Thursday 30 November 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Trump tweets far-right fake news, CNN's Amanpour returns fire and is Twitter a bubble waiting to burst?

The Mirror reports: "At least one of the Britain First videos shared by US President Donald Trump is fake news....The tweet reads: "VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!" The video appears to have originated from Dutch website Dumpert but has since been removed. According to two other Dutch websites , the “Muslim migrant” in the video was later found by authorities and was neither a migrant, nor indeed a Muslim."

Donald Trump‏ on Twitter: "@FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly. The outside world does not see the truth from them!"

Christiane Amanpour@camanpour on Twitter: Replying to @realDonaldTrump @FoxNews "At CNN we dodge bullets to bring you the news. Nothing fake about that. #FactsFirst"

Christiane Amanpour‏@camanpour  on Twitter: "It was shocking not only for what it says about President Trump’s state of mind, but for all but authorizing authoritarian regimes around the world to target CNN and other journalists. Without journos’ sacrifice and service, all that remains is propaganda and lies. Damned lies."

Rory Cellan-Jones‏ on Twitter: "If I worked for Fox News I’d be deeply embarrassed by this tweet and angry on behalf of my CNN colleagues. Is there no solidarity amongst US journalists?"

Donald Trump on Twitter: "We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!"

Stig Abell‏@StigAbell on Twitter: "Buzzfeed had a strong new model, invested in really good journalism, and now is laying people off. The economics of journalism is shot. Facebook will win, and there will be just selfies to share on it."

Martin Belamon Twitter: "The drive to be first to publish breaking rumour without proper sources, and the way that algorithms favour the most sensational angle are making people not adhere to journalistic principles."

Inside Housing deputy news editor Sophie Barnes speaking at City University about how the magazine published a story months before the Grenfell Tower blaze warning about the safety of tower block cladding: “We sent that story around to all the nationals, we sent it around to as many people as we could to get some interest and there wasn’t the interest because no-one had died.”

Ken Clarke interviewed by the Competition and Markets Authority, as reported in the Guardian: “Quite how David Cameron got the Sun out of the hands of Gordon Brown I shall never know. Rupert would never let Tony [Blair – Brown’s predecessor] down because Tony had backed the Iraq war. Maybe it was some sort of a deal. David would not tell me what it was. Suddenly we got the Murdoch empire on our side.”

Matt Tee, chief executive of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, announcing a new low-cost arbitration scheme“A key theme of the Leveson report was access to justice for those that can’t afford to go to court. The new IPSO scheme means that anyone can bring a claim against a newspaper for a fee of £50. Access to low-cost arbitration is an important part of the service we offer to the public and I’m pleased that we have been able to reduce the up-front cost of arbitration for a claimant to just £50. In fact, even if the hearing proceeds to final ruling, the maximum it will cost a member of the public is £100, thus making the IPSO scheme fully Leveson-compliant. The culture select committee called for IPSO to offer low cost arbitration in its response to the DCMS consultation on Section 40. We have listened and acted.”

The Independent Press Standards Organisation in rejecting a complaint against an article in the Sun by Trevor Kavanagh: "The Committee acknowledged that the question posed at the end of the column – “What will we do about The Muslim Problem then” – was capable of causing serious offence, given it could be interpreted as a reference to the rhetoric preceding the Holocaust. The Committee made clear that there is no clause in the Editors’ Code which prohibits publication of offensive content. It was clear that many, including the complainant, were offended by this aspect of the article, but there was no breach of the Code on this point."

Peter Preston in the Observer: "Stop Funding Hate may legitimately urge Mail readers to quit (and Mail readers may, equally legitimately, examine the causes SFH espouses and make up their own minds). But trolling rather nervous companies such as Paperchase isn’t legitimate. It’s the thin end of a dangerous wedge – with no winners in sight, from left or right. As last week’s Ipso complaints ruling on Trevor Kavanagh’s “The Muslim Problem” column for the Sun mordantly observes: “There is no clause in the editors’ code which prohibits publication of offensive content”. Nor should there be."

Nick Cohen on Standpoint: "Twitter feels dead. As a business, it looks like a bubble waiting to burst. As a means of communication, it is running out of luck. Donald Trump may splutter his hatreds on it. Journalists may treat it as more important than their newspapers. Legions among its 320 million users might believe that their Twitter persona is the most vital face they present to the world. But it has never made a profit, because Facebook and Google have cornered the online advertising market.No one looks to me for investment advice. But I’m going to give it anyway. Sell."

Thursday 23 November 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Russia with tweets as troll army invades British media to journalists are the enemy of the 'bad' people

From the Guardian: "Members of a Russian “troll army” were quoted more than 80 times across British-read media outlets before Twitter revealed their identity and banned them, a Guardian investigation has shown. Some posts from the accounts were embedded in articles to provide apparently local reportage and pictures from the sites of disasters and crime scenes around the world. In fact, Twitter claims, all the accounts were run from the offices of the Internet Research Agency in St Petersburg, alleged to be the headquarters of Russia’s troll army."

David Aaronovitch in The Times [£]: "The innovative parts of the cyberworld are to me still wondrous and magical. I am of the generation that started journalism in the slow, inefficient era of the cuttings library, and today the Google algorithm is my gold. But as the Times’s revelations about Russian meddling in the Brexit referendum shows, the development of social media and even of search engines happened far more quickly than our capacity to understand how they might be abused."

Ben Bradshaw MP in Parliament: "When the news website BuzzFeed ran a series of articles recently about unexplained Russia-related deaths in Britain, its head of investigations, Heidi Blake, was inundated with American intelligence sources complaining that they did not think their British counterparts were taking these incidents seriously. If that is true, it is extremely worrying."

Carole Cadwalladr in the Observer about a video clip posted by Leave. EU: "The video was a clip from the film Airplane!, in which a “hysterical” woman is told to calm down and then hit, repeatedly, around the head. The woman – my face photoshopped in – was me. And, as the Russian national anthem played, a line of people queued up to take their turn. The last person in the line had a gun. So far, so weird. Here was a registered political organisation that had gained the support of millions of law-abiding, well-meaning people, promoting violence against women and threatening a journalist. It was a “joke”. A joke underpinned by violent menace."

Owen Jones in the Guardian on Paperchase stopping advertising in the Mail: "Paperchase bowing to pressure from campaigners and committing to no longer advertising in the Daily Mail has upset all the right people. It is a victory for basic decency. Britain’s tabloids are among the most hateful and vicious in the western world."

A Mail spokesman in Press Gazette: "It is it is deeply worrying that Paperchase should have allowed itself to be bullied into apologising – on the back of a derisory 250 facebook comments and 150 direct tweets – to internet trolls orchestrated by a small group of hard left Corbynist individuals seeking to suppress legitimate debate and impose their views on the media...It is one of the fundamental principles of free and fearless journalism that editorial decisions are not dictated by advertisers."

Kath Viner in the Guardian: "The transition from print to digital did not initially change the basic business model for many news organisations – that is, selling advertisements to fund the journalism delivered to readers. For a time, it seemed that the potentially vast scale of an online audience might compensate for the decline in print readers and advertisers. But this business model is currently collapsing, as Facebook and Google swallow digital advertising; as a result, the digital journalism produced by many news organisations has become less and less meaningful. Publishers that are funded by algorithmic ads are locked in a race to the bottom in pursuit of any audience they can find – desperately binge-publishing without checking facts, pushing out the most shrill and most extreme stories to boost clicks. But even this huge scale can no longer secure enough revenue."

Anna Soubry MP on BBC Radio 4 said she had 13 death threats after featuring on the Telegraph's 'Mutineers' front page: "If the Telegraph had not printed that headline those death threats would not have come through - that is a fact."

Telegraph editor Chris Evans in a tweet to the BBC: "I’d urge you to distinguish between the legitimate actions and language of a free press and the illegitimate actions and language of those who make threats of violence."

Peter Preston in the Observer: "There once was a time when the Telegraph gave readers a unique insight of the manners, preoccupations and mindset of the Conservative party. No more. Now, seemingly, it’s a bludgeon seeking to impose uniformity in the distant, disconnected name of the brothers Barclay."

Meryl Streep at the International Press Freedom Awards"Thank you, you intrepid, underpaid, overextended, trolled and un-extolled, young and old, battered and bold, bought and sold, hyper alert, crack caffeine fiends...chocolate-comforted Twitter clickers. You’re the enemy of the people, yeah, just the bad people."


Thursday 16 November 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: The free press must not be demonised, don't let these journalists run the country and punk not dead for Sun sub-editors

Christiane Amanpour on CNN: "CNN has just revealed that Russian trolls invaded the space on EU Referendum day, June 23, 2016, pushing pro-Brexit sentiment while people were out casting their votes. Chillingly, one report said, one of the most dangerous places for a reporter in America these days is at a Trump rally. I suppose this isn't too surprising: After all, he's branded us in the media as all being "enemies of the American people." At this time of year, we would do well to remember that we are in fact the people's best friends. Remember that anywhere in the world, only the truth we fight for guarantees freedom. And unaccountable lies lead only to enslavement. We journalists will continue to wage this battle. The free press must not be demonized."

Guido Fawkes: "It is hard to exaggerate how annoyed senior Brexiters are by today’s Telegraph front page, which splashes on the faces of 15 Tory MPs and dubs them “the Brexit mutineers”. Prominent Leavers are tearing their hair out at how politically stupid this is and are at pains to make clear it doesn’t represent their views. It’s one thing taking apart Dominic Grieve’s arguments, but monstering 15 Remainers like this very obviously risks hardening their stance."

Matt Warman MP, former Telegraph technology editor, on Twitter:
Tony Gallagher on Twitter: "I can’t see what’s wrong with p1 of the Telegraph today. It’s called journalism. Absurd over-reaction."

liz gerard‏ @gameoldgirl on Twitter: "They've been doing it for months, but it doesn't make it any more acceptable. Look at the language: it's the language of war. Over opponents of something that's supposed to be about free speech, democracy, sovereignty."

Raymond Snoddy‏ on Twitter: "I like journalists - I am one- but to have the country run by two journalists Boris and Gove - is a step too far."

Theresa May, speaking about Russia at the Lord Mayor's banquet as reported by the Guardian:  “It is seeking to weaponise information. Deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the west and undermine our institutions.”

The Times [£] in a leader on Alex Salmond presenting a politics show for Russia Today: "The decision is an insult to the victims of a murderous kleptocracy. The bravery and fates of those who have exposed the crimes of Mr Putin’s regime are unlikely to be raised by Mr Salmond in his rollicking dialogues. They should, however, be mentioned ceaselessly in media outlets that, unlike RT, are free and factual. Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist, was shot dead in Moscow in 2006. A judge found that it was a contract killing whose instigator was unknown. Ms Politkovskaya was a fierce critic of Mr Putin."

Press Gazette reports: "Two board members of Impress, which will rule on a Canary article about Laura Kuenssberg, have previously shared tweets questioning the impartiality of the BBC political editor. Maire Messenger Davies and Emma Jones also help set the standards by which the alternative press watchdog regulates its journalists as members of the Impress code committee. Impress is currently deciding whether an article on website the Canary, which falsely reported Kuenssberg was to speak at the Tory conference, breached its standards code."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement: “We also need to examine our own behaviour as journalists when it comes to the representation of sexual harassment in the media. It’s depressing to see the predictable proliferation of women columnists commissioned to denigrate colleagues speaking out, peddling the myth that these are minor issues that have been overblown, or that they emanate from women who simply can’t cut it."

Archant chief executive Jeff Henry announcing the closure of Kent on Sunday: “It is with much regret that I am announcing that Archant is to close Kent on Sunday, with publication of its last editions on the weekend of November 24-26, 2017. It has been a challenging period for the newspaper industry as a whole and whilst we have sought to stabilise this part of the business over many years, the continuing decline in commercial revenues has had an adverse effect on this newspaper title."

Google UK managing editor Ronan Harris, speaking at the Society of Editors conference: “Now think about what a newspaper or a news programme does every day. Whether it’s 100 pages or a 30 minute programme, your products and polished and curated. They have rigorous editorial processes and an editor who is ultimately responsible. They have a beginning and an end…almost the opposite of the open web. If every piece of material on the open web had to be checked and lawyered before we surfaced an answer or showed a video that would – quite simply – break the internet. We agree that we have many responsibilities. But, as the FT wrote the other day, we’re clearly not publishers in the same way that newspapers are."

FT editor Lionel Barber, also speaking at the Society of Editors conference: “Dominant technology sites must recognise they need to take more responsibility for the content that appears on their sites. Not just fake news but also hate speech and extremist propaganda.They must drop the pretence that they are simply platforms and channels for publishers rather than media companies themselves.”

The Sunday Times [£] Headline of the Week: "And finally, more proof that news sub-editors are not in the first flush of youth. The Sun reported Priti Patel’s resignation from the cabinet under the headline “Priti Vacant”. That’s a reference to Pretty Vacant, a single released by the Sex Pistols in 1977, when the former international development secretary was just five years old."


Thursday 9 November 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: Blundering Boris, George Orwell and 'fake news' and a nightmare for sub editors as Twitter ups character count

Peter Brookes in The Times
Matthew Parris in The Times [£] on Boris Johnson:  "At first he said that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was “simply teaching people journalism”, in Iran. The Foreign Office has never claimed this. When her employers denied it too, in absolute terms, and her husband decried a claim that might keep his wife in jail for another five years, Johnson graciously accepted “that my remarks could have been clearer.” Grilled by MPs and served his own words, he finally today apologised if what he said was “taken out of context.” Were the quotes Johnson made up for this newspaper when he (briefly) worked here “taken out of context”? Were the personal wrongs in his subsequent private life “taken out of context”? Was the broken promise not to run for parliament while still editing The Spectator “taken out of context”? Was the dishonesty for which Michael Howard sacked him from the Tory front bench “taken out of context”? And was the £350 million per week for the NHS out of context too? Some context."

Report on Iranian TV, quoted in the Guardian“Mr Johnson’s inadvertent confession meant that she [Zaghari-Ratcliffe] was teaching some Iranian journalists - it was a gaffe that can not be covered up. The sole sentence uttered from the mouth of the UK foreign secretary put the efforts of the British media [propaganda] in vain”.

The Financial Times in a leader: "Mr Johnson has apologised “if any words of mine have been taken out of context and misconstrued”, but not for his blasé attitude. His repeated blunders suggest he may be the least distinguished figure to occupy the Foreign Office since the second world war."

Sky in a submission to the Competition and Markets Authority warning the CMA should not: “Simply assume the ‘continued provision of Sky News’ and its current contribution to plurality” if the proposed £11.7 billion takeover of the satellite broadcaster by 21st Century Fox was not approved.

Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, quoted by the Columbia Journalism Review: “The kinds of things people get from a local newspaper are the kinds of things that people will continue to want one hundred years from now. What’s going on within my locality? What’s happening with my school system? What’s happening with my taxes? What’s happening with planning and zoning? What kind of businesses or jobs might we get? It’s only the local newspaper that is likely to be the consistently reliable source of that information.”

Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker: "In the fall of 2016, Harvey Weinstein set out to suppress allegations that he had sexually harassed or assaulted numerous women. He began to hire private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose the allegations."

Ben McIntyre in The Times [£] on George Orwell and 'fake news': "Orwell was a better reporter than writer, with an ingrained instinct to experience, witness, verify, and debunk. He had what he himself called the “power of facing unpleasant facts”. He even foresaw the polarised “debate” on the internet, in which “everyone is simply putting a ‘case’ with deliberate suppression of his opponent’s point of view. His new statue, outside the BBC where he worked briefly as a producer during the war, is more than just a symbolic gesture. It celebrates Orwell’s belief in the existence of an elusive but empirical truth, and the human spirit that continues to seek it out despite the fake news, distorting language and alternative truths that have become the currency of modern power. Not all claims to truth are equal; some are more equal than others."

Alex Salmond‏ on Twitter after it was revealed he has joined with rebel shareholders of Johnston Press, publisher of The Scotsman, who want him to be chairman of the group: "Johnston Press has great titles and some great people. It needs a senior management team to match that commitment."

Scotsman editor Frank O'Donnell in an opinion article in his paper: "The idea of Mr Salmond being chairman of Johnston Press and restricting his involvement to prosaic monthly business meetings seems highly unlikely. With The Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland on Sunday as well as 25 Scottish weekly titles, would he really sit patiently and let editors take decisions on stories? Those who know him well say he will want to get involved. And once a chairman starts to call an editor asking about a story, alarm bells should start to sound for editorial independence. It has long been known that nationalist supporters in Scotland have coveted a quality daily newspaper that supports the Yes movement and have looked at buying The Scotsman to further their agenda."

Editors and directors of leading international news organisations urging an investigation to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta,  in a letter to Frans Timmermans, the vice-president of the European Commiossio, as reported by the Guardian“Daphne’s murder, combined with the structural issues the commission identified, demonstrate the need for a full investigation into the state of media independence in Malta by the commission. We ask that you use your office to engage the Maltese government in urgent dialogue to ensure that it is aware of its obligations as a member of the European Union to uphold the rule of law, and to maintain press freedom and free expression."

Committee to Protect Journalists' Europe and Central Asia program coordinator Nina Ognianova calls for the freeing of  Igor Rudnikov, editror-in-chief  of the independent, Kaliningrad-based weekly Novye Kolyosa"We call on Russian authorities to immediately release Igor Rudnikov and drop all charges against him. The federal authorities must promptly investigate Rudnikov's beating in custody and bring those responsible to justice."

Mike Lowe‏ @cotslifeeditor on Twitter: "Nooooo. I've been given 280 characters. It's a nightmare for subs who delight in keeping things short and succinct."
Tim Walker‏ on Twitter: "Long tweets are already starting to bore me. Brevity is the soul of wit. And they will require too much thinking from Mr Trump."
David Yelland‏ on Twitter: "Trust the current PM to make a Corbyn victory close to inevitable on the same day Twitter doubles its character count so we can go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about Priti Patel (and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on........)"
J.K. Rowling‏ on Twitter: "Twitter’s destroyed its USP. The whole point, for me, was how inventive people could be within that concise framework."
2 hours ago

Thursday 2 November 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From the countries where the killers of journalists get away with murder to sex pest politicians and the press

Elisabeth Witchel, Campaign to Protect Journalists' Impunity Campaign consultant: "Impunity in the murders of journalists can be an intractable cycle stretching over a decade or more, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists' 10th annual Global Impunity Index, a ranking of countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free. Seven countries on this year's index have been listed every year since the index launched a decade ago--including Somalia, which is the worst country for unsolved murders for the third year in a row. Impunity thrives in conflict environments, where powerful actors often use violent intimidation to control media coverage, while weak-to-nonexistent law and order increases the likelihood of attacks."

Among the findings from CPJ's data on murdered journalists:
  • Four countries on this year's index-India, Mexico, Nigeria, and the Philippines-are on the governing council of the Community of Democracies, a coalition dedicated to upholding and strengthening democratic norms.
  • About 93 percent of murder victims are local reporters. The majority cover politics and corruption in their home countries.
  • Political groups, including Islamic State and other extremist organizations, are the suspected perpetrators in one third of murder cases. Government and military officials are considered the leading suspects in about a quarter of the murders.
  • In the past 10 years, around 30 percent of murdered journalists were first taken captive-higher than the historical average of 22 percent since CPJ began tracking in 1992. The majority of those taken captive are tortured, sending a chilling message to the victims' colleagues.

Caroline Cadwalladr in the Observer on the links between Trump, Assange, Bannon and Farage: "(You got this? Farage visited Trump, then Assange, then Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher met Don Trump’s Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. Then Assange. And is now trying to close the circle with Trump.) In these post-truth times, journalists are fighting the equivalent of a firestorm with a bottle of water and a wet hankie. We desperately need help. We need public pressure. We need parliament to step up and start asking proper questions. There may be innocent answers to all these questions. Let’s please just ask them."

Nigel Farage@Nigel_Farage on Twitter: "Ridiculous claims in The Guardian are fake news. There is no grand conspiracy - they are just desperate.'

Emily Bell in the Guardian on political advertising on social media: "In getting to grips with this problem, politicians and the media are realising that the way we think and talk about different types of messages has been well and truly broken. Social media has made a practice – and a fortune – out of erasing traditional boundaries between different types of material. Where once we had propaganda, press releases, journalism and advertising, we now have “content”. Where once we had direct marketing, display advertising and promotions, now we have “monetisation”. Where we once had media owners, ad agencies and clients, now we have “partners”. Who could possibly object to partners monetising their content? It sounds so mutually beneficial and efficient. On the other hand neo-Nazis paying to target pensioners with racist propaganda has a less wholesome ring to it."

FBI memo released on the assassination of President John Kennedy on a tip-off received by the Cambridge News, as reported by BBC News: "The caller said only that the Cambridge News reporter should call the American Embassy in London for some big news and then hung up. After the word of the President's death was received the reporter informed the Cambridge police of the anonymous call and the police informed MI5. The important point is that the call was made, according to MI5 calculations, about 25 minutes before the President was shot. The Cambridge reporter had never received a call of this kind before, and MI5 state that he is known to them as a sound and loyal person with no security record."

Tim Shipman in the Sunday Times [£]: "One man who is now a serving cabinet minister placed his hand on the thigh of a senior female journalist in full view of his frontbench colleagues at a party conference dinner some years ago and announced: 'God, I love those tits'... A Liberal Democrat peer’s career is also in danger after inviting a succession of female journalists to lunch while insisting that they wear knee-high boots and short skirts.”

Julia Hartley-Brewer‏ @JuliaHB1 on Twitter: "This "incident" happened in 2002. No one was remotely upset or distressed by it. My knees remain intact."

Dan Hodges@DPJHodges on Twitter: "Here's something Labour could do to show they take sex assault allegations seriously. Expel members abusing journalist who report it."

Michael White on The Media Show, via Guido Fawkes: “The power doesn’t all lie on one side; clever, attractive young women looking for stories. They can play the power game to poor old, ugly backbenchers with bad breath… No, I'm not saying it's their fault, they are predators.”

Kate McCann‏ @KateEMcCann on Twitter: "So, according to @michaelwhite, as a female lobby journalist I am a "predator" who tricks "poor old ugly backbenchers" to get stories ...As if it's not hard enough to be taken seriously as a woman working in politics without senior male journalists saying this stuff. Furious."