Thursday, 19 September 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From Ben Stokes blasts Sun for 'lowest form of journalism' to how the local press rattled Boris Johnson at press conference

Ben Stokes @benStokes38 on Twitter: "Today the Sun has seen fit to publish extremely painful, sensitive and personal details concerning events in the private lives of my family, going back more than 31 years. It is hard to find words that adequately describe such low and despicable behaviour, disguised as journalism. I cannot conceive of anything more immoral, heartless or contemptuous to the feelings and circumstances of my family...This is the lowest form of journalism, focussed only on chasing sales with absolutely no regard for the devastation caused to lives as a consequence. It is totally out of order. The article also contains serious inaccuracies which has compounded the damage caused. We need to take a serious look at how we allow our press to behave."

Yorkshire Post editor James Mitchinson @JayMitchinson on Twitter: "My profession - the profession I love - has purportedly cleaned up its act. I am afraid that today I see lurking among us the spirits of those heinous human beings who hacked into the phone of poor Milly Dowler."

Former Sun editor David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "I’m afraid The Sun has become pointlessly cruel and callous in recent years. We all make mistakes but the Ben Stokes story is contemptuous. My sympathies to Ben’s family, particularly his parents."

The Sun in a statement, reported by BBC News"The Sun has the utmost sympathy for Ben Stokes and his mother but it is only right to point out the story was told with the co-operation of a family member who supplied details, provided photographs and posed for pictures. The tragedy is also a matter of public record and was the subject of extensive front page publicity in New Zealand at the time. The Sun has huge admiration for Ben Stokes and we were delighted to celebrate his sporting heroics this summer. He was contacted prior to publication and at no stage did he or his representatives ask us not to publish the story."

Ian Birrell in The Sun on the Guardian's editorial which said David Cameron suffered only "privileged pain" over the death of his six-year-old boy: "Such a despicable diatribe was a betrayal of its stance as the leading voice of liberal values that showed how the holier-than-thou paper is snared in the Brexit-fuelled fury seen on all sides that is so devastating our nation. Yet its publication in such a prominent place, which as a former deputy editor I know would have gone through several more hands first, reveals a wider culture and arrogance that infects too many minds on the Left."

Guardian apology for the Cameron editorial, as reported by BBC News: "The original version of an editorial posted online yesterday fell far short of our standards. It was changed significantly within two hours, and we apologise completely."

David Cameron in the Sunday Times [£] on the EU referendum campaign: "Almost the biggest problem I had was with the BBC. I felt it had lost its way in understanding the difference between balance and impartiality. The result was the voices of thousands of businesses arguing for remain given equal treatment to just a few prominent businesses coming out for leave. There were thousands of remain economists and a tiny number of Brexiteers, yet the BBC gave the latter the same weight as Nobel laureates."

Meryl Streep, as reported by ET Canada: “We see enough examples of braggadocio and bravado strutting around on the public stage. True bravery is Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, blown up in her car for reporting on the Panama Papers. I applaud and revere our female journalists — I love them, and their equally undaunted brothers. We need to protect, defend and thank the current crop of journalists around the world because they, their scruples and their principles are the front-line defences of free and informed people. We need the brave ones out front picking through the field ahead of us for landmines so we don’t step on one, or elect one.”

Douglas McCabe, chief executive of Enders Analysis, on the magazine industry in the Guardian: “There is a crisis in the industry. Given how much circulation has fallen there really haven’t been as many outright closures as you’d think. Some publishers are just hanging on. We would expect to see more closures in the next five years than the previous five. There is social media, Instagram, Mail Online. So why go out and buy a magazine, even a strong brand, when you can get updates every second? And that’s without the wider fight for consumers’ attention from services such as YouTube and even Netflix.”

Factchecheckers Full Fact on Twitter on Conservative Party ads on spending on schools: "The ads make it appear that the BBC endorsed the £14bn figure, when in fact they criticised it. The BBC told us that the headline on the article has never changed and so has never referred to the £14’s inappropriate for political parties, or any public body, to misrepresent the work of independent journalists in this way."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian on the Impartial Reporter's investigation into historic child abuse: "There cannot be a better reason to celebrate the existence of a newspaper than its championing of journalism’s central tenets: to expose crime, to inform and to hold power to account."

Jennifer Williams @JenWilliamsMEN on Twitter at the Prime Minister's press conference on his visit to the North of England: "Mmm. Rattled by a q from the Rotherham Advertiser about an interview in which he apparently said police were ‘spaffing money up the wall’ on historic CSE investigations. Go local press."

  • The Mirror reports: "The MEN's Jen Williams asked the PM about his Towns Fund "most of them are marginal seats that the Conservatives either need to win from Labour or need to defend from the Liberal Democrats including the most marginal seats in the country." She asked: "Are you trying to buy votes using that fund?" Boris Johnson accused the journalist of "pure cynicism" at which the audience erupted into laughter."
 [£] =paywall

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