Friday 27 June 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: Hacking verdicts, outrage at jailing of AJ journalists in Egypt and a farewell to Felix Dennis in his own words

Prime Minister David Cameron after Andy Coulson was found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones, as reported by BBC News"I am extremely sorry I employed him. It was the wrong decision."

Peter Oborne in the Telegraph: "The phone hacking affair has displayed the Prime Minister at his worst – a shallow, amoral, conniving careerist, determined to secure high office at any cost."

The Guardian in a leader: "The vast majority of journalists in this country have never hacked a phone, bribed a public official or used a private detective. Even those who worked on the tiny handful of (albeit influential) papers that regularly trampled on privacy often felt deeply uneasy about it. Numerous individuals within the News of the World newsroom guided Nick Davies's investigations into phone hacking because they felt so uncomfortable about the practices going on around them. So, most journalists feel no regret about the cleansing of the stables, even if they feel conflicted about the prospect of journalists facing jail sentences for crimes committed."

Nick Davies on Coulson and Brooks in the Guardian: "With all the intellectual focus of a masturbatory adolescent, their papers spied in the bedrooms of their targets, dragging out and humiliating anybody who dared to be gay or to have an affair or to engage in any kind of sexual activity beyond that approved by a Victorian missionary."

The Times in a leader [£]: "The conviction of Coulson shows that some newspapers have clearly fallen short of the required standards and it is right to have a tougher regulator. The verdict on Mrs Brooks, however, reveals that the practice of phone hacking did not go to the very top, as critics have alleged. To rush to draconian regulation using a royal charter under the ultimate supervision of parliament, as the establishment and the pressure group Hacked Off advocate, looks even more of a disaster today than it ever has."

Rebekah Brooks, on BBC News: "I am innocent of the crimes that I was charged with and I feel vindicated by the unanimous verdicts...When I was arrested, it was in the middle of a maelstrom of controversy, of politics and of comment. Some of that was fair but much of it was not so I am very grateful to the jury for coming to their decision."

Michel Wolff, USA Today: "Coulson is hardly the biggest fish, but rather, a pawn in the larger Murdoch organisation. Coulson is the fifth such pawn in the Murdoch organization to be convicted of hacking, suggesting that either Murdoch and his other senior executives were right, that if hacking occurred, it occurred without them knowing, or, confirming what others have assumed, that the higher-ups would walk while the lower-downs would take the fall."

Al Jazeera PR ‏@AlJazeera  on Twitter: "We will continue with resolve until Peter, Baher and Mohammed are free"

World Association of Newspapers secretary general Larry Kilman: "We are disappointed and outraged at this judgement. It is an abhorrent abuse of press freedom principles. These journalists have been jailed for simply doing their jobs and journalism is not a crime."

Jeremy Bowen ‏@BowenBBC  on Twitter: "Disgraceful 7 year sentences handed down to Al Jazeera journalists in Cairo. Egyptian euphoria after Mubarak's fall feels a world away."

Roger Mosey ‏@rogermosey on  Twitter: "Journalism is vital for a free world. #Egypt should be condemned by all for jailing people for doing their job." #AJTrial

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet: "This is an outrageous decision and travesty of justice made by a kangaroo court...The NUJ is calling on all media organisations to register their protest in support of colleagues at Al Jazeera and all the Egyptian journalists who have been attacked and arrested by their country's authorities."

The Times [£] in a leader: "The prosecutors’ office refused to share crucial documentation with the defence team and so the journalists found themselves in the dock alongside the ghost of Franz Kafka: pronounced guilty, on the flimsiest of evidence, of distorted coverage about anti-protest laws. In fact the journalists were caught in the political crossfire between Cairo and Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera and which backs the cause of the Muslim Brotherhood. The trial was more about snubbing Qatar than reaching a just decision."

BBC director of news and current affairs James Harding, as quoted by HoldTheFrontPage: “We share a belief in local journalism because we have a responsibility to the country we live in to ensure that local journalism gets back on its feet. We may compete like cats in a sack for stories, but, in the end, we have a common purpose. And, to my mind, the squabbles in recent years between the local press and the BBC are getting us all nowwhere. We have looked like a circular firing squad.”

Nick Cohen on his Spectator blog commenting on Steve Coogan being appointed a patron of Index on Censorship: "I have looked everywhere. I have Googled, and asked around. But I can find no evidence that Steve Coogan has ever taken the trouble to defend freedom of speech at home or abroad."

Rod Liddle on Index on Censorship in the Sunday Times [£]: "This fine body was set up in 1972 to publish the suppressed works of authors and journalists — largely, although not exclusively, from behind the Iron Curtain, where freedom of expression did not exist. Its job, then, was to campaign against censorship and in favour of openness. I am labouring this point not for you, but just in case any of the smug munchkins who run the organisation — such as its chairman, David Aaronovitch— might be reading this. The organisation has just accepted the comedian Steve Coogan as a patron, which is a bit like Age UK forming a constructive working partnership with Dr Harold Shipman."

Pic: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Neil Kinnock on Ed Miliband in the Observer: "A hostile press which thought he was a soft target have not forgiven him for proving them wrong – and the vindictiveness will continue. It won't stop him; his genuine strengths of thought, action and toughness will get through and help to win victory."

Dan Snow in the Observer: "Anyone who doesn't love Twitter is an idiot. They're being a ridiculous Luddite or taking a stance. Twitter is a way of filtering the news. You tailor your own timeline so who you follow reflects your interests. Mine is populated by politics and history. It's a phenomenal news service, far better for me than any conventional news outlet because I built it myself. I've made new friends on Twitter, interacted with some incredible people, had some of my most satisfying professional experiences and found out lots of fascinating things about the world. It's been a hugely enriching experience."

Danny Baker @prodnose on England's early World Cup exit: "I sincerely think all UK media and TV pundits should have to return home with the team. #GravyTrainOverNow"

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog on the row over MailOnline lifting copy: "If Mail Online drives other publishers to the wall, where will it get its copy in future?

Publisher Felix Dennis, who died this week, interviewed in the Observer last June: "It's not quite right, is it? To shag all the women, have all the money and two cases of Petrus in my wine cellar and then write poetry that sells and that people love. It shouldn't be allowed. That's what annoys people. They think that I've got to get what's coming to me and no doubt I will."


Friday 20 June 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: Paxman exits with bash at Twitter to backlash over partly secret terror trial

Jeremy Paxman interviewed by Jon Snow on Channel 4 News: "I don't want to be followed by anyone...Twitter is for people who have nothing going on between their ears, or in their lives."

Raymond Snoddy @RaymondSnoddy on Twitter: "Paxo's complete inability to understand power of twitter as world's breaking news source, as seen on C4 News reason enough for his departure."

Michael White on his Politics Blog on Jeremy Paxman: "Some viewers loved him, but others could spot the paradox that Paxman was part of the establishment he so robustly thumped at bedtime, an upmarket safety valve. As such the act does not satisfy Ukip voters, Greens or Scots Nationalists, let alone angry trolls on new-fangled, interactive social media, which did not exist in 1989. The younger generation of interviewers, an Eddie Mair, Evan Davis or Mishal Husain, are less inquisitorial or accusatory, more new media-savvy, prepared to be taken to task online themselves. At 64, the old war horse may be getting out in time."

Francis Wheen resigning from Index on Censorship over the appointment of Steve Coogan as a patron, as reported by the Daily Mail: "Coogan by his own admission, as far as I can see, has never been involved in any such defence of free expression or anything even remotely connected with freedom of speech or the Press except for being involved in Hacked Off, which most journalists regard as an enemy of the free Press."

The Sun @TheSunNewspaper on Twitter: "Our website is currently being hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army. To keep reading the real story about Syria, buy The Sun tomorrow..."

Labour Party spokesman, quoted by BBC News, on Ed Miliband's regrets over posing with the Sun's World Cup issue: "Ed Miliband was promoting England's bid to win the World Cup and is proud to do so. But he understands the anger that is felt towards the Sun over Hillsborough by many people in Merseyside and he is sorry to those who feel offended."

Sebastian Payne on the Spectator blog: "By posing with the paper and then apologising, Ed has created an unnecessary media storm. Aside from the sheer bizarreness of the picture, it’s another example of his difficult relationship with the press. For one thing, it’s now pretty certain that Labour can not expect a warm relationship with The Sun between now and next year’s election."

Matt Wells ‏@MatthewWells on Twitter: "Our Brazil v Mexico liveblogger @GreggBakowski is praying he doesn't have to type referee Cuneyt Cakir too quickly."

From the Washington Post: "One of the most historic journalism sites of the past half-century will soon vanish, following a decision by the Arlington County Board on Saturday to demolish the building and parking garage where FBI official Mark Felt [Deep Throat] secretly met with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward during the Watergate investigation."

alan rusbridger ‏@arusbridger on Twitter: "Govt refuses to confirm of deny if GCHQ Tempora programme actually exists… but *if* it does, it is definitely legal."

Leader in The Times [£] on the terrorism trial which is partly to be held in secret: "The trial cannot be attended by the public, but can be attended by accredited journalists. It’s relatively easy to become an accredited journalist. That’s no secret. Attending the trial, these journalists will be allowed to make notes. They will not be allowed to take these notes home, however, because they will be secret, even from the people who have written them. Some journalists may of course have excellent memories, but they are advised not to ask themselves too many questions. Ultimately, the judge will decide which of these secrets they are allowed to share. This is not just sinister. It is also a ridiculous fudge. In allowing the publication of names and a media presence the Court of Appeal pays lip service to the notion of open justice. Yet the restrictions that remain are unprecedented. Somehow the government has convinced the Court of Appeal that they are required. As to how they convinced them, though, that’s the big secret."

Nick Cohen in The Observer: "I can see the need for 'accredited' correspondents being embedded with British forces. But embedded correspondents at the Old Bailey? Who is going to accredit them? MI5? What happens if the Guardian, say, sends one of its many reporters who have exposed the secret state? Can that same state decide that he or she is not the type of journalist it wants to hear secret evidence and demand a less awkward replacement? Editors ought to tell the judiciary and the government to go to hell. But it is hard for journalists to refuse to cover a story – covering stories is what we do, after all. What if most news organisations refuse to embed themselves in an English courtroom but one of them goes along, legitimises this charade and gets a better story? The state's offer looks preposterous, but, believe me, it feeds on editors' neuroses. No journalist wants to be last with the news."


Friday 13 June 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: Blatter gets spiked by Dyke to is Private Eye a symbol of Britishness?

Fifa president Sepp Blatter responds to Sunday Times' corruption allegations, as reported by BBC Sport: "There is a sort of storm against Fifa relating to the Qatar World Cup. Sadly there's a great deal of discrimination and racism."

FA chairman Greg Dyke responds to Blatter in a  BBC interview: "What Mr Blatter said yesterday I found offensive. I said (to him), 'I regard the comments you made yesterday about the allegations in the British media in which you described them as racist as totally unacceptable. The allegations being made have nothing to do with racism, they are allegations about corruption within FIFA. These allegations need to be properly investigated and properly answered. Mr Blatter, many of us are deeply troubled by your reaction to these allegations, it’s time for Fifa to stop attacking the messenger and instead consider and understand the message'."

Sun editor David Dinsmore, quoted in Press Gazette, over the paper's free 22 million print run World Cup edition: "We wanted to do something unprecedented and exciting to celebrate England and Englishness ahead of the World Cup. Newspapers are an important part of this country, and what better way is there to speak to the nation than in a huge free giveaway of a special edition of The Sun? We are keen to show all of England just what Sun readers enjoy every day.”

fleetstreetfox @fleetstreetfox on Twitter: "This is a man who doesn't read newspapers. You can tell. "

Patrick Wintour ‏@patrickwintour on Twitter: "Hillsborough inquest on. Phone hacking jury out. Miliband poses with Murdoch's flagship paper the Sun. How to trash your brand in 3 minutes."

Liverpool Echo reporting angry reaction on Merseyside to Ed Miliband endorsing the Sun's World Cup special, quotes a source: “He [Miliband] was left in no doubt whatsoever about what they thought. Ed Miliband said he was very, very sorry.”

Lord Justice Gross, one of the Appeal Court judges ruling that a terrorism trial should not be held in total secrecy, as quoted by the Guardian: "We express grave concern as to the cumulative effects of holding a trial in camera and anonymising the defendants. We find it difficult to conceive of a situation where both departures from open justice will be justified … We are not persuaded of any such justification in the present case."

Shami Chakrabarti, interviewed in the Sunday Times [£]: “They need a woman chair of Question Time. It’s a fantastic programme, it’s been a town-hall meeting, it’s a great British broadcasting institution, it held politicians to account during the war on terror, but it’s time for a woman.”

Paul Whittaker, editor of the Daily Telegraph in Australia, accuses Mail Online of lifting stories: “The Mail Online has serious form on these issues worldwide and it seems they are bringing that same low-rent brand of journalism to Australia. They are acting like copy snatchers and parasites who live off real reporters legwork and dedication."

Pat Keenor in a farewell column for the North Devon Journal: "Most people love to talk, so let them. And make sure you listen properly. Always write the truth as you see it. I may have made mistakes as a reporter but I can say, hand on heart, I have never written a deliberate lie."

 Robert Peston, giving the British Journalism Review Charles Wheeler lecture, as reported by the Guardian: "The relentless cycle of cost cutting at the traditional news media, and the very economical staffing of much of the new news media, gives growing and potentially worrying power to the public relations industry."

Les Hinton ‏@leshinton on Twitter: "Tales of #FleetStreet. In Cheshire Cheese (next to Goldman Sachs) the chat is of hedging & derivatives. Better eavesdropping back in the day."

Evan Davis at an IPA lunch, as reported by Press Gazette: “Really, we need, don’t we… a healthy, vibrant, five-newspaper industry, good newspapers, well resourced, print and online. We need three dailies to go out of business don’t we? There’s just a ridiculous over capacity in this market. How does that happen? We don’t seem to be seeing papers exiting the market, which is what happens when the technology changes and the demand for that product diminishes.”

Alan Rusbridger responding at the same lunch: “Well, I’m going to make a very cheap point here, Evan, and say that the same is true of the BBC. We need the BBC to go out of the market.”

Charlie Beckett @CharlieBeckett on Twitter: "The D Day coverage is incredibly moving & informative. All platforms coming together for a fitting multi-media tribute."

David Aaronovitch in The Times [£] on Rod Liddle's new book Selfish Whining Monkeys: How we Ended Up Greedy, Narcissistic and Unhappy"Never mind the bombast, Liddle’s pessimism about the rest of us is actually pessimism about himself. His Golden Age is bleak, his best is blown, his future is death. A panic attack is mistaken for a heart attack. The grey in his hair can no longer be disguised by Grecian 2000. He longs to be 16 and rebellious again, but doesn’t seem to have had a new idea for a decade. Now all he can do is rage, rage against the dyeing of the white."

Lindsey Hilsum @lindseyhilsum on Twitter: "The jihadis see one territory. But journalists and politicians, focussing on #Syria, have failed to report/predict #Iraq#Mosul shocks us."

Alice Adams, in a letter to The Times [£]: "Sir, Spare a thought for those with dual nationality. Shortly before 9/11 I returned to the UK on a visa-less Australian passport, having forgotten to take my UK passport on a trip down under. I was allowed in after producing a copy of Private Eye. Immigration officials agreed it was near-conclusive evidence of Britishness."


Friday 6 June 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From why old hacks shouldn't teach journalism to claim Snowden scooped attention but no money for Guardian

Professor Robert G. Picard, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford, speaking at a journalism conference at Ryerson University, Toronto: "Journalism programmes will never move forward by hiring middle-aged and senior journalists. Month after month, I see journalism programmes gloating that they have hired notable journalists from major print and television companies. They circulate the news in glowing press releases about the years of experience of their new faculty. Although this helps ageing journalists who have lost their employment with news organisations, it is not going to help students develop the attitudes and skills necessary to thrive in the emerging news environment. Why would anyone think that hiring someone from a decaying news organisation, steeped in old ways of doing things, is an effective way to try to help create the journalists and news organisations for the future?"

Norman Giller on the Sports Journalists'Association website: "It will be all eyes on the Sunday Times this weekend as they splash the second installment of their exposé of the (alleged) corruption surrounding Qatar’s winning 2022 World Cup bid. I understand from my Wapping mole that there are even more sensational revelations to come, and there has been a lock down on the Insight department to prevent any leaks. 'We can get front page leads out of what we have on file for a month,' they said."

Ed Miliband, interviewed by BuzzFeed: “It’s always a good idea not to read the newspapers. I don’t read much British news. You get a lot of advice in the newspapers about what you should do. It’s much more important to follow your own path and stick to your own path.”

Hugh Muir on Miliband on the Guardian News Blog: "It isn't always easy ploughing through the British papers. Cruel and unusual punishment some days. But you might think it's part of the job."

Raymond Snoddy ‏@RaymondSnoddy on Twitter: "Ed Miliband says he doesn't read British newspapers or watch 24-hour news channels - explains his ignorance of what is happening in UK."

Anthony Hudson, representing the media in the Court of Appeal, arguing against the holding of a terrorism trial in secret: "No order has ever been made which requires an entire criminal trial to be in private with the media excluded and the defendants unnamed. We submit that the orders made involve such a significant departure from the principle of open justice that they are inconsistent with the rule of law and democratic accountability."

Arianna Huffington in the Guardian: "I am very optimistic about the future media industry. I am even optimistic about the future of newspapers."

Richard Ingrams on his decision to resign as editor of The Oldie, as told to Press Gazette: “I have greatly enjoyed working on The Oldie with an outstanding team and I would have liked to go on doing the job. But at 76 I consider myself too old for disciplinary hearings. However it is reassuring however to know that I still have the capacity to annoy people.”

Peter Barron ‏@EchoPeterBarron on Twitter:"Sincere apologies for publishing the same puzzles page two days running. Cross words have been exchanged for most of the day."

Hacked Off director Brian Cathcart in The Observer: "For the sake of those who would suffer cruel treatment and for the sake of decent journalism, we can't settle for the kind of regulation that suits the men who run the Sun, the Times, the Mail, the Mirror and the Telegraph. Leveson and the charter have set out a fair test of what an effective, independent self-regulator should be. We should demand that these companies adopt a system that passes that test – and we should not allow them to silence or drown out our demands by the abuse of their press power."

The Germans have surrendered... don't tell the press. RAF Telex 8 May 1945 via @BTarchive on Twitter.

Michael Wolff in GQ: "Snowden, and the continuing great outpouring of attention around the story, made no money for the Guardian. This seemed inexplicable and dumbfounding to Guardian management. They had broken the biggest story of the day - vastly increased traffic, made people famous, changed history! - and been unable to monetise it."
[£] = paywall