Friday 29 November 2013

Media Quotes of the Week: From MP threatens reporter with cruel and unusual punishment to why Newsquest journalists aren't laughing

MP Nadine Dorries tweet to Sunday Mirror reporter, as reported by the Mirror: "Be seen within a mile of my daughters and I will nail your balls to the floor... using your own front teeth. Do you get that?"

on Twitter: "Is Nadine Dorries's suggestion an official part of the new press regulation plan?"

Robert Peston giving the James Cameron Memorial Lecture at City University: "I don't believe I would have been able to do what I've done at the BBC if I had worked all my life in regulated television. My ability to take calculated risks and break stories, that I believe to be important, owes a huge amount to the fact that I grew up and was trained in newspapers."

Steve Dyson on Local World chief' David 'Rommel' Montgomery's vision for the local press, on the Guardian's MediaBlog : "Rommel's missive makes no attempt to motivate, inspire or lead his troops; instead, he denounces their profession, embarrasses his managers and depresses the entire industry."  

Andrew Miller, chief executive of parent Guardian Media Group, in the Independent“The BBC is a frustrating competitor for us. It’s like a very good friend and has the great traits you love, but then several things really annoy you about them. I get frustrated that the BBC is the biggest state-subsidised Internet [operation] in the world. It is a global competitor for us in those different market places…to the advertising revenues that we go for.”

David Cameron on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour: "I've said what I've said about Page Three and The Sun and I haven't changed my views. But should we do more to try and help parents to protect their children from legal pornography on the internet? Yes I think we should, and again last week we made some big progress on that. You can control your children's access to newspapers and books and magazines."

Iain Dale, on being axed as a columnist by the Eastern Daily Press after seven years, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: "There aren’t many columnists who last seven years on any newspaper, even when they come as cheaply as I do!"

Early Day Motion 795 DEFENCE OF PUBLIC INTEREST AND THE PROSECUTION OF JOURNALISTS: "That this House recognises the need for journalists to pursue difficult stories in the public interest without fear of prosecution; is concerned about the situation facing journalists who have been arrested and charged in relation to charges of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office; believes that such charges, levied against individuals who had no role in the authorisation of payments nor responsibility for a workplace culture where such payments were institutionalised and where trade union recognition was not allowed, do nothing to tackle the real issue of corporate responsibility for any alleged wrongdoing; regrets that it is ordinary working journalists who are being targeted, whilst senior executives and the companies themselves escape blame; further regrets that to discount the public interest defence in bringing legal proceedings sets a very damaging precedent for the industry; and therefore calls on the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure that a consistent and fair approach is taken in regard to such cases."

John Cleese@JohnCleese on Twitter: "Can you help? Mail on Sunday is phoning around trying to find a negative angle on my wife's charity swim for cancer..."

NUJ organiser Chris Morley in a statement on plans by Newsquest to transfer subbing of papers in the North East to Wales: "Even by Newsquest standards, is it breath-taking if management think no consequences will flow from sending local news around 270 miles from the far north of England to the southern fringe of Wales. The sorry reign of Paul Davidson as chief executive is due to come to a close on April Fools’ Day next year, but none of his journalists are laughing as he seems to be intent on carrying on right to the end with his nihilistic vision of dismantling quality journalism around his group."

Friday 22 November 2013

Media Quotes of the Week: From bullying in the media to is Twitter a 'left-wing electronic mob' ?

Stanistreet: 'Dreams shattered by bullying'

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, on bullying in the media: "It has been heart-breaking to deal with members whose dreams have been shattered because of the behaviour of their managers and of failure of employers to tackle bullying and bullies. I have heard testimonies from members who said, 'News editors threw reporters on to the same story, everyone was terrified of putting a foot wrong. People were put under such pressure. Reporters were effectively encouraged to shaft each other. It was such a demoralising situation' and from women journalists who had been offered promotion in return for having sex with their boss."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog on bullying: "Outsiders may wonder why adults put up with the MacKenzies and Dacres. The obvious answer is that they control people's livelihoods. It is a case of accepting it or getting out (and not "getting in" anywhere else). For too brief a period in the 1970s, the National Union of Journalists exercised enough power to save the jobs of those who dared to buck the system by standing up to the bullies. But the NUJ, having lost its fight to create closed shops, gradually lost its potency. And there is still not much constraint on the autocratic rule of popular paper editors."

Local World chief David Montgomery's vision for the future of local papers, as reported by Press Gazette: "On the smaller weekly titles a single individual, Content Manager, will skim largely online published content to create the newspaper in a single session or small number of sessions rather than a number of staff following a laborious and time-consuming schedule spanning many days of the week. On daily papers only a handful of Content Managers will be office bound and will orchestrate all products across the platforms." 

Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley: "While this is terrible news for Local World’s employees – despite several years of shedding talent, still some of the best in the business – it could well be good news for those just waiting in the wings for the big groups to get fed up with these troublesome regional titles and start returning them to local ownership where they truly belong. And all those redundant hacks launching proper, hyperlocal news websites must be rubbing their hands with glee. Monty’s pursuit of this Holy Grail is deluded, dangerous and desperately unfair on those who have carved out successful careers in our trade."

The International New York Times in a leader: "The global debate now taking place about intelligence agencies collecting information on the phone calls, emails and Internet use of private citizens owes much to The Guardian’s intrepid journalism. In a free society, the price for printing uncomfortable truths should not be parliamentary and criminal inquisition."

Frank La Rue, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, on the political reaction to revelations about secret surveillance programmes, as reported by the Guardian: "I have been absolutely shocked about the way the Guardian has been treated, from the idea of prosecution to the fact that some members of parliament even called it treason. I think that is unacceptable in a democratic society."

on Twitter: "Mail often criticised, correctly, for nastiness but another big campaign win - old media persuades new media to think again on child porn."

Patrick Smith of BuzzFeed: on Twitter: "Re: 'cat pictures', B2B journalism tends to just have 'pictures of middle aged white men in suits' so it's nice to be a bit creative."

Daniel Radcliffe on Sky News: "I don’t have Twitter and I don’t have Facebook and I think that makes things a lot easier. If you go on Twitter and tell everybody what you’re doing moment to and then claim you want a private life, then no one is going to take that request seriously."

Steve Dyson in InPublishing looks at the regional press in 10 years time: “Of the 78 dailies currently remaining, more than 30 sell less than 20,000 a day and will go weekly – or close – in the next five years; a similar number – perhaps more – will convert by 2023. The industry will mainly consist of two types of weekly publisher: regional ‘giants’ with shared online platforms; and local start-ups and buy-outs with hyperlocal blogging websites. The likes of Newsquest, Johnston Press, Newsquest, Trinity Mirror and Local World  will have changed out of all recognition, and will halve in number. The two that remain, along with the larger family firms, will publish fat, cat-killing weeklies covering cosmopolitan cities, large towns and urban counties where there are still enough readers and advertisers wanting regular and unique local insight in print.”

Darren Parkin commenting on HoldTheFrontPage: "One of the biggest problems facing newspaper groups right now is that the current decision-makers are hanging on to pensions and retirement plans that cash in before digital completely takes over. So why would they bother hastening the demise of something they understand over something they don’t? Too many newspaper boardrooms are filled with docile fifty-somethings who simply will not step aside and let the younger talent set the pace and the agenda for the future."

Peter Hitchens , in a letter to the Independent: "Twitter is a left-wing electronic mob, and I visit it only to promote my Mail on Sunday blog, and to respond to and correct the ignorant attacks that are sometimes made on me there. This activity is like unblocking the sink: necessary, disagreeable – but satisfying when you succeed and positively enjoyable when you hear the waste gurgling away down the drain."

Friday 15 November 2013

Media Quotes of the Week: From press freedom mission heads for UK to why being a newspaper reporter is ranked as the worst job in 2013

Vincent Peyr├Ęgne, CEO of WAN-IFRA, the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers, which is sending a delegation to the UK in January: “A press freedom mission to the United Kingdom is unprecedented and we cannot underestimate our concern for what is happening. It is rather difficult for the United Kingdom to lecture Sri Lanka and others about their press freedom record, when its own actions result in such widespread international condemnation.” 

Kenan Malik  in the International New York Times: "What we have today in Britain is a tribal view of press freedom. Both sides want to defend freedom for the journalists they like while silencing the journalists they despise. Neither side seems to understand that the moment you invite politicians or the police to determine what is and is not acceptable journalism, freedom is eroded for all of us, whatever our political beliefs. Oh, for a British First Amendment."

Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley on the redesigned Independent: "I saw three old buffers, all former regional editors, discussing the relaunch of this national newspaper on Twitter this week. After a bit of back and forth, one of them suddenly said: 'Hang on. It’s only selling 70,000. We edited newspapers bigger than that'."

Theresa May at the Society of Editors' conference, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “Local newspapers are having a particularly hard time and I think that is at least partly down to the BBC’s dominance. I have had a number of dicussions with the editor of my local newspaper the Maidenhead Advertiser about the impact of the BBC locally. The Tzer plays a vital role in ensuring local democracy and it would be a sad day if the might of the BBC affected its future operations. The BBC should think carefully about its presence locally.”

Theresa May, as reported by Press Gazette: "Free speech doesn't mean you can go around saying anything about anybody for sake of it."

Lord Grade, speaking at the Society of Editors' conference, reported by Press Gazette: "The protection from exemplary damages supposedly offered by the Royal Charter may well turn out not to be a nice carrot but rather more a dead parrot."

BBC chairman Chris Patten in the New Statesman: "I was thinking the other day that in some newspapers the BBC gets bashed more than President Assad. It's extraordinary.”

John Humphrys on the BBC's former political editor John Cole (above), in the Guardian: "I reported back to my then-bosses that, although I thought he was an absolutely brilliant political journalist and the nicest person in the world, I didn't think we should employ him as the on-air political editor because people would simply find it too difficult to understand his accent. Mercifully they ignored my advice completely. Of all the massive errors of judgment I've made, that was probably my biggest. He turned out to be a great star."

Guardian editorial on John Cole: "The combination of his Northern Irish voice and his dazzling tweed overcoat made him instantly recognisable and entirely unforgettable. That, and his political contacts accrued over a lifetime, their complete confidence in him, and the great seriousness with which he treated the business of government, led to a compellingly watchable blend of showbiz and unimpeachable authority."

James Brewster, founder and owner of Strand News, the agency that covers the Royal Courts of Justice, quoted in the Guardian: "Over the last five years editorial budgets have been slaughtered," he says. "It has meant that, presented with the sort of cases that would once have been a shoo-in, even the front-page sort, news desks have been saying, 'we can't afford £70.' That's not a huge sum for what we provide. We should be considered as essential because you can't run a self-respecting newspaper unless you're covering people who win £8m personal injury claims or people who make successful appeals [against conviction or sentence] in cases papers covered at crown court."

Barry Fitzpatrick, NUJ deputy general secretary, in a statement on plans by Johnston Press to make staff photographers redundant: "This decision by the company represents a wanton disposal of the local knowledge and skills of staff photographers working in England and Scotland. The notion that these roles can be replaced by social media and multi-skilling reporters is a fallacy. Quality content is defined by the quality of pictures and captions of images used, which only professional photographers provide. This spells the death knell for the staff photographer."

Tony Lee, publisher of which ranked newspaper reporter as worst job in 2013, as reported by the World Street Journal: “What probably pushed it [newspaper reporter] to the bottom is that several things got worse – job prospects decreased, the average salary continued to fall, and work hours continued to rise. Those factors also make the job more stressful.”

Friday 8 November 2013

Media Quotes of the Week: From the new look Indy to are local newspaper editors too bland?

Publisher Evgeny Lebedev on the Independent's latest redesign: "This newspaper has a proud record of innovation. It was the first broadsheet title to go compact, after which many others, including The Times, followed. In the past four years, my family took its sister title, the London Evening Standard, free, returned it to profit, and launched this newspaper’s very successful spin-off, i, which comfortably outsells The Guardian. That tradition of innovation makes me glad to see our masthead made vertical. Together with other changes you can see today, I believe this redesign revives the elegance and sophistication of the paper’s first editions."

MI6 chief Sir John Sawers to MPs on the Edward Snowden security leaks, as reported by the BBC "Our adversaries were rubbing their hands with glee...the leaks from Snowden have been very damaging, they've put our operations at risk".

on Twitter: "The irony of all this slagging-off is that, so far, Snowden & co have witheld key names, locations etc. Let's hope for their patience."

Andrew Norfolk: 'Lucky to work for Times'
Andrew Norfolk, The Times' journalist who investigated the Asian gangs who groom young girls, speaking at City University: "I feel so lucky at a time of staff and budget cuts that  a newspaper gave me three years to work on a story. It was a major commitment by The Times."

The Sunday Times [£] in a leader: "This is a right royal mess. A royal charter is a centuries-old device for granting the royal imprimatur to organisations that seek it, such as Cambridge University. It is not a mechanism for imposing strictures onto the unwilling. So the press will now move to create its own body to govern its behaviour. Meanwhile, the government will proceed to establish an empty quango with a board of grandees who may have nothing to do."

The Observer in a leader: "So one clear imperative, as Ipso takes shape, is to make sure it represents the whole industry. A matching responsibility, though, lies with government. At no stage, through the year since Leveson reported, has there been a proper, inclusive negotiating process: merely a series of bilaterals over pizza and coffee. Of course, constructing a broader conclave is difficult. But the plain fact is that, on point after point, Ipso is not terribly far away from what Sir Brian Leveson intended, and it might not be incapable of ticking all of his important boxes if, at last, the principals can meet face to face."

Culture secretary Maria Miller interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show."Marr: 'If the press's system works the Royal Charter is redundant really because they have got their own system.' Miller nodded her head and said 'subject to them doing it'."

Matthew Norman in the Telegraph: "Devolving the implementation of the Royal Charter on press regulation to the Privy Council was an act of genius. Given the suspicion that what attracts the political class to this folly is the desire to keep matters of public interest private, what better messaging than leaving it to an ancient, anachronistic body that operates, as the name suggests, in the utmost privacy? Initially Downing Street refused even to name the specific counsellors involved." 

Newspaper Society president Adrian Jeakings to Ed Miliband at the Newspaper Conference annual lunch:“The regional and local press - in common with newspapers and magazines across the UK – will not be signing up to the cross-party royal charter. It was devised by politicians and a special interest lobby group and imposed on an unwilling industry."

Grey Cardigan on The Spin Alley on the banning of newspapers by football clubs: "What’s needed, of course, is the solidarity shown in other trades. Ban one of us, and we’ll all ignore you. Imagine the impact of that action across all local and national titles. Sadly, our own selfishness – and that of our bosses – subverts that notion."  

Celia Walden in the Telegraph: "If Twitter were only responsible for trivialising and vulgarising life into a series of bite-sized, meaningless superficialities, I might have come around to it by now. I’m trivial enough to buy handbags on eBay and vulgar enough to live in LA. But it’s the shared moments it has stolen, the way it has bruised my life by taking up so much of my husband [Piers Morgan] and friends’ time and energy, that I really resent. And all to what aim? A relentless pursuit of the eternal moi." 

Local newspaper editor interviewed for new study, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “Because of the roles they do, editors are not as active in the community as they used to be… they are probably blander than they used to be and that has also diminished their role and importance in people’s eyes.”

Friday 1 November 2013

Quotes of the Week: From Royal Charter to PM's warning to the press on secrets and Jeremy Clarkson detects a paparazzo in the bushes

Adams cartoon from the Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph in a leader: "The Guardian’s recent investigation into state spying is exactly the kind of reporting that could spark a moral panic among politicians and give them cause to limit what the press can publish. If Parliament can find the numbers to impose a royal charter upon the industry, it can also find the numbers necessary to censor it."

The Times in a leader:  "A recognition body that nobody recognises. A system of voluntary regulation without volunteers. That is the shambles to which the regulation of the British press descended last night when the High Court refused an application from publishers for a judicial review of the rejection of the press’s proposals for oversight of self-regulation."

Publishers joint statement after injunction against Royal Charter rejected by High Court: "We are deeply disappointed with this decision, which denies the newspaper and magazine industry the right properly to make their case that the Privy Council's decision to reject their charter was unfair and unlawful. This is a vital constitutional issue and we will be taking our case for judicial review - of the Privy Council's decisions on both the industry charter and the cross-party charter - to the Court of Appeal."

David Cameron, as reported by Press Gazette: "The approach we have taken is to try to talk to the press and explain how damaging some of these things can be and that is why The Guardian did actually destroy some of the information and discs that they have but they've now gone on and printed further material which is damaging. I don't want to have to use injunctions or D notices or the other tougher measures. I think it's much better to appeal to newspapers' sense of social responsibility. But if they don't demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for Government to stand back and not to act."

The Guardian in a leader: "Around the world there is dismay and mystification at what has been happening to the press in Britain. How did the phone-hacking scandal continue for so long without scrutiny? Why is there no public interest defence available to journalists, whether tabloid or broadsheet, across the law? Why is the British press – often good on civil liberties – collectively arguing that journalists have no right to question the activities or words of intelligence agencies – a doctrine that is an anathema to editors elsewhere in the world? And how on earth is the country that did so much to create the idea of a free press on the verge of using a medieval instrument to help regulate it?"

Nick Cohen on his Spectator blog: "For liberal Britain has its own version of the false consciousness theory. In this instance, the left blames the failure of the masses to embrace its ideas on the malign influence of Murdoch and Dacre. If attacking freedom of the press will help their cause, they will do it. The left wants right wing journalists silenced, the right want left wing journalists silenced, and everybody wants to tell the BBC what it can and can’t broadcast."

The Mail in a leader: "All that’s certain is that yesterday’s judicial farce (which many will be forgiven for thinking was an Establishment stitch-up) has deeply worrying implications for free expression and democracy."

Tom Bower in The Mirror: "The new law offers 'voluntary' self-regulation which is anything but voluntary. Like Don Corleone, the politicians are saying, 'I’m making you an offer you can’t refuse.'
Government-approved regulators will be allowed to dictate the content of newspapers, allow endless frivolous arbitration financed entirely by the press, and punish those unwilling to obey parliament by imposing damages so punitive as to destroy even the most profitable news­papers – even if they defeat a claimant in court. A 'chill factor' would then inhibit publication out of fear of the costs."

Police whistleblower Irene Brown in the Daily Mail: "A fair society has a strong Press. One of the most important roles of newspapers is to be that watchdog exposing hypocrisy.If people don’t have the courage to tell them about it, then it’s naturally silencing journalists too."

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps in the Sunday Telegraph on the BBC: “I do think there is, possibly with the particular journalist [Mark Easton], but also there is an editorial question for the BBC about applying fairness in both directions. That also is a question of credibility for the organisation.”

Greg Dyke on Shapps' BBC attack, the Andrew Marr Show: "This is an attempt to pressurise and intimidate the BBC, which is what governments do, and it is the BBC's job is to resist. You can't let politicians define impartiality."

The Sentinel, Stoke, on Port Vale Football Club banning Sentinel journalists from its press box and asked the paper to pay £10,000 for access: "The attempt to force The Sentinel to pay for access to the Press Box and Press conferences is a bizarre new development. But, with regard to the ban on our staff, we've been here before, of course. Previous Vale chairmen have banned The Sentinel for a variety of perceived slights and injustices – only to eventually allow our reporters and photographers back in. What they failed to grasp is that this newspaper has been covering Port Vale since the club came into being and will be covering it longer after they have handed the reins on to another steward." 

Freedom of Information campaigners in an open letter to David Cameron: "We find it difficult to reconcile your ambition that the UK should be the world leader in openness with the government’s proposals to restrict the FOI Act, which is a critical element of the UK’s openness arrangements."

Mr Justice Saunders on this week's Private Eye cover: “A joke in exceptionally bad taste.” 

Jeremy Clarkson in the Sunday Times [£]: "Mercedes says the equipment is so sophisticated, it can tell the difference between a person and an animal. But this isn’t so. Because when I reached my London flat late last Sunday night, the camera detected what it thought was a human hiding in the bushes, and a little red square highlighted his exact position. I could see nothing with the naked eye, so I drove over to find it was a paparazzo. Not a human at all."

[£] = paywall