Friday 9 July 2010

Quotes of the Week: British media accused of making a killing out of a murder hunt and US mainline press of being 'prim schoolmarms'

Johann Hari in the Independent puts the media in the frame over the Northumbria shootings: "Shouldn't the Press Complaints Commission develop strict guidelines now so we don't run this same slaughter-script next time? If we don't, we will be making a cold calculation – that flashier front pages and extra revenue in a slow summer is more important to us than saving innocent lives. Is the British media more interested in making a killing than in preventing one?"

Home Secretary Teresa May on NUJ member's victory in European Court over Section 44 'stop and search' law: "The government cannot appeal this judgement, although we would not have done so had we been able. We have always been clear in our concerns about these powers and they will be included as part of our review of counter-terrorism legislation."

Julie Burchill in a message to readers of her new column in the Independent:
"Though you and I probably will have to agree to disagree on some issues (Israel, Iraq, Islamism), I really hope that you will give me a hearing. I know I've said some brash, rash and reckless things over the years, but then I've been a hack since I was 17 and I'm 51 now, so it would be a wonder if I hadn't. Hopefully, with your indulgence, I can grow up a bit while I'm here. Failing that, I hope we can at least have a bit of fun. And if you're not up for it – tough! I'm here and I'm staying. Deal with it!"

Nigel Scott in a letter to the
Independent: "I have in the past abandoned both The Times and The Guardian in order to get away from Julie Burchill. Now I learn that she has moved to The Independent. Is it impossible to escape from this woman? Must she pursue me wherever I go? Until now, The Independent was a relative oasis of reason. Please may we have our old newspaper back?"

Peter Oborne in the Mail on the choice of ex-Times journalist Peter Riddell to be on the tribunal looking at claims that the British were complicit in the torture of terror suspects: "Though regarded with amiable fondness by senior Whitehall and intelligence figures, Peter Riddell has not yet demonstrated any of the toughness or readiness to challenge the Whitehall establishment this investigation requires."

A report on the Scottish local newspaper industry by the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee at Holyrood: “The Committee notes the levels of profits still being made by newspaper companies. The Committee also notes the contrast between the remuneration packages of senior management in the industry and the salaries being offered to journalists entering the profession in local newspapers.”

New media consultant Clay Shirky in the Guardian : "Everyone's waiting to see what will happen with the paywall – it's the big question. But I think it will underperform. On a purely financial calculation, I don't think the numbers add up."

Andrew Sullivan on the mainstream US press in the Sunday Times: "There are many reasons for the sharp and seemingly unstoppable collapse of much of the mainstream media in America, but one seems to me to have been overlooked. Many US newspapers have simply become pale, quivering shadows of what they once were. Once, they aggressively scrutinised the powerful and exposed secrets, but they have — with some exceptions — become mouthpieces for the powerful, enablers of propaganda and prim schoolmarms when it comes to telling people what they want to know."

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