Wednesday 28 November 2018

My Media Quotes of the Year 2018: InPublishing

My Media Quotes of the Year 2018 are up on InPublishing: Trump, Dacre, Brexit, Johnston Press, Leveson, Windrush and Cambridge Analytica scandals plus how many journalists did it take to consume a 13-bottle lunch? You can read them here:

Plus, here are some quotes from this year I liked, but came after the InPublishing deadline:

Sathnam Sanghera in The Times [£]: "The internet has not only taken advertising from local newspapers but has helped to accelerate the idea that anything “regional” is crap. The result is nothing less than a national tragedy. Corrupt politicians will go unchecked, the relationships that hold communities together will go unmarked, local heroes uncelebrated. Moreover, we have let local papers go without even really thinking about the consequences. I suspect that, one day, someone will have to reinvent them."

Lionel Barber, giving the James Cameron Lecture at City University, lists the threats to serious financial journalism as:
  • The army of public relations advisers employed by individuals and companies with thin skins and deep pockets 
  • “Black PR” — sometimes pushed by ex-spooks — that uses social media platforms to attack and undermine reputations and independent journalism 
  • The rising power of private markets versus public markets, making it far harder for journalists to access information 
  • The encroachment of the law via gagging injunctions, non-disclosure agreements and the chilling new notion of confidentiality 
  • And, yes, the spectre of state-sponsored regulation of the press.

The Times in a leader [£]: "When The Times uncovered evidence which showed that Kate Osamor, the Labour MP for Edmonton, had not only known about her son’s arrest for drugs offences — about which she had denied all knowledge until his conviction in October — but had even written a letter to the judge pleading for leniency, our reporter went to Ms Osamor’s house to ask for her reaction to our story. Ms Osamor’s response was to tell our reporter that she “should have come down here with a bat and smashed your face in”. She told him to “f***” off, called police after accusing him of stalking her and hurled a bucket of water at him.

This was an outrageous way to treat our colleague. Ms Osamor has now rightly resigned from her job as the shadow international development secretary. Yet it is telling that her resignation statement included no acknowledgement that she had lied about her knowledge of her son’s drug arrest nor did it contain any word of apology to The Times or our reporter. Similarly the statement by Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, accepting her resignation included no criticism of her behaviour.

Across the world, attacks and threats against journalists are on the rise. This is no longer limited to authoritarian countries. In the past year reporters have been killed in Slovakia and Malta. Populist politicians in western countries use increasingly violent language against journalists. President Trump routinely refers to the press as the “enemy of the people”. Ms Osamor — with Mr Corbyn’s approval — did not just throw a bucket of water at our reporter, she threw it at all of us."


Thursday 22 November 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: Is Facebook a friend or foe to local journalism? to if you do enough business with the US you can murder journalists

David Higgerson, chief audience officer at Reach, in a statement on the plan to create 80 community journalsts via the Community News Project, funded with £4.5 million from Facebook: “This project is a fantastic way of increasing the number of stories published that would otherwise not be covered. The funding will help us pioneer new ways of local news gathering and distributing stories to underserved communities. It will help us increase newsroom diversity and inclusion and the publishers are pleased to be working with the NCTJ to recruit, train and qualify the community journalists.”

The Sunday Times [£] reporting the Facebook deal: "A senior industry source said it was a “dishonest” ploy to fend off the threat of tighter regulation at very little cost, adding: “Be honest about it, if you’re going to do it — just buy these papers. Local newspapers have seen readership and advertising revenues destroyed by the rise of Silicon Valley giants such as Facebook, Google and eBay. The strain on the industry was underscored on Friday when Johnston Press collapsed into administration."

Rory Cellan-Jones on BBC News: "A couple of years ago, many news organisations "pivoted" to video, convinced by Facebook that this was the route to huge audiences and revenues. Now many video journalists have been laid off after the crowds and the cash failed to materialise. At the beginning of this year, the News Feed was revamped to favour posts and videos from your friends and family, rather than those from businesses and news organisations. Facebook may aspire to boost the local content its users see, but right now regional newspaper groups don't appear to be benefitting. Any journalist will welcome the recruitment of 80 new community reporters, but unless their stories reach plenty of Facebook users and advertisers, this initiative could prove to be another blind alley."

Tom Watson@tom_watson on Twitter on Facebook: "When 250 local newspapers and their staff pensions are in jeopardy, this tax-avoiding, data crime-ridden monopoly, whose chief exec is too arrogant to appear before the DCMS Select Committee and parliaments around the world, responds...with a fig leaf."

Richard Parkinson @parkyrich on Twitter: "The #JohnstonPress quick change act leaves me with mixed feelings: huge relief that former colleagues still have their jobs tomorrow; anger that pensioners & shareholders were made to pay for this; uncertainty that a US hedge fund is really interested in running local newspapers."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, in a statement on Johnston Press going into administration: “We welcome the commitments made by the current management of Johnston Press that no jobs will be lost in this process and the terms and conditions of staff are protected. However, we have significant concerns about what the long-term intentions of the newly-created company will be...Forcing the pension scheme into the PPF is a terrible blow for all of those members of the scheme and their future retirement plans, whilst the new owners are rewarded with a company free of its responsibilities and obligations to its pension fund.”

Frank Field MP, quoted by HoldTheFrontPage: “In particular, it would be helpful to have an explanation of why it was not possible to find a solution that would have avoided the pension scheme entering the PPF. It is difficult to understand why it is possible for JPIMedia to acquire the business, no doubt in the expectation of generating a profit from it, but without taking any responsibility for its pension scheme."
  • The FT reports: "The Pension Protection Fund is expected to lodge a claim of £305m with Johnston Press’s administrators amid concern that its pension scheme was not treated appropriately when the newspaper group went into administration."
David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "PM backed and centre ground held by Daily Mail and Daily Express for third day on trot. Extraordinary. Brexit lunatics like Rees-Mogg and Boris have lost middle England, these papers might yet back a People’s Vote...‘Fleet Street’ Brexit editors are uniting to put out the flames their own papers set on fire.... I have never seen days like these. There is hope for the PM."

Allison Pearson @allisonpearson on Twitter: "Readers of @DailyMailUK have figured out their paper no longer agrees with them on Brexit. They are Very Cross... Interesting to see the next circulation figures.."

Will Hutton @williamnhutton on Twitter: "It's time to call out the British right for their casual use of pernicious derogatory, excessive language. Andrew Neil on Carol Cadwalladr: “mad cat lady”.J Rees-Mogg on the May deal:”slavery”. Not only wrong, but carriers of a degradation of our political & journalistic culture."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement after Judge Timothy Kelly issued a temporary restraining order forcing the White House to reinstate CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials: "In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass. We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. There must be decorum at the White House.”

President Trump in a statement"We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.

Joel Simon executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists @pressfreedom on Twitter: "If you boil the White House statement down to its essence, President Trump has just asserted that if you do enough business with the U.S., you are free to murder journalists. That's an appalling message to send to Saudi Arabia and the world."

Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan in a statement: “President Trump’s response to the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a betrayal of long-established American values of respect for human rights and the expectation of trust and honesty in our strategic relationships. He is placing personal relationships and commercial interests above American interests in his desire to continue to do business as usual with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia...President Trump is correct in saying the world is a very dangerous place. His surrender to this state-ordered murder will only make it more so. An innocent man, brutally slain, deserves better, as does the cause of truth and justice and human rights."


Thursday 15 November 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From BBC journalist admits you might as well get Mr Blobby to predict Brexit to no leader lost votes by insulting the media

Chris Mason on BBC Breakfast sums up the difficulty of predicting Brexit: "I haven't got the foggiest idea of what's going to might as well get Mr Blobby back on."

David Yelland 
@davidyelland  on Twitter: "My old paper says we’re in the Brexs*hit but offers no workable way out. The current editor and the former Mail editor helped create this mess by allowing liars like Boris to mislead the readers and doing so itself. Shameful."

Guardian editor-in-chief Kath Viner in a message to readers: "To be able to announce today that we have received financial support from more than 1 million readers around the world in the last three years is such a significant step. This model of being funded by our readers through voluntary contributions, subscriptions to the Guardian, the Observer and Guardian Weekly, membership or as part of our patrons programme is working.This means that within just three years, the Guardian is on a path to being sustainable."

Ben Mcintyre in The Times [£] on the paper's coverage during the First World War: "Since the primary role of the newspaper, as its editors saw it, was to ensure victory, it consistently erred towards self-censorship. Objectivity was one of the first casualties of war."

Reporters Sans Frontiers making its 'L'esprit de RSF' award to Carole Cadwalladr for her work for the Observer and the Guardian"Carole Cadwalladr’s reporting on the manipulation and subversion of democratic processes in the US and UK resulted in the exposure of the role of Cambridge Analytica and its satellite AggregateIQ in the Trump and Brexit campaigns. Cadwalladr’s investigation found that the data analytics firm that worked with Trump’s election team in the US and the Leave campaign in the UK harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters, in one of the tech giant’s biggest-ever data breaches, and used them to build a powerful software programme to predict and influence choice at the ballot box. She continues to face pressure and harassment in backlash for her reporting."

Jane Kennedy, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, in a statement after members  of the NUJ Carlisle chapel of Newsquest Cumbria, formerly Cumbrian Newspapers, voted in favour of industrial action over pay: "It is no surprise to us that the chapel have come out so strongly to vote for action. We have tried very hard with the company to reach a negotiated settlement but they simply refused to enter into meaningful discussions. Indeed their petty and spiteful decision do refuse to allow the chapel to meet in the workplace has only strengthened the resolve of the chapel to press on for a fair pay settlement. Since Newsquest has taken over we have only seen redundancies and empty promises."

Simon O'Neil @SimonO19 on Twitter on the departure of Reach East Midlands editor-in-chief  Steve Hall: "Oh dear. Steve Hall to leave his beloved Derby. I've worked with some amazing talent in my time and this guy is right up there with the very best of them. Great all round journalist and a fantastic editor. Snap him up someone!"

CNN in a statement: "CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court. It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN's Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta's First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process."

Emily Matlis on BBC News blog: "What worries me is the wider question of how Trump and the media interact. When you watch the US morning shows - and evening shows come to that - what you notice is how things have changed. Even those who were not originally taking sides are now nailing their colours to the mast. Fox and MSNBC have always played to their own bases. But now CNN, too, has editorialised its evening slot with Chris Cuomo - who gives us an essay, a comment piece, on whatever is getting him fired up. It's a good watch actually. And makes you engaged. But make no mistake - it's the same game that Trump is playing. The one they pretend to despise. If DJT can rally his base - then - goes the logic - why shouldn't TV do it too."

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian:  "In the spat between Donald Trump and a CNN reporter, I would bet most Americans sided with the president. Who was this rude man refusing to sit down before his head of state? No leader lost votes insulting the media."


Thursday 8 November 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From is Paul Dacre Donald Trump in disguise? to if you want to be rude about vegans write for a real newspaper

Pic: Society of Editors

Paul Dacre on the liberal media in his Society of Editors lecture, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage: "One of the greatest problems we have in restoring trust is that when it comes to the mainstream press, the liberal Brexit- hating media – and, let’s be frank, in their eyes, the Referendum result was further proof of the malignancy of euro-sceptic newspapers – only ever see the bottom of the lamp post and remain determinedly, and I would say self-interestedly, oblivious to the good newspapers do."

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Dacre on Twitter: "After 27 years of editing Paul Dacre spends much of his valedictory speech.... attacking the liberal media. Only Donald Trump is more obsessed."

Dacre on Alan Rusbridger's book Breaking News: “A somewhat chilling lack of self-awareness fuses with a hyper-sensitivity to the flaws of others. Indeed, its sine qua non is that only Alan and the Guardian are capable of producing what he calls ‘worthwhile’ journalism.”

Rusbridger on the post-Dacre Daily Mail in the New Statesman: "If [Geordie ] Greig can detoxify the Mail brand and prove that a tabloid can be ethical, successful and reasonably nice, what would that say about the “nasty” Dacre model? The very thought must make him very unhappy. Dacre was a big beast of a Fleet Street that no longer exists."

Donald Trump to CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, as reported by NBC"CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN."
  • Acosta's White House pass was later suspended.  CNN said: 'This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support."
Donald Trump after being asked by Karen Travers of ABC News about how half of Americans claim he is encouraging politically motivated violence by the way he speaks, as reported by the Washington Post“No, no. You know what? You’re creating violence by your questions...and also a lot of the reporters are creating violence by not writing the truth."

Nick Cohen in the Observer: "History will record that when states murdered journalists or used the conspiracy theories of terrorists to fool their subject populations, they could expect reprisals from something called “the west”, an alliance that lasted from 1945 to 2016. The west’s great weakness was that it depended on American power. It died when Donald Trump became the US president, freeing illiberal democracies and actual dictatorships to follow their worst instincts to a grim destination."

Joel Simon executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists on the Columbia Journalism Review: "One way the Turkish government could legitimately use the attention from the Khashoggi murder investigation to enhance its international standing would be take its foot off the neck of the Turkish media, easing the crackdown and releasing the dozens of Turkish journalists who are unjustly jailed. But for the time being only one thing is certain: an investigation of one the world’s worst press freedom violators—Saudi Arabia—carried out by another—Turkey—is unlikely to produce justice."

Marius Dragomir in The Times [£]; "The risk to those who strive to expose corruption and hold power to account exists not only in authoritarian regimes. It has become unprecedentedly grave right in the heart of Europe, often in countries where liberty flowered after the fall of the Soviet Union but is now in alarming retreat."

Tim Shipman @ShippersUnbound on Twitter on the Arron Banks interview by Andrew Marr: "The Banks issue has highlighted a tension between leavers and remainers and between journalists and lawyers. Most hacks don't want to leave the process of investigation to a secretive legal process which conceals as much as it reveals."

Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times [£] on William Sitwell, who resigned from Waitrose Food magazine after his email to a vegan freelance:
"He’s clearly a talented fellow and will not be out of work for long. My recommendation is that he leaves the world of corporate marketing and gets a job with a real newspaper — perhaps even this one. Then he can be as satirically rude as he wishes about veganism or any other fad that enrages him."


Thursday 1 November 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From many media companies make staff sign Non Disclosure Agreements to local porn stash splash lashed

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "The Telegraph has done well to expose the use of NDAs to gag former employees. But numerous ex Telegraph journos who willingly spoke to me for this chapter for #BreakingNews insisted on anonymity. Why? Because they’d had to sign NDAs."
  • David Leigh @davidleighx on Twitter: "And the Guardian personnel dept once tried to make    me sign an NDA."
  • Merion Jones @MeirionTweets on Twitter: "BBC tried to make the late lamented Liz MacKean sign an NDA - she politely told them what they could do with it."
  • Simon O'Neil @SimonO19 on Twitter: "NDAs are widely used in regional and national press.

Waitrose Food magazine editor William Sitwell who resigned after 20 years as editor after sending the following email to vegan freelance Selene Nelson, who had pitched a story idea, as reported by BuzzFeed: "Hi Selene. Thanks for this. How about a series on killing vegans, one by one. Ways to trap them? How to interrogate them properly? Expose their hypocrisy? Force-feed them meat? Make them eat steak and drink red wine?"

Peter Oborne @OborneTweets on Twitter: "This is crazy. And a dark day for free expression. William Sitwell was a magnificent and generous magazine editor, winner of countless awards. Driven from his job by relentless Twitter trolls."

Getty Images
Sir Alex Ferguson on the MEN's former Manchester United reporter David Meek, who died aged 88 this week: “I’m very sad to hear of the passing of David Meek, a well-respected journalist who served the Manchester Evening News with great loyalty and dignity. David was an old-fashioned journalist who relied on the accuracy of his reporting and his connection with Manchester United stretched over decades."

Henry Winter @henrywinter on Twitter: "Can’t believe Meeky’s gone. Went on so many trips with him, covering Manchester United. So generous with his time and advice. Meeky was just the loveliest man, a beacon of calm, great company, a journalist of insight and integrity. Thoughts with his family. Such sad news. RIP"

The Labour Party, quoted by the Daily Mail, on why it is dropping its complaints to the Independent Press Standards Organisation about newspaper coverage of Jeremy Corbyn's attendance at a wreath-laying ceremony in Tunisia in 2014: "Regrettably, confidential communication with Ipso was leaked and it was unable to trace the source or assure us it would not recur, and we considered that the complaints process was unacceptably compromised. We therefore decided we would not be taking this Ipso complaint any further."

Time has been named by the British Society of Magazine Editors as the most influential magazine of all time. Time was nominated by James Waldron, editor of Chemist and Druggist, who said:"Time's covers are so iconic that they are still used as shorthand to pinpoint key moments in history. You don't get much more influential than that."

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!"

James O'Brien @mrjamesob on Trump Twitter: "Disgusting man says disgusting things about decent people. Disgusting fan of disgusting man sends bombs to decent people. Disgusting man blames bombs on decent people who keep reporting how disgusting he is."

Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, in a statement: “There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media.
The president, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.”

Pic: Northern Echo
Steph McGovern on Have I Got News For You about Donald Trump making a pass at her when she interviewed him for BBC Breakfast in 2012, as reported by the Northern Echo: "Aye love, I've heard better lines than that down Club Bongo."

Lynn Barber in The Spectator"As a journalist, I am a dinosaur. I like reading words on paper. I like writing long interviews when everyone nowadays seems to want short. I hate dealing with PRs. I don’t follow any celebs on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, because I don’t know who half of them are."

Steve Dyson on HoldTheFrontPage after the Frome Standard splashed on the discovery of a pile of old porn magazines during a house clearance: "The porno splash was a stark example of how a focus on what attracts online clicks doesn’t always make news-priority sense in print. The remaining audience for local newspapers is largely elderly, often in a family setting and interested enough to spend money on reading about local public affairs. The last thing they want is a pointless story about piles of sleazy mags found in dusty drawers."More

Former Northern Echo editor Peter Barron  @PeteBarronMedia on Twitter: "I was once told I should lead the paper on the story attracting the most hits online. Here's a reminder from The Frome Standard of why that's so wrong. Don't care what anyone says - finding porn mags in a drawer isn't news, front page or anywhere else."