Thursday 31 March 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: Was Times' price war beginning of the end for the Indy? to terrorists take victims' dignity away not press photographs

Independent founder Andreas Whittam Smith in the last print issue: "I had enunciated at the beginning: 'no profits, no independence'. Until one day, just minutes after I had been discussing the newspaper’s good performance with our finance director, The Times made an announcement that was to change everything. The newspaper would conduct an experiment. It would reduce its cover price in certain parts of the country to see how much circulation would benefit. We had overtaken The Times and this was the response. In September 1993, the trial was declared encouraging. The cover price of The Times was reduced from 45p to 30p. The effect on The Independent was drastic. Either we maintained our cover price and saw our circulation collapse. Or we matched the price cut and saw our profits disappear. In the event, we did both – and suffered both."

The Independent in its last editorial in its final print edition: "Today the presses have stopped, the ink is dry and the paper will soon crinkle no more. But as one chapter closes, another opens, and the spirit of The Independent will flourish still. Our work goes on, our mission endures, the war still rages, and the dream of our founders shall never die."

Alastair Campbell interviewed in the Independent: "What concerns me is that the Independent is going, and there are job cuts at the Guardian, but the wretched Daily Mail is still rampant, making lots of money by millions of people clicking on pictures of cellulited women. I think that’s sad."

The Guardian in a leader on the end of the Independent in print: "The future of serious journalism is perpetual exploration and experimentation with no obvious or certain path to the future. Some have tried to cut their way out of trouble while jettisoning their ethics. That doesn’t work. The Sun drops its paywall after £250m in losses, while the Times – with opaque accounting – claims its works. But the crucial point is this: the world – perhaps more than ever – still needs reliable, verifiable sources of serious news. Societies need journalism. Great newspapers which have survived for centuries find their business models challenged as never before. So no one will celebrate the end of the Independent in print. It was. Are you… next?"

Simon Kelner in the Guardian: "In some ways, the Independent always was a virtual newspaper. It never had its own vans, it never had printing presses. But it had a soul that was real, and a spirit that was tangible. The Independent’s greatest challenge is to ensure these survive its latest transition."

Howard Jacobson in his final Independent column: "What’s wrong with the social media can be simply stated. In the heat of violent exchange, everything but opinion gets lost. A generation has grown up that – online, at least – is deaf to tone, impervious to irony, incapable of grasping that thought can be tentative and argument exploratory. Theirs is a battleground of stated positions. One view lowers its head and charges its antlers at another. All we can hope is that in time they will all have butted themselves into unconsciousness."

Louis C.K. quoted by Esquire: "Internet news is heroin. Newspaper news is nutrition."

Standard & Poor's on Johnston Press in the Telegraph: “The group continues to suffer from the structural decline of the print newspaper industry, in particular print advertising, and of circulation. At the same time, the group's digital operations have been expanding slower than we previously anticipated because of difficulty in deriving revenue from the growing digital audience.”

Guardian readers' editor Chris Elliott in his last  Open door column on the use of a front page picture of two women victims of the terrorist attack in Brussels (above): "It is important to tell the story honestly, even if that means using difficult images. I think the Guardian was right to use that picture last week. This was debated at the Guardian’s morning conference, where opinion was divided. However, as I wrote in my replies to readers’ emails: 'It was the terrorists, not the photo, that took her dignity'.”

Thursday 24 March 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From lights go out at the Independent on Sunday to don't depress journalism students by mentioning job prospects

Independent on Sunday editor Lisa Markwell ‏@lisamarkwell on Twitter: "First (and last) look at the @IndyOnSunday front page. As strong, distinctive and smart as 1990. Goodnight."

Lisa Markwell in the last edition of Independent on Sunday: "Looking back over the Sindy's 26 years, the courage of its campaigns, the verve and intelligence of its reporters, the beauty of its many designs (particularly The New Review) – Britain has been lucky to have it. And from the letters and emails I've received, many of you will feel its loss keenly."

Roy Greenslade on MediaGuardian: "The Independent on Sunday, the title known affectionately as the Sindy, is no more. And even the most fervent digital missionary cannot fail to be moved by its passing."

Robert Fisk interviewing foreign correspondent Clare Hollingworth (above), who scooped the world with the news that Germany was invading Poland in 1939 and starting the Second World War, in the last issue of the Independent on Sunday: "So there was only one question left for an Independent on Sunday correspondent. Did the future of newspapers lie in websites, in computers, I asked her? 'Newspapers will all end up on computer,' she replies, but this was a bad thing. Why? She thought for several seconds. 'You have to feel the paper,' she says."

Simon Jenkins, in the Guardian, on the terrorist attacks in Brussels: "The TV news channels behaved like Isis recruiting sergeants. Their blanket hyperbole showed not the slightest restraint (nor for that matter did that of most newspapers). The BBC flew Huw Edwards to Brussels. It flashed horror across the airwaves continually for 24 hours, incanting the words 'panic', 'threat', 'menace' and 'terror'. Vox pops wallowed in blood and guts. One reporter rode a London tube escalator to show possible future targets, to scare the wits out of commuters. It was a terrorist’s wildest dream."

Raymond Snoddy ‏@RaymondSnoddy on Twitter: "Twitter executives should celebrate 10th birthday and the creation of the world's conversation - and then find a way to make it pay."

Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, on the Investigatory Powers Bill: "The government is still not listening to a legitimate need for proper protections for journalists sources as recommended by parliamentary committees who have studied the draft legislation in detail."

Stephen Glover in Prospect on the Guardian: "More than anyone in the upper echelons of the GMG, [Alan] Rusbridger epitomised a public sector ethos of a kind that also holds sway at the BBC. It was as though the Guardian had a God-given right to arcane printing presses and a fine building and worldwide digital fame irrespective of its ability to pay for these things."

Donald Trump, quoted by the Guardian, says if elected president he would: “Open up our libel laws so when [newspapers] write purposely negative stories … we can sue them and make lots of money...when the New York Times or the Washington Post writes a hit piece, we can sue them”.

NUJ national organiser, Laura Davison, in the Guardian on Independent journalists switching from print to the website: “The pay and conditions on the digital side are worse than on the print side. Experienced staff are being lost because of low budgets and current digital staff have concerns about pay, workloads and other issues. This will surely have an effect on the quality of the product. To succeed it will have to invest in journalism and there are few signs that this is part of the plan.”

Nick Cohen in Standpoint: "Nearly all my colleagues who have lost their jobs now teach on journalism courses. One told me he was not allowed to 'depress' his students by telling them that, if they are looking for a paid job which will allow them to buy a flat one day and start a family, journalism is now about as reliable a career as blacksmithing or coal mining."


Thursday 17 March 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From journalists can choose to be despicable or noble, shallow or profound and why a free press is like a sausage

Chinese journalist Yang Jisheng, who was awarded the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism by the Nieman Fellows at Harvard but not allowed to leave China to collect it in person, in a speech quoted in the New York Times: "I fervently love the profession of journalism. ... This is a profession that is despicable and noble, banal and sacred, shallow and profound, all depending on the conscience, character and values of the individual journalist. The truly professional journalist will choose the noble, sacred, profound and perilous, and remain aloof from the despicable, mundane, shallow and comfortable."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, after it was announced 100 editorial jobs are to go at the Guardian Media Group: "This is a major blow for the staff of the Guardian and Observer and for journalism as a whole. We will oppose any compulsory redundancies. This news together with the loss of jobs as the Independent newspapers fold presents a very worrying situation for the future of newspapers."

The Times [£] in a leader on council newspapers: "Nine councils, including four London Labour strongholds, are still publishing fortnightly or monthly titles. The law lets them publish four times a year at most. They are calculating accurately and cynically that the government does not want the expense of taking them to court. It is time it made an example of them in the interests of democracy and free speech."

Ian Burrell in the Independent on the relations between the press and the Royals: "There are signs that the public – more than ever drawn to noisy extremes – is a bit bored of a princess who is elegant but reticent and a prince who thinks he deserves the life of a Norfolk squire. They will need to be seen to match the work rate of William’s grandparents if they are to be considered global ambassadors worthy of their publicly funded lifestyles. The Firm’s fortunes, and the quality of its press, will briefly revive in April for the Queen’s 90th birthday. After that, the Royals and their once-faithful chroniclers need to patch up their differences, or be left without a purpose."

Tom Richmond, comment editor of the Yorkshire Post, on why the paper turned down a by-lined piece by David Cameron saying how much he loved Yorkshire and the Humber in support of English Tourism Week: "The Prime Minister’s piece began with the words 'I love Yorkshire & the Humber' and was designed to highlight some of this region’s attractions and why this is the UK’s premier visitor destination...And then the insincere – some would say sham – nature of this media operation became clear. The Herald, Plymouth’s newspaper, published a piece from Mr Cameron which began with the words 'I love Cornwall and Isles of Scilly'. It did not end here. The Newcastle Chronicle carried a piece that started like this: 'I love Northumberland.' And the same in the Lincolnshire Echo: 'I love Lincolnshire'.”

Alastair Campbell in the Observer on the EU debate: "More than in any such debate I can remember, large chunks of the press have totally given up on properly informing the public. The Mail, Sun, Express and Star in particular, and to a lesser extent the Telegraph and, on a bad day, The Times, are becoming propaganda sheets for one side of the argument."

Student journalist Rebecca Pinnington, quoted by the Independent,  after being threatened with being dismissed from University College London for obtaining classified forecasts showing that the university expected to generate increased income from student accommodation: “I felt intimidated, anxious and scared. As a student journalist I felt sad because this was information that was interesting and integral to student life, but it was made very clear that if I were to publish anything more I could lose my degree.”

Sun editor Tony Gallagher ‏@tonygallagher on Twitter: "Disgraceful behaviour from UCL." 

Brian Flynn, who has taken redundancy after 20 years at the Sun, quoted by Press Gazette“Genuinely supporting a free press is like being a meat eater having to deal with how a sausage is made. You'd prefer not to think about it, and it probably tastes better if you don't, but whether you like it or not you can't have the product without the process."


Thursday 10 March 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From the lost generation of middle-aged journalists to Prince William's bid to control press coverage

Dale Maharidge in The Nation on the large number of journalists in their 40s and above who have lost their jobs on newspapers: "There are still print newspapers—and news websites—producing heroic local journalism. But it’s clear that the loss of a combined several hundred thousand years of experience from newsrooms across the country is hurting American democracy. Less known is the impact on this lost generation of talent, people at the peak of their skills—in their 40s and beyond, ill equipped to navigate the changed landscape "

Russ Kendall, a lifelong photojournalist and editor who is now self-employed as a pizza maker, quoted by Dale Maharidge: “You know who loves this new day of the lack of journalism? Politicians. Businessmen. Nobody's watching them anymore."

R.G. Ratcliffe, also quoted in The Nation article: “Perhaps I’ve missed it, but has anyone done a story on how the newsroom layoffs of the past decade have been one of the greatest exercises in age discrimination in U.S. history?”

A Buckingham Palace spokesman: "I can confirm that we have this morning written to the chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, to register a complaint about the front page story in today's Sun newspaper."

Sun editor Tony Gallagher on the BBC Radio 4's TodayTwo sources came to us with information about the Queen and her views on the EU and we would have been derelict in our duty if we didn’t put them in the paper. The fact that the story is inconvenient for a good number of people is not my fault. We serve our readers, not the elite who might be upset at what we’ve written. We are completely confident that the Queen’s views were expressed exactly as we’ve outlined in both the headline and the story.”

Nigel Dudley on his deceivingus blog on Maria Sharapova's press conference on her positive drug test: "So, what do we have here? We have the image of a woman taking responsibility for what happened, apologising to her sport and her fans and accepting that there is a price to pay – and there is no doubt that these provided the best media sound-bites. But there is a clear subtext; that she is human and made mistake due to a whole series of mitigating circumstances and therefore should receive another chance. In other words, she has done nothing really culpable. In summary it is a very clever mix of the rhetoric of contrite guilt and the hard-nosed substance of innocence...But don’t be fooled by the images and words Sharapova had used. They are but the first blows in a long campaign to preserve the commercial viability of brand Sharapova."

Henry Mance ‏@henrymance on Twitter: "Breaking - editors of Times and Sunday Times keep their jobs.

Peter Barron announcing he is stepping down as editor of the The Northern Echo after 17 years: “It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to step down as editor but The Northern Echo is in robust health both in print and online and I feel the time is right to hand over to someone with fresh ideas and the energy to take the title into a new era in its illustrious history."

Ted Young ‏@tedbyoung on Twitter: "@TheNorthernEcho has just lost its heart."

Today Zaman editor-in-chief Sevgi Akarçeşme after Turkish police fired tear gas and used water cannon on a crowd to forcibly enter the country's top-selling newspaper after a court ordered its confiscation: “Today, we are experiencing a shameful day for media freedom in Turkey. Our media institutions are being seized. As of today, the Constitution has been suspended.”

The Guardian in a leader on Turkey: "Journalists of every kind are routinely intimidated, threatened with legal action and detained. Publications and broadcasting organisations have been put under extreme pressure to sack columnists whom the government dislikes."

John Hawkins in a letter to the Sunday Times [£] on the retirement of Hugh McIlvanney:"As a copytaker at The Observer, I took Hugh’s telephone reports and columns and transferred them to the typewriter. I learnt to wonder at his command of English and attention to detail. He agonised over his copy and his delivery was punctuated by long pauses, sometimes so long the copytaker had to ask if anybody was there. When The Observer was taken over by Lonrho, accountants descended with the intention of cutting costs. When one asked why Hugh received so generous a salary, he was told: ‘Because he is the best sports writer in Fleet Street’. ‘But I’ve read his columns and don’t understand them,’ said the accountant. ‘That’s a good enough reason to get rid of you!’ was the retort."

Andrew Marr ‏@AndrewMarr9 on Twitter: "To those saying I interrupted BJ too much... It felt like being a fly heckling a steamroller, or twig trying to intervene with a waterfall."

Piers Morgan on MailOnline about Prince William allowing only a PA photographer to cover his family's 'secret' skiing holiday: "This photographer – whose bosses should hang their heads in shame at allowing him to become a glorified Palace PR flunkey - then submitted his images to the royal couple, who pruned them down to six very carefully selected photos which they were happy for the world to see, but only after they were back in the UK. This followed a series of moves by William and his wife to seize back control of their family’s image from the media, replacing photo-calls with pictures they often take themselves as we saw with Kate’s photos of George attending school and Princess Charlotte after she was born. So what’s the problem, I hear you cry? Well, it’s this: Prince William hates the press and this is a very deliberate and unacceptable attempt to shackle and control them."


Thursday 3 March 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: FoI saved, is journalism a trade or profession? and last word from Hugh McIlvanney as he retires from the Sunday Times

Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock, quoted by Press Gazette: "After 10 years, we took the decision to review the Freedom of Information Act and we have found it is working well. We will not make any legal changes to FoI. We will spread transparency throughout public services, making sure all public bodies routinely publish details of senior pay and perks. After all, taxpayers should know if their money is funding a company car or a big pay off."

Met Police Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan announcing the end to Operation Elvedon, as reported by BBC News: "It is right that they faced prosecution. These were not whistle-blowers but people working in some of the most trusted positions in the police, prisons and healthcare, who were only seeking to profit...The decision to arrest journalists for conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office was not one taken lightly. Elveden was certainly not an attack on journalists or a free media."

Gavin Millar QC, quoted by Press Gazette: "You can question the ethics of whether a journalist or news organisation were justified in paying for information, or whether it was in the public interest. But what makes this different is that the Met took journalists into the criminal justice system.These cases could have been taken up in civil complaints, but I think this has set a bad precedent for democracy. If you look at the countries with the worst press freedoms in the world, Russia, China, these are the nations where criminal proceedings are taken out against journalists."

Roy Greenslade on MediaGuardian: "It has been a sorry tale for the Met police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). It was sorrier still for the journalistic sources who ended up in jail and for the journalists who spent years on bail and faced the threat of prison."

Mick Hume on Spiked: "Elveden is over at last, but the lessons should not be forgotten. Anybody who wants to see more state involvement in the regulation of the media should be reminded of what the state has tried to do to press freedom over the past five years. Anybody who wants to take a stand for free speech today, in our universities or elsewhere, should be reminded that it is an indivisible liberty that must be defended for tabloid hacks as seriously as for high-minded academics. And any UK politician who tries to pose as a friend of freedom should be put on the spot about their support for press freedom."

Sun editor Tony Gallagher, quoted by Press Gazette"You become a journalist by practising it not by learning it in a classroom. I think one of the mistakes the media industry has made over the last 20 years is it has become that you have to have a degree and then a post-graduate MA in journalism and I think it is a shame that we seem to have cut off that route of coming into the trade at the age of 18, without necessarily going into the third tier of education and it something we are looking at very closely at News UK."

The Boston Globe@BostonGlobe on Twitter: "A win for @Spotlightmovie, and for every journalist in the tireless pursuit of the truth."

Sir David Clementi who led the review on how the BBC should be regulated and governed: “Regulatory oversight should pass wholly to Ofcom, which is already the public service regulator for the UK’s broadcasting industry and has the ability to look at the BBC in the context of the market as a whole. Ofcom would be a strong regulator to match a strong BBC.”

The Society of Editors in a statement: “The Society shares the concern about gender imbalance in this year’s Press Awards and will consult the newspaper industry to examine ways of ensuring the awards reflect gender and other diversity in newsrooms."

Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail: "Forget Leave v Remain or Boris v Cameron. This small-screen ding-dong makes other Westminster battles look tame. Welcome, grapple fans, to the brawl between Laura 'One Take' Kuenssberg of the BBC and that arm-whirling dervish of the diphthongs, the ITV's Robert Peston!"

Sean O'Neill and Sam Coates in The Times [£] on Jeremy Corbyn and the media:"Media attention upsets Mr Corbyn even more than the scheming of his enemies. Although an MP since 1983, he has never experienced the kind of personal scrutiny that comes with being leader of the opposition.The Labour leader has decided not to respond to stories about his private life and usually tries not to read them, preferring the Morning Star and Irish Post."

The great Hugh McIlvanney in his last column for the Sunday Times [£]: "Technology has delivered many a boon to the working reporter but in sport, especially, there are penalties. The demand for instant information and comment for the internet in addition to the copy transmitted to the newspaper must eat into the opportunities for the ferreting around that I always found productive in the immediate aftermath of an event...I envy the present generation of sportswriters their youth but not their operating conditions. I know how important favourable circumstances were to me."

McIlvanney also quoted Peter Dobereiner's definition of what columnists do: "A columnist is someone who hides up in the hills until the battle is over and then comes down and bayonets the wounded.”