Thursday, 21 May 2020

Media Quotes of the Week: From are Facebook and Google really to blame for killing the news media? to why investigative journalists can be a pain

Jeff Jarvis on Twitter: "Facebook and Google are not killing news. News has been slowly killing itself by refusing to learn new skills to sell, new ways to bring value to the public we serve, new ways to listen to the needs of that public, new ways to earn trust, new ways to compete, not complain. The best way for Google & Facebook to help news is not handouts that will go into the pockets of hedge funds and disappear with the wind. What we need is help creating new strategies for news, new means to inform a society that does not trust us, new business models.Protectionism is not a business model. Whining is not a business model. Handouts are not a business model. Lobbying politicians is not a business model. Adding value to communities and their conversations, helping them meet their goals: that is the only model worth pursuing."

Press Gazette editor-in-chief Dominic Ponsford on Press Gazette Daily: "Buzzfeed and Quartz are both largely exiting the UK, 14 editorial jobs are to go at regional press group Midland News Association, 155 jobs are being cut at Vice Media and even the FT and Economist have been forced to make cutbacks. The irony is that soaring web traffic means there has never been more demand for journalism, but the ad-funded model is mainly benefiting the tech platforms. If professionally-produced journalism all has to disappear behind paywalls, Google's search results and Facebook's News Feed will become much less interesting places and their revenue will inevitably suffer as a result. The Duopoly need to intensify their efforts to support the news industry not just to help keep the world informed, but out of enlightened self interest."

John Naughton in the Observer on Facebook's new oversight board:  "It’s actually a board for locking the stable door after the horses have bolted. Let us call the Facebook oversight board by its initials: FOB...The big puzzle at the moment is why some apparently sane people with reputations to lose would have chained themselves to this particular catherine wheel. Apart from anything else, they have committed themselves to endorsing Zuckerberg’s overweening vanity about the central importance of Facebook to the world. One big surprise (for me, anyway) was that Alan Rusbridger, the former editor of the Guardian, should have lent his name and reputation to this circus."

Reuters Institute research shows:  "After an initial surge in news use, there has been a significant increase in news avoidance, with 22% saying they often or always actively try to avoid the news (up from 15% in mid-April), growing to 59% if those who say they sometimes actively avoid the news are included (up from 49% in mid-April)."

Matthew Parris in The Times [£] on who is having a "good war" during the Covid-19 pandemic: "Science and health journalists. In Fleet Street’s editorial conferences a new star is born. Specialist reporters’ clever charts and graphs are now centrepieces rather than sidebars to our journalism. Knowledge is king. Piers Morgan. From Trump-poodle to plucky truth-teller in one bound."

The NUJ launching a campaign against threats to journalists in Northern Ireland: "Over the past 12 months we have witnessed with alarm an increase in the number of violent threats against journalists in Northern Ireland. This month Loyalist paramilitaries have threatened all journalists working at the Sunday Life and Sunday World newspapers in Belfast. This follows recent threats against a journalist working for The Irish News. Attempts to intimidate journalists have come from dissident Republican and Loyalist paramilitary groups and are intended to prevent the media from investigating their activities and exposing criminality. Threats against journalists and media organisations have no place in our society. It is vital that such behaviour is not tolerated. No worker should be exposed to threats for doing their job."

Natalie Fahy, editor of the Nottingham Post and Nottinghamshire Live, on why she decided to publish examples of the vile online abuse aimed at her journalists: "We are writing this today because some of our reporters have been subjected to awful abuse. Yes, criticism is part of our job and we mostly take it on the chin - you don't go into journalism to be loved by everybody. But some of these examples may go some way to showing you what we're up against. Finally - it's Mental Health Awareness Week this week. Some of these comments keep people awake at night. Maybe we should all take time to consider what we're doing before we type that message out."

Manchester Evening News political and investigations editor Jennifer Williams on Twitter: "Don’t want to put current/future journalists off, but I think it’s important to be honest that when you write a story govt could shout at you about, it makes you feel sick. Wobbly, panicky, paranoid. Govt behaves how it does (atm) because it knows it works. And it does."

Former BBC presenter Aasmah Mir who is joining Times Radio, quoted by Press Gazette: “I am really looking forward to not introducing ‘in the red corner we have this person and in the blue corner we have this person’ and then they just kick ten bells out of each other. I don’t think that informs us in any way and I think our listeners want to be informed. I think they can have people who have different views, but there’s no point in setting people up in that very old fashioned adversarial approach.”

Dan Hodges on Twitter: "I remember when @MrHarryCole joined the Sun from @GuidoFawkes. Loads of sneering. Lots of people looking down at him because he wasn’t from 'the traditional media'. Now he’s got one of the best jobs in British journalism. Deservedly."

Charlie Beckett on Twitter: "I hate ‘Investigative’ journalists. As a producer and editor they were always a pain in the proverbial. Secretive, over-motivated, egotistical, conspiratorial and eager to bend reality to fit a narrative. But their work even when flawed, is vital."


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