Friday 4 March 2011

Quotes of the week: Bankers, spies, schoolgirls

Max Clifford in the Sun on a legal gag stopping the paper publishing full details of a banker's affair with a colleague: "Many people, many of whom have suffered because of the greed and mistakes of bankers, cannot afford protection from the law. The fact that this person has been able to because he is rich is totally wrong."

Guardian readers' editor Chris Elliott on why the paper identified Roland Davis as a CIA agent: "It is impossible for newspapers to operate in any effective way without sometimes having to make decisions that could lead to physical harm or reputational damage. The role of newspapers is not to duck them but to apply a set of ethical tests against as much information as they can find – which I think happened in this case – and then bear the consequences."

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger: "We were asked by the British government not to run the Yemeni cables during the WikiLeaks investigation because it would undermine the fight against Islamists. We refused. Two months later that looks like the right decision."

Tower Hamlets Tory group leader Peter Golds on ConservativeHome: "Officers have removed the press table from the council chamber. Reporters from the established press have to queue up for the gallery and sit where they can to take notes in what ever fashion is possible. The Head of Communications and Marketing of course, has a raised, front row seat. Elected bodies from humble Parish Councils to Parliament provide press tables, but not Tower Hamlets Council."

Kevin Marsh on leaving the BBC after 33 years: "I'm resigned to a lifelong association the Hutton inquiry, report and fall out. Maybe one of the first things I'll be able to do outside the BBC is something I was unable to do inside it - finally give my own account."

Committe to Protect Journalists
in a letter to the President of the Ukraine:
"The case of Georgy Gongadze is a litmus test for you and your administration, and we urge you to ensure that none of the perpetrators of his kidnapping and killing are allowed to walk free."

Richard Sambrook on new website launched by the Media Standards Trust: "As an exercise by the Trust to support the independence of news and highlight lazy journalism it is entirely a Good Thing. That it has a use at all is a reflection of the shrinking of staff and resources in newsrooms and the growth of PR. However, it does encourage a dated view of PR as a Bad Thing – that PR and press releases must be a toxic influence on the pure well of journalism. The truth is rather different. There is of course Good PR and Bad PR just as there is Good Journalism and Bad Journalism."

Julian Assange as told to Ian Hislop: "The reporters on the Guardian disappointed me they failed my masculinity test. They behaved like gossipping schoolgirls."

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