Friday 3 December 2010

Media Quotes of the Week: Wikileaks, Piers Morgan's arrival on Twitter and the World Cup

founder Julian Assange tells The Times: “You only live once, why not do something worthwhile? The cables cover serious issues for every country in the world with a US diplomatic presence. In as far as knowledge about what is truly going on in the world can influence our decisions, this material must result in political change and reform.”

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian on the leaking of the US embassy cables: "The job of the media is not to protect power from embarrassment."

The New York Times in a note to readers: "As a general rule we withhold secret information that would expose confidential sources to reprisals or that would reveal operational intelligence that might be useful to adversaries in war. We excise material that might lead terrorists to unsecured weapons material, compromise intelligence-gathering programs aimed at hostile countries, or disclose information about the capabilities of American weapons that could be helpful to an enemy. On the other hand, we are less likely to censor candid remarks simply because they might cause a diplomatic controversy or embarrass officials."

Stephen Glover in the Independent questions the role of the D-notice in the age of the internet: "It is difficult to see how the advice of the present secretary of the D-notice committee, Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Vallance, will inhibit The Guardian, which is carrying the latest batch of WikiLeaks documents. If its editor, Alan Rusbridger, got out his black pen and began to cross things out, that would have no effect on what is published on the internet or by newspapers abroad, where no one gives a fig for British national security. Our enemies have no need of The Guardian."

Prince Andrew, according to the leaked US embassy cables: "His mother's subjects seated around the table roared their approval. He then went on to 'these (expletive) journalists, especially from the National [sic] Guardian, who poke their noses everywhere' and (presumably) make it harder for British businessmen to do business. The crowd practically clapped."

Trinity Mirror's David Higgerson on WikiLeaks and phone-hacking: "The Guardian has made a crusade out of trying to chase down News International and former News of the World editor Andy Coulson over the phone hacking allegations. . .But how different is using information gleaned from alleged phone-hacking to using information which has been obtained using methods which many argue are illegal? Does the fact that you perhaps didn’t commission the potentially illegal act – as has been claimed of the NOTW – make a big difference?"

MediaGuardian's Roy Greenslade on WikiLeaks and phone-hacking: "I think we can justify breaking the law if we can demonstrate that we are acting in the public interest. The whole point about the News of the World's phone-hacking is that the stories it obtained could not be said to have been in the public interest.Nor could it show that it had prima facie evidence of a public interest because its reporters were clearly engaged in 'fishing expeditions'."

Piers Morgan joins Twitter and boasts: "@ Dear Alan, I've overtaken your follower count in less than a day. That's got to hurt, right?"

Alan Rusbridger responds: "@ as I've always tried to explain, Piers, it's not about numbers..."

Allan Prosser in InPublishing magazine on subbing hubs: "In the Gadarene rush to impose manufacturing process on their titles, publishers have destroyed value, thrown away knowledge, and vandalised their assets. In many cases they should be ashamed, not that shame is a common characteristic of the newspaper business. More importantly, very few managers who have overseen this damage would last a week in the real world of competitive industry."

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian: "Thank goodness for journalism. I am sorry we did not get the World Cup but, had we done so, it would have been mired in claims of dishonesty. In losing, we had the honour of seeing British journalism doing something to clean up a disreputable sport. That is the cup I would prefer to win."

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