Friday 13 January 2012

Quotes of the Week: From Desmond to despair

Richard Desmond at the Leveson Inquiry: "This inquiry is probably the worst thing that's ever happened for newspapers in my lifetime."

Kelvin MacKenzie at Leveson: "In the end newspapers are commercial animals; they try to make money... I would be in favour of fines – and heavy fines for newspapers that don't disclose the truth to the Press Complaints Commission."

Sun editor Dominic Mohan at Leveson: “One thing I would ask out of this inquiry is... that there’s a level playing field in terms of the way they’re dealt with [the internet and press], because I do think it could be a potentially mortal blow to the newspaper industry that’s already wounded. I think the combination of an over regulated press with an unregulated internet is a very, very worrying thought for an industry that employs many thousands of people.”

GingerElvis on Twitter: " If I was Leveson, the main conclusion I'd draw from the inquiry so far is the press is full of self-important liars with double standards."

Lord Justice Leveson: "There have been wake up calls in the past and everyone has just drifted off again...I hope that the business of journalists, and journalism, is considering it [regulatory reform] on the basis that it has to work for them but it will also have to work for the public...but it won't do just to think one can tinker around the edges."

Roy Greenslade on Leveson in the London Evening Standard: "It has the appearance of a judicial inquiry. Yet the reality is less credible. To be candid, it is one giant fishing expedition in which the participants seem to have no idea how to catch anything, let alone what they should be catching."

Toby Young on Leveson in the Spectator: "I hate to see the red-tops go down without a fight. Watching one tabloid editor after another abase themselves before the inquiry is a dispiriting sight, reminiscent of a Stalinist show trial in which those who've fallen out of political favour admit their guilt before being led off to the gallows. How much more satisfying it would be to see the red-tops engaging in a last hurrah, using every weapon at their arsenal to ridicule Lord Justice Leveson and his army of pompous lawyers."

Rupert Murdoch on Twitter: "Many questions and jokes about My Space.simple answer - we screwed up in every way possible, learned lots of valuable expensive lessons."

Northern Echo editor Peter Barron blogging about using Twitter to help design the paper's front page: "The interaction from followers has been remarkable and new followers have joined during the process. Some comments have influenced the look of the page, with suggested changes and ideas being taken on board."

AA Gill in the Sunday Times reviews Hacks, Channel 4's comedy on phone hacking: "This effort, even by the woe-begone standards of rushed comic parody, was pathetic, humourless, limp, predictable and toothless without anger, righteousness or even a point of view. It wouldn’t have passed muster as an episode of Drop the Dead Donkey. It looked like a skit at the Guardian’s Christmas party."

Guardian media editor Dan Sabbagh covering the Leveson Inquiry on Twitter: "Despair. My industry."

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