Thursday 28 May 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: Why local papers can't fight to what Labour had in store for the media

Alan Rusbridger, speaking at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, as reported by the Guardian: “Local newspapers, they basically can’t fight. They basically can’t afford the cost of even a couple of solicitors’ letters.”

lisa o'carroll ‏@lisaocarroll on Twitter: "Fifa says it's a good day for Fifa. Nope. It's a good day for the Sunday Times and investigative journalism."

Fergal Keane ‏@fergalkeane47 on Twitter: "#FIFA Lasting respect for @AAndrewJennings and @BBCPanorama who had the guts to go after FIFA when so many failed to do so."

Michael Crick ‏@MichaelLCrick on Twitter: "FIFA arrests also an indictment of all sports journalists who turned blind eye, or accused Panorama & Sun Times of endangering World Cup bid."

Laura Davison, NUJ organiser, in a statement:  “The NUJ will be writing to the new Culture Secretary and others to highlight what is happening in Newsquest London and across the company. This programme of devastating cuts will make it much more difficult to hold people in power to account and to produce the high quality content readers and advertisers want. Our members are putting forward absolutely legitimate concerns about increased workloads, the impact on quality and the need for investment in editorial and these must be addressed.”

Peter Preston in the Observer: "What the Mirror did a decade or more ago needs a good kicking and maybe a good sacking. Uphold the law. But the law can be self-serving ass if it lets its awards lurch out of kilter. The editor of the Guardian rightly laments the chilling effect of legal costs on probing reporting. Local Trinity Mirror newsrooms may come to lament the impact of this episode on a company that doesn’t have Murdoch’s resources. There’s necessary pain in all this to be sure; but be careful to look for the gain."

Martin Evans in the Telegraph: "The Metropolitan Police is continuing to spend  half a million pounds a month investigating allegations against journalists... figures released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the spending is continuing apace with the bill reaching almost £4 million for the last eight months."

Camilla Cavendish in her last column for the Sunday Times [£]: "I feel I leave the industry in better shape than many predicted. And as I disappear to be a small cog in the vast machine of government I hope that journalists — and readers — will continue to hold the powerful to account. Including governments."

Hugo Rifkind in The Times [£] on his days as a celebrity gossip columnist: "After a while, and not even a very long while, it began to wear me down. So much shame, so much hassling of your idols, and for what? You’d get home at 2am, drunkenly chuffed that you’d managed to discover why Richard E Grant wore two watches (one was his dad’s) or which language Jude Law’s kid was learning at school (Chinese), yet still with a niggling, bleak sense that maybe there wasn’t a Pulitzer in this. Then you’d stagger into the office, and tell people, and find out that the bastards had said the same thing to the guy from the Indy two months ago."

Jeremy Clarkson in the Sunday Times  [£] : "Which brings me on to the newspapers, which are full of writers who want to be seen as serious and wise. They seem to think that being funny is a sign of weakness. Happily, this one has AA Gill, who can spend two whole columns ricocheting around Pseuds Corner but then right in the middle of a discourse on pre-Byzantine architecture make a laugh-out-loud joke about turds.  He’s rare, though. Because think about it: when was the last time you read anything in the Daily Mail that was funny? Or, apart from Matt, in the Telegraph? Yes, The Grauniad is funny, but usually not on purpose."

Polly Toynbee on what Labour would have done if elected, in the Guardian: "One bill [Lord] Falconer drew up with particular relish: over-mighty media ownership would be curtailed. A bill would have restored something like the rules before Margaret Thatcher abolished limits on the press and broadcasting one owner could control, when she granted Rupert Murdoch unprecedented market dominance. Newspapers would have been pushed to fall in with Leveson. Since all titles but the Guardian and Mirror backed David Cameron, Labour had little to lose by restoring more media plurality. Yet it fired new levels of ferocity. Will anyone dare again?"

Thursday 21 May 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: Are political pundits part of an elite? to NUJ impressed by Impress

Lynton Crosby in the Telegraph: “The problem with political commentary and punditry in this country is that it’s conducted by a bunch of people most of whom live inside the M25 who could never live on the £26,000 that is the average annual earnings of people in this country. Most went to Oxbridge, talk only to themselves and last time they met a punter was when they picked up their dry cleaning.”

Steve Hilton in the Sunday Times [£]: "When the corporate bosses, the MPs, the journalists — and the authors of books such as mine — all go to the same dinner parties and social events, all live near one another, all send their children to the same schools (from which they themselves mainly came), an insular ruling class develops. They flit and float between Westminster, Whitehall and the City; regardless of who’s in office, the same people are in power. It is a democracy in name only, operating on behalf of a tiny elite no matter the electoral outcome. I know because I was part of it."

Peter Preston in the Observer: "Leveson is over: let it go. Or rather, press regulation, save for some further egregious error of a phone-hacking variety sometime during the next five years, is not on this government’s agenda. The Independent Press Standards Organisation, chaired by Sir Alan Moses, is, more than ever, the only show in town...If those outside current regulation – the Guardian, Indy, FT and Standard – wish to enter the tent rather than risk five more years of independence and possible vulnerability, then their moment of choice (and influence) draws near. And for those who genuinely wish for a cleaner, more transparent regime, then, like Moses and his board, it’s time for men and women of goodwill to get stuck in."

Mark Lobel on BBC News: "We were invited to Qatar by the prime minister's office to see new flagship accommodation for low-paid migrant workers - but while gathering additional material for our report, we ended up being thrown into prison for doing our jobs."

Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz on why he is leaving the magazine, as quoted in the Guardian: “Each issue is torture because the others are gone. Spending sleepless nights summoning the dead, wondering what Charb, Cabu, HonorĂ©, Tignous would have done is exhausting.”

Raymond Snoddy @RaymondSnoddy on Twitter: "More billions in fines for banks - for fixing foreign exchange. How many arrests? Cops clearly too busy launching dawn raids on journalists."

Mark Sweney in the Guardian: "Impress, set up as an alternative press regulator to the industry-backed Independent Press Standards Organisation, is to seek recognition under the controversial royal charter."

David Banks ‏@DBanksy on Twitter: "If Impress gets Charter recognition it triggers costs protection for those in it (no-one) and punitive damages for those not (most of press)."

Chris Frost, chair of the NUJ ethics council, in a statement:"The NUJ welcomes the recognition application submitted by Impress and we will take an interest in the way it develops. Impress offers an independent framework that can enable our profession to drive up standards, public trust and ethical journalism in the UK. Crucially, Impress supports the introduction of safeguards for all journalists who object to being made to act unethically in the pursuit of a story."


Thursday 14 May 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: Shock, loathing and blame: the press and the 2015 General Election

Peter Preston in the Observer: "No ifs, no buts. This, in the small, stifling area of the universe where journalists and politicians mingle, was a bonfire of the certainties, a pyre of punditry. No one – except John Curtice and his exit pollsters – emerges with reputation intact. No prophet of a columnist saw this coming. No editor believed it possible. Everyone settled for the supposed stasis of a parliament hung, drawn and divided into multi-party segments. So the one great lesson for May 2020 and elections beyond is inescapable. We’re used to the pollsters telling us what’s happening (as opposed to finding out for ourselves). We somehow believed the politicians have an inside track – until we saw their mouths gape incredulously on Friday morning. Data journalism is only as good as the data it deploys. Shoe leather and inquiring minds still count."

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian: "The press will be rewarded for their filthy North Korean election coverage. Forget Leveson, Murdoch can expect bounty and the savage pruning of the BBC he always demanded."

Ian Leslie in the New Statesman: "No left-wing account of this defeat will be complete without a reference to the Tory press (bonus drink for 'Murdoch-controlled') and its supposed inexorable hold over the political psyche of the nation. Funny: the day before the election everyone decided The Sun was a joke and nobody reads newspapers anyway."

Francis Beckett on his blog: "At first they thought they could win by mocking Miliband. Miliband confounded that strategy, simply by being the calm, thoughtful, intelligent man he is. But the last minute localised blitzkrieg of rumour and innuendo did the job, against all expectations. It shows what you can do if you have unlimited money and the unqualified backing of most of the national press."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog: "As the Labour party tears itself apart trying to come to terms with its general election performance, it should understand this reality: the right-wing press was overwhelmingly responsible for its defeat."

Les Hinton ‏@leshinton  on Twitter: "Here's a crazy theory - Fleet Street was more in tune with real people than the Labour Party. #GE2015"

Nick Cohen in the Observer: "The universities, left press, and the arts characterise the English middle-class as Mail-reading misers, who are sexist, racist and homophobic to boot. Meanwhile, they characterise the white working class as lardy Sun-reading slobs, who are, since you asked, also sexist, racist and homophobic."

Michael Wolff in USA Today: "Labour not only got the mood of the country wrong, but so did the news media. Indeed, part of Labour's problem was likely to have only seen its future, and understood the ambitions of the electorate, through its own favored media. The left-leaning BBC was wrong; the left-leaning Guardian was wrong; digitally centric Buzzfeed, trying to make inroads in Britain by targeting news to a young audience, was wrong."

Andrew Marr in the New Statesman: "A big election defeat ought to shatter old ways of thinking. It’s important not to waste a good defeat. I have spent the past few days doing two things – sleeping and worrying about how I do my job. Defeated politicians, as well as humbled journalists, could do worse."

John O'Farrell @mrjohnofarrell on Twitter: "I fear Twitter has not helped the Left since the 2010 election. We create our own digital bubble & forget that millions don't agree with us."

Gary Shipton, editor-in-chief of  Eastbourne Herald and Hastings & St Leonards Observer on the use of Tory front page ads, as quoted by HoldTheFrontPage: "We very much regret it if some readers were given the impression that our neutrality has been compromised. In those circumstances it is wholly appropriate to review our advertising policy so that we clearly respond to the genuine concerns of our readers and the people in this community.”

Daily Mail in a leader: "Licence-fee payers should rejoice over the appointment of Mr Whittingdale, who will oversee the renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter next year. As a Commons committee chairman, he took a robust stand against the Corporation’s bloated bureaucracy and entrenched Left-wing bias, calling for a radical rethink of funding."

Rupert Murdoch ‏@rupertmurdoch on Twitter: "UK poll explodes myth of social media power. Great time for competitive free press."

Thursday 7 May 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From more bloodshed at Newsquest? to sold the front page to the Tories

The Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley: "ANOTHER bloodbath at Newsquest last week, with some excellent editors booted out of their once-excellent newspapers. Amongst the dearly departed were Malcolm Warne at the Darlington & Stockton Times while the Craven Herald, which I’ve always regarded as a brilliant example of what a local weekly should be, is set to lose its third editor in as many years. I won’t recite the usual nonsense quotes from management, but bear in mind that this is a company that thinks that one single editor can run 18 of its southern titles. Utter madness. And I have bad news for other Newsquest centres. I’m reliably informed that the Grim Reaper is on his way, with further massive cuts in the pipeline."

The Independent Press Standards Organisation rejecting complaints against Katie Hopkins' Sun column, as reported by the Guardian: “Many complainants said the column breached clause 12 (discrimination) … while we noted the general concern that the column was discriminatory towards migrants, cause 12 is designed to protect identified individuals mentioned by the press against discrimination, and does not apply to groups or categories of people. The concerns raised by the complainants that the article discriminated against migrants in general did not therefore raise a possible breach of clause 12."

Chris Frost, chair of the NUJ ethics council, in a statement: "Vicious, racist and inflammatory articles impact on all of us. Katie Hopkins and the Sun should be held responsible for whipping up xenophobia and hostility. History has repeatedly shown that when sections of the media resort to describing people as ‘cockroaches’ it only serves to inflame prejudicial hatred. Such language must be considered a breach of ethical codes.  The NUJ believes that a regulator should accept third party complaints and we also continue to argue that complaints that do not name specific individuals but disparage whole groups of people in society, whether they are migrants, asylum seekers, women, disabled or LGBT people, should be a potential breach of the code of practice.”

Jack Peat, Head of Digital at 72Point, on new research: “Our Media Consumption report demonstrated that the way we consume and interact with media is undergoing a seismic change. News is predominantly consumed on mobile devices and discovered socially, which means there is a thirst for more digestible content that can be delivered quickly with maximum impact.”

Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish organiser, on cyber bullying of journalists: “In recent weeks there has been a spate of attacks on journalists and the union responded targeting the bullies and demanding a stop to the abuse. This stage of our campaign is about stepping up the pressure on the bullies but also calling for employers to step up to the plate and stand up for journalists working for their titles or stations. As we have always stated it is to be expected when journalists are criticised but we draw a line at unacceptable levels of abuse and threats. We will highlight any ongoing attacks and in serious cases we will involve Police Scotland who have always been supportive of our work in this field."

Jon Snow ‏@jonsnowC4 on Twitter: "Sun delivers a new low in UK journalism: Foul front page: Calls itself a newspaper:3 pages that tell you why few want to go into politics."

Rupert Murdoch ‏@rupertmurdoch on Twitter: "So all UK polls nonsense. Also bloody nose for BBC."

Caitlin Moran ‏@caitlinmoran on Twitter: "By the time of the next election, it won’t really matter what parties newspapers back. All the new, young electorate is going elsewhere."

Lincolnshire Echo publisher Steve Fletcher, on HoldTheFrontPage: “The decision to publish the wrap made business sense and all political parties would have been welcome to make the same approach. It is clearly marked as an advert. We have carried ads from most parties across our titles in Lincolnshire in the run up to the election, including a wrap from UKIP in our papers covering the Boston and Skegness constituency. The main parties spent £9.1m on advertising during the 2010 General Election campaign and it makes business sense for the regional media to try and take a fair share of this spending."