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."


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