Thursday 31 May 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From staged 'murder' of Russian journalist feeds fake news to is the press really out to get England's World Cup stars?

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko at a press conference after revealing that his 'murder' had been faked in order to expose a suspected attempt on his life in Ukraine, as reported by BBC News: "I have buried many friends and colleagues many times and I know the sickening feelingI am sorry you had to experience it. But there was no other way."

Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent: "There can be few more glaring examples of 'fake news' than the deliberate misreporting by a sovereign government of a prominent journalist's death. Russia already denies any involvement in the attempted assassination of its former spy Sergei Skripal in the UK city of Salisbury in March, calling it fake news. It will now likely seize on this deception in Kiev to strengthen its claim in that case, and in others."

Lindsey Hillsum ‪@lindseyhilsum‪ on Twitter: "So now every time a journalist is murdered, those responsible will unleash their bots and propagandists to say it’s fake news. Thanks, Ukrainian security services. That’s really helpful to all who care about journalists’ safety. #Babchenko"

James Cusick on Open Democracy: "London’s Evening Standard newspaper, edited by the former chancellor George Osborne, has agreed a £3 million deal with six leading commercial companies, including Google and Uber, promising them “money-can’t-buy” positive news and “favourable” comment coverage."

A spokesman for ESI Media told Open Democracy:“The allegations about the Evening Standard are baseless and wrong. We would never offer ‘positive news’ coverage and ‘favourable’ comment as part of a commercial deal. The Evening Standard’s editorial integrity and independence is always at the heart of everything we do and is beyond question. That’s why we have such a big and loyal readership. No commercial agreement would ever include ‘favourable’ news coverage. Like all British newspapers, the Evening Standard has valued commercial partners and works with them on specific campaigns for the benefit of our readers. Indeed, editorial independence is and remains guaranteed in the contracts we sign.”

The Times [£] in a leader: "Since this newspaper exposed the Oxfam scandal, Save the Children has been accused of spending £100,000 on lawyers in an attempt to shut down reporting of harassment allegations against two of its former senior executives. The charity has been active in its internal reporting of abuse allegations, but the breach of trust the entire sector must repair is external — with donors, governments and above all those it exists to help. They deserve nothing less than full accountability."

The New York Times @nytimes on Twitter: "President Trump falsely accused The New York Times on Saturday of making up a source in an article about North Korea, even though the source was in fact a senior White House official speaking to a large group of reporters in the White House briefing room."

Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard  on why he's back on Twitter: "Decided to dip my toe back in the Twitter water (as some people told me I would!). I hadn't realised you can set your mentions to block anyone you don't follow. Should make for an altogether more pleasant experience. And satisfyingly the screamers will be whistling in the wind."

Nick Cohen in the Observer on top law firms in the UK working for wealthy oligarchs: "One day, the security and intelligence services will have to ask when law firms that seek the lucrative business of repressive states and organisations, or threaten investigative journalists, become a threat to the national interest."

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian on the Observer columnist Katharine Whitehorn who is suffering from Alzheimer’s: "This is a terrible thing to write – but I know that the old Katharine Whitehorn, the wittily honest Observer writer, would not have flinched. That’s what her two loving sons say and they want it written the way she would have. Her friends and former colleagues have been told, yet it may appal some lifelong admirers to have it said out loud. But her ability to confront hard truths and break old ideas of decorum is the reason so many read her for decades. With her usual no-nonsense rationality, she wrote with fearless clarity on the end of life. Katharine is now 90, living in a care home, suffering from Alzheimer’s, with little understanding left, no knowledge of where she is or why. She often doesn’t recognise people, can no longer read and curiously sometimes talks in French, not a language she knew particularly well: she will never read or understand this article. In other words, she is not herself. Her old self would not recognise herself in this other being who sits in the care home dayroom. What or who she has become is a difficult philosophical question, but she is no longer Katharine Whitehorn as was."

The Times [£] in a leader on Elon Musk: "His patience snapped this week in a series of tweets denouncing the “holier-than-thou hypocrisy” of “big media companies who lay claim to the truth but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie”. Few journalists know much about electric powertrains. Equally, there are gaps in Mr Musk’s understanding of journalism. It is to get at truth, which by its nature is often inconvenient. This can require patience, bloody mindedness and the sort of resources available to “big media companies”, like the one that owns The Times. Serious journalism has to fend off plenty of baseless but damaging attacks as it is. The thin-skinned Mr Musk has better things to do than add to them just because he is going through a rough patch."

Gary Lineker @GaryLineker on Twitter: "Unique to this country to attempt to destroy our players morale before a major tournament. It’s weird, unpatriotic and sad."

Oliver Kay in The Times [£]: "Lineker’s contention was that this is all a bid to undermine England’s forthcoming World Cup campaign. Sorry Gary, but that does not add up. As was confirmed by a subsequent post on Lineker’s timeline — reminders of front-page headlines labelling the Manchester City forward “obscene” for “showing off blinging house”, of him being described as “footie idiot”, “greedy” and “Prem rat”, and even the inoffensive, if totally trivial, stories about a multi-millionaire buying his batteries from Poundworld or “queuing for pasties and sausage rolls” at Greggs — the timing was not a factor. World Cup on the horizon or not, Sterling can barely break wind without making headlines. That is the reality facing many of the Premier League’s biggest stars in 2018, their lives — their spending habits, their homes, their cars, how they spend their days off and their holidays, and particularly their partners — are a source of peculiar fascination to sections of the media and the public who are interested in footballers but not football."

Piers Morgan @piersmorgan on Twitter: "Remember, most top footballers sell interviews & books etc to tabloid newspapers & magazines all the time (I know, I used to write the cheques!). It’s a 2-way publicity street that benefits both sides very profitably. So let’s stop this ‘Leave them alone!’ bullsh*t..."


Thursday 24 May 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Donald Trump told journalist why he bashes the press to Ken Livingstone's pet 'Adolf' story was fake newts

Donald Trump revealed why he bashes the press, according to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, as reported by CNBC "You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you."

Peter Barron @PeteBarronMedia  on Twitter: "Love the way the @MENnewsdesk has marked today's first anniversary of the terror attack. Pure class."

Joshua Rozenberg on the Law Society Gazette on the Cliff Richard vs BBC privacy case: "I shall resist the temptation to express my own view of this case. But I know what will happen if news organisations are prevented from identifying suspects and perhaps even unconvicted defendants. Names – sometimes accurate, sometimes not – will start circulating on social media. The mainstream media will not be allowed to confirm or deny those rumours. And legitimate news organisations will forfeit such trust and respect as they still have. We shall all be the poorer."

Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard on Reaction on why he's giving up Twitter: "There’s much to Twitter I love, and I’ve ‘met’ some fabulous people on it. But the mechanism it gives to total strangers to infect your life with poison is too great a downside for me."

Philip Collins in The Times [£] on Tom Wolfe: "Even at the time the new journalism attracted the criticism that it was subjective and, therefore, partisan. In a way the accusation was true but not much of an accusation. It was deep reportage with an agenda and, as long as the reader was aware what he or she was getting, that was fine. And what the reader was getting was some of the best journalistic writing in the canon. At his best, such as in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which is a wonderful account of the Merry Pranksters, Ken Kesey’s band of manic counter-cultural followers, Wolfe really hits pay dirt. Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers skewers Leonard Bernstein’s plans to raise money for the Black Panthers and provides a template for the fashionable bourgeois leftie ever since."

Tom Wolfe quote: "I have no idea who coined the term 'the New Journalism,' or when it was coined. I have never even liked the term. Any movement, group, party, program, philosophy or theory that goes under a name with 'new' in it is just begging for trouble, of course."

Tom Wolfe quote: "God, newspapers have been making up stories forever. This kind of trifling and fooling around is not a function of the New Journalism."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian on coverage of the Royal wedding: "In truth, two institutions, monarchy and the press, are walking hand in hand towards their doom after 400 years of interdependence. Viewed rationally, we can see how popular newspapers – which is an oxymoronic term nowadays – spent months manufacturing synthetic public excitement about the marriage. Their coverage, far from reflecting modernity, was marked by all the old tropes: fawning fascination, carping criticism, preposterous speculation and the elevation of the trivial to an implausible level of significance."

Press Gazette reports: "News publishers and broadcasters were reaping the rewards of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding in sales of Sunday newspapers, online readers and TV viewing figures. Early newspaper wholesale estimates for the Sunday newspaper market, shared by the Daily Mail, put the week-on-week sales uplift at between 15 to 20 per cent. The figures, based on the expected final unsold volume returned from retail, estimated that more than 650,000 additional Sunday newspapers had been sold, with an extra £1.2m generated in UK retail sales value."

Jon Craig @joncraig on Twitter: "Very disappointed to learn reports that Ken Livingstone has or had a pet newt called Adolf, which I referred to y’day on TV & online, may not be correct. Am now told original source of this claim was satirical website “The Daily Mash”. Shame!"


Thursday 17 May 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From forget Leveson and focus on social media and fake news to Rod Liddle is a sell-out - at the London Palladium!

The Times [£] in a leader: "Ministers were right to reject calls for another expensive public inquiry and the House of Commons affirmed its commitment to the freedom of the press. The public interest is now in allowing the media to get on with the job of holding the powerful to account rather than retreading well-trodden ground. There are more pressing issues for politicians and the public to consider. Today’s challenges are unregulated social media and fake news. The Lords should accept the verdict of the elected chamber, and look to the future, not the past."

Shadow Culture secretary Tom Watson on Twitter: "The whole point of the Royal Charter system, set up following Leveson, was to make clear that it was for the Press Recognition Panel, not government Ministers, to decide whether independent press regulators were effective. This new amendment , which gives the Secretary of State power to review the system of self-regulation every three years, undermines that whole system. It's tantamount to state interference in press regulation."

Culture secretary Matt Hancock on Twitter after the Commons rejected Lords amendment to Data Protection Bill calling for Leveson 2: "Delighted House of Commons has now voted twice - with increased majority - to defend a free and fair press. It’s time to put this Bill on the Statute Book."

The Mail on Sunday reports:"Meghan Markle's father has secretly collaborated with a British paparazzi photographer to stage a series of pictures – despite pleas from Prince Harry for the media to leave his future father-in-law alone. Thomas Markle, who will walk his daughter down the aisle at Windsor Castle on Saturday, has been caught on CCTV willingly posing for faked photographs that have been sold to newspapers around the world. Together with other pictures taken with his co-operation, they will have netted up to £100,000...The faked images include Mr Markle apparently: Being measured for a suit to wear to the wedding; being caught browsing a book of British landmarks in a branch of Starbucks; working out with weights to get in shape for the big day."

Piers Morgan on MailOnline: "Several weeks ago, Kensington Palace issued a stern warning to British media outlets demanding Mr Markle be left alone. An official letter, written by Harry’s personal communications secretary Jason Knauf, described how Mr Markle had been ‘followed and harassed’ by photographers and journalists. The letter, obviously dictated by the Prince, urged newspapers not to publish any photos of Mr Markle. Last week, Mr Markle’s own representatives also wrote to editors and to British newspaper watchdog the Independent Press Standards Organisation claiming Mr Markle was suffering as a result of press intrusion and insisting he didn’t want to take part in photo calls or interviews. Yet it now transpires that Mr Marble has been aggressively invading his own privacy and allowing the paparazzi to sell staged photos of him to the world’s media."

Zoe Williams in the Guardian on press coverage of Thomas Markle: "The Leveson inquiry could have drawn all its conclusions about the overweening power of the press from the treatment of this one man. The underpinning counter-privacy argument – that if you’ve got nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear – is flamboyantly shot down in the bald reality of microscopic press scrutiny.'”

Emily Bell in the Guardian: "The inability of the UK professional press to effectively self-regulate has arisen from the fact that the largest commercial constituents in the UK have been historically the most egregious in terms of practice, and moribund in terms of moral authority."

Liverpool manager Jergen Klopp in a speech for the Football Writers' Awards: "I am probably guilty, like many on my side of it, of bemoaning “the press” at times, lumping everyone in together. But I know the game enjoys the prominence and profile in England because the media devotes so much time and energy to covering it. In some respects, those of you in this room share the same journey as the players you cover. You have to show dedication and sacrifice; you have to constantly keep learning your job and adapt to changes; you make mistakes and learn from them; you are under huge pressure to deliver. And maybe it is good old English irony that in the age of social media many of you are now subjected to the same scrutiny and comment on your performance."

Donald Trump on Twitter: "The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible. With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!"

Fraser Nelson‏@FraserNelson on Twitter: "Rod Liddle has now **sold out** the 2,300-capacity London Palladium. Something that perhaps no other journalist could do. #RodPower."


Thursday 10 May 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From make killing journalists in conflict zones a war crime to football reporters pay tribute to 'class act' Arsene Wenger

The Times [£] in a leader: "The United Nations should explicitly spell out that the deliberate killing of a journalist in a conflict zone amounts to a war crime. Evidence should be gathered and the case should be presented as evidence for the prosecution at the international criminal court. This may seem like a naive attempt to impose and enforce rules on regimes and groups that have shown brazen disregard for international law. The alternative is unthinkable: to allow brutal regimes to celebrate their own impunity. The Afghan killings exposed the vulnerabilities of Isis and the Taliban as much as the press. The terrorist groups are anxious that a free and independent press will counter their gross exaggeration of battlefield successes."

Culture and Media Secretary Matt Hancock on Twitter after MPS rejected calls for Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry: "A great day for a free and fair press. We will work with closely IPSO to make sure their important work continues."

Ed Miliband on Twitter: "Very disappointed for the victims of phone-hacking and press abuse that we did not win the vote for Leveson 2. The battle goes on to keep our promise to them to get the truth they deserve and protection for victims in the future."

Guardian News & Media, publisher of the Guardian and the Observer,  in a statement to MPs over a proposed amendment to the data protection bill that would have favoured the company over other publishers: “This clause was not discussed with Guardian News & Media and we disagree with attempts to impose a selective sanction on the media. We do not believe that singling out one model of ownership for news organisations in this way is a constructive approach. This amendment implies that just one ownership model can result in the production of high quality journalism, which is simply not correct.”

The Independent Press Standards Organisation in a statement: "The UK’s seven best-selling national daily newspapers and eight best-selling Sunday newspapers have agreed to sign up to the IPSO compulsory arbitration scheme. The scheme will cover national newspapers published by News UK, Trinity Mirror, Associated, Telegraph and the former Northern and Shell.This will mean that members of the public can get low-cost access to justice without having to go to court for legal claims including libel, invasion of privacy, data protection or harassment. The participating newspapers cannot refuse to arbitrate on any valid claim. It costs a maximum in fees of £100 for the claimant."

The New York Times, via Associated Press:  On World Press Freedom Day a U.N. panel discussion on international media freedom and fake news was suddenly postponed, sparking accusations of censorship. Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists thanked organizers of the official event for shining a light on the work of journalists — but said unfortunately "as we battle censorship around the world ... the panel was cancelled because one of the presenters was going to mention by name countries that jail journalists. So we have a discussion in the U.N. about battling censorship, being censored, that's quite ironic. I would call on us all here present to resist the politicization — the increasing politicization of U.N. agencies whose mission is to defend press freedom."

Report of the International Press Freedom Mission to the US: "The rhetoric that Trump and his administration have used to disparage and discredit the media, before and after the 2016 election, is of grave concern. Political leaders’ words have ramifications beyond the immediate news cycle. It appears that members of the public and other local authority or political figures have felt emboldened by the media strategy of the current administration and journalists have found themselves subject to increasing abuse, harassment, and threats, particularly online...By openly and aggressively targeting journalists and media outlets, the current US administration risks undermining media freedom and creates a culture where journalists find themselves unprotected."

Sarah Churchwell in The Observer on Donald Trump: "There is a clear bias among the media towards normality. We see this every time a journalist announces that Trump became “presidential” when he read a few words written by someone else. Trump is not “presidential”. He is ignorant, impulsive, undisciplined, undignified, uncouth. This makes him popular with some of his electorate but it does not make him presidential. We see the bias towards normality every time a journalist asks about a given aspect of his “policy”. Trump doesn’t have policies. He is an opportunistic chancer who changes his story with the wind and listens to whoever last spoke to him. We see it when newspapers refuse to say the president lied, hiding behind euphemisms such as “misrepresented”, “reversed his position”, “told an untruth”."

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?"

Jon Sopel @BBCJonSopel on Twitter: "Dear President  @realDonaldTrump, I’m going on holiday today with my family and I’d really like it if things stayed quiet for next 10 days in D.C., that you play nicely with colleagues and don’t get into fights - that way the BBC won’t call me.
Thanks Jon" #DreamOn

Daily Mirror's John Cross in a farewell tribute to Arsene Wenger, on behalf of football reporters: "We in English football owe you a huge debt of gratitude and I hope you appreciate within the tributes in the last couple of weeks there has been a genuine and very heartfelt affection towards you. There is no escaping there has been some criticism along the way but the fact you never hold a grudge or never dodge a question and are always respectful shows what a class act you are as both a human being and a football manager. You have touched lives way beyond football."


Thursday 3 May 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: Rudd resignation shows power of investigative journalism; Cambridge Analytica closure; the deadliest day for the media in Afghanistan

Guardian editor-in-chief KathViner in the Guardian: "The resignation of the British home secretary, Amber Rudd, over the Windrush scandal marks an important moment for independent, investigative journalism, demonstrating how it can hold power to account in order unequivocally to change people’s lives for the better. The Guardian reporter Amelia Gentleman has spent the past six months exposing the truth of the suffering of the Windrush generation, who arrived in the UK after the second world war from Caribbean countries at the invitation of the British government."

Cambridge Analytica in a press statement: "The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers. As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business, which left Cambridge Analytica with no realistic alternative to placing the Company into administration."

Carole Cadwalladr@carolecadwalla on Twitter: "Remember. SCL & Cambridge Analytica are disinformation specialists. What exactly are they shutting down & why?...The news that Cambridge Analytica is shutting down is not some great triumph. It’s a billionaire using Britain’s insolvency laws to try & evade scrutiny - at the cost of his employees. We need a criminal investigation. And we need evidence secured. The question is how???"

Verified account

John Mulholland@jnmulholland on Twitter: "Cambridge Analytica closing after Facebook data harvesting scandal revealed by @carolecadwalla in the Observer - and not because of 'siege of media coverage' as per their statement."

Facebook's CTO Mike Schroepfer, asked to apologise for the company threatening defamation proceedings against the Guardian and Observer over the data scandal, while appearing before the Culture and Media Committee"We thought this was accepted cultural practice in the UK...I am sorry that journalists feel that we are trying to prevent them from getting the truth out."

Jane Martinson in the Guardian: "It really shouldn’t matter where, or how, somebody grew up – Jon Snow is just one example of a brilliant journalist who grew up in a privileged household. But the media industry needs to look outside the white male able-bodied elite to others who want to speak truth to power. Without that, it could so easily become an industry just speaking to itself."

Ashley Highfield on his decision to resign as chief executive of Johnston Press, as reported by City AM: "I have been privileged to lead Johnston Press during a period of unprecedented turbulence in our industry. Since 2011 we have grown our overall audience in particular our digital business, created an industry leading tele-sales operation and maintained margins. The acquisition of the i newspaper has been a particular highlight."

Jeremy Vine @theJeremyVine on Twitter: "Excellent piece by @guyadams raises the horrible thought that money given to Save The Children by a little old lady somewhere has ended up being spent on getting lawyers to put the wind up journalists who reported on their sex scandal."

Independent Press Standards Organisation in a statement: "The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has announced it is creating a compulsory version of its low cost arbitration scheme. This change will mean that someone who has a genuine claim against a newspaper who could have gone to court (for example for libel, invasion of privacy, data protection or harassment) can ask for arbitration of their claim and the newspaper cannot refuse. It costs a maximum of £100 for the claimant. Under the current scheme, the newspaper could decide not to arbitrate on any given case. The new scheme will also include a higher level of damages: arbitrators can award claimants up to £60,000, including aggravated damages."

The Times [£] in a leader: "The sentencing of 14 journalists from one of Turkey’s oldest and most respected newspapers to jail terms of up to seven and a half years on terrorism charges is a disgrace. It makes a mockery of even the pretence of the democratic freedoms expected of a Nato ally. It sends a repressive message that opposition to the government will not be tolerated and that Turkey is entering a dark age of absolutism and intolerance."

The Afghanistan Federation of Journalists (AFJ) in a statement after 10 journalists were killed on Monday in a bomb attack and a shooting: “This terrorist attack is a war crime and an organized attack on the Afghan media. Despite today's attack and other threats against journalists, the Afghan media is committed to providing information. The attack in the heart of Kabul and in the Green Zone indicates a serious lack of security by the government...April 30 will be remembered as the deadliest day in Afghan media history and the industry will mark the day in future in honor of its fallen colleagues."

Steven Butler @StevenBButler Asia program coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists, on Twitter: "Today marks one of the deadliest days on record for the media in Afghanistan & indeed around the world. We salute the incredible bravery of these journos, while noting the cynicism & cruelty of a suicide bomber pretending to be a media worker to target the press."

Committee to Protect Journalists executive director Joel Simon, quoted by the Columbia Journalism Review: “These are all Afghan reporters that have been killed, but at least five are working directly for the international media. So theses are the reporters who keep the world informed. This is not a local story; it’s not just about local news coverage in c. This is a threat not just to the Afghan media, this is a threat to global media.”

The Guardian in a leader: "Although the rich world takes notice of those who bring the news out to us, the vast majority are people serving their own communities, working for little glamour and less money, with a display of routine everyday heroism that puts more pampered colleagues to shame. The defence of journalistic freedom, and of journalists’ lives, is not some western affectation. It is something that all societies need if they are to be honest with themselves. It is a necessary check on the ambition and even the vanity of the powerful, and the dangers that some brave journalists defy prove just how much we need it – and them."