Friday 18 June 2010

Quotes of the week: From the JP memo to Jo

Paul Bentham, managing director of Johnston Press' South Yorkshire titles, in a memo: "The number of staff authorised to 'order out' pages should be kept to a minimum and Editors need to ensure that the policy of "right first time" is embedded in the newsroom culture. They should not however continue with the old practise of reading every story. Editors should evaluate the risk for each story based on content and the seniority of the journalist and act accordingly."

Grey Beard posting on this site: "Confidence in the standards expected by Johnston Press is somewhat undermined by Paul Bentham's inability to distinguish between the noun 'practice' and the verb 'practise'."

NUJ Northern organiser Chris Morley in a letter to the PCC about Johnston Press: "The memo from the managing director [Paul Bentham] contains a number of extremely worrying developments which strike at the heart of an Editor's responsibilities. I believe it is important for the PCC to take a formal view on this as the PCC's code is written in to JP employees' contracts."

Kelvin MacKenzie in his Sun column on Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey: "Her period in office has been pretty much a disaster for the readers, shareholders and the employees. She's done all right for herself, mind you."

Steve Busfield, Guardian News and Media's head of media and technology, on judging the Regional Press Awards: "It was clear to me that quality journalism is alive and thriving in the regions. Those still working for the big regional media are still talented, and now ever more willing to experiment with their journalism. Meanwhile, new publications, organisations, online collectives are sprouting. I've been judging the regional press awards for a few years, but after last week, I think the standard is as good as ever, with even more variety too."

Roy Greenslade on Justice Tugenhat's ruling in the Lynn Barber libel case: "He gave a new definition of what may constitute defamation by ruling that publication should 'substantially' affect a claimant. Journalists should applaud his judgment as tilting the balance in favour of press freedom."

David Higgerson, Trinity Mirror Regionals' head of multi-media, urging newspapers and hyperlocals to work together: "At the most basic level we can start supporting each other by linking to each other on our websites."

Hadley Freeman in the Guardian compares an ex-Daily Mirror editor being offered a chatshow by CNN to the BP oil leak disaster:
"How would you like it if some snooty country dumped Piers Morgan on you?"

Jo Wadsworth, web editor of The Argus, Brighton, cautions against ending anonymity for postings on news sites: "Some of the most valuable comments, news-wise, are left anonymously - tip-offs, personal accounts of traumatic experiences, etc. If I were implementing a real-names policy, I'd definitely want to retain a way for people to post these, even if these were post-moderated."

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