Friday 29 September 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Jeremy Corbyn demands more coverage from the Daily Mail to it can be a bit painful interviewing Marilyn Manson

Jeremy Corbyn in his Labour Party conference speech, as reported by the Independent: “One paper devoted 14 pages to attacking the Labour Party and the following day our vote went up nearly 10 per cent. Never have so many trees died in vain. The British people saw right through it. So this is a message to The Daily Mail’s editor - next time please make it 28 pages.”

Philip Collins in The Times [£]: "There is a new party in British politics. It has borrowed the historical label of the Labour Party. It has an entirely new membership and ideological zeal for the state to take back control. Some of the new politics is horrible. This was a conference at which the political editor of the BBC had to bring a bodyguard. She will not need such protection next week at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. Are Labour members not ashamed of this fact? Mr Corbyn perfunctorily said he would not tolerate abuse but all his examples were abuse of the left, not abuse by the left. It was disingenuous to the point of being dishonest."

Index on Censorship reports: "Journalists are increasingly subjected to online harassment, but when the journalist is a woman misogynistic abuse quickly escalates into gender-based defamation and threats of sexual violence, according to a review of incidents reported to Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom project. In the latest case, political editor Laura Kuenssberg, who works for the BBC, was provided with a security detail while she covered the Labour party conference in Brighton. Kuenssberg had been targeted with sexist abuse by individuals who were upset by what they saw as her anti-Labour and anti-Jeremy Corbyn bias."
  • Hannah Machlin, project manager at Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom project: “Sadly, Laura Kuenssberg’s experience is all too common across the 42 countries that Mapping Media Freedom monitors. Women are often targeted with threats of death and rape. As a society, we only hear about the most high-profile cases, which obscures the fact that this type of misogynistic intimidation is a widespread and pernicious obstacle to the performance of journalists’ professional duties.” 

Press Gazette reports: "Press regulator Impress has largely banned three of its own board members and its chief executive from dealing with major Fleet Street news publishers because of the perception they would be biased against them. The move follows an internal review prompted by a dossier of evidence compiled by the News Media Association which was reported by The Sun in January 2017 and mainly concerned activity on Twitter. Impress chief executive Jonathan Heawood (pictured) and two members of its eight-strong board – journalist Emma Jones and professor Maire Messenger Davies – were all found to have published negative material about sections of the press."

The News Media Association, representing newspaper publishers, in a statement: "The News Media Association has written to the Press Recognition Panel asking how it is going to proceed after an internal review by IMPRESS found that chief executive Jonathan Heawood had breached internal standards against bringing the organisation into disrepute and this raised 'serious issues' about IMPRESS' compliance with the Royal Charter."

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian: "The big beasts of the internet are a handy, perennial receptacle for blame. The fury and angst that, understandably, follows any act of terrifying violence can be reliably diverted from those whose prime task is the protection of the country’s citizens, namely the government, to the mammoth corporations who now control the bulk of the world’s information. Don’t get me wrong, those companies can and should do much more. But they are not the only ones with power seeking to shake off responsibility."

Nick Cohen‏ on Twitter: "Love @gilescoren & @amolrajanBBC deeply. But presenting a BBC arts show? It's like me compering London fashion week."

GermanForeignOffice‏@GermanyDiplo on Twitter:"@Twitter is considering #280characters! Or as we say in Germany: 4 words #Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz"

Alexis Petridis in the Guardian:"It is while discussing the difference between his stage persona and his day-to-day life that Marilyn Manson leans over and flicks me in the testicles. This comes as quite a surprise: I have encountered a lot of unusual things as a journalist, but have thus far managed to get by without an interviewee touching my genitals."


Thursday 21 September 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From don't give up on print to the real steps the digital giants can take to combat fake news, hate speech and propaganda

Newspaper and magazine designer Mario Garcia on his blog: "Don’t give up on print, simply place it where it belongs: not as protagonist but as a strong secondary player. Don’t come to work in the newsroom each day anticipating the death of print, because chances are that you will die first."

David Higgerson on his blog: "Digital is not replacing all of the money being lost in print. But it does contribute many many millions, and publishers which focus on driving audiences, and understanding those audiences, will be the ones who secure more revenue now and in the future...Regularly, the strong online audience performances regional publishers report are mocked by commenters on sites such as Holdthefrontpage and Press Gazette. But those publishers are in a far better place in terms of revenue – and therefore cash to support journalism – than if they persisted with early 2000s strategies of trying to strangle digital presence to force readers into print. For all we want to believe it, there is no evidence anywhere that investment in newspapers, or holding back digital, drives up revenue or newspaper sales."

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock in a speech at the UK Internet Governance Forum: "The impact of the digital disruption is far reaching. Our world beating music industry has, over a long and painful time, discovered in streaming a new business model that appears to be sustainable and bearing fruit. Yet the news media, and the high quality journalism that provides such a vital public service, has yet to find such a sustainable business model, and we must work together to get there."

Woman in Journalism in a new report revealing male bylines still dominate national press front pages: "At Women in Journalism, we believe that democracy can only flourish when the mirror the media holds up to society provides a true reflection; we argue today that because of the lack of diversity in British newspapers the lens we hold up to society is a distorted one. Society sees itself not as it is, but through the prism of a predominantly old, white, male gaze. This puts half the population at a disadvantage – and, at its worst, can put women off entering public life."

Robert Shrimsley ‏on Twitter: "So Boris resorting to the classic 'I don't write the headlines' defence. Well fair play to him, I don't suppose he painted the bus either."

Sydney Ember in the New York Times: "The potential sale of Rolling Stone — on the eve of its 50th anniversary, no less — underscores how inhospitable the media landscape has become as print advertising and circulation have dried up."

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian"Mounting abuse of the BBC could in the end destroy it: it only survives on the trust and affection of most citizens. Those on the left joining in the attack, dismissing the BBC as part of an “MSM” plot, fuel the right’s aim to dismantle and privatise it."

David Aaronovitch in The Times [£]: "A lot of the stories on sites like The Canary and Skwawkbox are “isn’t life crap under the Tories” offerings, frequently picking up mainstream media items. You also get the occasional straightforward conspiracy theory. But one of the biggest attractions is calling out the BBC for being rigged against the left. That always gets attention, for in the demonology of these sites the BBC or The Times are in on the plot. Never mind the Daily Mail, the Laura Kuenssbergs of this world are the true villains. If you want a revolution and you don’t want too many awkward questions asked about it, you don’t just ignore what you call the conventional media. You try to destroy its reputation. In fact you must make your battle against it one of the centrepieces of your struggle."

Birmingham Mail NUJ chapel statement on plans to cut 10 more editorial jobs: "Our editor Marc Reeves likes to refer to the Birmingham Mail as a ‘house that’s on fire’. There is no doubt he has poured petrol on that house this week...This operation has been run on the fumes of goodwill for too long. That goodwill has been extinguished. In light of this the Chapel has taken a vote of no confidence in the editor or the vague proposals being made. If compulsory redundancies are threatened by management on Monday, we will immediately ballot for industrial action over these forced job losses, low staffing levels and high workloads."

Christopher Williams in the Sunday Telegraph: "The owner of the Evening Standard has made an approach to buy the Metro newspaper from the publisher of the Daily Mail, as media barons jockey for position in an industry merger melee. Evgeny Lebedev, the 37-year-old owner of the London freesheet edited by former chancellor George Osborne, is understood to be keen to add the Metro to his stable to drive cost savings and expansion outside the capital. Industry sources said Mr Lebedev aimed to use the Metro’s nationwide distribution network to launch regional versions of the Evening Standard."

Financial Times reports: "Lord Rothermere, the chairman of Daily Mail and General Trust, has told staff at the UK media group that it is 'not actively considering any change to the ownership' of its free daily title Metro."

Financial Times editor Lionel Barber, in a lecture on fake news to Oxford Alumni Festival: "So what is to be done about the fake news phenomenon and the collateral damage to quality journalism? First, the dominant technology sites must recognise they need to take more responsibility for the content which appears on their sites, not just fake news but also hate speech and extremist propaganda. Second, they must drop the pretence that they are simply platforms and channels for publishers’ rather than media companies themselves. They have fast become the main source of news for significant portions of society. The reality is that they are influencing or even deciding via algorithms what information is consumed."


Thursday 14 September 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From the digital hurricanes destroying journalism to it is not just the internet to blame for killing the local press

Sir Harold Evans on Press Gazette: "Facebook and Google are the Harvey and Irma of journalism – and democracy. Whatever else they do, the electronic duopoly deprive millions of information and argument as surely as the series of super storms deprive millions of light, power, home and hearth. And more to come.  Fret as much as Trumpian skeptics still do about the precise link between hurricanes and greenhouse gases – I don’t! – no one can deny the devastating effect of Facebook and Google on the viability of news organisations to investigate complexity and resist suppression." 

Graydon Carter, who is stepping down as editor of Vanity Fair, on Donald Trump, in the New York Times: “He’s tweeted about me 42 times, all in the negative. So I blew up all the tweets and I framed them all. They’re all on a wall — this is the only wall Trump’s built — outside my office."

Katherine Forster, a 48-year-old mother of three on how she became The Spectator's new intern:"The Spectator’s internship scheme has a no-CV policy, so they don’t care (or ask) if you’re 16 or 60. They select on the simple basis of what you can actually do. Completely sensible, utterly egalitarian and yet highly unusual. I sent off a 200-word blog, three suggestions for articles, fact-checked an article (by Polly Toynbee on inequality) and made a three-minute audio file analysing a Prime Minister’s Questions (this last one nearly scuppered my entire effort and I almost abandoned the whole thing). Out of 150 applications, only a dozen get through. So like all of the interns, I ended up here on merit."

Brian Reade in the Mirror says some ex-football stars turned broadcasters: "Sound like they are lazily living off their playing ­ other sports, you have to earn your legendary status as a broadcaster just as you did as a player. But, in football, the rule is clearly 'once a ledge, always a ledge'."

Matt Tee on the Independent Press Standards Organisation blog on its third anniversary: "Over the years some of our opponents have decided it’s more constructive to work with us than shout from a distance. Others continue their opposition, but it’s become increasingly clear that there’s nothing we could do that would satisfy them....Nearly 50,000 people have complained to us about an article in a newspaper or magazine or about the behaviour of a journalist and many thousands of other complaints have been resolved by publishers directly with the public. Over the same period we have issued nearly 200 Private Advisory Notices to editors – telling them that someone does not wish to speak to journalists or be photographed. These are confidential, so it’s not possible to give real examples, but, although they’re not binding on the press, they work. "

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, in a statement after reports that up to 40 local journalists' posts are under threat at Trinity Mirror: "Jargon about a ‘more synchronised approach’ and ‘aligning design structures’ can’t hide the fact that these are bad old fashioned job cuts affecting several Trinity Mirror centres around the country. More generic content across the titles and an increase in user generated content if it is at the expense of other coverage such as courts and councils, means short-changing local readers. Our members will be asking what evidence the company has that these further cuts will lead to success."

Gloucestershire Media managing director Sarah Pullen on turning the Gloucester Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo weekly, in a statement: “This change to our print titles is being dictated by the behaviour of our readers and the amazing growth success of our website Gloucestershire Live. We still have a loyal print audience but the majority of the people who read the Echo or the Citizen do so just once a week."

Birmingham Mail editor Marc Reeves on Medium on why his newsroom is being split between print and digital"Lots of titles are going digital only, that’s true — but only after shutting their print incarnations. What’s different in Birmingham is we’re building a sustainable digital business structure now to sit alongside our print business, so we’re ready for the challenge when it comes, rather than respond in the middle of a real crisis. I believe there remains several years’ profitable life in the Birmingham Mail in print, but that doesn’t mean we should put off the creation of a digital-only model until the last minute."

Former Taunton Times reporter Matt Chorley in The Times [£]: "Every time a paper closes, lazy MPs, corrupt councillors, dodgy police chiefs, rip-off businesses and anyone in the dock can relax a little. This isn’t just nostalgia: the great and good didn’t stop behaving badly because we all got Snapchat and iPlayer...People ranting about parking charges and dog mess on Facebook groups are no substitute for local papers that might get something changed; doing the hard, boring yards to expose wrongdoing. I fear that unless some of the tech giants who’ve hollowed them out start paying something back, the demise of these papers may be inevitable."

Peter Preston in the Observer on the local press: "Is this another business wrecked by the internet? Up to a point. But it is also a business crippled by the debts of big chains that bought family newspapers when the going was good and then found the foundations of that highly profitable game crumbling – a business in hock to its share price. And, like many other businesses, the gloom is not universal. Some areas, some papers, some digital expansions, are doing well enough."


Thursday 7 September 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From the rise of Left leaning journalists and demise of the Tory Press to what the death of a paper means to a community

Tim Montgomerie in the Guardian: "Large percentages of teachers in schools, academics in universities, journalists, playwrights and other ideas-generators lean towards left, liberal perspectives. While the left has marched through the institutions of learning, entertainment and the arts, taking over the commanding heights of culture, the right’s own once powerful generators of values – including the Tory press and the church – are of declining power."

Les Hinton in a promo for his autobiography The Bootle Boy: An Untidy Life in News due to be published next year: "Rupert Murdoch was a big part of my working life and this book contains my version of the truth about him. Rupert could be hell to work for and he earned many of his enemies. He’s a driven businessman with heavy boots who bruised a lot of people. But, love or hate him, he’s an authentic colossus. I saw him at all angles: brilliant, brutal, and often - to the surprise of many - extraordinarily kind."

Matthew Syed in The Times [£] on Wayne Rooney: "I am a great believer in the right to privacy, but I have to confess that I am not terribly sympathetic to the plight of Wayne Rooney. The former England football captain has talked openly about the strength of his marriage in lucrative autobiographies, and let the BBC cameras into his home to project an image as a good family man. His handlers are aware that strong family values can be a powerful commercial asset. Last week, however, he was picked up by the police for allegedly drink-driving in circumstances that bring his personal life directly into the frame (he was driving the car of a woman he had met in a nightclub). When someone’s public image, carefully cultivated to maximise earning potential, is contradicted by their own private actions, the press has a right to expose it. This is a hole that Rooney has dug for himself."

Gaby Hinsliff in the Guardian on the Tower Hamlets fostering story: "Mistakes do happen, sometimes to good journalists, and it ill behoves any of us to get on our high horse. Reporting on children in care, or in hospital, or in custody battles, is incredibly tricky because you only really get one side of the story; constrained by a legal duty of confidentiality to the child, professionals can’t disclose much even if they want to, which makes it devilishly difficult to know who is telling the truth. Even abusive parents often desperately miss their children, who in turn may beg to go home even when it could literally be the death of them. But that’s precisely why caution is needed, and doubly so when a newspaper is playing with fire."

The Guardian in a leader on the Tower Hamlets fostering story: "The whiplash effect of successive revelations in the Tower Hamlets fostering case has been astonishing. The publication of the court’s judgment makes it clear that all of the details which gave the original story its racist and xenophobic power were false. One thing the case shows clearly is the monstrous power of the tabloid press to cut and crush the complexities of private lives till they fit into stereotypes...This is a case that will cause deserved and lasting damage to the reputations of both the reporter and the newspaper which placed the original version on the front pageThis is a case that will cause deserved and lasting damage to the reputations of both the reporter and the newspaper which placed the original version on the front page"

The Times [£] in a leader on the Tower Hamlets fostering story: "Given the religious and cultural sensitivity of the story there was always the likelihood that those less concerned with children’s welfare than with superficial social harmony would cry foul. Sure enough, The Guardian newspaper has seized on a court order issued after our initial reports to claim that it contradicts the facts on which they were based. It does nothing of the sort. Our journalist, Andrew Norfolk, reported the story with care, protecting the child’s welfare and anonymity. That included observations compiled by social services employees that this newspaper’s critics have chosen to ignore. They cast essential light on child protection in a local authority whose children’s services, from the available evidence, are in disarray and in urgent need of reform."

PA Media Lawyer"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been awarded €103,000 (£95,000) in privacy damages by a court in Paris following the trial of six people over topless photographs of Kate which were published in September 2012. France’s Closer magazine was ordered to pay €100,000 (£91,700) at a Paris court over the long-lens images of Kate sunbathing on a terrace, after it was ruled they had breached her privacy."

Bedfordshire on Sunday editor Sarah Cox‏ @says_sarah who is leaving after it was announced the paper is to become a midweek free title and website closed: "Goes without saying my team and I are devastated about closure of @bedfordnews. Unfathomable. We need a strong local press more than ever."

Paul Flint, partner at KPMG and joint administrator on the decision to close the Oldham Evening Chronicle, launched in 1854and related titles, as reported by Prolific North: “The company was faced with an increasing deficit in its defined benefits pension scheme in addition to the challenging trading conditions arising from the changing nature of the local media landscape. Unfortunately despite a rigorous sales process, a buyer for this long standing paper has not been found and it’s not commercially viable to continue operating. We will work to ensure all employees receive the maximum levels of practical and financial support through the redundancy process. We are also seeking buyers for the assets of the business, including the newspaper title to try and ensure its heritage will be preserved and continued.”

Oldham West MP Jim McMahon on his blog: "NEWS that the Oldham Evening Chronicle has gone into administration will hit Oldham hard. More than a newspaper it is part of our heritage, our community and has worked hard to help build a future for us too. Observers of the media will have seen the demise of the printed press and with it the cracks in the foundations of our democracy. Freedom of speech is important and it’s aided significantly by quality journalism based on research, facts and balance. For the 49 staff made redundant the news will be devastating but the tears run further because it was more than a company, it was a family and has been since 1854."

Brian Cox‏ @ProfBrianCox on Twitter: "Very sad news - grew up reading this paper. Still have clippings of my band's first interviews in 86 - we'd made it cause we were in't Chron."

Kevin Duffy commenting on the Oldham Evening Chronicle closure on HoldTheFrontPage: "Editor Dave Whaley rather brilliantly summed up just now, in an interview with BBC North West why, from a journalistic point of view, the loss of his title – or any other, for that matter – is to be so greatly regretted, with this remark: 'The lunatics of social media will inherit the asylum.' How true."

 [£] =paywall