Friday 5 November 2010

Quotes of the Week: From libel law reform to why Steve Bell put a condom on Cameron's head

Lord Lester speaking at City University on the prospects for libel law reform: "All three of the major parties are committed to comprehensive, balanced reform. I promise you it will happen within the next two years."

BBC announcer after NUJ strike action wipes out the Today programme:
"And now...The Waders of the Wash."

David Cameron "teases" the BBC: "We’re all in it together, including, deliciously, the BBC, who in another negotiation agreed a licence fee freeze for six years. So what is good for the EU is good for the BBC.”

A Sun leader attacks the BBC, claiming: "The Beeb today is the pompous voice of defeated socialism."

The late Vere Rothermere on editors, according to Conrad Black: "They are actors...They perform on our stages, but they don't give a damn about us - and will go elsewhere for an extra farthing a week."

'Hard Working Sub' posts on HoldtheFrontPage about Northcliffe's plans to cut copy subs: "Our hours are getting longer and longer as cuts are made across the board. Our pay has been frozen and all the while the threat of redundancy hangs over our heads. But that's the real world. What is really depressing is the quality of copy we receive from the young reporters who are practically illiterate. Never have subs been more needed and never have they been more undervalued."

Martin Moore, author of the Media Standards Trust report showing a decline in foreign coverage by the UK national press: “The slump in foreign correspondence catalogued in this report is significant but not terminal. Newspapers still have a great opportunity to reinvent international reporting, but they better move quickly or they’ll be superseded”.

Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, on gaining 105,000 customers behind the Times paywall: “We are very pleased by the response to our new digital services. These figures very clearly show that large numbers of people are willing to pay for quality journalism in digital formats. It is early days but renewal rates are encouraging and each of our digital subscribers is more engaged and more valuable to us than very many unique users of the previous model.”

David Cameron on the Journalists' Charity: "It was founded by a few hacks in a pub because they wanted to help journalists who had fallen on hard times and got on and did it - the Big Society in action."

Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell asked by David Cameron why he draws him with a condom on his head: "What I said was, "It's to do with the smoothness of your complexion," though actually at the time his face was looking a little raw. He seemed genuinely interested and claimed to have enjoyed the one I'd drawn of him in that day's paper as a large sausage on a butcher's weighing machine."

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