Friday 18 November 2011

Quotes of the Week: A town loses its heart and why Leveson needs to hear from working journalists

Mike Lockley editor of the Chase Post which is being closed by Trinity Mirror Midlands:
"Times and technology change, people’s desire to know what’s happening in their community doesn’t. A town without its own weekly newspaper is a town without a heart."

The Times
in a leader: "It is obvious that News International’s failure to heed the alarms over phone hacking has been a disaster. It has had to accept the resignation of its chief executive and her predecessor, as well as abandon proposals to buy out BSkyB. The lesson is clear: the company should always be its harshest critic and its own most assidous investigator. A powerful organisation with a victim complex has the capacity to do great damage, not least to itself."

Ex-News of the World journalist Tom Latchem in the Independent on Sunday on the arrest of Sun reporter Jamie Pyatt: "It does not surprise me that the corporation handed over a dossier against Pyatt to the authorities. This, remember, is a company that axed 220 jobs to save the skin of one woman: Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive who resigned days after the NoTW closed. Pyatt's arrest highlights again the ruthless survival mentality of the Murdoch clan: it is in damage-limitation mode again, as another of its newspapers finds itself in danger of self-combusting."

Ex-News of the World reporter Neville Thurlbeck in Press Gazette: "If you still think me guilty of the Gordon Taylor hacking in any way, shape or form. And if you believe I was fairly dismissed, please consider this. I have chosen not to take the offer of potential immunity from prosecution. I stake my very liberty on the truth of what I say. That makes me a fool or an innocent man."

New Press Complaints Commission chairman Lord Hunt, interviewed in the Guardian: "I think the greater challenge is with the bloggers, whether it's Guido Fawkes or whoever."

Guido Fawkes responds via Twitter: "Message to new PCC chairman Lord Hunt: You can't touch me."

Tom Watson MP in letter ot Society of Editors on what he would have like to have done if able to attend the SoE conference: "I would also have taken a pot shot at Lord Patten’s lugubrious speech justifying the BBC not being able to adequately investigate the phonehacking scandal. The DCMS committee published a report that found Rupert Murdoch’s executives guilty of “collective amnesia”. We found it “inconceivable” that others were not involved in hacking. Where was Nick Robinson, the most powerful political editor in the land, during this period? Kissing Andy Coulson’s arse."

New Johnston Press boss Ashley Highfield interviewed in The Herald: “The opportunities are very clear with Johnston Press, as with other regional publishers, because the brands of the local newspapers are incredibly strong in local communities. The trick is to help move those brands into the digital age and get the right balance between print and digital."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet on the Leveson Inquiry: "It is vital that the newspaper bosses are not allowed to dominate this inquiry and that the concerns, experiences and views of ordinary working journalists are placed firmly at its heart."

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