Thursday, 1 August 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From will the Boris Johnson press honeymoon last? to Dacre's damning view on the state of the British media

Owen Jones @OwenJones84 on Twitter: "I genuinely think that the official newspaper of a dictatorship would have been too embarrassed to print this."

Ex Sun editor David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "A piece of advice from an old hand. There is an inevitable sunlit upland Boris bounce in media. Give it two/three weeks. It will pass quickly."
Nick Cohen @NickCohen4 on Twitter: "The only bright note about having Vote Leave control the country is that it might bring an end to the dismally low standard of journalism of the last three years. Now they can be held to account for their promises."

Former colleague of Boris Johnson's new head of communications Lee Cain, an ex-reporter who used to dress up as the Mirror's Chicken, as reported by the Mirror: "Lee was actually a great Mirror Chicken. He attacked the role with real zeal and a great passion. The newsdesk were so impressed with his work he was used on a number of occasions. I vividly remember him coming in to the newsroom and prancing around still in his full outfit like a rooster. It’s hard to believe that a man with his past of taunting the cowardly Tories is now such a powerful figure inside No 10.”

Matt Chorley @MattChorley
on Twitter on talkRADIO's Ross Kempsell moving to No 10 as a policy adviser: "Congrats to Ross, but every time a journalist crosses over it is a setback for those of us who think our role is to interrogate, expose and ridicule the powerful, not audition for a job with them."

ITV Wales political editor Adrian Masters @adrianmasters84 on Twitter: "For the record then: on the Prime Minister’s first visit to Wales the national news outlets of Wales @ITVWales @BBCWalesNews and @WalesOnline weren’t allowed interviews. We were offered chance to ask questions but not to film them. Also for the record, I refused this offer. I hate to have turned down the chance to challenge Boris Johnson but I wouldn’t have been able to broadcast any of it. I’d have had to read quotes to the audience...I do think it’s a strange way to begin for a new Prime Minister who says he wants to strengthen the union to treat the main national news outlets this way."

Emily Bell in the GuardianIn the end, perhaps the biggest lesson the British media can learn from the US experience of Trump is that their work matters to people beyond their readership or audience, and to that end it needs to become more rigorous and more serious. On both sides of the Atlantic there is a circular firing squad of the commentariat who wonder, on a daily basis, how did this happen? The boring truth is that we need to pay attention to the substance and not the glockenspiel. When the circus has left town, we will need a reliable record to remind us of what happened, and how, and why."

Kyle Pope, the editor-in-chief of the Columbia Journalism Review, quoted in the Guardian: “I’d encourage UK reporters to be brutally honest with themselves and their audience, about who Boris is and what his motivations are, then move on. Don’t let him be their editor, don’t let him dictate the news cycle.”

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, in a statement after the High Court ruled bulk surveillance powers do not breach freedom of expression rights: "The legal judgment is a blow to journalists and press freedom. The union has consistently challenged the UK’s investigatory powers and the authorities continue to use extensive secret surveillance techniques. The NUJ is concerned that the ability to access journalistic communications, in particular bulk interceptions and interference, without prior independent authority, places whistleblowers and sources at risk, and makes it more difficult to hold those in power to account. This risks jeopardising the role of the media as the public’s watchdog."

Paul Dacre in The Spectator: "The British media generally is in a dreadful state: Sky, a great British success story, now owned by the Americans; ITV’s shares on the floor amid rumours of a foreign merger; the ubiquitous Johnston Press bankrupt; the cadavers of the once mighty Mirror and Express being asset-stripped; Murdoch’s News UK setting aside around half a billion pounds for damages to phone-hacking victims; the Guardian, with its shrill feminism and hard-left juvenilia, dependent on charity; the Standard (what sublime hypocrisy is its editor George Osborne’s support for Boris) being investigated for its financial links to a Saudi regime that murders journalists; and the BBC, staffed by kids, run by an OAP, obsessed by filling every vacant post with women and dwarfed by the streaming giants."

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