Friday 26 August 2011

Quotes of the Week: From reporting Libya to a spectacular success in not finding Lord Lucan

BBC world news editor Jon Williams on
The Media Show
praises Alex Crawford of SKY News and defends the BBC team reporting from Libya: "I take my hat off to Alex Crawford for some brilliant reporting and I promise you this, if Alex wins the prizes she will be entered for I will be the first person to raise my glass and toast her success.But I also think that we should raise our glasses to the people who take very difficult decisions and make a judgment that something is not safe. I salute people for making those difficult decisions. Alex made the judgment that it was safe. The BBC team made the judgment that it was not safe. Six years ago I had to tell the wife of one of my colleagues that her husband had been shot dead. I never want to do that again."

Stuart Hughes, world affairs producer for BBC News, on the BBC College of Journalism website: "In the fevered and competitive world of 24-hour news it's inevitable that comparisons will be made between each network's coverage. But, please, let's leave the post-match analysis of which broadcaster 'won' the media war until all our friends and colleagues working in harm's way are home safely."

AA Gill in the Sunday Times Magazine:"In journalism or TV or publishing, you rarely hear a regional accent. The names of the runners on film sets or the assistants in TV companies read like the sons and daughters of a Who’s Who in the entertainment and arts world. Getting a child into a glossy magazine for a month to sort out the fashion cupboard is negotiated as part of a bribe for a celebrity who might prove to be useful later on, or as a mutual favour: you take my Benedict, I’ll have your Beatrice."

John Naughton in the Observer on Newsnight's riot coverage: "Newsnight fumbled it, staging sterile, phoney confrontations (such as Michael Gove versus Harriet Harman) and trotting out the usual cast of opinionated fools (such as David Starkey and Kelvin MacKenzie). I was reminded of Neil Postman's observation that you can't have a serious discussion on broadcast TV for the same reason that you can't do philosophy with smoke signals: the medium can't bear the weight. And yet, if the programme's producers read more widely, had richer address books and better contacts across academic and intellectual communities, then there's no reason why they couldn't do better."

BBC business editor Robert Peston on his blog: "The disclosure that Mr Coulson maintained a financial relationship with News International after moving into a sensitive role in the Tory Party will be controversial. According to a senior member of the government, Tory Party managers at the time say they were not aware Mr Coulson was receiving these payments from News International while employed by the Conservative Party."

New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser gives Dominique Strauss-Khan a Glenda Slagg-style send off:
"Get back on that Air France jet and soil your linens back home, Mr. Big Shot. We don't like your kind."

Ex-Mirror journalist Garth Gibbs, whose death was announced this week, on his hunt for Lord Lucan: "I regard not finding Lord Lucan as my most spectacular success in journalism. Of course, many of my colleagues have also been fairly successful in not finding Lord Lucan. But I have successfully not found him in more exotic spots than anybody else. I spent three glorious weeks not finding him in Cape Town, magical days and nights not finding him in the Black Mountains of Wales, and wonderful and successful short breaks not finding him in Macau either, or in Hong Kong or even in Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas where you can find anyone."

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