Thursday, 12 September 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From any journalists up for a chlorinated chicken freebie to the US? to Murdoch papers fired both Boycott and Johnson

BuzzFeed News reports: "The Trump administration has offered up to £75,000 for an organisation to take “influential” British journalists on a tour of American farms to influence narratives around the country’s food standards, specifically the vexed issue of “chlorinated chicken”. Anticipating negative coverage around a US-UK free trade deal after Brexit, the US embassy in London put out a tender in July under the catchy title: 'Countering Negative And Poorly Informed Reporting about US Agricultural Practices and Consumer Choice'.”

Lindsey Hilsum @lindseyhilsum on Twitter: "Replying to @BuzzFeedUK As a vegetarian, I guess I’d have to ask for ‘just the chlorine thanks’."

Roy Greenslade @GreensladeR on Twitter: "Is THIS the least believable newspaper in Britain? Floppy @TheSun speaks with two voices. The paper's English audience is encouraged to dislike Corbyn while its Scottish audience is encouraged to dislike Johnson. Where does the hypocritical Sun stand? Where sales can be maximised."

Niall Ferguson in the Sunday Times [£]: “ 'Blow for Bojo as bro Jo go goes',” was the London Evening Standard’s headline, which suggests that the chief sub-editor has been reading Dr Seuss’s Fox in Socks to the kids at bedtime."

Nick Robinson in the Sunday Times [£] on claims Dominic Cummings never listens to the Today programme: “I have no bloody idea if he listens to Today or the shipping forecast or Classic FM. But the underlying point that therefore Today’s irrelevant is nonsense and indeed all the people he works with then texted me to say so. It would matter if Downing Street, or indeed Jeremy Corbyn’s office, said, ‘You don’t matter any more’ but they don’t. I know because I’m always getting messages from both at 6am with their reactions to what’s going on and because we get lots of senior folk on the show."

SKY News correspondent Adam Parsons @adamparsons on Twitter: "Once doorstepped Mugabe in Harare. Politely asked him a question. He laughed at it - or maybe he laughed at me - didn’t answer and his bodyguard whacked me in the stomach...The question was 'what's your message for Tony Blair and the British government?' Maybe the punch was actually his answer..."

John Simpson @JohnSimpsonNews on Twitter: "Broadcasting all morning about Robert Mugabe. Having visited Matabeleland after his forces, backed up by the North Korean army, murdered 20,000 of his political opponents, and spent time 11 years ago reporting on the collapsing economy, I find it hard to be too positive."

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee in a report on the Foreign Office's media freedom campaign: "Currently, there are concerns that the FCO has allocated too few resources, given too little detail about how it will fulfil its campaign, and taken too passing an interest in how to make it sustainable. There is anxiety that this vital initiative by the FCO risks becoming a disappointment. The FCO must now move beyond the rhetoric to demonstrate impact in defending media freedom."

TI Media chief executive Marcus Rich in a statement on Marie Clare abandoning print after 31 years and going digital only in the UK, as reported by Press Gazette: “For more than three decades, Marie Claire UK has led the conversation on the issues that really matter to women – from campaigning for women’s empowerment to climate change – while providing a premium fashion and beauty positioning that reflects their everyday lives. With full focus on our digital platforms, we will be future-proofing our ability to report on these vital and engaging subjects."

David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Boycott was sacked by The Sun, Johnson was sacked by The Times, one over abuse, one over lies. Rupert Murdoch’s papers deserve credit for their ethics in both cases. These are the facts."


Thursday, 5 September 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From lies, hypotheticals and making things up to the woman whose scoop on the outbreak of World War Two no-one believed

Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail: "Last Sunday, a newspaper reported that the Government was considering proroguing Parliament. Respected BBC correspondent Iain Watson asked Downing Street whether this was true and was told: ‘The claim that the Government is considering proroguing Parliament in September in order to stop MPs debating Brexit is entirely false.’ And yet, on Wednesday, the Government did announce the proroguing of Parliament. For good measure, Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the suspension was ‘certainly not’ a political move to undermine those MPs opposed to Brexit. No wonder critics cried foul."

New White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham asked by the Washington Post if Donald Trump lies: “I don’t think they’re lies . . . I think the president communicates in a way that some people, especially the media, aren’t necessarily comfortable with. A lot of times they take him so literally. I know people will roll their eyes if I say he was just kidding or was speaking in hypotheticals, but sometimes he is. What I’ve learned about him is that he loves this country and he’s not going to lie to this country.”

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "There has never been a time in the history of our Country that the Media was so Fraudulent, Fake, or Corrupt! When the “Age of Trump” is looked back on many years from now, I only hope that a big part of my legacy will be the exposing of massive dishonesty in the Fake News!"

Fourth Estate @FourthEstateOrg on Twitter: "Every dictator is an enemy of freedom of the press, an opponent of the facts."

Robert Harris in the Sunday Times [£] on Boris Johnson's journalism: “He came and interviewed me. We had a very pleasant time. When the article appeared, he had manifestly made up a quote about me. He wrote, ‘His friends all call him Moneybags’ and this was in the headline of the piece. I said to him afterwards, ‘Who are these friends?’ He said, ‘I made that up actually!’ I’ve done a lot of interviews but I’ve never had a journalist cheerfully admit that they made something up.”

Judge Mark Dennis QC ruling that journalists from The Times, Sky News, BBC and ITN should not be compelled to hand over their notes and film of interviews with Isis bride Shamima Begum to counter-terrorism investigators, as reported by the Guardian“There is no doubt that the initial Times newspaper report was a commendable piece of investigative journalism and represents a significant public interest story which has opened up an important issue for public debate. Such journalistic investigation is to be encouraged, however, the work of investigative journalists in particular does rely upon trust, confidentiality, protection of journalistic material and sources, their perceived neutrality, and the co-operation of people who are prepared to place their trust in journalists.”

The Times [£] in a leader: "Journalists have no wish to obstruct police investigations or interfere with justice. Working out how to proceed against Ms Begum and other Isis recruits as and when they return to Britain is a tricky task. At the moment, however, the prospect of such a return is remote. The judge correctly decided that our duty to report matters in the public interest outweighs the potential value of any information the police may derive at this stage in their investigation from scrutiny of material [Anthony] Loyd has gathered. That material will be preserved against future developments in the case. In the meantime, the police should do their job as we will continue to do ours."

Peter Geoghegan @PeterKGeoghegan on Twitter: "Orange order accused of covering up child abuse in Fermanagh. Yet another really strong @rodneyedwards story. If you’re not following his first class work investigating an epidemic of child abuse across his county you should. Why local papers can still matter so much."

Ian Acheson @NotThatBigIan on Twitter:"Who says local journalism is dead? @impartialrep my birthplace newspaper is ripping the lid of widespread historic sexual abuse through patient, dogged investigation. Finally, police involved."

John Simpson @JohnSimpsonNews on Twitter: "80 years ago today my dear friend Clare Hollingsworth, on her first real story for the Daily Telegraph, sat in her hotel room & watched the German tanks crossing into Poland — & neither her boss, nor her foreign desk, nor the British (or any other) embassy would believe her."