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."


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