Thursday 27 April 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From TV debate dodging party leaders to why Julian Assange should not be locked up for leaking secrets

Paul Waugh on the HuffPost: "Jeremy Corbyn will not take part in TV debates that do not include Theresa May, Labour sources have revealed. The Labour leader believes that the general election is a choice between two alternative Prime Ministers and won’t contribute to an event which featured only fellow opposition leaders."

Nick Cohen in the Observer: "The notion that democratic politicians must submit themselves to questioning from press and public is dying in Britain. We have a generation of paranoid leaders, delivered to the electorate in packages stuffed with cotton wool."

Jeremy Corbyn, reported by BBC News: "Much of the media and Establishment are saying this election is a foregone conclusion. They think there are rules in politics, which if you don't follow by doffing your cap to powerful people, accepting that things can't really change, then you can't win. But of course those people don't want us to win. Because when we win, it's the people, not the powerful, who win...And in a sense, the establishment and their followers in the media are quite right. I don’t play by their rules. And if a Labour Government is elected on 8 June, then we won’t play by their rules either."

Matt Zarb-Cousin in the Guardian: "Jeremy Corbyn will pitch himself as an insurgent candidate, giving him the space to frame a hostile media as being a part of the establishment, desperate to maintain the status quo."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Mr Corbyn’s message in the first week of the general election campaign has compounded his unsuitability for public office. His opening speech was self-pitying and embittered rather than generous and outward-looking. Denouncing the media and what he vaguely termed the establishment, he protested: 'They think there are rules in politics, which if you don’t follow by doffing your cap to powerful people, accepting that things can’t really change, then you can’t win.' Such are the evasions of a man who will blame emerging electoral catastrophe on anyone and anything but himself. Mr Corbyn has dragged his party down not because he refuses to play by the rules but because he is uninterested in what the voters think."

Reporters Without Borders reports UK dropping down to 40th in the World Press Freedom Index for 2017: "A heavy-handed approach towards the press - often in the name of national security - has resulted in the UK slipping down the World Press Freedom Index. Parliament adopted the most extreme surveillance legislation in UK history, the Investigatory Powers Act, with insufficient protection mechanisms for whistleblowers, journalists, and their sources, posing a serious threat to investigative journalism...Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 remains cause for concern - in particular, the law's punitive cost-shifting measure that could hold publishers liable for the costs of all claims made against them, regardless of merit."

Art Cullen joint-owner of the Storm Lake Times, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing after taking on powerful agricultural interests over pollution, as reported by MailOnline: "We're here to challenge people's assumptions and I think that's what every good newspaper should do."

Sun apology for Kelvin MacKenzie column: "On April 14 we published a piece in the Kelvin MacKenzie column about footballer Ross Barkley which made unfavourable comparisons between Mr Barkley and a gorilla. At the time of publication, the newspaper was unaware of Mr Barkley's heritage and there was never any slur intended. As soon as his background was drawn to our attention, the article was removed from online.We have been contacted by lawyers on behalf of Ross Barkley, who has made a formal complaint about the piece. The Sun has apologised for the offence caused by the piece. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise personally to Ross Barkley."

Trevor Timm in the Guardian on moves to arrest Julian Assange: "In an unprecedented and dangerous move that threatens the press freedom rights of all journalists, the US Justice Department has indicated it is preparing to charge WikiLeaks with a crime and may attempt to arrest its founder Julian Assange...Whether you like or dislike WikiLeaks – especially if you dislike them – it’s important to understand just how dangerous this potential prosecution is to the future of journalism in the United States. Newspapers publish classified information all the time, and any prosecution of WikiLeaks puts journalists of all stripes at risk of a similar fate. Even WikiLeaks’ harshest critics need to denounce this potential move as a grave threat to the first amendment."

Hugo Rifkind in The Times [£]: "Assange is both a brilliant journalist and a terrible one; brilliant for what he reveals, and terrible in his utter lack of ownership of the consequences of his revelations. He should be reviled for this, and increasingly he is, but he cannot be locked up for it. If he is, that would have grave implications for any media outlet, this one included, and I could stand to hear a little more alarm about the prospect. Even a free society has secrets, and even a free society is entitled to protect them. Once they are out, though, you don’t shoot the messenger. Even if he’s horrible."


Thursday 20 April 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Mac the knifed to no newsprint today, we're journalism students!

The Sun in a statement, reported by the Liverpool Echo : “The views expressed by Kelvin MacKenzie about the people of Liverpool were wrong, unfunny and are not the view of the paper. The Sun apologises for the offence caused. The paper was unaware of Ross Barkley’s heritage and there was never any slur intended. Mr MacKenzie is currently on holiday and the matter will be fully investigated on his return.”

Everton Football Club in a statement: "Yesterday Everton Football Club informed The Sun newspaper it was banned from Goodison Park, the USM Finch Farm training ground and all areas of the Club's operation. Whilst we will not dignify any journalist with a response to appalling and indefensible allegations, the newspaper has to know that any attack on this City, either against a much respected community or individual, is not acceptable."

Stephen Daisley on the Spectator's Coffee House blog: "If MacKenzie can get nicked for being a loudmouth, we will soon be treated to comical scenes of the nation’s polemicists lifted for excessive bile. Dawn raids on Melanie Phillips. A historic allegations inquiry into Julie Burchill. Simon Heffer barricading himself inside Buckingham Palace Road, firing off memos to the subbing desk to remind them it’s Telegraph style to refer to the female officers as ‘woman police constables’. First they came for Rod Liddle…"

Peter Preston in The Observer: "MacKenzie doesn’t have unlimited licence to write or say what he likes. He doesn’t rent a white sheet of blank paper from Rupert every columnar morning. On the contrary, he’s contracted to write his piece, turn it in on time, and watch it go through the editing process before appearing in print. MacKenzie was a long-term editor. He knows what editing means. He knows there’s an executive hierarchy – from subs to night lawyers to supreme authorities – there to watch his back. But did they? They commissioned a grisly cartoon to sit with the piece. But the racism and gorilla references that incensed the mayor of Liverpool don’t seem to have rung any alarms. MacKenzie is left to take this rap alone."

David Banks on Voice of the North: "At least THREE senior Sun executive journalists (the paper’s editor, features editor and chief subeditor) should have read and approved his comments before publication, will have created and approved the headline and inserted the ‘gorilla’ eyes illustration that accompanied the article as well as possibly hearing the misgivings of the subeditor who handled the inflammatory copy. Rupert Murdoch is a hard master. Newspapers may now be but a minor part of the multi-billionaire’s global portfolio but he has a sense of pride and demands professionalism of his lieutenants. Expect more than MacKenzie’s head to fall. . ."

Evening Standard editor George Osborne announcing he is standing down as an MP, Order Order: “I will go on fighting for that Britain I love from the editor’s chair of a great newspaper. It’s still too early to be writing my memoirs...I’m very excited about the opportunity to edit the Evening Standard. I’ve met the team there, and their energy and commitment to this great newspaper are positively infectious. [My editorship will offer] straight facts and informed opinion to help them to make the big decisions Britain now faces about the kind of country we want to be. That starts with the coverage of this general election.”

jane martinson‏@janemartinson on Twitter: "Good to see that new editor understands print deadlines. @George_Osborne delivered scoop too late for anything but slip edition."

Peter Houston on TheMediaBriefing: "There seems to be a sense that somehow Facebook and Google have seized their position in the market through some nefarious scheme to subvert the public good. The reality is, audiences and advertisers have migrated to their platforms because they work.
Whether that’s mashing up photos from a pal’s Portugal holiday with breaking news, or intricate audience profiling and ad targeting, Google and Facebook deliver in ways that most publishers can only dream of."

The Times [£] in a leader on its investigation into Aspen Pharmacare:"This is the latest in a series of scandalous abuses of a drug pricing loophole brought to the attention of the public not by regulators, the health service, police or civil servants, but by The Times. As a direct result of this newspaper’s public interest reporting, which is under sustained threat from both the government and the courts, a bill is now before parliament that will close the loophole in question and save the NHS and taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds a year."

Donald J. Trump‏@realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "The Fake Media (not Real Media) has gotten even worse since the election. Every story is badly slanted. We have to hold them to the truth!"

Football chairman Peter Masters, who has saved the Plymouth-based Sunday Independent from closure, as quoted by HoldTheFrontPage: “I’ve read the Indy every Sunday all my life. There was no way I could stand aside and let such a loved and respected part of the West Country sporting scene pass into history."

Roy Greenslade, who teaches journalism at City University,  tells X-City magazine he was:  "Extremely down hearted to discover that not one of my undergraduate students reads a newsprint newspaper."


Thursday 13 April 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: Police protect pig's privacy to is it time to end post-match interviews?

PA reporter Catherine Wylie‏@wyliecatherine on Twitter: "@WestYorksPolice said they couldn't give out further info about an incident involving an escaped pig on the M62 citing 'data protection'."

Nick Cohen in City University's XCity magazine: "There is massive over supply. There are 74 schools offering graduate journalism degrees in the UK. They're taking the money of thousands of students each year when there aren't the jobs to go to.If bankers were doing the same thing they'd be arrested for mis-selling."

News Corp ceo Robert Thomson in The Times [£]: "Google’s commodification of content knowingly, wilfully undermined provenance for profit. That was followed by the Facebook stream, with its journalistic jetsam and fake flotsam. Together, the two most powerful news publishers in human history have created an ecosystem that is dysfunctional and socially destructive. Both companies could have done far more to highlight that there is a hierarchy of content, but instead they have prospered mightily by peddling a flat-earth philosophy that doesn’t distinguish between the fake and the real because they make copious amounts of money from both."

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Tal Smoller: "Worries about the spread of fake news on Facebook, and the backlash against YouTube's inappropriate advertising placements, may inadvertently boost publishers' near-term monetization of online content. The proliferation of news from unverified publishers could spur readers to subscribe to publishers' established paid-for publications. Moreover, the arguably more controlled, predictable content on publishers websites and apps may prove a safe haven for brands reevaluating their digital ad spending on social media."

(((Dan Hodges)))@DPJHodges on Twitter: "Trump's spokesman said Hitler never used chemical weapons. And they accuse us of peddling fake news."

Those were the days: New York Times newsroom 1942 [Wikipedia]
From Yahoo Tech: "More than half of the jobs at US newspapers have disappeared since 2001, with a large portion of the losses offset by employment gains at internet firms, government figures showed Monday. The data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed US newspaper employment fell from 412,000 in January 2001 to 174,000 in September 2016. In the internet publishing and portal segment the number of jobs grew from 67,000 in 2007 -- the earliest for which data was available -- to 206,000 last year."

Peter Wilby in the New Statesman on the Mail's Legs-it front page: "You can call all this shameful, demeaning and sexist, and you would be right. But it is also brilliant: an example of political comment (or propaganda, if you prefer) wrapped in a package that many people will enjoy, laugh at and talk about. It is what tabloid newspapers do. They humanise news that most people might otherwise find dull and abstract. If you don’t like it, don’t read them."

Tom Utley in the Daily Mail on the possible return to Manchester by the Guardian: "Chins up, Polly, Zoe & Co. If you are sent back to Manchester, it’s too much to hope your paper will re-connect with reality. But at least you’ll be reunited with your old friends at the BBC, the prodigals exiled to Salford before you. As the great echo chamber of the subsidised Left moves north, you can be sure that they, at least, will welcome you with that proverbial fatted calf."

Steve Busfield on the International Business Times calls for the end of the post-match interview: "Back in the dark ages the only football manager you would regularly hear of having spoken to the media was Brian Clough – and that was because he was tremendously entertaining. Of course there was also an awful lot less football on television back then. Nowadays the pre and post-match interview is a staple of sport on the box, a function of the need to fill endless hours around every game...Fans watch football for the sport not for the eloquence of the players and managers. Sportsmen and women are admired for their physical skills rather than their loquaciousness. Let's end the inanity of the post-game interview and accept that the reason Clough was so famous was because he was the exception and not the rule."


Thursday 6 April 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Robert Redford backs US press against Trump to Gary Lineker supports sport reporters against angry managers

Robert Redford in the Washington Post"This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Watergate scandal. Because of my role in the film, some have asked me about the similarities between our situations in 1972 and 2017. There are many. The biggest one is the importance of a free and independent media in defending our democracy. When President Trump speaks of being in a “running war” with the media, calls them “among the most dishonest human beings on Earth” and tweets that they’re the “enemy of the American people,” his language takes the Nixon administration’s false accusations of “shoddy” and “shabby” journalism to new and dangerous heights."

The Times [£]: "The Guardian is 'actively considering' moving back to Manchester in an attempt to save money. Senior executives at Guardian Media Group have held 'top secret' talks about moving the newspaper’s headquarters from north London back to its birthplace in Manchester, The Times has learnt. The newspaper, which began its move to the capital in 1964, has been suffering from falling advertising revenue as retailers turn to Google and Facebook. Last year it made 250 staff redundant and employees have been told that more job cuts are on the way, with the newspaper expecting to make heavy financial losses again this year."

The Daily Mail comments on the possible move North by the Guardian in a leader: "The move might even put its journalists in touch with real people, inspiring them to write articles of interest beyond the Islington echo-chamber of sociology lecturers and the public sector elite. It would certainly be worth paying money to see Polly in a Salford two-up two-down. One word of advice to the great people of Manchester. If the Guardian (which loses £95million a year) really ran the country – instead of telling everyone else how to manage our affairs – we’d all be living in mud huts."

Jeremy Corbyn after being asked by ITV News political correspondent Paul Brand if he would consider standing down as leader of the Labour Party:  “You’re obsessed with this question, utterly obsessed...We have a strong opposition in this country, if you bothered to report what we were doing. It’s your responsibility to make sure the opposition voice is heard as well as the government’s. It’s your failings.”

John Collings, editor of the Plymouth-based Sunday Independent, speaking to HoldTheFrontPage about the closure of the newspaper after more than 200 years: “Sadly, the decision has been made this morning to stop trading the Sunday Independent as of today – unless something totally unforeseen happens in the next day or so. The news has not totally sunk in yet with any of the 20 or so staff, and a host of contributors from Bristol, to Swindon, to Weymouth and all the way down to Land’s End, who we are in the process of contacting."

Brexit backer Aaron Banks interviewed in The Observer: “As businessmen, we sat down with a clean sheet of paper and said, ‘How do we beat these people?’ And then we figured out how the mainstream media works – how they operate – and we turned it back on them.We worked out how to take their outrage, how to take their pain – in your case – and feed it back into the system. You know we spent £12-14m on the campaign? And we calculated what our column inches and TV coverage was worth. It was over £150m .”

Nick Clegg interviewed in the Guardian: claimsBritain was being run by a "curious cabal of old men", namely the power brokers on Britain’s pro-Brexit newspapers – the Telegraph’s Barclay brothers, the Sun’s Rupert Murdoch and the Daily Mail’s Paul Dacre. Describing them as puppet masters, he said they wanted to turn Britain into an offshore economy, calling them a "bunch of old men – not elected by anybody – [with] Theresa May as their hostage."

The Society of Editors in a statement: "The deterioration of media freedom and the use of emergency powers to jail journalists in Turkey is deeply worrying at a time when the country requires a free press more than ever. 180 news outlets have been shut down in the past eight months under laws passed by presidential decree and the Committee to Protect Journalists has stated that Turkey is now the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. This is an accolade unprecedented in Europe and the western world."

MPs in a letter backing BBC coverage of Brexit, as reported by the Guardian: “The BBC rightly guards its independence and should resist attempts at political interference or pressure. We expect the BBC to defend its independence and report impartially, robustly and fearlessly on all issues relating to Brexit and not succumb to any pressure to skew its coverage one way or another.”

Gary Lineker‏@GaryLineker  on Twitter on Sunderland manager David Moyes telling a BBC reporter she might get a slap: "Moyes incident highlights a tendency for some managers to treat interviewers with utter disdain. Pressured job. Well rewarded. Inexcusable."