Friday 11 February 2011

Quotes of the Week: From Assange and the Guardian to a blogging punch-up in Croydon

Ian Katz in the Guardian: "By the start of this year, despite countless attempts at reassurance, Assange had decided the Guardian was out to get him. WikiLeaks now viewed the Guardian as akin to the Pentagon, he told me. As I write this, a WikiLeaks tweet rich with irony suggests the relationship may have chilled a few degrees since then: 'The Guardian book serialisation contains malicious libels. We will be taking action'."

Geoffrey Goodman in the Camden New Journal:"Violating the law to invade privacy is simply unacceptable, but in the old days we had reporters behaving like burglars, which was the same but without technology. The tabloids had 'picture snatchers' on their staff, and they would go into homes and steal. Phone tapping is a form of burglary. You are stealing material you would otherwise not be able to obtain."

Noirin Hegarty, editor of the Sunday Tribune, lashes the Irish Mail on Sunday after it ran a warp around looking like the Tribune's front page as a marketing ploy: "This attempt at burial of a still alive corpse and grave robbing by the Mail Group is a shameless act of commercial vandalism and I would beseech the fair-minded Irish Sunday newspaper audience to fight back by refusing to buy its titles."

Sports editor Frank DiLeo writes a last column for the Daily Record in New Jersey after being laid-off: "Many talented, innovative, caring people were let go today. Meanwhile, the empty suits at corporate collect six and seven-figure salaries while accepting massive bonuses. Please don't take this as knock against the Daily Record's bosses. They're great people who truly care about the community and this newspaper. Corporate greed everywhere has run amok, and we the people are left to deal with the consequences of its wake."

Kelvin MacKenzie in the Sun on the decision by the editor of BBC1's Question Time to quit before the programme is moved to Glasgow: "Who can blame him? Freezing cold, miserable people, with an unintelligible language, dropping dead at 37 halfway through their ninth pint and seventh Mars bar of the day."

Peter Williams, finance director at the Daily Mail & General Trust, which owns Northcliffe, in Press Gazette on the future of the regional press: "We think it [consolidation] is worthwhile and a good thing for the industry because it will create bigger businesses who are more able to make the transition to the brave new world. We are not going to be the consolidator... I think we have other opportunities in the group for investment. But we are very content to go on operating Northcliffe. It makes good cash flow and so on."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog: "It stretches credulity to believe that any business executive would pass up the opportunity to reap the supposed rewards of a brave new world."

Croydon Advertiser editor Glenn Ebrey makes an offer to the blog Inside Croydon, an arch critic of his paper: "I have no idea who Mr Insider is because, despite being so forthright in his views, he very bravely decides to remain anonymous. But, if you are reading this, I’d like to put forward a challenge to you Mr Insider. Come and spend a day in our office, see how hard our reporters work, the dedication and hours they put into producing the paper each week, and see if it changes your view."

Inside Croydon spurns the offer: "It’s heartening, Glenn, to see that you defend your “hard-working” staff and “the dedication and hours they put into producing the paper each week. If you don’t mind, for now we’ll pass your offer for us to give up a day of our expertise to give your staff some training and show them how to do their jobs. And we will continue to judge them, and you, on results."

Glenn Ebrey responds to the rebuff: "Click on the link above and The Insider’s readership might just hit double figures. Oh, by the way, his name is Steven Downes. He used to submit sports articles for us but then we found someone better."

Downes posts on this blog: "I've never made any secret about my involvement in Inside Croydon, and am no more anonymous than, say, Ian Hislop is "anonymous" as the editor of Private Eye...But I suppose this is what amounts to "investigative journalism" at the Croydon Advertiser."

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