duty to speak truth to power. Instead, Jeremy Corbyn has been focusing his energies on denouncing a BBC investigation into antisemitism within the Labour Party, aiming his fire as usual at the messenger and not the message."

The Sunday Times [£] in a leader on Neil Basu: "The decision on what to publish, as he must surely know, is a matter for editors, not for the police. We have not fought the cause of press freedom for centuries to plod our way into a police state."

Mark Di Stefano on BuzzzFeedNews: "A US sports website that wants to dominate the British football market has made a series of high-profile new signings, including an award-winning Guardian football writer and a BBC reporter with a massive following among London football fans.The incredible hiring spree has been described as "setting off a bomb" in the industry. BuzzFeed News has learned that the Athletic's latest hires are the Guardian’s chief football writer Daniel Taylor and the BBC’s top football correspondent David Ornstein."

Lionel Barber @lionelbarber on Twitter about Arron Banks suing Carole Cadwalladr: "Suing an individual - rather than an organisation -for libel is indeed a very important distinction. Clearly intended to muzzle @carolecadwalla who bust open the Cambridge Analytica scandal and is fearlessly pursuing questions about foreign money influence in Brexit referendum."

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "Stout defences on Twitter etc of attacks on journalism in relation to BBC Panorama and Mail on Sunday. I hope people will be equally watchful of the use of money & libel laws to silence the reporting of @carolecadwalla"

Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times [£]: "While British Jews are understandably concerned about the prospects of a Corbyn-led government, the BBC should also feel a chill. The Labour leader has already indicated that there will be a reckoning for those in the media he perceives as enemies. When the press ran with a story suggesting he had been a Czech intelligence service asset in the Cold War, he put out a video in which he warned the “media barons” that “change is coming”. I presume he meant some form of statutory control."

John Ware in the Observer on the Labour party's complaints about his Panorama programme about anti-semitism: “The Labour Party reaction last week did not terribly surprise me. But this is not the straight-talking party that Corbyn promised. This is an Arthur Daley version of Alastair Campbell’s spin.”

Matthew Parris in The Times [£] on fellow newspaper columnist Boris Johnson: "Brexit has become columnist-Johnson’s new and biggest idea: his easily grasped, all-singing, all-dancing and shrewdly voter-motivating grand project. Detail be damned: he will stick to it — until he doesn’t. He will pursue this pet project with all the clarity and force that a maestro of Fleet Street commentary can command. And if it falls, he will desert it with all the caprice that courses through a columnist’s veins. Boris never forgets that today’s column lines the bottom of tomorrow’s budgie cage."

Elizabeth Grieco at Pew Research Centre: "From 2008 to 2018, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 25%. In 2008, about 114,000 newsroom employees – reporters, editors, photographers and videographers – worked in five industries that produce news: newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable and “other information services” (the best match for digital-native news publishers). By 2018, that number had declined to about 86,000, a loss of about 28,000 jobs."

[£] =paywall

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