Thursday, 5 March 2020

Media Quotes of the Week: Responsible journalists can be part of the Coronavirus solution to slavish backing of Boris makes a mockery of Telegraph

International Federation of Journalists general secretary Anthony Bellanger, in a statement: “The journalist's responsibility towards the public takes precedence over any other responsibility. Media can increase public awareness of the situation regarding the Coronavirus through reporting that educates, warns and informs properly on the problem. That way they can also be part of the solution. It’s in this kind of context when we have the opportunity to again demonstrate to citizens the value of quality, ethical journalism."

Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray in a statement on covering the Coronavirus: “It is only the mainstream media that provides edited news and information on this vital subject. This is too important an issue to be left to the vagaries of social media where conjecture, rumour and disinformation run rife. It is in the newsrooms of newspapers both national and regional, broadcast organisations and genuine online news outlets that every step is taken to ensure that the information produced is as accurate and fact-based as possible.”

The Times' Steven Swinford on Twitter: "Downing Street has agreed to end boycott of Today programme so ministers can go on air to discuss Coronavirus.  Lee Cain, No 10's director of communications, told aides he had agreed with BBC that there was a 'public interest' in having ministers on national broadcaster. Cain said he agreed to end Today boycott after talks with Fran Unsworth, BBC’s head of news, and Katy Searle, head of BBC Westminster... At present boycott only lifted so ministers can discuss Cornavirus."

The Reuters Institute: "The BBC is by far the most widely used source of news in the UK both online and offline, and it is one of the most highly trusted sources of news. It is also more widely used as a source of news than many of its peers among other public service media. According to the BBC itself, it also reaches more than 400 million people globally with news every week. The BBC is very widely used across the political spectrum. It is the most popular source of news among both Conservative and Labour voters, and among both Leave and Remain voters."

Iliffe Media editorial director Ian Carter, as quoted by HoldTheFrontPage: "It’s ironic that the Be Kind trend is now being used as another stick to beat journalists with. I sat on the Kent Online newsdesk this week and within the space of a couple of hours three people had mentioned Caroline Flack when haranguing our news editors. In each case, it was an attempt to have a court story removed. I received an email the same day claiming that publishing the names and addresses of people in court cases amounted to ‘bullying’ and again urging us to ‘Be Kind’. I find it quite offensive that people are attempting to use the Caroline Flack scenario for their own ends and we are letting them know so."

Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray launching a new campaign for 'real news' against the use of fake newspapers and news sites and the rise of partisan non-media operations"We are increasingly alarmed by reports of taxpayer-funded money being spent on attempts by public bodies and others to ape the work of mainstream media in acting as their own unbalanced and unchecked publishers. It is not the job of official communications departments to circumvent the media in favour of pushing out their own often one-sided ‘news’ via fake newspapers and social media channels. The Society strongly believes that political parties, local councils and police press offices should not be in competition with the mainstream media."

Alan Rusbridger on Twitter: "How to spot a lead story."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian: "The Daily Telegraph is a newspaper with a great past, a pathetic present and an uncertain future. Its ownership is in doubt. Its profits have plummeted. Its editorial slavishness to the prime minister has turned it into such a laughing stock that it is now widely known as the “Daily Boris”...What irony! The Telegraph’s slavish support for a comic journalist has helped turn the newspaper into a joke."

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