Friday 24 September 2010

Quotes of the Week: From the future path of journalism to a roadblock of Andrew Marr books

Giving the James Cameron lecture, vice president at large of the Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr. urges UK universities to play a much more active role in shaping the future of news: "That means not just teaching, talking and doing research about journalism. It means actively producing journalism and assisting others in doing it. And it means acting as a watchdog to hold the news media accountable for the ways in which they transform themselves in this turbulent time. None of us wants to wake up one morning in the near future to discover that the new news is mostly bad."

Jeff Jarvis who is to head the City University of New York's new Entrepreneurial Journalism Center:
“We are optimists about the future of journalism. We tell our students they will build that future. To help them do that, we realized we have to give them the ability to create and run new products and new companies. We must train not just journalists but entrepreneurial journalists.”

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger in the Spectator on how to stifle the press: "It couldn’t be simpler. You hire a solicitor with a working knowledge of Britain’s libel laws to fire off a fierce letter to whichever journalist has been pestering you. It will be the opening salvo in a process which rapidly threatens to become eye-wateringly expensive. If it’s a local paper that may well be all it takes. Most local editors will admit to having quietly shelved stories or investigations, not because they were wrong, but because the paper simply couldn’t afford the cost of fighting an action. Game over."

Stephen Glover in the Independent on the PCC uholding Clare Balding's complaint about AA Gill describing her as a "dyke on a bike": "The PCC is being over-sensitive. I can understand that Ms Balding was hurt, and I am sorry that she was. But what Mr Gill wrote could not in a million years incite homophobia. Nor, because of its pointless crudity, did it damage Clare Balding. It was just childish and silly – but these are not crimes, just relatively minor lapses of taste which do not justify censuring and censoring a columnist. I hope the PCC is not turning into the Thought Police."

Press Complaints Commission director Stephen Abell in a letter to Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger about the News of the World: "The Commission recognises that both Guardian articles, and the New York Times piece, have produced material giving rise to concern about behaviour at the News of the World prior to 2006...The commission came to a view – based on the information available at the time – as to whether it had been misled by the News of the World. Further information has, of course, since appeared. The commission's position on this, together with other aspects of the case, will be assessed when we return to the matter at the conclusions of the enquiries, which are currently being undertaken, and following the end of any legal proceedings which are brought."

Minutes of PCC meeting which considered an NUJ complaint against Johnston Press alleging editorial standards were being compromised by rules regarding a new editorial management system: "Commissioners considered that no further steps were appropriate at this stage, Johnston Press having affirmed its commitment to the PCC - a commitment it said was unchanged by the latest technological developments."

Freelance foreign correspondent Michela Wrong, accepting this year's James Cameron Award at City University: "We are reaching a stage where outside contributors will be academics on a salary, authors promoting their books or those who are independently wealthy."

Psychologist Alberto Iturra on how the trapped Chilean miners are going to be given media training via closed-circuit tv, which will including advice on: "Remaining poised during an interview, asking the interviewer to repeat the question if they don't understand it, and how to say that they prefer not to answer".

BBC News reports a lorry overturning in Theale, Berkshire, shedding its load of books by Andrew Marr:
"The carriageway was shut through the night and a clear up operation has started, but police warned the road could be closed until lunchtime. The driver was unhurt. It is thought almost 15 tonnes of Mr Marr's The Making of Modern Britain were spilt."

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