Thursday 3 December 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From the Sunday Times' super scoops to the local news agenda has been hijacked by business, charities and councils

 British Journalism Awards' judges in naming Jonathan Calvert, The Sunday Times' Insight editorJournalist of the Year: "After leading the way in exposing Fifa for five years, this year his Insight team revealed Fifa president Sepp Blatter had made a secret deal to ensure Qatar would not lose its hosting rights to the 2022 world cup. It was his investigation which largely provoked the current crisis in Fifa which is now finally showing signs of cleaning up its act. The Sunday Times blood doping investigation this year revealed that 55 gold medals have been won in Olympics and world championship endurance events by athletes who have recorded suspicious blood tests. He is a journalist who has produced a quite astonishing track record of investigations and scoops across a huge range of subject areas."

British Journalism Awards judges in giving the Marie Colvin Award to ex-Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger: “In an industry where editors often like to keep their heads down, he has always stuck his above the parapet and been a vocal supporter of press freedom and of journalism in general.”

The Sunday Times in a leader [£]: "If MPs are not the eyes and ears of the public, then the press must fulfil the role. That is why The Sunday Times continues to commit itself to investigating and exposing wrongdoing and why (at considerable risk and financial cost, underwritten by our ultimate owner, News Corp) we choose to fight in the courts rather than bow to the threats of powerful bullies. Such figures are not confined to politics. Two notable victories have been against David Hunt, the head of an organised crime network, and Lance Armstrong, the cheating cyclist. These are not individual battles, largely forgotten once they have been won, but advances in a long campaign to build up a body of case law that strengthens journalism carried out in good faith and in the public interest."

Alan Yentob resigning as BBC creative director: "The BBC is going through particularly challenging times and I have come to believe that the speculation about Kids Company and the media coverage revolving around my role is proving a serious distraction."

Henry Zeffman in the Guardian: "Accusations of bullying and blackmail by a political aide within the Conservative party began with a note penned by a young activist found dead near his home in September. In the weeks that followed, the Guardian revealed the failures of senior Conservatives to respond and ultimately prevent the scandal, culminating in proof that the then party co-chair, Grant Shapps, was warned about Mark Clarke almost a year ago. On Saturday, less the 24 hours after that evidence was published, Shapps was forced to resign over his role in the affair."

Don McCullin, quoted by the Guardian: "I have a dark room and I still process film but digital photography can be a totally lying kind of experience, you can move anything you want … the whole thing can’t be trusted really.”

Neil Fowler welcomes the Trinity Mirror takeover of Local World, in InPublishing: "The one-size-fits-all model that the sector has been pursuing for the past ten years doesn’t appear to be working; digital visitors may be increasing but print is in freefall and revenues are uninspiring. With so many different brands and titles, Trinity Mirror can try different methods of crafting its wares, to see if other ways may work better – without damaging the whole business."

David Davis MP in the Daily Mail on the Freedom of Information Commission revising the FoI Act: "They are all people who either for one reason or another express scepticism about FOI, or have themselves been embarrassed by its operation. There is a suspicion this is designed to cripple FOI either by increasing charges or by further restricting access to policy work or other areas."

Alan Geere in InPublishing"The current issue of my weekly newspaper - a venerable institution dating back more than 200 years - runs to 72 pages. It contains everything you might expect to find in a local newspaper: pictures of people at events, obituaries, club notes, sports results, ads from around the community. What there isn't is any kind of original journalism...The news agenda is now hijacked by big business, charities, councils and even emergency services who decide what accidents, burglaries or fires we should learn about. These organisations peddle their own agendas with the tacit agreement of reporters, editors and ultimately owners."


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