Thursday 25 February 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From journalists 'self-pleasuring' Boris Johnson to are bloggers who work for nothing more authentic than paid contributors?

Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer: "Journalists have colluded in the self-pleasuring of Boris Johnson by obsessing over which side of the fence that incorrigible attention-seeker will fall."

Nick Cohen on the Spectator blog: "After the Times fired him for making up stories, Johnson ended up as the Telegraph’s Brussels correspondent. Once there, he was seduced by the most corrupting desire to afflict a journalist: the urge to give readers what they want. His tales of the EU punishing the rubber industry for making undersized condoms or ordering the straightening of bananas were so flimsy that, like dandelion puffballs, they collapsed with the first puff of scrutiny."

Andrew Norfolk in The Times [£] on the guilty verdicts in the Rotherham child grooming case: "It began with a voicemail. A young woman, sounding nervous, said that she wanted to talk to a journalist about what had happened to her as a child in Rotherham. Her call led to a series of meetings and a story published in 2013 across four pages of The Times. It examined the life of one groomed girl — we called her Jessica — and the repeated failure of child-protection authorities to take action against her adult abuser, Arshid Hussain. The articles prompted a two-year police inquiry and a trial in which the same brave young woman found herself in the witness box at Sheffield crown court. She was one of nine child victims whose accounts resulted in Hussain’s conviction yesterday for 23 sex offences."

New Day editor Alison Phillips in a press release on the new paper which launches next Monday: “There are many people who aren’t currently buying a newspaper, not because they have fallen out of love with newspapers as a format, but because what is currently available on the newsstand is not meeting their needs. This paper has been created as a result of customer insight and is the first newspaper designed for people’s modern lifestyles.”

The Times[£] in a leader: "Sepp Blatter describes himself in a Times interview today as a missionary for football. In truth, the man who was once the most powerful figure in the sport is more mercenary than missionary."

Dan Hodges ‏@DPJHodges on Twitter: "New York Daily News portray Trump as the anti-Christ. When are they going to get off the fence..."

Gary Younge giving the James Cameron Memorial Lecture: "Department of Justice investigators found that every time a police dog bit someone the victim was black. It turns out that sometimes dog bites man really is the story. And we keep missing it."

Tsuneo Kita, chairman and group chief executive of Nikkei, on the Financial Times moving back to Bracken House: “It feels as if this is a gift to our partnership, and I am as excited as you are that we will be together in the heart of the City as we advance towards our goal of becoming the world’s premier business media group.”

Huffington Post editor Stephen Hull, on BBC Radio 4's Media Show: "What we do is that we have 13,000 contributors in the UK, bloggers… we don’t pay them, but you know if I was paying someone to write something because I wanted it to get advertising, that’s not a real authentic way of presenting copy. So when somebody writes something for us, we know it’s real. We know they want to write it. It’s not been forced or paid for. I think that’s something to be proud of.”

Media Mole on the New Statesman: "Your mole wonders how far the miserly head HuffPo honcho takes his logic. Presumably he can’t go out to eat at restaurants, because the food the (paid) chefs cook him is inauthentic. And when he’s ill, he must have to research his symptoms online instead of visiting a GP, because their salaries mean the diagnoses they give aren't real. He must have to walk to work because of all those pesky salaried workers driving tube trains and buses, ruining the authenticity of the daily commute."


Thursday 18 February 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: Dawn for New Day, digital is dead and can the Indy survive online?

Mark Kleinman, City Editor of Sky News: "The publisher of The Daily Mirror will this month unveil a weekday newspaper called New Day even as the looming closure of The Independent sparks fresh pessimism about the industry's prospects. Sky News has obtained key details of the new tabloid being prepared for launch by Trinity Mirror, the listed company which is also Britain's biggest regional newspaper group. New Day is expected to launch on 29 February, according to people close to the plans, and will initially be priced at 25p - compared to the 40p cover price of the", with which it is expected to compete."

Michael Wolff on USA Today: "While neither consumers nor advertisers will pay enough for news to cover its costs in print form, they won’t cover the costs in digital either...In a way, it might be good news to have at least clarified the point that digital is not the future of the news business. And to acknowledge that, in some farsighted new thinking, print might have some striking advantages — such that ads can’t be blocked. Of course, the bad news is to have realized this well after the digital promise has all but destroyed the business. But better late than never."

From the Guardian:"Thirty years after his move to Wapping killed off Fleet Street’s connection with the newspaper business, Rupert Murdoch is to marry Jerry Hall at St Bride’s church on his old stamping ground."

MichaelWhite‏@MichaelWhite on Twitter: "Rupe marrying in Fleet St which he helped destroy (& feed loyal staff to the cops) shows rare bad taste even for RM."

Les Hinton ‏@leshinton on Twitter: "Err - would that be the same man who changed the economics of Fleet St to make the Indy’s launch possible?"

The Times  [£] in a leader on the demise of the Independent print titles: "Long before the digital revolution, newspapers confronted the migration of news to broadcasters. Newspapers will continue to innovate in the face of the internet revolution and it is our belief that print will co-exist with digital for a long time to come. A loss of diversity in media voices is to be regretted but there is no reason for gloom about the future of newsprint."

Steven Barnett ‏@stevenjbarnett on Twitter: "#independent won't survive as serious journalistic force online. A terrible blow to media plurality, as well as journalists' jobs."

Andrew Marr in the Guardian: "People who say 'there are enough newspapers', are like people who say there are enough public parks or libraries, or piano concertos: always and forever wrong."

Beverley Charles Rowe in a letter to the Guardian: "Fourteen pages on David Bowie, a single page on one of the momentous scientific discoveries ever (So it turns out Einstein was right all along, 12 February). And now we cannot even switch to the Independent."

Fraser Nelson on The Spectator: "Under the Independent’s current editor, the brilliant Amol Rajan, I’d say that the newspaper was going through a revival – as we saw with its magnificent redesign. But it had a potent rival. Not the Times (contrary to what the Guardian says, its price war was with the Daily Telegraph) but the i."

Archie Bland in the Guardian: "When I think of the impertinent faith that such an enterprise required, and the many hundreds of journalists who took up its mantle, and of the vital liberal voice that has been diminished, I feel terribly sad. That’s not to say that the decline of print isn’t inevitable, or that an era of online journalism isn’t thrilling in its own way. But you can love something that you know is bound to expire; maybe it makes you love it more. And as other papers go the way of the Independent in the years ahead, I will miss the conceit of a newspaper as an account of the day, its artful balance of heft and humour, its precarious attempt at authority."

Rupert Murdoch ‏@rupertmurdoch on Twitter: "Sadly UK's Independent print paper closes after about 30 years. Any loss of diversity bad."

The Independent NUJ chapel in a motion: "This chapel is deeply sceptical about the company’s ability to generate confidence in the new Independent website while downgrading existing terms and conditions for new roles. The chapel has consistently argued for digital colleagues to receive full recognition from the company, and for low pay and poor treatment of staff to be addressed."


Thursday 11 February 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: Anger over decision to close Independent print titles to the best journalist at never finding Lord Lucan all over the world

Independent-owner Evgeny Lebedev's in a letter to staff: "At a time when our journalism is read and respected by more people in more places than ever before, we are embracing an exclusively digital future with and its associated sites. We faced a choice: manage the continued decline of print, or convert the digital foundation we’ve built into a sustainable, profitable future...I can now confirm we are selling The Independent’s sister paper, i, to Johnston Press, subject to Johnston Press shareholder approval. In addition, we will cease to print The Independent and Independent on Sunday. The Independent’s last edition is expected to be on Saturday 26th March and the last Independent on Sunday is expected be on Sunday 20th March."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, in a statement: "To close these historic titles overnight after a deal clinched behind closed doors, without any consultation or attempts to engage with staff, demonstrates the contempt the company has for its workforce. For Evgeny Lebedev to laud closures that will see staff lose their livelihoods as an ‘historic transition’ is an added indignity. The fact that our national newspapers can be shut down overnight with no scrutiny and no ability for their future to be secured through other means, underlines the moral bankruptcy of newspaper ownership in the UK. That needs to be urgently addressed."

Ian Katz ‏@iankatz1000 on Twitter: "Independent co-founder Stephen Glover predicts FT and Guardian likely to follow Indy and abandon print edition in next few years #newsnight."

Raymond Snoddy ‏@RaymondSnoddy on Twitter: "Alas fear I now understand sale of the i to Johnston Press - end of the road for The Independent as a paper publication - online oblivion?"

Daniel Finkelstein in The Times [£] on the prosecution of the Sun's Fergus Shanahan:"It isn’t clear even now, a year after his acquittal, whether the things that Fergus stark-staringly obviously didn’t do were actually illegal even if he had done them. So how on earth did it end with him in the dock, as he put it, 'like Don Corleone', and me watching? The answer is the same in his and Lord Bramall’s case. It happened because the police and prosecuting authorities were protecting themselves against public criticism. Phone hacking is in the news, we’d better prosecute a journalist. VIP sex abuse is in the news, we’d better get a celebrity or two in the dock. It was 'justice' for the purposes of spin and defensive briefing."

Dominic Ponsford in Press Gazette, following the judgment of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal to reject a compensation claim by a Sun journalist whose phone records were illegally seized by police: "So if a journalist illegally listens to the voicemails of a celebrity they can expect dawn raids, years on bail, an Old Bailey trial and a stretch in Belmarsh. If a cop illegally accesses a journalists' mobile phone data to identify their confidential sources, driving a coach and horses through Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the punishment is nothing."

Man United manager Louis van Gaal meets the press, as reported by the Mirror: "You are creating stories. You haven't spoken with Ed Woodward or the Glazers and you are inventing the story. Then I have to answer that question. I don't answer this question and I shall repeat myself every week. I have to say that you are getting the sack tomorrow. What is your name? Then I can announce the name also. Look at your wife - maybe you have children, or a nephew or something like that."

Lucy Kellaway in the Financial Times in an open letter to Henry Gomez, head of marketing and communications at Hewlett Packard Enterprise: "You say the FT management should think about 'unacceptable biases' and its relationship with its advertisers. My piece was not biased and I fear you misunderstand our business model. It is my editors’ steadfast refusal to consider the impact of stories on advertisers that makes us the decent newspaper we are. It is why I want to go on working here. It is why the FT goes on paying me."

Jeremy Lewis in the Observer on the paper's former editor David Astor: "He also preferred employing writers rather than professional journalists, whom he referred to as 'plumbers', a proclivity that eventually brought him into conflict with the National Union of Journalists."

Croydon Advertiser reports: "A JUDGE has granted Croydon Advertiser chief reporter Gareth Davies permission for a judicial review of the police watchdog's decision to uphold the harassment warning issued to him for questioning a convicted criminal. After considering submissions from Mr Davies, backed by Advertiser publisher Local World, and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), Mr Justice Picken, of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice, ruled the claim is arguable."

The Guardian reports: "The former cabinet minister Jack Straw, who has been tasked with considering how to tighten up the Freedom of Information Act, led two of the Whitehall departments most likely to reject public requests for information. Straw’s ministries never ranked higher than 15 out of 21 government departments in terms of releasing information in full, according to a Guardian analysis."

The late Mirror journalist Garth Gibbs, quoted by Roy Greenslade in the Guardian: "I regard not finding Lord Lucan as my most spectacular success in journalism. Of course, many of my colleagues have also been fairly successful in not finding Lord Lucan. But I have successfully not found him in more exotic spots than anybody else.”

When Garth died in 2011 an obit it Press Gazette included the same quote, which continued: "I spent three glorious weeks not finding him in Cape Town, magical days and nights not finding him in the Black Mountains of Wales, and wonderful and successful short breaks not finding him in Macau either, or in Hong Kong or even in Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas where you can find anyone."


Thursday 4 February 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From revengeful right-wing press out to get Cameron on EU to MPs urge government to save local press from destruction

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian"The press has never forgiven Cameron for the Leveson Inquiry  into the phone-hacking scandal, after Nick Davies’ Guardian expose. Leveson’s unenacted press regulation hangs over their head: some further scandal could oblige it to be enforced. Murdoch’s humblest day didn’t last long, with Rebekah Brooks back in the saddle, James Murdoch back in charge of Sky and angling to take over the whole company. What better leverage or revenge does the press have, than to humiliate Cameron over the EU referendum? A natural thuggish instinct urges these papers to prove their bully-power over governments. Tasting blood with that 'It’s the Sun Wot Won It' boast over Kinnock’s 1992 defeat, sheer delight in brute power fires up Murdoch, Paul Dacre and their imitators."

Peter Sands in InPublishing: "Sir Martin Sorrell, whose agency WPP spends an annual £76 billion in advertising, told the Society of Editors’ conference in October that paywalls were the way to go. 'If you have content that has value, consumers will pay for it,' he said. He knows better than anyone of course. But the issue for some might just be the ‘value’ bit. I go through newspapers and websites searching for content which readers will put their hands in their pockets for. It can be a fruitless task. And if The Sun couldn’t make a paywall work, what chance for the Posts and Chronicles?"

Jim Boumelha, president of the International Federation of Journalists, on its 25th annual report showing 2,297 journalists and media workers have been killed since 1990, including 112 killed in 2015: "This milestone publication charts the trajectory of safety crisis in journalism and bears witness to the IFJ’s long running campaign to end impunity for violence against media professionals. These annual reports were more than just about recording the killings of colleagues. They also represented our tribute for their courage and the ultimate sacrifice paid by journalists in their thousands who lost their lives fulfilling the role to inform and empower the public."

Michael Wolff on USA Today: "Beyond the Guardian’s own business clumsiness or bad luck, its losses point out a broader digital news reality: There is yet no foreseeable way to cover the costs of digital growth, and digital 'success' is wholly measured by growth. Therefore, success is in some way a suicide pill." 

Mary Hamilton, executive editor for audience at the Guardian, on the paper's decision to cut down the number of places where it opens comments on stories relating to some contentious subjects – particularly migration and race: "At their best – when they are respectful, thoughtful, interesting, or constructive – comments make our journalism better. At their worst, they can diminish its impact, reduce its credibility, and harm our writers and their subjects, while making those constructive comments impossible to find or recognise."

Jeremy Clarkson in the Sunday Times [£]: "Of course, you can block users who are abusive, but that’s like standing in a Bangladeshi sewer after Ramadan finishes. You can flail about as much as you like and wail loudly about the importance of free speech. But ultimately you’re going to get covered in excrement. This is Twitter’s big problem. It’s being policed by the Stasi. And of course, when they react angrily to what you’ve said, the Mirror and the BBC and The Guardian see this as evidence that you’ve done something wrong. So they run a story saying, 'Twitter has reacted with fury . . .', which then causes the whole site to become angrier still. Really, they should drop that bird logo and replace it with an endlessly spinning red flag."

Regional journalist, quoted in Press Gazette survey: "I fear for my job, the young people coming into the industry and the public who will soon live off nothing but attention-seeking, fact-free, gossipy clickbait."

liz gerard ‏@gameoldgirl on Twitter: "Hands up all who spotted CS Lewis in @TheSun splash head. And hands up anyone who thinks it relevant. Thought not."

Man United manager Louis van Gaal meets the press, as reported by BBC Sport: “You make your own stories and I am concerned that people believe what you write. This is the third time I am sacked and I am still sitting here. You write all these stories and then I have to answer questions about them. I am not doing that, it is awful and horrible.”

Early Day Motion tabled by Helen Goodman, Labour MP for Bishop Auckland: "This House is concerned by the announcement that Johnston Press, which publishes titles including the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post, Lancashire Evening Post, The Scotsman and Derry Journal, is to cull almost 100 editorial posts; notes that this announcement comes just days after Newsquest announced that up to 25 journalist posts are to be axed across its Scottish titles; further notes that year-on-year cuts in jobs and closure of newspaper titles have resulted in the loss of 5,000 editorial roles in local and regional press, and the closure of more than 150 newspapers since March 2011; believes that local and regional news coverage is an essential feature of civic life and a healthy democracy; and therefore calls for active government intervention to prevent the destruction of these vital community assets and to establish a short, sharp inquiry to produce a coherent strategy for defending local journalism.”