Friday 6 January 2012

Media Quotes of the Week: From the Mail's 'finest hour' to is it time to try a conscience clause?

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian: "He made an unlikely anti-racist campaigner, but there were few voices more critical in the demand for justice for Stephen Lawrence than Paul Dacre and the Daily Mail. It was the Mail's 1997 front page headline, branding Lawrence's alleged killers "Murderers", that helped make the case impossible to ignore. It was, without question, the Mail's finest hour."

Northern Echo
editor Peter Barron on Twitter:
"If I could nominate one front page which sets the bar in being proactive, campaigning and daring, The Mail's 'Murderers' would be it."

Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin Maguire on Twitter: "I remember the 1997 Daily Mail "Murderers" splash. Every journalist wished their paper had carried it."

Ex-News of the World political editor David Wooding on Twitter: "Congrats to D Mail on great campaign which brought killers of Stephen Lawrence to justice. Tabloids as force for good."

Tom Watson MP on Twitter links to the Mail's Lawrence victory story: "And here's a story involving the Daily Mail that should make you proud."

Tony Parsons on Twitter: "Congratulations to Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan for bringing Stephen Lawrence's killers to justice - oh, sorry, I mean the British press."

Richard Orange in a post on Press Gazette:
"Dacre and crew should remember that no one is above the law. Exposing miscarriages of justice and unsafe convictions is a noble pursuit for investigative journalists. Branding suspects as guilty before any trial is to supplant the rule of law with the rule of the mob."

Ex-News of the World journalist Neville Thurlbeck on his blog writes about his appearance at the Leveson Inquiry: "The biggest sneer of all was reserved for the meeting room immediately before my appearance when Robert Jay QC introduced himself and announced that in his opinion, the News of the World was ‘nothing but smut’."

Sally King, MoC of the Newsquest South Essex chapel, on pay: “No-one takes voting for industrial action lightly, but members feel they have been ignored for too long. It is ridiculous that staff, who are graduates with post-graduate training and years of experience, are having to take second jobs just to meet bills. This year alone at this centre, we have had two members of staff leave the profession because they felt they just couldn’t afford to work here."

The Independent on investigations of email hacking: "The links discovered from the seized computers suggest that the email investigation could involve as many victims as those involved in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal."

Guardian's Josh Halliday on Twitter: "News Int tells me @Wendi_Deng is fake. It is an imposter. @rupertmurdoch is genuine."

Grey Cardigan in Press Gazette: "I've never understood office Secret Santas. Buy something for somebody you don't know that they won't want. Sounds like a Johnston Press business plan."

Tim Crook, senior lecturer in media law and ethics and head of radio at Goldsmiths, University of London, on the possible jailing of journalists for phone hacking: "I have argued for many years that human communication generates harm that is largely emotional and immaterial and that civil legal remedies and criminal sanctions should be proportionately restorative and avoid the temptation for popular penalism. Our penal institutions are overfull with young offenders and no useful social purpose would be served by feral youths being joined by the feral beasts of journalism."

Tony Harcup, teacher and researcher of journalism at Sheffield University: "A conscience clause will not heal all of journalism’s ills. It is a fairly modest proposal, addressing just one element of the complex relationship between ethics and journalism. But, given the ethical vacuum that appears to have been created in certain newsrooms by the almost totally unconstrained management prerogative that followed Rupert Murdoch’s victory at Wapping in 1986, isn’t it time we gave it a try?"

NB. Last two quotes are taken from articles in THE PHONE HACKING SCANDAL; JOURNALISM ON TRIAL': Edited by Richard Lance Keeble and John Mair, Arima Publishing, Bury St Edmunds, which will be published in February 2012. Available via Amazon.

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