Monday 27 December 2010

Media Quotes of the Year: Entrapment and Ethics

Roy Greenslade blogs on the News of the World's Fergie sting:"As for the subterfuge itself, I have said many times that the method is not necessarily the problem. It should be used sparingly and only when no other way could be found to obtain a story of real public interest. I cannot imagine that the NoW could have got the Duchess to have owned up to her duplicity by any other means."

Stephen Glover in the Independent:
"In normal life nice people do not try to entrap one another. It is sneaky and underhand. But journalists for these purposes are not particularly nice people and neither, often, are the people they entrap."

Philip Knightley also in the Independent:
"So why do newspapers do it? Going undercover is considered glamorous. Acting a role that exposes wrongdoing or greedy and bad behaviour attracts some journalists, particularly those seeking to become the heroes of their own stories. But above all, at a time of falling circulations and editorial financial restrictions it is a comparatively cheap form of journalism with a quick result."

The Press Complaints Commission in not upholding a complaint against Jan Moir's Daily Mail column on the death of singer Stephen Gately: "The price of freedom of expression is that commentators and columnists say things with which other people may not agree, may find offensive or may consider to be inappropriate. Robust opinion sparks vigorous debate; it can anger and upset. This is not of itself a bad thing. Argument and debate are working parts of an active society and should not be constrained unnecessarily (within the boundaries of the Code and the law)".

Culture, Media and Sport Committee report on press standards: "There is still a great deal of good, responsible journalism in the British press. However, the picture painted for us of corners being cut and of fewer journalists struggling to do more work is cause for concern. If the press is to command the trust and respect of the public, the public needs to know that the press is committed to high standards even in difficult times."

Simon Jenkins in the
Guardian writing about media coverage of Jon Venables: "The chief enemy of British freedom at present is the British press."

Quotes of the Year:
WikiLeaks and Julian Assange;
Paywalls, Rusbridger and Murdoch;
The General Election;
The Regional Press.

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