Thursday 25 October 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Guardian praises Mail's attack on Brexiteers to the editor who defied a shooting and put out a 'damn paper' every day

Follow our leaders: A Guardian leader praises a Daily Mail leader: "Instead of firing up the Brexiters for yet another act of anti-European contempt and defiance, as it had done for so long, the Mail this week turned its fire on them instead. It denounced the 'arch-Brexiteers' for their 'self-promotion and peacocking' and their efforts to undermine Mrs May...The easy explanation for this shift would be to attribute it to the new editor, Geordie Greig, who replaced Paul Dacre last month after a 26-year reign. That is a big factor. But the deeper reason is that the national mood is changing. Brexit is becoming a burden on Britain."

Donald Trump, as reported by the Washington Post after home made bombs were sent to Democrat politicians and CNN, tells the media it has an obligation to set a civil tone and should: "Stop the endless hostility and constant negative — and oftentimes, false attacks and stories."

Trump last week praising Montana Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte for assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs during his campaign, as reported by msn"Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of guy."
  • Guardian US editor, John Mulholland, in a statement: “The president of the United States tonight applauded the assault on an American journalist who works for the Guardian. To celebrate an attack on a journalist who was simply doing his job is an attack on the first amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it. In the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists both here and across the world where they often face far greater threats.”

Joint statement by Germany, France and the UK over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi: "The violent death of Jamal Khashoggi, within the premises of the Saudi Consulate General in Istanbul had been feared for many days but its confirmation still comes as a shock. Nothing can justify this killing and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. ‎Defending freedom of expression and a free press are key priorities for Germany, the United Kingdom and France. The threatening, attacking or killing of journalists, under any circumstances, is unacceptable and of utmost concern to our three nations."

Kyle Pope in the Columbia Journalism Review: "Trump doesn’t care about a dead journalist because he doesn’t care about journalism. The last two years of this presidency have shown that Trump sees a free press through a real estate developer’s smudgy lens: The truth, like an opening bid, is fungible and negotiable; the value of any single bit of information is entirely transactional, tied only to whether it helps or hurts him personally; rules and norms are for losers."

Tommy Robinson, speaking outside the Old Bailey, as reported by Press Gazette: “To the journalists… the British public do not trust you, they do not believe you. You are the enemy of the people."

The Daily Telegraph in a leader about the use by a businessman of Non Disclosure Agreements: "By stopping information about alleged deplorable behaviour becoming widely known, NDAs risk other potential targets for harassment or abuse unwittingly taking a job with an employer who they might otherwise have given a wide berth. There is, then, legitimate public interest in exposing the existence of NDAs where they point to a pattern of immoral or reprehensible behaviour by someone in a position of power and authority. This newspaper wishes to do just that. A businessman has used NDAs in at least five instances to pay employees substantial sums to stop them accusing him of sexual harassment and racial abuse. He has used considerable resources to fight disclosure, achieving an interim injunction preventing publication."
  • Sir Philip Green was later named as the businessman in Parliament.

 The biggest shareholder in Johnston Press, Christen Ager-Hanssen, owner of the Custos Group, in a statement"The behaviour of the Board of Johnstons Press Plc (“JP”) is symptomatic of today’s society in which greed, selfishness and unaccountability have become the norm. Custos is an activist Investor on a mission to fight against this type of board behaviour. When I first announced Custos' campaign to fight for shareholder rights in the autumn 2017, I said that the board is doing nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and that their only interest in JP was to protect their ability to continue with milking the company for cash. Regrettably I have now been proven right. The long and proud 250 year history of Johnston Press has now been replaced by a more recent and tragic history of rampant fee-sucking by its negligent board and incompetent advisers. And with the board’s new strategy to sell its crown-jewels, the fee-sucking will simply increase."

News UK chief David Dinsmore, speaking at the Press Gazette Digital Journalism Summit: "I am not criticising the BBC for the provision of high-quality, impartial news online. I am challenging whether it should now be for BBC News online to tell me if I should take up Tai Chi or Zumba and whether I may need to take a break from Netflix.”

Judges giving the National Press Foundation Benjamin C Bradlee editor of the year award to Rick Hutzell, editor of the Capital Gazette in Maryland, where a gunman opened fire on the newsroom killing five staff: “We saw courage in the face of unimaginable tragedy in the Capital Gazette editor and his staff. As pledged, they put out a ‘damn paper’ the next day, and every day since in service to their community. It underscores the importance of local newspapers and the unbreakable bond with their communities.”

Thursday 18 October 2018

Quotes of the Week: From another royal baby is not real news it's just showbiz to Johnston Press sale will leave some local papers on the scrapheap

Iain Dale on his blog: "Today the world will go mad. A man and a woman are having a baby and that will now lead the BBC news, the LBC news and every other news. The plight of Jamal Khashoggi will be relegated to a footnote. The Brexit backstop? Nah, not so important. The government’s new Loneliness Strategy? Forget it. And yet in every newsroom up and down the country journalists will be tearing their hair out, not wanting to do this. Because they know what real news actually is...It’s not news. It’s showbusiness."
  • Robert Peston @Peston on Twitter: "So I would argue that Brexit backstop blow-up is more important in news terms than 6th in line to throne conceives. But I am aware that argument was lost some time in the ninth century."

David Aaronovitch in The Times [£] on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi: "A year ago Khashoggi wrote in The Washington Post: 'I have left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice . . . I can speak when so many cannot.' Now he cannot speak. But we can."

The International Federation of Journalists in a statement:  "It is increasingly clear the Saudi government is engaged in weaving a carefully orchestrated tissue of lies to cover up their role in Jamal’s killing. The idea that it takes days for the Saudi regime to find out what happened inside their own consulate is unbelievable – it is an embarrassing charade. The impunity with which the Saudis are acting is grotesque but it is in many ways matched by the sight of leading governments around the world displaying their willingness to aid and abet this gross cover-up to protect their own financial and political interests."

Jamal Khashoggi in his final column, published after his death, by the Washington Post: "Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate. There was a time when journalists believed the Internet would liberate information from the censorship and control associated with print media. But these governments, whose very existence relies on the control of information, have aggressively blocked the Internet. They have also arrested local reporters and pressured advertisers to harm the revenue of specific publications."

Margaret Atwood in the Guardian on the anniversary of the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta: "Impunity for the killings of journalists drives a cycle of violence. Throughout her 30 years as a journalist, Caruana Galizia faced countless threats, suffering harassment online and off. Her house was set on fire; her family’s pet dogs were killed. She faced legal threats to stop her reporting, too: at the time of her death 43 libel cases were pending against her, many from high-level politicians."

Statement from new media venture Tortoise, edited by James Harding, on its kickstarter page: "We are overwhelmed by information. The problem isn’t just fake news or junk news, because there’s a lot that’s good – it’s just that there’s so much of it, and so much of it is the same. Most of it is in a hurry. A lot is partial and confusing. Too many people chasing the news, but missing the story. It’s made people anxious and distrustful. It’s not nearly fun or funny enough. No wonder we’ve all been feeling bewildered and, frankly, exhausted. Drowned out and locked out of power. We believe it’s time that changed. To learn how to live well in a world where everything moves at breakneck speed, we believe we need to slow down to wise up. We are building a different kind of journalism. One that opens up. Gives everyone a seat at the table. Creates a system of organised listening. News that reflects the way we really are and shapes the world we want to live in."


Sarfraz Mansoor @sarfrazmanzoor on the BBC drama Press on Twitter: "Series 2 will be smaller than the first series and eventually go online only."

Outgoing editor of Huff Post UK  Polly Curtis @pollycurtis on Twitter: "I’m so proud to have led the HuffPost UK team this past year. It's a fantastic team focused on original reporting, brilliant political scoops and getting outside the London bubble to see how people feel about the changes happening in society and the world."

Roy Greenslade on Johnston Press in the Guardian: "This is a story mostly about capitalism and partially about technological development. Yes, there was human greed along the way because some former bosses and managers have trousered hundreds of thousands of pounds down the years. Many Johnston Press staff, both former and current, will find it difficult to forgive this."

Rebecca Whittington Media on Johnston Press: "The established flagship titles, which have enjoyed investment and are heralded as the jewels in the JP crown – the Scotsman, the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post, the Sheffield Star and the i – will be snapped up. It’s the Pontefract and Castleford Express-type newspapers – which are already suffering due to a lack of dedicated staff, no presence in their towns, no investment and shared content – which will be left on the scrapheap. It is sad and worrysome. My prediction, for what’s it’s worth, is that the larger JP titles which have seen investment and done well in steering the tanker round to meet the company’s digital plan, will be sold off. The smaller ones will not. The company will be broken up and significant parts of rural England and Scotland may well find themselves without a local newspaper."


Thursday 11 October 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Strictly snog blows climate change off front page to local council secrecy stops journalists being watchdog for public

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "Most UK papers think a drunken snog at Strictly is the most important story today. More important than a terrifying new #IPCC report saying we have 12 years to stave off the catastrophic effects of global warming."

The Committee to Protect Journalists' European Union representative Tom Gibson in a statement on the murder of Bulgarian journalist Victoria Marinova: "CPJ is shocked by the barbaric murder of journalist Victoria Marinova. Bulgarian authorities must employ all efforts and resources to carry out an exhaustive inquiry and bring to justice those responsible."

The Committee to Protect Journalists' deputy executive director Robert Mahoney on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi: "CPJ is alarmed by media reports that Jamal Khashoggi may have been killed inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi authorities must immediately give a full and credible accounting of what happened to Khashoggi inside its diplomatic mission. The country has stepped up its repression of critical journalists in the past year at home. We hope this has not now spread abroad."

The Guardian in a leader: "Without sustained pressure – including for independent or joint investigations, should domestic ones fall short – those responsible for journalists’ deaths will go unpunished, and more journalists will die."

Lionel Barber  on Twitter: "The murderous attacks on journalists are becoming ever more prevalent. When an American president regularly denounces the media as “enemies of the people” it is hardly a surprise when less savoury regimes regard reporters and broadcasters as fair game."

BBC director general Tony Hall, giving the inaugural Society of Editors Bob Satchwell lecture: “People who try to undermine the BBC’s reputation for their own political ends should be careful what they wish for. Nobody wants to end up in the highly polarised, almost separate, political and media cultures we see across the Atlantic. Nor the monocultural landscape of state-run media in some other countries."

Adam Barnett on "So far from improving on the media's factual errors and political bias, outlets like the Canary seem to be trying to outdo them on falsehood and partisanship, with a few sinister quirks added in...These sites are not a plucky alternative to the mainstream press. They are the aspirant state media for a future autocracy. If they will help governments defame journalists in other countries, and shrug when those journalists are arrested, imagine what they would do to people here who they actually know and dislike."

Jane Bradley @jane__bradley on Twitter: "Huge exclusive from the HSJ, followed up by almost every mainstream news org in the UK. Invest in good specialist journalists and give them time to burrow into their beat, it pays off."

Kyle Pope in the Columbia Journalism Review on the New York Times' 18-month investigation into the Trump family's financial affairs: "One of its great benefits, to my mind, is that it transcends the headlines of the day, focusing on an elemental, fundamental aspect of this man and this presidency that, it turns out, is even more divorced from our common understanding than we might have previously thought. It is an example of journalism as long game, a sport that more of us need to be playing."

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian on his father, the journalist Michael Freedland, who died last week: "As fate would have it, the day after his death this newspaper carried an article written by him a few months earlier: an obituary of Charles Aznavour, who, like him, died on Monday. So Michael Freedland went out the way he would have wanted – with a byline."

Cornwall Live editor Jacqui Merrington on the BBC 1 drama Press, via HoldTheFrontPage“As a journalist, it’s impossible not to get a bit defensive about a programme painting a dark picture of an industry I know so well. And I’m not alone in feeling a bit hacked off by it...But journalism has changed beyond recognition. This programme fails to appreciate that, dragging up some of the worst elements of journalism in the 1980s and setting them in the here and now. It’s made journalists out to be arseholes, doing nothing to help restore the battered reputation of an industry I know and love. And for that, I hate it.”

The Times [£] in a leader on local government secrecy and the press: "It is not as if the problem is a recent change in the political climate. The Local Government Act of 2000 was a well-intentioned attempt to streamline decision-making at municipal level by moving from a committee-based system to an executive system. In practice it has tended to concentrate power and encourage secrecy. Nobody disputes that in granting contracts councils may have to keep some information confidential. However, our report today suggests that there is instead a culture of aggrandisement and avoidance of public accountability. The role of journalists is to be the eyes and the ears of the public and to tell voters of the decisions that are being made in their name. For that, they need access."


Thursday 4 October 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From Canary accused over deportation of journalist to Labour drops press complaints over Corbyn wreath-laying stories

Mark Di Stefano on BuzzFeed: "The Committee to Protect Journalists says a freelance journalist writing for the Guardian and Washington Post has been arrested and deported from Nicaragua after a 'targeted online harassment campaign'. Last week, Carl David Goette-Luciak's reporting on anti-government protests in Nicaragua was attacked by US journalist Max Blumenthal in an article published on an American website called Mint Press and British left-wing site the Canary.The Mint Press article was titled "How an American Anthropologist Tied to US Regime-Change Proxies Became the MSM's Man in Nicaragua", while the Canary ran the headline, "Investigation slams Guardian cooperation with novice reporter linked to US regime-change machine."

The NUJ in a statement: "Carl David Goette-Luciak, who has been reporting from the country [Nicaragua] for The Guardian and The Washington Post, was seized from his home in Managua on Monday, held in detention for five hours at the airport and then deported to San Salvador in El Salvador. During his detention and interrogation he was accused of attending illegal protests, disseminating false information, threatened with torture and accused of being a CIA agent. His arrest came in the wake of online reports, smears and personal information, including his home address, being widely circulated."
  • Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary:“Unfounded accusations against journalists of being spies, agents and terrorists are tactics used by repressive regimes throughout the world. Online smear campaigns designed to add to that pressure clearly serve to increase the risk and danger to all journalists working in already difficult environments."

The Canary encouraging a Twitterstorm against the Guardian for its coverage of Jeremy Corbyn and antisemitism: "On 27 September, Media Reform UK released a report that said the media wrongly reported on antisemitism in the Labour Party. And the Guardian is named as one such culprit. But it’s not just media analysts that have questioned the Guardian‘s stance. Plenty of readers, including those on the left, have started to wonder what role the newspaper really plays. That’s why the #BoycottTheGuardian Twitterstorm will be an important moment. It will display, in public, a growing suspicion of the newspaper’s relationship with the powerful. And it’s something we can all take part in."

Canary editor-in-chief Kerry-Anne Mendoza  @TheMendozaWoman on Twitter: "You did it! #BoycottTheGuardian is trending! Well done everyone for making a stand for quality, diverse and honest journalism. Together we're going to rebuild the media. And everyone but the establishment will benefit from it."

Financial Times editor Lionel Barber @lionelbarber on Twitter: "So we now have Corbynistas #BoycottTheGuardian on top of promised press regulation from official Labour. What exactly are they afraid of?"

Jim Waterson and Peter Walker in the Guardian: "The Labour leader also showed his attitude to the media by simply skipping much of the press round, which usually accompanied a party conference speech, such as a traditional interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Newspaper reporters learned the hard way about how they were now perceived by the party – their desks at the conference were situated outside the main building, in a tent in a car park accessed by following signs for a 'dog exercise area'."

Julia Hartley-Brewer @JuliaHB1 on Twitter: "I have now been BANNED from Labour Party conference for making THIS Twitter joke about their absurd #SafeSpace. It seems we now have to get all jokes pre-approved by @jeremycorbyn. Ridiculous & sinister to ban a journalist from doing her job cos you don’t like her joke."

Donald Trump mocking reporter Cecilia Vega of ABC at press conference, as reported by Business Insider: "I know you're not thinking. You never do."

Owen Jones in the Guardian on the Sky News interview with Tommy Robinson: "The British media are not going to defeat the far right. They will continue to give a platform to them and legitimise their leading figures. The press, in particular, will keep feeding them by spreading hatred and lies about Muslims, migrants and refugees. The far right will not be debated out of existence. It will be defeated, not by the media’s clever bastards, but by a left that offers hope and combats racism and bigotry without apology."

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian on party conferences: "Don’t go to party conferences. Ignore them. They should be banned. When blind loyalty meets crazed dissent fuelled by personal ambition, the result is a disease, a ghastly rash on the body politic. The overheated, hysterical, alcoholic, distorting atmosphere of these events leads to misjudgment – not least by journalists disoriented by being corralled for weeks far from London."

Jim Waterson in the Guardian: "Labour’s mass complaint to the press regulator Ipso over this summer’s press coverage of Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to a Tunisian cemetery in 2014 has been dropped, according to individuals at the newspapers involved. The party made the unprecedented decision to complain against most national newspapers, complaining that the Sun, the Times, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Express and Metro had misrepresented the event, which saw the Labour leader attend a ceremony commemorating Palestinians who died in the country. The party had complained that the articles suggested he was commemorating members of the Black September terrorist group or those who carried out the 1972 Munich massacre, which Corbyn denied."

Dan Hodges @DPJHodges on Twitter: "Corbyn’s decision to drop his complaint over the wreath laying confirms what we always knew. The press told the truth. He didn’t....Corbyn’s decision also confirms something else we’ve always known. His definition of a ‘media smear’ is in reality a factual news report that paints him in a negative light."

  • The Guardian has further reported: "It can now be revealed that the complaint was shelved after the party missed a deadline to tell Ipso that it still wanted to push ahead with the challenge to newspapers. Labour is now asking the press regulator to make an exception to its rules and reopen the case despite missing the deadline, on the basis of the “extenuating circumstances” that officials were too busy dealing with party conference preparations and a staff member had been ill for several days."