Friday 28 August 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: Should press have splashed on killer's video of TV shootings? to Salmond and Robinson go to war over BBC

Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan on Twitter: "So we're all agreed? Publishing photo of a woman being shot dead live on TV is MUCH WORSE than her being shot dead on live TV? Bulls**t...No, America, don't shirk from posting this image. It sums up your appalling, senseless gun culture. DO something."

David Banks ‏@DBanksy on Twitter: "Many examples of media showing person being shot dead - Viet Cong execution, Albert Dryden. Difference with #WDBJ is it was shooter's video."

Peter Jukes ‏@peterjukes on Twitter: "Doesn't anyone get it? Killers who film their atrocities crave the vindicating oxygen of publicity. Once again tabloid collude with terror."

Peter Sands on his blog: "So, would I have used the picture of Alison Parker's last seconds of life on my front page? I am not sure. I would have agonised over it, I would have consulted senior staff and done some inner soul-searching. I would, inevitably, have related it to my own family. And in the end I probably wouldn't have used it. But it would have been a very tough call."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog: "Widespread public disgust at the publication of the pictures and the footage was matched by widespread public accessing of the same images. Many hundreds of thousands of people bought the newspapers that published the photographs... and will do again tomorrow. There, in a nutshell, is the problem faced by all media organisations in dealing with controversial material. The public, the people they serve, do not think or act alike."

Liz Gerard on her Sub-Scribe blog: "It is an editor's job to decide what is important to his or her readers. Half a dozen stills from a video are no more enlightening for the British audience than one - if you must - or even the file photographs used by the Guardian and Express. But it's 'out there'; 'you can't put the genie back in the bottle'; 'everyone else will have it'. Like everyone else in your teenager's class will be going to the party or getting that pair of designer trainers? Time to grow up. Newspapers are not obliged to replicate what is on the internet or to match it horror for horror. And, anyway, isn't 'It's been everywhere all day' the classic argument for downgrading a story rather than promoting it?"

Zeynep Tufekci in the New York Times: "Graphic footage may be appropriate at times to shock the conscience toward corrective action, for example with victims of war or state violence. But when a murder is carried out in a way that seems to be courting sensationalized coverage, not publicizing the killer’s name, face or screeds is the right response. These killers seek our attention. It’s time we learned how to deny them."

Catherine Bennett in the Observer: "The accessibility of such material, for those who want to see it, should mean that news organisations are not so much powerless to maintain standards as empowered to edit, without being accused of sanitising or censoring the news. Nobody needed to witness the terror on the face of Alison Parker. To show it was to let [Vester] Flanagan edit your front page."

Peter Preston in the Observer"This isn’t, at heart, a debate about media regulation, taste and public susceptibilities. It’s a debate about 8,500 people gunned down in the US this year alone and how to stop the slaughter. You won’t begin to turn the argument there unless you show ordinary people, ordinary voters, the horror of putting guns too easily into the hands of the wild and the deranged. If thousands upon thousands are allowed to die each year virtually unmarked and unmourned – small, routine items at the foot of page two – then the tide of opinion will never turn. Newspapers, news channels and news blogs are there to chronicle and inform. They don’t exist to sanitise life. They exist to do – and tell – what’s necessary....It is, I’m afraid, necessary at least to make Vester Lee Flanagan’s macabre video onslaught available to those who want to view it because the millions who have seen it can glimpse a new circle of hell. You can’t stop this world and get off."

David Thomas in the Mail on Sunday imagines a Britain under Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn: "Meanwhile, the media reporting the growing opposition to the Government, and the whispers of a ‘no confidence’ vote in the House of Commons, were accused of treachery. The Far Left had always believed that their inability to win elections was due to the machinations of Right-wing press barons who poisoned the people’s minds against them. They needed little excuse to censor the press and broadcasters in the interest of ‘fair, honest and truthful reporting’. A blogger who wrote that Britain was descending to the level of Zimbabwe was prosecuted for libelling the memory of President Robert Mugabe."

Jeremy Corbyn in the Financial Times: "I think there is far too much concentration in the hands of too few and so I would look at that again. Diversity in media is something that is intrinsic to a democratic society. We do not want the whole media owned by one person."

Paul Holleran, NUJ national organiser, in a statement after Newsquest announced a new round of redundancies at its Scottish newspapers: “This treadmill of redundancies cannot continue. I have told Newsquest it is not sustainable to keep cutting jobs without putting a robust alternative structure in place. In response they said they will be coming back to us later in the year for a fundamental restructure in editorial areas and they wonder why people are so angry. They should just seek an interested buyer and sell the titles if their plan is to shrink the business to nothing.”

Tony Walford in The Drum"It’s often said that the future for newspapers, and local papers especially, is bleak, and the outlook is terminal. I’m not sure I agree. The success of a broad range of publications, from The Economist and The Week, through to Metro, the Evening Standard and Shortlist indicates that there are still possibilities in print. But the future for the locals, if there is to be one, will be very different. Advertising will need to focus on local business – SMEs, retailers, restaurants and services – both online and in print; editorial will need to be very relevant, up to date and provide opinion, not just reporting."

Emily Bell in the Guardian on the New York Times revelations about working for Amazon: "The modern newsroom is increasingly a place of measurement, and the more you measure (runs the theory), the better you will be as an organisation. Amazon, by the way, recorded $816,000 per employee in revenue last quarter, versus the New York Times’s $441,000 per employee. It is a matter of opinion as to whether this signals Amazon is a far worse or far better employer than the New York Times. Although this is certainly not what inspired the NYT reporting it is true to say that in most newsrooms there is particular curiosity about the quantified workplace as it becomes an ever closer threat (or amazing opportunity) for journalists themselves."

Les Hinton ‏@leshinton on Twitter: "Did #MailOnSunday actually keep the air show disaster off its front so it didn’t spoil their free flight promotion?"

Nick Robison on his row with Alex Salmond that led to protests against the BBC in Scotland, as reported by Press Gazette: "I don't think my offence was sufficient to justify 4,000 people marching on the BBC's headquarters, so that young men and women who are new to journalism have, like they do in Putin's Russia, to fight their way through crowds of protesters, frightened as to how they do their jobs. That, you may agree with me or disagree with me, is not how politics should operate either in the UK or in future independent Scotland if there is to be such a thing. We should not live with journalists who are intimidated, or bullied, or fearful in any way".

Alex Salmond in the Courier: "The BBC’s coverage of the Scottish referendum was a disgrace. It can be shown to be so, as was Nick’s own reporting of which he should be both embarrassed and ashamed. To compare, as Nick did last week, 4,000 Scots peacefully protesting outside BBC Scotland as something akin to Putin’s Russia is as ludicrous as it is insulting. It is also heavily ironic, given that the most commonly used comparison with the BBC London treatment of the Scottish referendum story was with Pravda, the propaganda news agency in the old Soviet Union.”

The Guardian in a leader"Scotland, like the rest of the UK, is a far healthier place when governments take a generally hands-off approach towards the press and media."

Thursday 20 August 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From Corbyn on 'scurrilous' tabloid attacks to why The Times' Anthony Loyd had to return to Syria after kidnap

Jeremy Corbyn in the New Statesman"The scurrilous nature of some of the tabloid-style attacks on me and other candidates, as well as on our families, has been painful. It is easy to sympathise with Chuka Umunna’s reconsideration of whether to stand when he faced this onslaught in the days after announcing his leadership bid."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog: "It would appear that media reports of speeches denouncing Corbyn’s political and economic stance plus every newspaper leading article warning of Corbyn’s unsuitability for the job are having the reverse effect. So much for 'the power of the press' eh?"

The Daily Record in a leader"THE Daily Record believes Corbyn's core Labour values provide the platform required to build a fairer country and improve the lives of ordinary Scots."

Cathy Newman ‏@cathynewman on Twitter after her Jeremy Corbyn interview: "Back from holiday 24 hours ago, now deluged with tweets calling for me to be sacked...for doing my job. Nice to be back Twitter #Corbyn"

Rupert Murdoch ‏@rupertmurdoch on Twitter"Corbyn increasingly likely Labor winner. Seems only candidate who believes anything, right or wrong."

BBC Trust chair Rona Fairhead in the Independent: "We want to see whether the BBC can partner more with local media who in some cases may no longer have the resources to adequately cover areas like local government and court reporting. The trust would encourage the BBC to help plug the democratic deficit here."

Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times [£]: "When I edited a newspaper I would occasionally complain to the man in charge of the sports section that at every opportunity he would put football on the front of it, even when it seemed to me that there were other sporting events of greater significance going on that day. 'Boss,' he would invariably reply, 'there are only three big sports in this country: football, football and football'."

Jason Knauf, communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in a letter to  leaders of media industry bodies and standards organisations: "Paparazzi photographers are going to increasingly extreme lengths to observe and monitor Prince George's movements and covertly capture images of him to sell to the handful of international media titles still willing to pay for them."

John Toner, NUJ freelance organiser, urges journalists not to accept terms to cover Notting Hill Carnival: “It is not acceptable that the media are expected to pay a fee to cover what is a genuine news event. It is equally unacceptable that the organisers expect pictures and video to be supplied free for their commercial purposes. For an individual freelance, this could mean working at a loss. We see no reason why freelances should be expected to subsidise the Carnival.We would urge all members to reject these conditions, and to cover the event from public spaces.”

Loyd: After his kidnap last year
Anthony Loyd in The Times [£] on why he returned to Syria: "Just over a year after being kidnapped and shot there in my own walk-on, carry-off part in someone else’s nightmare, I went back to Syria because I wanted to. Foremost, I was curious to see what was happening in the time since I was last there, having felt artificially divorced from the country after so many previous assignments covering the conflict. I was still angry enough, too, in the wake of the betrayal and my abduction 15 months earlier, to want to spit on the memory of being beaten and shot, to be able to stand by the leering abyss and whisper, 'I’m still here, alive, reporting. So f*** you.'...There was, of course, one other reason I went back. It is the hardest to explain, but perhaps the most valid of all: I went back because war sucks. It sucks you back in.”


Friday 14 August 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From Boris says middle class families are dominating journalism to why was the media silent on Kids Company?

Boris Johnson, quoted in the Telegraph: "You see it in every study, from Alan Milburn’s findings to the work of the Sutton Trust, professional middle class jobs dominated by families who have had professional middle class jobs. Top universities dominated by families who have been at top universities. You see it in the law and in journalism and in Parliament."

From The Times [£] Corrections column: "Karol Wojtyla was referred to in Saturday’s Credo column as 'the first non-Catholic pope for 450 years'. This should, of course, have read 'non-Italian'. We apologise for the error."

Alastair Campbell on his blog: "One of the worst aspects of the so-called Corbynmania is that it is obscuring the solid decent abilities of the other candidates, who are each one of them better than most of the media will acknowledge, and far better equipped for the hard graft of detailed policy-making that has a chance of actually happening, so that we can make more of the kind of change Alan Johnson wrote about. The right-wing press has a dream template for this contest, ‘loony left’ (sic) v mediocre careerists (sic)."

Nicholas Watt in the Guardian on Jeremy Corbyn: "His unspun approach – and clear lack of any media training in his television appearances – appears to be cutting through to new voters who are tired of the soundbites and perfect presentations of established figures."

The Guardian backs Yvette Cooper in an editorial: "The right leader is the person who can bring both Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall together in one big, progressive tent, offering enough moral common ground to transcend deep disagreements on policy. It is a formidably difficult task, but there are very many in Britain who desperately need someone to pull it off. The person best placed to do that is Yvette Cooper."

Nick Cohen ‏@NickCohen4 on Twitter: "It will sound bizarre, if you don't know my tribe, but a Guardian leader rejecting Corbyn is really rather brave."

The Mirror backs Andy Burnham in a leader: "We believe Andy Burnham is the leader who will unite his party and deliver for the people who need Labour most. He combines proven experience with passion and principle. The boy from an ordinary working class background who went to Cambridge, he understands the everyday issues facing Mirror readers."

Private Eye Magazine ‏@PrivateEyeNews on Twitter: "228,264 average copies sold per issue makes us the highest selling news and current affairs mag. Thank you all for buying/subscribing!"

Matthew Parris in The Times [£]: "Cards on the table first. If Ted Heath was a child abuser, I’m an aardvark. Media coverage has been a discredit to journalism. This was never a story. No serious evidence was ever advanced."

Daily Mail in a leader: "It's time for our privacy-obsessed judges – remember Justice Eady exonerated the depraved Formula One chief Max Mosley after he was involved in a German-soldier themed orgy – to stop imposing their own bien pensant values, and start putting freedom of expression and the transparency of justice ahead of the 'human rights' of wealthy celebrities to keep their infidelity hidden."

Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield, in the Telegraph, on possible takeovers of local press groups: “The recent fall in our share price has made us crisper on what we’d be prepared to pay for things. All the mood music is there. Our lawyers have looked at a number of different combinations as a desk exercise and you could get it done. You might have to sell one or two things but for the most part there is not much overlap.”

Neil Thackray ‏@neilthackray  on Twitter: "Local media merger may delay but wont halt slide. A good answer 2 wrong question. The problem is strategy not scale."

Miles Goslett on The Spectator blog"Until February 2015, when The Spectator published my article on Kids Company, not a single bad word about it or its chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh had appeared in the mainstream media. This may seem surprising now, as the scale of the scandal surrounding the now-defunct charity unfolds, but for the best part of 20 years it was treated by journalists and politicians with a reverence which I believe it had not merited for a long time."


Friday 7 August 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From Andy Burnham's 'real job' on trade mags to was Jack the Ripper a journalist?

Andy Burnham in GQ on his days as a trade press journalist: "I actually worked for Container Management, Passenger Rail Management and Tank World, which was not military tanks, because that would have been quite exciting; these were bulk liquid and powder movement tanks. Have I Got News For You bid for me almost ten times a year and the reason they do it, I am certain, is they have some of my old articles - so I refuse it every time. It was a very real job stuck in an office in Brentford and it was the real world. Before that I worked on a local newspaper very briefly as well."

Guardian's Open door column reveals the results of a poll of 630 core readers on the Labour leadership election: "51% of those core Guardian readers polled say Corbyn is their preferred choice as the next Labour leader. He leads his rivals by some way, with just 7% supporting Yvette Cooper and 6% supporting both Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall."

Owen Jones in the Guardian: "If you are a budding New Labourite, there are plenty of prominent media commentators to look to for inspiration. But while you may find an abundance of negativity, sneer, and pseudo-Freudian psychoanalysis, you’ll struggle to find any coherent vision."

Matthew Parris in The Times [£]: "May I release The Guardian from its agonies over the choice of new leader for the Labour party? Anguished silence reigns on the editorial front. Doubtless a battle rages within the newspaper’s breast between the “let’s have a real socialist” and the “let’s have a woman” tendencies. But even as they struggle to decide what to advise, I’m already guessing. They’ll funk it, won’t they? Next week, as voting starts, readers will be reminded that here at last is Labour’s chance to choose a woman, on the other hand here at last is Labour’s chance to reconnect with its soul . . . and . . . er, well, it’s a tough one, readers. Oh for Pete’s sake, Guardianistas, toss a coin. Prove me wrong."

Stig Abell ‏@StigAbell on Twitter: "An experiment today: we've put four exclusive splashes on the front. Mail Online doesn't write itself, you know. "

Ian Burrell in the Independent"The Sun is back on the attack but it is now more careful and even has Stig Abell, former director of the old Press Complaints Commission, editing its Monday edition. Rebekah might feel it is safe enough for her return."

Tim Walker ‏@ThatTimWalker on Twitter: "Has a police force in the world more experience in investigating dead politicians, dead TV stars & living but innocent journalists than ours?"

Nick Cohen ‏@NickCohen4 on Twitter: "Will Wiltshire police be holding a press conference outside Ted Heath's home to announce that a brothel keeper has rebutted their story?"

Mark Borkowski on his blog: "Cecil’s cause ignited social media like nothing before. Hundreds of one-star reviews flooded onto the Google page for Palmer’s dental practice. The levels of vitriol recorded here could rank Palmer as the most loathed dentist since Laurence Olivier’s Nazi torturer in Marathon Man. The truth-finding integrity of the tabloid media was on full display as Dr Palmer’s past misdemeanors were dragged up as further fuel to the lynch mob. The momentum of hate was seemingly too much for Palmer’s PR consultants, J. Austin & Associates, who dropped their client after 1 day. While we don’t know if he has recruited any other crisis managers you can be sure that the cost to his reputation will be greater than the $50,000 he paid for a shot at Cecil. The most that Palmer can hope for is that, like other infamous nobodies thrust into the slimelight (the cat bin lady et al), he will return to the nowhere whence he came."

The Telegraph in a leader"Newcastle United, under the ownership of Mike Ashley, is henceforth to restrict access to its players and manager to 'preferred media partners' – a single broadcaster and newspaper. This will undoubtedly bring in revenue. But the club’s managing director has admitted that the deal is designed to 'control and reinforce the positive messages the club wished to deliver'. There are many reasons to be critical of Newcastle’s progress under Mr Ashley, the billionaire businessman behind Sports Direct. But, while they have been allowed to, newspapers have also freely celebrated its successes. No longer. Initially it will be the club’s fans who lose out from this censorship. But if the idea catches on – and the deflection of justified scrutiny is certainly tempting to many well beyond football – we will all be the poorer."

Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday: "Please continue to pray, if you can, for my friend Jason Rezaian, now wrongly held in an Iranian prison for more than a year. Jason, son of a Persian father and an American mother, went to live in Tehran so that he could report truthfully on that fascinating, misrepresented place. He took me there a few years ago and opened my eyes to much I had misunderstood or never known. His chief concern was to improve understanding between his father’s people and his mother’s people. He was mysteriously arrested and is still being held, despite the outbreak of peace between the USA and the Iranian government. There is no justification for this. Let him go."

Dr Wynne Weston-Davies in the Telegraph claims Jack the Ripper was a journalist: "He names the Ripper as Francis Spurzheim Craig, who at the time of the murders in 1888 was a 51-year-old reporter covering the police courts and inquests in the East End of London."

  • Historical quote of the week: Daily Mail reporter John Edwards, as recorded by John Swain in River of Time: "I've stood on so many doorsteps, I think of myself as a milk bottle."