Thursday 30 March 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From mapping the local press jobs disaster to should an editor be whipped?

A key finding from new local press study Mapping Changes in local news 2015-2017: more bad news for democracy?: "There were 30 instances of job cuts announced over a 17-month period involving the loss of 418 jobs. Newsquest, with 12 announcements affecting 139 jobs, led the way, followed by Trinity Mirror (at least 102 jobs) and Johnston Press (100 jobs). In addition to the job cuts, reorganisations affected a further 83 jobs, and there were six newspaper office closures, with journalists often being moved long distances away from the communities they serve."

NUJ BBC rep Cath Saunt on the NUJ website"Now, along with provincial newspapers - such a vital part of our democracy and free speech for more than three hundred years - local radio is facing another round of cuts. The number of journalists is being whittled away. BBC Radio and TV across the English regions is facing cuts of £15 million pounds. There are many who fear its complete demise in the not too distant future. Now digital is king and news is becoming more and more remote, faceless and centralised...We must hang on to our district reporters and their offices, to our radio stations, to the people we trust to report the news accurately and fairly. Local news DOES matter - in an era of fake news and click bait - it matters more than ever before."

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism on the launch of Bureau Local: "We believe local journalists are crucial in holding power to account. But their ability to do this is being threatened as newsrooms cut budgets and staff alongside the time and resources given to much-needed investigative reporting...The Bureau Local will build an unprecedented network of journalists and tech experts across the country who will work together to find and tell stories that matter to local communities."

Owen Jones in the Guardian on the Daily Mail: "The newspaper’s decision to objectify the legs of the country’s most prominent female politicians – focusing on what they look like rather than what they stand for – represents one of its many lows. But while it should be mocked, parodied, ridiculed, it should terrify us: because it is indicative of what is happening in Brexit Britain."

Daily Mail in a statement, published by Press Gazette“For goodness sake, get a life! Sarah Vine’s piece, which was flagged as light-hearted, was a side-bar alongside a serious political story. It appeared in an 84-page paper packed with important news and analysis, a front page exclusive on cost-cutting in the NHS and a health supplement devoted to women’s health issues. For the record, the Mail was the paper which, more than any other, backed Theresa May for the top job. Again for the record, we often comment on the appearance of male politicians including Cameron’s waistline, Osborne’s hair, Corbyn’s clothes – and even Boris’s legs. Is there a rule that says political coverage must be dull or has a po-faced BBC and left-wing commentariat, so obsessed by the Daily Mail, lost all sense of humour… and proportion?”

Marina Hyde in the Guardian on Mail columnist Katie Hopkins: "Deep down, she wants a Vanity Fair cover saying 'The Alt-right Brits Are Coming', in which she and Nigel like Patsy and Liam were. To read Katie Hopkins is to know that she would have disagreed with the Enlightenment if she thought there was a Loose Women appearance in it."

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, on subs losing their jobs at the Telegraph as work is outsourced to PA: "This news will come as another body blow to Telegraph staff; many of those at risk will be long serving people who live and breathe the paper. Members will want to know why the management is prepared to take the risk of outsourcing subbing when other companies have tried it and the track record is one of abject failure. It also concerning what affect the cuts will have on the on digital operation. Subs work across print and digital and their contribution is essential to the papers efforts in this regard. We will use the consultation process to urge the paper to reconsider and keep jobs in house."

Observer readers' editor Stephen Pritchard on complaints about columnist Nick Cohen swearing at Corbyn supporters: "Let’s be clear: Nick Cohen should not have sworn at Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters in his column last week, headlined “Don’t tell me you weren’t warned about Corbyn”. It was against the spirit of our guidelines, which state that swear words are rarely acceptable in text and then usually only when quoting others. His highly charged piece urged Corbyn’s allies to recognise that they were backing the wrong man as Labour leader and concluded: 'In my respectful opinion, your only honourable response will be to stop being a fucking fool by changing your fucking mind.' Not regular Observer prose, by any measure."

Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday: "How much longer can Turkey be allowed to stay in Nato? If this alliance really does exist to defend freedom how can it tolerate a member whose government has flung so many journalists into prison without any sort of due process?"

Kareem Shaheen in the Guardian:
 "Scores of imprisoned Turkish journalists face a Kafkaesque nightmare of legal limbo, farcical charge sheets, maltreatment and even solitary confinement in the country that locks up more reporters than any other in the world." 

Steward Gardiner, a Knutsford town councillor, quoted in the Guardian, after George Osborne held a meeting with local party members about his new job as editor of the Evening Standard: “When he [Osborne] was chancellor, he had to be in London on far more occasions than he will have to be as the editor of this newspaper. This newspaper is finished at lunchtimes so he can still do all the stuff on the parliamentary estate on the daytime. ”
Tom Watson‏@tom_watson on Twitter: "On George Osborne: It is intolerable for the operation of a free press that an editor of a major newspaper is subject to a party whip."

Thursday 23 March 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: Hey, that's our job! journalists react angrily to Osborne's Evening Standard editorship to MPs bash BBC over Brexit

Roy Greenslade‏ @GreensladeR On Twitter: "My flabber is gasted! George Osborne editor of @EveningStandard"

Anne Pickles‏ @AnnePickles on Twitter: "Evening Standard takes on a traditionalist editor - one who's there only until lunchtime. By 'eck, them were the days."

Tom Watson@tom_watson on Twitter: "The long hours and early starts that editing a paper like the Evening Standard requires are incompatible with the demands placed on MPs."

Patrick Wintour@patrickwintour on Twitter: "My recollection is my father never saw editing the London Evening Standard as a part-time job."

Andrew Neil @afneil on Twitter: "When made Editor of The Sunday Times I was criticised because I hadn't been an editor. Mr Osborne hasn't even been a journalist."

Tim Crook on the Charted Institute Of Journalists blog: "The role of editor in British journalism should remain the pinnacle of professional journalistic achievement. It needs to be respected as the goal, aspiration and dream of a career in journalism. It deploys political, social, and cultural power and the position usually commands significant rewards in terms of salary and reputation. The George Osborne and Evening Standard affair risks trivialising, mocking and compromising the vital role that professional journalistic media should have in our society. While it might be a boon to those sections in the Conservative Party who have an agenda in relation to Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, it is unlikely to bring many benefits to British journalism."

Guido Fawkes on his blog: "The editor one of the country’s highest circulating newspapers will now have a parliamentary vote on any further issues relating to press regulation. Osborne voted for the full implementation of the Leveson Inquiry. The whole point of Leveson was to stop politicians and newspaper editors becoming too close…"

Peter Preston in the Observer: "Osborne has nil relevant journalism experience. You might as well make Richard Littlejohn chancellor of the exchequer. No: George will pen a few words, front a few Lebedev cocktail parties and pocket a few hundred thousand pounds, burying the remains of a once glowing political career. The perfect PR symbol of our times: a fake newspaper editor."

Piers Morgan's advice for Osborne on MailOnline: "Remember, everyone on the Standard staff now probably hates you. They'll pretend not to, and do a lot of fake smiling as they constantly reassure you that having zero journalistic experience is absolutely no problem for the editor of their great newspaper. But behind your back, they'll be a seething hotbed of indignant fury and some of them will be absolutely desperate for you to fall flat on your face very quickly."

Marina Hyde in the Guardian: "One of the more questionable pleasures of the age has been to watch people who used to be journalists cocking up the country, and people who used to cock up the country becoming journalists."

A spokesperson for the Guardian: “Allegations that the Metropolitan police has accessed the email accounts of Guardian journalists are extremely concerning and we expect a full and thorough investigation into these claims.”

John Rentoul in the Independent on Michael Crick: "One of the crowning glories of the uncodified British constitution is called 'Michael Crick'. The holder of this post is essential to the functioning of democracy. His relentless reporting of Conservative election expenses bore fruit when the Electoral Commission fined the Tory party £70,000 and asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate whether a crime had been committed. Crick, who has been one of my heroes since he exposed the Militant tendency’s covert entryism in the Labour Party in 1984, has provided a textbook example of how free media is needed to make democracy work."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Google routinely publish false news stories and hate speech. Their approach to removing this content has been lackadaisical at best. They try to abdicate responsibility by calling themselves “platforms”, when in fact they are publishers. No one is fooled."

MPs in a letter to the BBC accusing it of anti-Brexit bias, as reported by the Telegraph: “BBC bias can have a substantial effect on national debate. We fear that, by misrepresenting our country either as xenophobic or regretful of the Leave vote, the BBC will undermine our efforts to carve out a new, global role for this country."

Nick Robinson‏@bbcnickrobinson on Twitter: "Do not adjust your set. Normal service from the BBC means you will hear people you disagree with say things you don't like. (That's our job)."


Thursday 16 March 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From judges back Daily Mail to tweet and be damned in the libel courts

Judges of the British Press Awards naming the Daily Mail Newspaper of the Year: “In the seismic year of Brexit, the battle for No.10 and campaigning journalism, the winner had its finger on the pulse of the national conversation. Not only did it shape both the agenda and the narrative it reflected the temper of a large part of the country in a year of political upheaval. It was a must-read across the political and public spectrum and its strong and provocative voice never wavered."

Ian McEwan, quoted in the Guardianon pro-Brexit politicians: “Their militant wing, the tabloid press, has started to look into the lives of the judges who rule that Brexit could result in the loss of human rights to see whether they’re homosexual or something. It’s reminiscent of Robespierre and the terror of the French revolution. The air in my country is very foul.”

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian on Brexit: "The 'framers', as usual, will be the Mail, the SunExpress and Telegraph, pouncing on any compromise, blaming foreigners who, not unreasonably, say a Brexit deal must be worse than Britain staying in. Monday’s Daily Mail, ahead of the Lords’ reprised debate, issued a typically thuggish threat across its front page: “Cover-up over ‘dodgy’ payouts to peers.” Vote the wrong way, and we’ll dig out your attendance expenses. That’s how it will be every step of the way with these true 'enemies of the people'. Theresa May, who apparently never knowingly opposes the will of the Mail, will surely give way every time. Indeed, it might save a lot of time if she simply asked Paul Dacre and Rupert Murdoch what, if any, compromises they will stomach to get a deal, and do what they say."

The Brighton Argus NUJ chapel in a statement: “As journalists we are used to facing the unexpected every day, but at present this extends beyond our roles, and we have grave concern for the future of the paper and the security of our jobs. Over the past few months members of the editorial team have faced an unprecedented amount of change – with no clear future plan in sight. The team has shrunk in the last year because of cuts made by the company and because departing staff are not being replaced...The management's decisions appear unplanned, inconsistent and made without consideration for the welfare of staff who are committed to their jobs."

Matt Dathan‏@matt_dathan on Twitter: "Asked for his reaction to this morning's newspaper headlines, Hammond responds: "I love Sun sub-editors - they're brilliant, aren't they?"

Donald J. Trump‏@realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "It is amazing how rude much of the media is to my very hard working representatives. Be nice, you will do much better!"

Owen Jones on Facebook: "I'm going to take a break from social media except to post articles and videos and the occasional events. This isn't flouncing off. It's just it has come to point where it is a) totally unproductive and b) frankly just completely and utterly depressing."

Piers Morgan‏@piersmorgan on Twitter: "Nothing more risible than media types making pompous statements about quitting Twitter.
 a) Nobody cares.
b) They always come back.

Mark Lewis who acted for Jack Monroe in her successful libel action over a tweet by Katie Hopkins, as reported by Press Gazette: “Hopkins has had to pay out of her own pocket a six-figure sum in damages and costs for a tweet that should have been deleted within minutes as soon as she was told it was wrong. On this occasion, the cost of renting that gob was particularly high. Hopkins claimed that Twitter was just the wild west where anything goes. The judge has shown that there is no such thing as a Twitter outlaw.”

Brendan O'Neill on Spiked: "The Twitterati is celebrating the court judgement because they hate Hopkins. The fools. It doesn’t matter what you think of Hopkins – you should be concerned that England has some of the worst libel laws in the world and that they have now been deployed to punish someone for making a mistake in a tweet."

Jack Monroe@MxJackMonroe on Twitter:
"Lol all the people wanging on about free speech re this case. 
"Sorry" would have been free speech. 
Like literally, free. 
Literally. FREE."

David Banks @DBanksy on Twitter: "I carry no torch for Katie Hopkins, but to face a legal bill of £300k+ for two tweets is an obscenity..."

Thursday 9 March 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Mail bashes internet giants and Wikipedia to NUJ blasts Newsquest over Newport subbing hub closure

Daily Mail in a leader: "How much longer can the arrogant, filth-spreading, fake newsmongering, tax-dodging, small firm-destroying, terror-abetting internet giants remain above the law?...Yet any newspaper that published the kind of filth freely available on the internet would instantly be hauled before the courts or the independent regulator, IPSO, which has the power to impose huge fines...they suck revenue from the responsible, law-abiding media – driving many local newspapers to the wall, thereby leaving court cases and council decisions increasingly unreported."

Guy Adams in the Daily Mail on Wikipedia: "It has declared that the Daily Mail — one of the most popular mainstream newspapers published in any Western democracy — is somehow too ‘unreliable’ to be included on its site. In an era where the term ‘fake news’ is increasingly used as a desperate slur, with Donald Trump applying it to CNN, the BBC and any major outlet that tends to disgruntle him, it’s tempting to suggest that both Wikipedia and The Guardian are guilty, in this deeply disturbing saga, of creating what might be regarded as false news. More worrying, this ban has set a dangerous precedent, raising profoundly troubling questions about free speech and censorship in the online era."

Mexican journalists, writers and publishers in a letter to US colleagues via Pen-International: "At this time of an unprecedented, relentless assault on the free press of the United States by the Trump administration, we Mexican journalists, writers, and publishers stand in solidarity with you as you do your crucial work. For decades you have stood by us as successive governments and criminal gangs have targeted our press and assassinated our journalists for doing work in the public interest – uncovering crimes and corruption. And so many times we have only known the truth about our own country by reading the stories followed and uncovered in the US press. We urge you to continue to uphold freedom of expression as your society, institutions, and values depend upon it.You have stood with us during the darkest hours of press freedom in Mexico and, although we never could believe this day would come, we now stand with you."

Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan: "Trump’s admiration for Putin becomes even more troubling when paired with his own moves to stamp out independent journalism through disparagement, denial of access, favoritism and blacklisting."

Tom Hanks in a note to White House journalist along with the gift of an espresso machine, reported by Sky News"Keep up the good fight for truth, justice and the American way. Especially for the truth part."

Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell in a Guardian interview: “Jeremy Corbyn is trying to transform our society so that it is radically more equal, radically more fair, radically more democratic. The whole media establishment [is] owned by people whose power is entrenched. They are trying to destroy a socialist who is trying to transfer power from the establishment to the people. That is their job to do. The oligarchs are protecting their power base...The Guardian became part of the New Labour establishment and, as a result of that, you feel dispossessed because your people are no longer in power.”

Kevin O'Sullivan in The New European on Piers Morgan: "Piers is a shameless self-publiciser. An opportunist whose colourful career could never have happened if he wasn’t an egotist with levels of self-confidence that border on obscene. His peerless skills as the ultimate networker can sometimes look suspiciously like obsequiousness. But he is a decent man who isn’t even particularly ruthless. As an editor, he was uncomfortable with intrusive stories and during the regular financial cutbacks he hated the thought of laying off staff."

CourtNewsUK‏ @CourtNewsUK on Twitter: "The Old Bailey no longer provides court lists to the press #openjustice."

Syd Young in Press Gazette on political editor Chris Buckland: "He put down his survival to his diminutive size. 'If I had presented a bigger target I would not be here now.' he said. He went on to be political editor on many of Fleet Street’s national newspapers. He overcame alcoholism over 30 years ago with the same determination he tackled the cancer that finally got him after eight years. For a man of his height he cast a long shadow."

John Toner, NUJ national organiser for Wales, in a statement on Newsquest's decision to close its subbing hub in Newport: "The announcement is a huge blow for the staff who survived a redundancy process just a matter of months ago and now find they will lose their jobs after all. Is there another company as incompetent and brutal in equal measure? The company has shed many of its experienced and talented sub-editors on titles across the UK and has now ditched the dedicated editing team in Newport...This has been a disastrous experiment for all involved."

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Trump's media ban to is the Telegraph becoming the Faragegraph? and sacked Leicester City manager thanks journalists who reported football's greatest story

New York Daily News reports: "The White House ramped up its war against the press Friday, barring multiple outlets including the Daily News from asking questions of press secretary Sean Spicer.
The move came just hours after President Trump promised to 'do something' about the 'fake news' during a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference."

Committee to Protect Journalists executive director Joel Simon in the New York Times: "The unrelenting attacks on the news media damage American democracy. They appear to be part of a deliberate strategy to undermine public confidence and trust by sowing confusion and uncertainty about what is true. But they do even greater damage outside the United States, where America’s standing as a global beacon of press freedom is being drastically eroded. This is not just a matter of United States prestige. At a time when journalists around the world are being killed and imprisoned in record numbers, Mr. Trump’s relentless tirades against 'fake news' are emboldening autocrats and depriving threatened and endangered journalists of one of their strongest supporters — the United States government."

Brian Klaas on Twitter: "Attacking accurate, well-sourced press as an "enemy of the American people" while blocking critical press is unacceptable in a democracy...This is clearly a deliberate strategy and one that endangers American democracy. A free press is absolutely crucial."

Donald J. Trump on Twitter:"FAKE NEWS media knowingly doesn't tell the truth. A great danger to our country. The failing @nytimes has become a joke. Likewise @CNN. Sad!

Steve Bannon at CPAC 17, quoted by the Guardian“The corporatist, globalist media are adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda that Donald Trump has.”

Piers Morgan in the Mail on Sunday"It’s not easy right now being someone who works in the entertainment industry that doesn’t profess to loathe and detest Donald Trump. My old friend’s victory in the US presidential election has turned Hillary-adoring Planet Showbiz into a seething cesspit of bilious hatred towards him and anyone, like me, who dares defend him in any way."

Bonnie Greer in The New European on Piers Morgan: "Morgan has become ‘the Explainer of Trump’, his Representative on Earth, the Snow White to Nigel Farage’s Rose Red. That’s his right and his business. But it has consequences. That’s because Trump is also the man who – among many things he does – calls the press 'The enemy of the people'. And that’s where Piers Morgan comes a cropper to me... and, it turns out, to many. He’s Trump’s shill. Trump, the guy who hates journalists."

Nigel Farage interviewed on Piers Morgan's Life Stories on ITV: "Will I ever forgive the British media for what they've done to me? No."

UKIP MP Douglas Carswell in an email to Lord Pearson apparently mocking a suggested knighthood for Nigel Farage, leaked to the Telegraph: “Perhaps we might try angling to get Nigel an OBE next time round? For services to headline writers? An MBE, maybe?”

Mark Wallace on Conservative Home: "Farage is a perfect fit for that wider and distinctive worldview that the Telegraph is carving out for itself. He not only shares its support for Brexit, but articulates plenty of its other opinions, too. From his tone to his real ale, he hits a certain cultural sweet spot for the paper – and his anti-politics theme of course sits well in the pages which exposed the MPs’ expenses scandal. He is an avatar for much of what it wants and feels, the closest thing yet discovered to the newspaper made flesh... it isn’t so surprising to see the emergence of The Daily Faragegraph – for the man and the newspaper alike it makes good sense."

Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell on Labour Briefing: “We have to alert party members and supporters that the soft coup is underway,” McDonnell wrote. It’s planned, co-ordinated and fully resourced. It is being perpetrated by an alliance between elements in the Labour Party and the Murdoch media empire, both intent on destroying Jeremy Corbyn and all that he stands for.”

Sir Harold Evans, quoted by the Guardian: “In terms of truth of journalism it is a very perilous time. We have those people who don’t have the brains to distinguish facts [from fiction]. Then we have the bad performers in the press, particularly numerous in the UK … Then you have got the assault [on the media].”

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement backing recommendations on press regulation from the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: "The NUJ’s position, now supported by the parliamentary committee, has been to call for partial implementation of Section 40. In our view, publications who have signed up to a system which facilitates cheap and accessible arbitration can only be a good thing. The punitive elements of Section 40, however, must be held back. It is untenable for any newspaper or magazine to face bearing both sides’ costs when vexatious litigants initiate action."

The Society of Editors in a statement: "The Society remains opposed to the commencement of Section 40 and, alongside other media organisations and members of the public, recognise that the legislation would have a chilling effect on both national and regional and local newspapers."

Pic: Getty Images
Claudio Ranieri, after being sacked by Leicester City, in a statement reported by@PAdugout on Twitter: "Thank you to all the journalists and the media who came with us and enjoyed reporting on the greatest story in football."