Thursday, 19 March 2020

Media Quotes of the Week: Coronavirus crisis prompts readers to flock to mainstream media to newspapers are lasting longer than predicted because they bring in more revenue than digital

Amol Rajan on BBC News: "Perhaps the biggest hoax within the fake news panic, however, is that this shows you can't trust the media. On the contrary this crisis has proved exactly how much you can trust the media. There is a clear dichotomy, between authoritative, very widely trusted sources such as the BBC and CNN, and crackpot conspiracy theory sites like InfoWars. In times of crisis, audiences are in fact flocking to what has been disparagingly called the 'mainstream media'. Traffic to the BBC News website is surging to extraordinary levels. Over the past month, 12 February to 11 March, there have been over 575m page views globally to stories about Coronavirus."

Impartial Reporter deputy editor Rodney Edwards on Twitter: "Stop attacking journalists for reporting #covid19 facts, particularly those of us who live and work in small communities."

Edwards added in a Facebook post: "So far today we have been accused of being 'irresponsible', of 'fear-mongering', of 'trying to cause panic'. This is wrong and frankly offensive to our small team of reporters who are trying their best to do the right thing...Call us names, criticise our profession, do whatever makes you feel good. But remember that behind every headline on coronavirus in Fermanagh is a writer who is deeply concerned about his or her family and community. Thank you to all those who continue to support our journalism. It is time as a community that we all supported each other."

Ian Carter on Twitter: "So...we've made all our newspapers available for free online, we've launched new websites within a day to connect our communities and our reporters are showing amazing dedication. And still we get snarky tweets about minor typos."

Robert Peston on Twitter: "My job, which I have been doing for 35 years, is to try and find out what is going on and tell you about it. Slightly weirdly some of you seem to be attacking me for communicating what I find out...what I write is the product of questioning many relevant sources, NOT being spoon fed (as some of you seem to think). And I speak to as many scientists and doctors, as I do officials and politicians. It is my job. I am not saying this defensively but to explain."

Sarah Knapton on Twitter: "'Is there ever an urgent need to go to the pub?' asks Robert Peston, who has clearly never done a 14 hour shift at at national daily newspaper."

Donald Trump replying to PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor who asked "You said you don’t take responsibility for slow response to Coronavirus but your administration disbanded the White House office on pandemics?": “That’s a nasty question...When you say me, I didn't do it. We have a group of people [in the administration].”

Stephen Jones in The Sunday Times [£] on the joys of covering a low profile rugby match after Wales vs Scotland was called off because of Coronavirus: "A Maidenhead XV versus Clifton was not exactly the first port of call. It was not in the top eight. But it was lovely anyway. It did not require the usual three separate tickets to get in. It actually has a car park — the most recent time a rugby media car was allowed to park in some professional grounds, it was a Ford Capri. You could even talk to the players. My god. There was no media prevention officer to drag you away in case you asked a leading question, such as: 'How are you?'.”

Lord Heseltine interviewed by Tim Walker in The New European: "You look back at people like Conrad Black - who used to own the Telegraph when its readership was substantially greater than it is now - and Rupert Murdoch and you see their papers have been dripping poison on the European project for years and years. I think there's a very powerful argument to say that people who are non-doms - not domiciled here for tax purposes - should not be permitted to own our major media operations and to set our national agenda in the way that they do. Other countries do not allow people to do that and we need to consider this question very carefully."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian: "For months, there have been a series of high court hearings about the extraordinary behaviour of editors, journalists and managers who once worked for Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN). Yet the disturbing revelations, which involve allegations about the wholesale interception of voicemail messages by three MGN titles, appear to have passed under the mainstream media radar. It’s as if phone hacking is yesterday’s story and no one cares any longer to know the truth. Neither newspapers nor broadcasters are giving the matter anything like the kind of attention they once devoted to similar intrusions into privacy by the News of the World, which led ultimately to that paper’s closure."

Early Day Motion 285: "That this House recognises the importance of quality local journalism; commends those who dedicate their working lives to serving the public by reporting important, timely and accurate information that is in the public interest; notes the importance of media reporting and how it helps to maintain local transparency and accountability and supports the health of democracy at a local level; celebrates that, from reporting on floods or courts, to covering significant community events and issues, the work done by local journalists is essential in sustaining public life; and therefore resolves to support the National Union of Journalists' Local News Matters campaign, and further consider ways in which additional investment, resources and support for local journalism can be encouraged in order to protect the future viability and sustainability of local quality news."

Martin Shipton on the NUJ website: "The papers are lasting longer than many of us believed a few years ago, for the reason that digital advertising revenue hasn’t taken off in the way expected. More than 80 per cent of Reach's revenue still comes from print. But newspapers can't carry on forever with declining revenues and the worry is that when they go the digital offering we shall be left with will be a stripped-down model based on "breaking news", sport, food reviews and stories tied into the commercial interests of advertisers - with even fewer journalists in employment."


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