Friday 8 April 2011

Quotes of the Week: From hyperinjunctions to raining on the Guardian's press award parade

Henry Porter in The Observer: "The revelation by the Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming of a new breed of "hyperinjunction", which forbids the recipient talking about it to MPs, is one of the most disturbing developments in the contest between legitimate privacy and the need for open justice. . . As the Times said, there are at least 30 orders blocking publicity in high-profile cases, as well as a new type of order – the hyperinjunction – which affects parliamentary privilege by preventing discussion between an MP and his constituent."

The Times in a leader: "Even Donald Rumsfeld would be shocked at how the British public are being kept in the dark. As judges grant more super-injunctions to frisky millionaire footballers, high-flying bankers and tycoons that enable these men (and they are mostly men) to shield their affairs from the public’s gaze — for no better reason than that it would embarrass them, or might dent their sponsorship deals were their affairs to come to light — the public not only don’t know who these people are, they don’t even know they don’t know."

Libby Purves in The Times: "There is no moral value whatsoever in the tabloid theory that once somebody has mentioned their personal life or marriage in an interview or memoir, they lose for ever the right to keep anything to themselves. That is like saying that because you once had dental treatment, anybody may kick your teeth in. Many stories printed about individuals, not just famous ones, constitute in morality (not law) a kind of mental trespass. Almost an assault."

Michelle Stanistreet on being elected unopposed as NUJ general secretary: “I am immensely proud to be elected to lead our union – and to be the first woman to have the opportunity to do so. I will repay the faith placed in me by working hard to build our union, speak up for members and stand up for journalism”

Alan Rusbridger, after the Guardian won Newspaper of the Year at the Press awards for its WikiLeaks coverage, on the impact it has had on the Arab uprisings: "It's far too early to say what effect the story had on events in the Middle East and north Africa but I would guess it would have had some effect."

Kelvin MacKenzie congratulates Rusbridger in his Sun column for the Guardian winning Newspaper of the Year, but adds: "It was coupled with the less good news that the paper's circulation fell on Moday to an all-time low of 200,000. Over the next month, my bet is that it will plunge even further and within a decade will have ceased publication entirely as its losses - around £40 million a year - become unsustainable."

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