Thursday 27 September 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Corbyn tells UK press you smear the powerless and don't take on the powerful to why be an editor when reporters have more fun?

Jeremy Corbyn in his Labour Party conference speech"Journalists from Turkey to Myanmar and Colombia are being imprisoned, harassed or sometimes killed by authoritarian governments and powerful corporate interests just for doing their job. But here, a free press has far too often meant the freedom to spread lies and half-truths, and to smear the powerless, not take on the powerful."
  • Emily Bell @emilybell on Twitter: "Disappointing Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t seem to know (or doesn’t care) that attacks on journalists in the parts of the world he namechecks are often justified by pointing to press criticism from leaders such as himself and Donald Trump in western democracies."
  • Jane Merrick @janemerrick23 on Twitter: "Jeremy Corbyn lecturing the British press about "failing to take on the powerful" when he's appeared on Press TV and Russia Today is a bit bloody rich."
David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Macron is right. Message to every Brexit editor: he is talking about YOU. What a total and unmitigated disaster much of the UK press has led its readers to."

Alan Rusbridger on ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, in his new book Breaking News: "Today, MacKenzie's  13-year dominance at the paper seems an era of considerable bigotry, cruelty and prejudice rather than wit, brio and much-envied (and imitated) professionalism. There are editors, then and now whose behaviour would - in any other context - seem borderline unhinged. They appear, to an outsider, worryingly aggressive and obsessive. They seem to derive pleasure from threatening, humiliating, harassing or intimidating their targets. A newspaper is probably the last institution or organisation  in the democratic world  where such people would be allowed to operate with quite so little scrutiny or redress."

Evan Davis on Twitter on his move from Newsnight to presenting BBC Radio 4's PM:  "So.. guess what. Having survived several years of people saying "you're not as good as Jeremy Paxman", I now look forward to people saying "you're not as good as Eddie Mair". I'll be moving to @BBCpm at the end of October."

From HoldTheFrontPage: "A police force says it is unable to confirm that armed officers arrested a publisher over suspected “hate crimes” – despite his own newspaper covering it on its front page. Danny Lockwood, publisher of Dewsbury weekly The Press, splashed on his own arrest in Friday’s edition after being stopped by police as he drove to work last Monday. According to The Press, he was then questioned about three hate crimes at Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff’s office, which are thought to involve swastikas being deposited at her doorstep. Danny has denied any involvement in the alleged incidents, while Ms Sherriff has publicly stated she has 'no reason' to suspect he was involved."

The News Media Association in its submission to the Cairncross Review  into the future of sustainable journalism: “The primary focus of concern today is the loss of advertising revenues which have previously sustained quality national and local journalism and are now flowing to the global search engines and social media companies who make no meaningful contribution to the cost of producing the original content from which they so richly benefit...Introduce a fair, open and equitable content licence fee agreement, supported by a UK Publishers Right, enabling the tech companies to demonstrate the value they extract and to pay for the content from which they benefit, without discrimination between news publishers."

News Media Association chief executive David Newell in The Times [£]: "Publishers should be fairly rewarded so that they can continue to maintain independent journalism. But the rise of the internet, and in particular its two dominant platforms, has snapped the relationship between the content creators and revenues. News media journalism has never been more in demand, reaching greater audiences than ever before across print and digital platforms. Yet between them Google and Facebook, which produce no original news content yet benefit greatly from it, are siphoning off all the growth in digital revenues by making money out of our content without any fair exchange. Not only is this fundamentally unjust, it poses a direct threat to the sustainability of journalism."

The NUJ in its submission to the Cairncross Review: "The NUJ is calling for an economic stimulus plan for the media including arms-length government subsidies, the strategic use of central and local government advertising, tax credits, tax breaks, and a combination of funding such as grants, loans and community-share schemes. Any new funding available must be attached to specific objectives and criteria. This should include a range of commitments to quality and ethical standards. Organisations that systematically cut corners and rely upon free content and user-generated pictures should not be entitled to receive any public subsidy, funding or support."

James Harding, giving the inaugural Journalists' Charity lecture on his new media venture Tortoise,  which will offer a slower supply of news sourced from experts across a wide range of fields: "We’re trying to see how we might think about opening up journalism, how we might think about systems of organised listening in every form, whether that’s in live open leader conferences but also in forms of digital journalism."

Ewen MacAskill interviewed in the Guardian on retiring from the paper after 22 years: "Kath Viner joined a few months after me and rose to become editor-in-chief. I stayed as a reporter but I think I got the better deal. Reporters have more fun."


Thursday 20 September 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From the Daily Mail is a changin' to the media has always been disliked but Trump's turned it into a political philosophy

James O'Brien @mrjamesob on Twitter: "The Mail has moved so quickly towards the light under its new editor that Littlejohn's unhinged rantings already stick out like a sore thumb. Remarkable to watch. Wish they were selling tickets to Dacre's daily perusal of the paper."

David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Geordie Greig is changing the Daily Mail very fast. Kudos to him. It is smarter, softer..."

Henry Mance in the Financial Times: "Mr Greig is the reformer on the inside, the man who knows the system has to change. He’s the Mikhail Gorbachev of the tabloid world. It’s glasnost on Derry Street. It makes you think. Given the right editor, could any Fleet Street title change its spots? Could the Telegraph, for example, decide not to cover the Duke of Shropshire’s niece’s 18th birthday party? Could The Guardian reveal that Christmas is an unproblematic celebration of family values? ...As for the Financial Times, you’ll know the revolution has come when you receive the first ever How To Spend It: Lidl Edition."

Emily Thornberry @EmilyThornberry on Twitter: "This, from @DailyMailUK and not a sneering word in sight!!!>>"

Fleet Street Fox on the demise of Katie Hopkins: "Even with training, she would never have made much of a journo. She has a thick skin and bloody-mindedness, but seems to lack empathy, accuracy, self-doubt or persuasiveness. She is a curiosity, but doesn't have any. The first rule of journalism is 'never become the story'. Not just because it's professionally embarrassing, but because all copy finishes the same way - with the word 'ends'."

Roy Greenslade, who was a consultant on BBC TV drama Press, about complaints from journalists it's unrealistic, in the Guardian: "Amid the nit-picking, I wonder how a piece of populist drama about newspapers could avoid cliches and stereotypes. And dare I point out that it ill-behoves journalists who have lived off cliches and stereotypes, to complain about them representing their trade."

The Sunday Times [£] in a leader on new claims that MI6 believed Michael Foot took payments from the KGB: "This is not an attempt to re-run that libel case but to suggest that the circumstances might have been different in one respect. Had the case been conducted in America, the fact that the country’s spy agencies were aware of the allegations, and believed them, would have probably found its way into the public domain. It certainly was in the public interest. Britain’s intelligence apparatus, and the political establishment, were instead happy to sit on their knowledge and see a newspaper successfully sued for libel."

Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter: “Michael Foot loved this country. That’s why he wanted to make it better for everyone. Smearing a dead man, who successfully defended himself when he was alive, is about as low as you can go.”

Rachel Oldroyd, managing editor of The Bureau for Investigative Journalism, welcoming a European Court of Human Rights judgment that mass surveillance by GCHQ and other intelligence agencies without adequate safeguards to protect the freedom of the press is unlawful: “The Bureau believes the freedom of the press is a vital cornerstone of democracy and that journalists must be able to protect their sources. We are particularly concerned about the chilling effect that the threat of state surveillance has on whistleblowers who want to expose wrongdoing, and this ruling will force our government to put safeguards in place. It is an extremely good day for journalism.”

The Swindon Advertiser NUJ chapel in a statement after publisher Newsquest proposed more  redundancies: "The newsroom at the Swindon Advertiser was knocked sideways by the announcement on Friday that it is set to lose two members of its features department and the sports editor. The proposed cuts are being made to an editorial department that is already slashed to the bone following the loss of three subs, a news editor and the web editor to redundancy just before Christmas last year. Since then the newsroom has lost the assistant news editor and the deputy editor to more lucrative and probably less stressful employment in PR...The affected staff, who were described as ‘resources’ in their consultation letters, now face having to justify their existence in interviews. It is a horrific situation. They are being asked to fight among themselves for their survival."

Natalie Sanders, managing editor, of the newly launched Uranus Examiner serving the town of Uranus in Missouri, on the naming of the newspaper,  as quoted by BBC News: "We had thought about 'Constitution', but most of the people who love us, and who were part of coming up with the name, liked the Examiner better."

David Simon asked in a Rolling Stone interview why the media is disliked by so many: "We were always disliked by everybody. It just never metastasized into a political philosophy because we never had somebody who was, frankly, as morally depraved as the current president. Trump’s willing to trade on American fundamentals in a way that no other national leader has attempted since Huey Long. It’s populism wedded to totalitarianism. Very few people have been so devoid of ethic to go there. But it was always there. You felt it if you were a reporter and you went to your mailbox and read the furious rage of random people whose candidates were not supported or whose enemies were not vanquished in the pages of the newspaper."


Thursday 13 September 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Polly Toynbee's dream job in journalism to how Burt Reynold's bombed the National Enquirer with manure

Polly Toynbee, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions on the opportunity she most regrets missing out on: "The Daily Mail has just appointed a new editor. I did so want that job more than any other in journalism...I would've liked the chance to turn it into a Guardian-type paper."

Elon Musk in an email to the Guardian after being asked about smoking a joint during an interview:  Guardian is the most insufferable newspaper on planet Earth”.

Barack Obama, as reported by Business insider"I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them 'enemies of the people'."

Geordie Greig in a speech to Daily Mail journalists, as reported by Jim Waterson in the Guardian: "The new editor, who replaced Paul Dacre after his 26 years in charge, said he wanted the paper to be 'forward-looking and valuing of our traditions' and use 'persistence, ruthless cunning, polite persuasion and relentless drive' in a bid to overtake the Sun to become the best-selling daily newspaper in Britain."

Lancashire Post chief news reporter Brian Ellis @BrianEllis7 on Twitter: "There are now only 17,000 frontline print journalists covering the whole of the UK, around 6,000 fewer than in 2007. Who is going to hold the establishment to account when we've all gone? Support your local papers - it will be a poorer world without them."

Jim Dao on why the New York Times published its controversial anonymous op-ed by a White 
House insider: "In our view, this Op-Ed offered a significant first-person perspective we haven’t presented to our readers before: that of a conservative explaining why they felt that even if working for the Trump administration meant compromising some principles, it ultimately served the country if they could achieve some of the president’s policy objectives while helping resist some of his worst impulses. We’ve certainly read excellent news stories that quoted anonymous officials making similar points and criticizing the president’s temperament and chaotic style. What distinguished this essay from those news articles was that it conveyed this point of view in a fleshed-out, personal way, and we felt strongly that the public should have a chance to evaluate it for themselves. The only way that could happen was for us to publish the essay without a byline."

Sir Alan Moses, Chairman of IPSO, in the press regulator's annual report“Successful press regulation depends on scrutiny of the judgement of editors. The central distinction between the press IPSO regulates and babble on the web, is that the content of it depends on the judgement of editors; it is their responsibility to comply with the Editors’ Code. IPSO’s duty is to hold them to that Code and provide guidance to avoid breaches in the future. IPSO stands at the boundary between protection of the public and freedom of speech; it preserves both bystriking a balance. I am confident and proud of our ability to continue to do so."

Newsquest editorial development director Toby Granville in a message to the company’s staff , as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: “Due to a reader comment on one of our stories during live criminal proceedings, a crown court judge abandoned the trial and ordered a re-trial out of area. Our newspaper has also been reported to the Attorney General. In circumstances like this there could be a prosecution under the Contempt of Court Act as well as statutory power under the Courts Act 2003 that allows the courts to recover wasted costs of re-trial from a third party where the ‘serious conduct’ of that third party affects a case. Therefore (while I’m sure many of you deactivate them already in circumstances like this) the policy going forward must be to not allow comments on stories about live criminal proceedings. Please ensure your staff are aware.”

Burt Reynolds, who has died aged 82,  interviewed by the Observer Magazine in January 2017: "Dumping a helicopter full of horse shit on the National Enquirer made me feel great. They’d been writing crap about me for years so I thought it was only fitting. One Christmas Eve my pilot and I loaded my helicopter with manure from my ranch, flew over the building and watched it cascade down their giant Christmas tree."

  • Correction of the week from Brazilian news magazine Veja"The candidate likes to spend his free time reading Tolstoy, and not watching Toy Story, as originally reported"

Thursday 6 September 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: Drama ding dong as BBC News staff play themselves in Bodyguard to phone-hacking a moral catastrophe for British journalism akin to the Enron and VW scandals

David Elstein in The Times [£] on the BBC drama Bodyguard: "Is the drama realistic? Not very, but in striving to persuade viewers of the credibility of a personal protection officer suffering from postwar PTSD and a failing marriage, assigned to protect a war-loving, sex-hungry home secretary exploiting terrorist attacks to ramp up security measures which threaten personal privacy, the BBC has induced many of its own presenters and reporters to “play themselves”. It is not wise of the corporation to risk the authority of so many of its professional news staff in lending verisimilitude to this kind of tosh."

Andrew Marr on his cameo in Bodyguard, in the Guardian: "Behind a story such as Bodyguard lies a whole system of beliefs about power structures, human complexity, moral choices, loyalty, courage, failure and so on. If I didn’t trust the writer, if I didn’t think I’d like the values, I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to help. I don’t think there is a single person in the country who would confuse this with real-world news, who would think [Keeley] Hawes was Amber Rudd. And for the avoidance of doubt, I’d never do a cameo in anything, commercial or political, that sought to confuse. Also, it was great fun."

Michael Cole on MailOnline: "If there was anyone left at the top of BBC News and Current Affairs with the experience and judgment required on such sensitive issues as this, then I believe he or she would have immediately vetoed the participation of its leading presenters and reporters. That is what would have happened in the past when we had seasoned journalists who really understood news values — men and women familiar with the old journalistic adage that ‘facts are sacred’ — running the BBC."

Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen J Adler in a statement, after the jailing for seven years of the agency's reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo in Myanmar: “These two admirable reporters have already spent nearly nine months in prison on false charges designed to silence their reporting and intimidate the press. This is a major step backward in Myanmar’s transition to democracy, cannot be squared with the rule of law or freedom of speech, and must be corrected by the Myanmar government as a matter of urgency."

Amnesty International's Northern Ireland director Patrick Corrigan after the arrests of Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey, who produced the documentary No Stone Unturned about the murder of six men at Loughinisland, Northern Ireland, quoted by BBC News"Journalists must be free to investigate and expose issues of public concern. Few subjects could be of more significant public concern than the mass shooting of civilians and the alleged collusion of the police in assisting those responsible to evade justice. These arrests will send a worrying message to other journalists in Northern Ireland and could have a chilling effect on legitimate investigative reporting."

Monty Don @TheMontyDon on Twitter: "I loath the post-Trump acronym MSM (mainstream media) and the way it is used dismissively, especially by those that barely consume it. British journalism, newspaper and broadcast, is mostly superb and should be supported in every possible way."

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda. This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction. Enemy of the People!"
  • The BBC's John Simpson @JohnSimpsonNews commenting on Trump's tweet on Twitter: "A lot of people in Britain now use exactly the same words about our own media: 'dishonest', 'hatred', 'agenda', 'fake', 'enemy of the people'. Maybe when they see whose side they're on, they might consider toning down their language."
BREAKING / NBC News: "The FBI has arrested Robert Chain, 68, from Encino, California for threats they say he made to The Boston Globe following their recent editorial about the press. Chain allegedly referred to The Boston Globe as "the enemy of the people" in phone calls."

Barack Obama in his eulogy for John McCain, as reported by The Atlantic: "He understood that if we get in the habit of bending the truth to suit political expediency or party orthodoxy, our democracy will not work. That's why he was willing to buck his own party at times, occasionally work across the aisle on campaign-finance reform and immigration reform. That's why he championed a free and independent press as vital to our democratic debate."

Paul Dacre in a farewell letter to Daily Mail staff, as published by Press Gazette: "Only those of us lucky enough to have worked on a great daily newspaper understand the grinding, exhausting tyranny of the clock in the adrenaline-fuelled quest, six days a week, to produce a perfect paper and experience the creative euphoria of occasionally achieving that...Many things (mostly risibly and contemptibly inaccurate) are written about the Mail. But what no-one can deny is that this floor houses Britain’s finest team of professional journalists who, over the decades, have produced much magnificent journalism. To have worked so closely with all of you producing that journalism – and, hopefully, making this country a little better place to live in – has been a joy and a privilege. I salute each and every one of you.”

Alan Rusbridger in the Guardian on the phone-hacking scandal: "Unchecked criminality within newsrooms was a moral catastrophe for British journalism and its role in our democracy. It was our Enron, our Volkswagen, our Deepwater, our subprime crisis. It was depressing to watch some colleagues retreat into the bunker and use their own bully-pages to close down debate by savaging anyone who offered even constructive help in rebuilding trust in the press. I loathed the threats and abuse directed at anyone who dared to disagree."

[£] =paywall