Thursday 29 December 2016

Media Quotes of the Year: From Indy goes digital only to we can't tell you if the olive oil was virgin

My Media Quotes of the Year are up on InPublishing.

They cover media milestones of 2016: including Independent quits print, Boris and Brexit, Trump and Corbyn, launches and closures, cuts and more cuts, press investigations, the future of news plus privacy and olive oil.

Thursday 22 December 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From freethepress campaign says Bah Humbug! to Section 40 to is Impress the press regulator that hates the press?

Freethepress campaign urges readers: "Say NO to section 40 and Leveson Part 2. Press freedom, the lifeblood of democracy, is under attack. But you can do something about it. The British government has opened up a public consultation on the next stage of the Leveson Inquiry. It is asking us two questions. Should the government implement Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013? And should the government go ahead with Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry?We say an emphatic NO to both of these questions. And we think you should make your voice heard too."

David Aaronovitch in The Times [£]:  "In addition to being a hack I’ve chaired the freedom of expression organisation Index on Censorship for nearly four years. In that time I’ve seen the variety of ways and the ingenuity of arguments that people use when looking to constrain or limit free speech. It never stops and it’s by no means mainly autocrats who seek to do it. There’s always a good and urgent reason, but to me it’s evident that freedom of speech and expression is the one freedom that underpins all the others."

Max Mosley in a letter to The Times [£]: "As David Aaronovitch points out, the rich often force newspapers to suppress stories that should be published. A newspaper can be hundreds of thousands of pounds out of pocket even if it wins a major law suit. That is precisely the problem that Leveson has solved. When section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act comes into force, a newspaper can respond to threatened litigation by offering inexpensive arbitration. If this is refused, the court can order the aggressor to pay the costs of both sides. This new law strongly reinforces press freedom and should be commenced without delay."

Gavin Millar, QC, in a letter to The Times [£]: "Huge costs in court cases against newspapers are problematic, but section 40 (2) of the Crime and Courts Act would not solve the problem, as Max Mosley suggests (letter, Dec 16). True, it dangles a “carrot”. Newspapers may not have to pay costs even when they lose the case, but they have to join a state-approved regulator to bite at the carrot. This is currently Impress, funded by Mr Mosley. Valuing their independence, newspapers understandably refuse to do this. In fact, section 40 (3) would create, not solve, a problem. Costs could be awarded against our “refusenik” newspapers even when they win. This is the “stick” in section 40. Drastic state penalties of this sort are incompatible with free speech. They inhibit investigative journalism and allegations of misconduct against powerful people who might sue.
Section 40 is dangerous humbug. Like Old Marley it must be pronounced “dead as a doornail” after this Christmas consultation."

Rachael Jolley, editor, Index on Censorship magazine, in a letter to The Times [£]: "Index on Censorship has published stories by censored writers for more than four decades. Now we ourselves face the prospect of censorship via legal action in the UK. As it stands, legislation on the statute means that we — as an independent publisher that declines to join the press regulator Impress — face the prospect of crippling legal costs, even if we won a case that had been brought against us. Our publication, to which last month the British Society of Magazine Editors gave an “editor of the year” award for its work, could be forced out of business. Any regulation that could potentially bankrupt the media and make investigative journalism too costly to publish should be fiercely resisted."

Lord Lester of Herne Hill, QC, in a letter to The Times [£]: "IPSO is supported by most of the press and uses its formidable new powers effectively. When the public consultation ends next month, the culture secretary should not invoke section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act. If Hacked Off brings a legal challenge, I predict that the courts will rule that section 40 is arbitrary, unfair and incompatible with a free press."

Brendan O'Neill, editor of Spiked"The recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry include the Press Recognition Panel’s use of extreme financial pressure to make all press outlets sign up to a new press regulator, and the suggestion that even third parties — that is, people not directly affected by an offensive press article — could be allowed to complain about it. The idea, now too widely accepted, is that the press must be tamed and the easily offended empowered. The opposite is the case. We should ignore, or challenge, professional offence-takers, and give the press greater freedom and independence and power over itself and its output."

The Sun in a leader: "Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act would be the instant death of investigative journalism. Newspapers could no longer afford to expose scandals in the public interest and provably true. The only safety would be under a new industry regulator, Impress — a dubious outfit bankrolled by Max Mosley, a tycoon with a vendetta against the Press."

Jeremy Clarkson in The Sun: "Newspapers, and the people who produce them and write them and own them, are a constant thorn in my side, an unending headache, and I sometimes lay awake at night wondering what the editor of the Daily Mail would look like without a head. So you’d expect me to be whooping for joy at the news that over the Christmas break, while you’re making merry with the party poppers and the crackers, various shadowy Government people are drawing up plans to bring the nation’s newspapers to heel. But I’m not. I’m horrified to the point of panicky breathlessness. And you should be too."

Nottingham Post editor Mike Sassi, quoted by Press Gazette: "Like all local newspapers, The Nottingham Post receives dozens of complaints every year. The vast majority are dealt with amicably, often by us explaining to complainants how and why something has been reported. A small number are resolved with a swift clarification and, if necessary, an apology. However, if Section 40 were to become law, complainants would have a huge financial incentive to pursue us, knowing that even if they lose we have to pay their costs. The number of complaints would inevitably increase."

David Higgerson on his blog: "IMPRESS, in my opinion, has demeaned and belittled journalism in its quest to force others to make life so difficult for the Press that they have no choice but to sign up. In doing so, it has alienated the vast majority of journalist for whom facts are everything, and getting something wrong is something they try to avoid at all costs."

MediaGuido on press regulator Impress: "MediaGuido has found that four senior Impress employees have endorsed loopy comparisons between the Daily Mail and the Nazis. Impress CEO Jonathan Heawood has shared multiple social media posts calling the Mail “fascists”, “a neo-fascist rag”, and a claim that it is “increasingly adopting fascist style politics”. Another post shared by Heawood compares the Mail to a newspaper from Nazi Germany... How can a press regulator reasonably regulate an industry if it wants to ban newspapers? How can they come to fair and balanced judgments if its CEO believes they are “neo-fascists”? Impress is the press regulator that hates the press, it is a farce that the government is giving these people the time of day…"

Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail: "It seems to me utterly incredible that a group of individuals who don’t bother to disguise their hatred for some newspapers should be the leading lights of a State-approved body which is supposed to regulate the free Press — and that the same organisation should be funded by a man like Mosley. Are we dreaming? Can this really be happening? If politicians really do want State control of the Press, you’d think they might come up with a few respectable members of the great‑and-the-good rather than this immature and undistinguished shower who garrulously tweet their illiberal prejudices."


Thursday 15 December 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From 2016 is the worst year for journalists jailed worldwide to local press needs an army of reporters not flashy gimmicks

The Committee to Protect Journalists in its annual census of journalists imprisoned worldwide: "More journalists are jailed around the world than at any time since the Committee to Protect Journalists began keeping detailed records in 1990, with Turkey accounting for nearly a third of the global total."

Anonymous digital chief working for a legacy publisher, interviewed on Digiday: "There’s always a little schadenfreude among some legacy media people when something goes sideways in digital. But what that fails to appreciate is that in the grand scheme of things those slip-ups and changes are utterly inconsequential. They may seem a big deal on the day, but the news cycle moves on. There’s no question the world is shifting to majority digital content consumption. If you’re celebrating if something goes wrong, you’re writing your own obituary sooner."

Peter Preston on press regulation in the Observer"Memories of phone hackings long ago haven’t died. Civil court cases drag on. It doesn’t seem a propitious time to try a more peaceable tack. Yet the reasons to stop snarling and start thinking are equally cogent. Journalists aren’t exactly revered by their readers: down to a 24% trust and veracity score on the latest Ipsos Mori polling. They can dig in with Ipso but they can’t make it a game-changer for public opinion. They need one regulator, not three, so that the room for confusion and contention fades. They want sensible, coherent reform."

Laura Kuenssberg, interviewed by Press Gazette, after being named Journalist of the Year: “Marvellously in the British press people want to read polemic, they want to read stuff that provokes them, they want to read stuff they agree with, they want to read stuff they disagree with, they want to enjoy all the fantastic variety of goods we have to feast on in the British press and I wouldn’t change that for a second. At the Beeb we know we’ve got responsibility to be there for everyone and that’s why we’re there. I was a BBC trainee so if you cut me in half I’d have the whole thing through me like a stick of rock. I would die in a ditch for the impartiality of the BBC. That’s what we do. And if you go to any country around the world they would say that we were lucky to have it and of course I agree.”

Roy Greenslade on MediaGuardian on the departure of Mike Gilson as editor of The Argus, Brighton: "It is further confirmation of Newsquest’s parsimonious approach to newspaper publishing in general and the Argus in particular. It is a profit-seeking company that does not care about journalistic quality. As long as the paper comes out every day, it has little interest in the content. Its managers - whether in Britain or in the United States, where its parent company, Gannett, is based - view editorial as an expensive necessity to ensure there is something between the all-important adverts."

Mike Gilson in a new book Last Words? How Can Journalism Survive the Decline of Print? to be published in January, serialised by Press Gazette: "We know journalism is in crisis but very little has been said about the profound democratic deficit that would follow any meltdown? Since 2008 more than 8,000 journalists have lost their jobs. Ironically this has not been deemed important enough a story. Newspapers have folded, commercial television news is decimated and only the BBC has staff in numbers even though at local level it still often feeds off what is left of private sector reporting."

Brighton Argus NUJ chapel in a statement: "NUJ members are perturbed that no announcement on the editor’s absence was made for almost two weeks, in which time the team had moved offices to start an apparently exciting new chapter in the newspaper’s history. Still no reason for the decision has been given. We will try to continue as best we can after this devastating blow but we have less confidence in Newsquest’s commitment to the industry than ever before."

Martin Ivens, editor of The Sunday Times [£], on AA Gill:“He was the heart and soul of the paper. His wit was incomparable, his writing was dazzling and fearless, his intelligence was matched by compassion. Adrian was a giant among journalists. He was also our friend. We will miss him.”

Piers Morgan @piersmorgan on Twitter: "RIP AA Gill. He trashed me for 20 years but always with magnificently eloquent savagery & an irritating kernel of truth."

Sam Blackledge on being a local news reporter, in an article for Media Guardian:  "Those of us who remain have seen our working practices turned upside down. We file straight to the web now, with the print product seen as an afterthought amid the endless drive for clicks. Everything is stretched and everyone is stressed. Council meetings, court hearings and matters of genuine public interest are not covered as they once were. Social media, wonderful though it is, is replacing the underrated art of chatting to the bloke in the pub as the primary form of news gathering...I cannot speak for the people who own and run media companies. They are trying to find a new model for making money from news, and I hope they succeed. Our industry, like that of cinema, is facing an almighty fight for its future. But we don’t need special effects, flashy gimmicks or two-for-one offers. We need an army of reporters who still know how to ask the right questions and poke their noses into the right corners. The rest will take care of itself."


Thursday 8 December 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From the journalists fighting arms with words to how Donald Trump's mastery of Twitter makes the media look dumb

Pic: Press Gazette
Abdalaziz Alhamza, a founder of the Syrian citizen journalists website Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, accepting the Marie Colvin Award at the British Journalism Awards in London: “Our work shows that we can fight arms with words, and that ultimately is the only way to defeat them, and ISIS knows it. That is why it has killed many of our colleagues both in Syria and even outside of Syria. ISIS is afraid. It is afraid most of one idea: Liberty.”

Daniel Finkelstein in The Times [£] on populism: "The next stage in advancing populism is to attack anybody who challenges the exclusive right of the populist party to define or interpret the national interest. It is vital, for instance, to attack the mainstream media and use social media to communicate with people directly."

Andrew Phillips, Liberal Democrat, House of Lords, in a letter to the Guardian about the decline of magistrates courts: "Local newspaper reporting of cases, which used to be a considerable deterrent to crime, has largely dried up."

Dow Jones ceo Will Lewis interviewed in The Drum: “The digital advertising revenue that we (news organisations) had all been forecasting has been ‘half-inched’ by Facebook and Google. They have taken the money to advertise around our content. It’s wrong and it has to stop.”

Daily Mail in a leader: "It is no exaggeration to say that our judges have progressively assumed the role of the overtly political Supreme Court in Washington. But the crucial difference is that the American court’s judges are appointed only after intensive public scrutiny of their personal and political views. Ours, by contrast – all white, 91 per cent male, average age 68, nine from public schools and nine from Oxbridge – are selected by a cosy five-person ‘special commission’, out of public sight. That is why it is so essential for a free Press to subject judges – no less than politicians, civil servants or archbishops – to the scrutiny they would otherwise escape.Since judges are unaccountable, as former Tory leader Lord Howard QC puts it: ‘It’s of the utmost importance that the judiciary should not be immune from robust criticism.’ Though Remainers and the Left may hurl abuse at us, this paper, for one, will always take seriously our role as the Champions of the People."

Paul Dacre, quoted by Press Gazette after standing down as chairman of the Editors' Code Committee: "I still have to pinch myself that we live in a country in which the Government’s press regulator is financed by Max Mosley and that papers who refuse to sign up to it will not only face punitive damages in libel courts but could be forced to pay a claimant’s costs even if the article concerned is entirely true and the paper wins its case. Which is why my contempt for those so-called liberals who insidiously conspire to manacle press freedom is only matched by my admiration for those in our industry who strive to preserve it."

Nick Cohen in the Observer" 'Progressive' politicians and the allegedly liberal celebs in Hacked Off profess to be Trump’s opponents. But they, too, find self-interested reasons to censor. The liberal-left hate the Mail and the Murdoch press for reasons I understand. They don’t care that the Guardian and Private Eye, which exposed the hacking scandal, along with every other decent news organisation, won’t submit to [Max] Mosley’s regulation either. Their desire to punish their enemies overrides basic liberal principles. More importantly, they lack the political imagination to realise how their own betrayals of liberalism will be exploited. Think of it. The state can license a plutocrat to establish a regulator. Publishers who refuse to co-operate will face costs they can’t afford to meet, even if what they write about a Russian oligarch, a New York property tycoon or a Turkish secret policeman is true. Wolfish strongmen all over the world will watch Britain’s experiment with punishing journalists for reporting accurately with fascination. As Trump has shown, we are their inspiration and their justification."

Piers Morgan on MailOnline on Donald Trump's use of Twitter: "As someone who also loves Twitter and has also been known to stir the pot with incendiary tweets to gain attention (‘We do it the same way!’ Trump chuckled on our phone call), I am in awe of his absolute mastery of the medium. I’m also flabbergasted at just how dumb much of the American media has been, and continues to be, in letting Trump play them in such an obvious way. Every time they throw their high-minded journalistic toys out of their strollers at one of his tweets, Trump wins. His brand thrives on the oxygen of TV coverage, newspaper headlines and the media’s faux outrage. It always has."


Thursday 1 December 2016

Media Quotes of the Week: From what journalists can do about Trump to getting the local reporter blues when you really want to be Muddy Waters

Washington Post editor Marty Baron, accepting the annual Christopher Hitchens prize, as reported by Vanity Fair: "We will have a new president soon. He was elected after waging an outright assault on the press. Animosity toward the media was a centerpiece of his campaign. He described the press as 'disgusting,' 'scum,' 'lowlifes.' He called journalists the 'lowest form of humanity.' That apparently wasn’t enough. So he called us 'the lowest form of life.' In the final weeks of the campaign he labeled us 'the enemies.' It is no wonder that some members of our staff at The Washington Post and at other news organizations received vile insults and threats of personal harm so worrisome that extra security was required....Many journalists wonder with considerable weariness what it is going to be like for us during the next four—perhaps eight—years. Will we be incessantly harassed and vilified? Will the new administration seize on opportunities to try intimidating us? Will we face obstruction at every turn? If so, what do we do? The answer, I believe, is pretty simple. Just do our job. Do it as it’s supposed to be done."

Jeremy Corbyn, asked by Sam Delaney "Does it really matter what the papers say any more? I get the impression you don’t think speaking with them is important,"in an interview for The Big Issue: "It matters in that it often frames debate. Numbers of people that buy and read newspapers are declining but the number that follow news online is huge. I do a straw poll at meetings, asking ‘how many people buy a newspaper?’. With an older aud-ience you get usually about a third to half buy a newspaper once a week, often the local paper. When you go to a younger audience, it’s almost none. One audience I spoke to, nobody did. They read it online though."

National newspaper executive talking off the record to Digiday: "We’re long past the point of thinking advertising alone pays for the cost of quality journalism. You’re grabbing for pennies. I’m sick of ad tech vendors knocking at my door, promising to give me 10-30 percent increase in yields. For starters, they can’t, but even if they could, it wouldn’t make any difference, because you’re talking pennies. And Facebook is ad tech. You’re encouraging consumption of journalism on a platform other than your own. And for what end? A few pennies. It’s the most ridiculous deal that anyone could strike. And it’s because publishers are so desperate that it seems in any way attractive."

Matthew Parris in The Times [£]: "In time I expect we shall adapt ourselves to the violence of social-media-driven formation of opinion; learn to question; learn to distrust or discount. But for the moment I fear the advance of technology is outrunning our ability to contain and civilise its effects. All at once, too many individuals who had felt solitary, outnumbered in their unbalanced or unpleasant opinions, have learned that there are millions more like them out there. I worry that the social media are putting us in touch with our inner barbarian."

Newsquest's Croydon Guardian editor Andy Parkes in a column in his paper, as reported by Press Gazette: “In an effort to get even more of your news stories onto our websites we would like to invite you to publish your own stories on our website.…write your article as close to the style of a news story as you can, making sure you include detail of the what, who, where and when. Attach any photos you’ve got to go with it and then click send.”

Charlotte Edwardes interviewing John Humphrys in The Times [£]: "He’s constantly asking his bosses whether they want him to leave, displaying that complicated neediness common among journalists. 'Nobody seems desperately keen to get rid of me,' he says. 'I’ve talked to everybody. I keep saying to people, ‘Do you want me to …?"

Roy Greenslade on MediaGuardian on the way the publisher of the Mirror gave up a source to police: "Trinity Mirror has no right to own newspapers. Its board should resign. Read the story of what the publisher did to Robert Norman, as detailed in a Press Gazette interview, and you will understand why."

Martin Stone, ex-journalist, rock guitarist and rare book dealer who died this week, on leaving the Croydon Advertiser, according to his obit in the Telegraph"I wanted to be Muddy Waters - instead I was covering the Women's Institute donkey derby for seven quid a week."