Friday 24 February 2012

Quotes of the Week: Marie Colvin, Sun on Sunday, whistleblowers, the MSC and 'chilling' Leveson

Marie Colvin:

Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph:
"Some will observe that many other people died in the Syrian fighting yesterday, and may very reasonably ask what is so special about one Western journalist. There is great insight in this question because it points to the solipsism of a world in which it seems sometimes that terrible events only really register when an affluent white person gets killed. But remember this: without the staggering fortitude and self-sacrifice of Marie Colvin, and her journalist colleagues still reporting from the carnage in Syria, we simply would not have a sense of the nature or the scale of the killing."

Sunday Times editor John Witherow:
"Marie was an extraordinary figure in the life of The Sunday Times, driven by a passion to cover wars in the belief that what she did mattered. She believed profoundly that reporting could curtail the excesses of brutal regimes and make the international community take notice. Above all, as we saw in her powerful report last weekend, her thoughts were with the victims of violence."

Channel 4 News' Jon Snow on Twitter: "Assad's assassination of Marie Colvin:Utterly devastating: the most couragious journalist I ever knew and a wonderful reporter and writer."

French president Nicolas Sarkozy: "That's enough now. This regime must go and there is no reason that Syrians don't have the right to live their lives and choose their destiny freely. If journalists were not there, the massacres would be a lot worse."

Marie Colvin in an email to
Jeremy Bowen, the BBC's Middle East editor, on Monday about her Sunday Times article on Homs: "I thought yesterday's piece was one of those we got in to journalism for. They are killing with impunity here, it is sickening and anger-making."

The Sun on Sunday launch:

Sun editor Dominic Mohan: "This is a truly historic moment in newspaper publishing and
I am proud to be part of it. The Sun's future can now be reshaped as a unique seven-day proposition in both print and digital. Our readers' reaction to the announcement of a seventh-day Sun has been huge and we won't let them down."

Rupert Murdoch:
"We will build on The Sun's proud heritage by launching The Sun on Sunday ...Our duty is to expand one of the world's most widely-read newspapers and reach even more people than ever before."

Charlie Brooker in the Guardian: "There was something slightly wonky about the hand-rubbing relish with which some predicted the death of the Sun. Call me an organic hessian-chewing, hummus-eating Guardianista, but I believe in reform, not capital punishment."

Historian Simon Schama on Question Time: "There are few things in the world I don't give a toss about and this is one of them."

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian: "The Sun also rises this Sunday, alas. Rupert Murdoch doesn't do remorse for long."

Roy Greenslade on Rupert Murdoch: "Love him or hate him, you have to admire the chutzpah. What a guy!"

Whistleblowers, the MSC and Leveson:

Kelvin MacKenzie in the Daily Mail: "If the whistle-blower asks for money, so what? It’s better that we know, for example, that our local hospital is killing its elderly patients through lack of care than have the Press ignore a nurse or an ambulance driver who is asking for payment for such information."

Jon Ungoed-Thomas in the Sunday Times on News Corp's Management and Standards Committee: "Will Lewis, a former editor of The Daily Telegraph, and Simon Greenberg, former director of corporate affairs at News International, also sit on the committee. The two executives are said to dine at their desks on organic beetroot juice and quails’ eggs."

Education secretary Michael Gove to Lobby journalists: "I want to concentrate on the big picture and the big picture is that there is a chilling atmosphere towards freedom of expression which emanates from the debate around Leveson."

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