Thursday 28 February 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From there are lots of commentators on crime but few court reporters to respect for MPs who go to their local papers first

Duncan Campbell in the Guardian on the decline in court reporting: "At the Old Bailey in the last few of months of last year there were six simultaneous murder trials under way, all interesting and revealing in their different ways, all concerned with fatal stabbings, and the press benches were empty most days. There is no shortage of commentators writing about crime and the causes of crime, but such space would often be better served by an accurate report on how such offences happen in the first place and how they are investigated, prosecuted, defended, judged and punished. The situation is worst for local and regional papers. A day in any magistrates court is as illuminating on the state of the nation in terms of homelessness, mental health, immigration, drug-taking, alcohol abuse, race, domestic violence and poverty as any lengthy thinktank report. Once reports from these court were an essential ingredient of every local paper. No more."

Neil Allen of The News, Portsmouth after being named Regional Journalist of the Year in the British Sports Journalism Award: "I would like to dedicate this to all local and regional sports reporters. The hierarchy at football clubs can ban us, can try to discredit us, even try to get us the sack but we always, always outlast these people."

Former head of BBC Television News Roger Mosey in the New Statesman on BBC plans to cut news and political programming: "At a time when the biggest decisions in our lifetime are being made and when politics matters more than ever, our leading public service broadcaster has decided to cut back on news and political programming. It is doing so by creating a false choice between serious news and youth-orientated shows when it has resources and air-time to do both - and when that is what audiences have a right to expect."

Jeremy Corbyn at a rally in Broxtowe, as reported by Joe: "As you may have noticed, some of the mainstream media are sometimes slightly hostile and critical. I've noticed it, and what I've noticed is they're very unkeen on relating to the issues that people face. I did an interview for Sky last night, it was 14 minutes the interview. We got to, I think, minute 12 before I intervened and said 'Is there any chance anybody other than an MP could be referred to in any of your questions, and we could actually talk about the homeless, the poverty, the hospital waiting lists. Is there any chance we could talk about the issues that people face in their day-to-day lives?'"

The NUJ and Bectu in a joint statement on Tommy Robinson and his demo against the BBC in in Salford over a forthcoming Panorama investigation:  “We roundly condemn Tommy Robinson and his fellow, far-right thugs...He is the subject of a Panorama investigation and on his Facebook page has videoed a tirade against the corporation. The NUJ and Bectu say BBC staff should be free to do their jobs without these threats. Intimidation, threats and violence carried out by far-right protesters systematically targeting the media, especially photojournalists, are becoming more frequent and we will always call out this behaviour and report criminal activity to the police."

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "The Press has never been more dishonest than it is today. Stories are written that have absolutely no basis in fact. The writers don’t even call asking for verification. They are totally out of control. Sadly, I kept many of them in business. In six years, they all go BUST!"

Rachael Pacella @rachaelpacella on Twitter: "As one of six survivors of our nation's only newsroom mass shooting, seeing generalized media-bashing tweets from the president makes me fear for my life. His words have power, and give bad actors justification to act."

Caroline Schelle, of the Australian Associated Press, reporting for the Herald Sun: "A Melbourne newspaper journalist who reported on some of the city's gangland war has been awarded $180,000 in damages for post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression. The former reporter at The Age worked in the role for almost a decade until 2013 and covered major stories including the death of four-year-old Darcey Freeman, who was thrown off the West Gate Bridge by her father. She also covered gangland murders, road deaths, fires and police shootings."

Tim Walker asked to give advice to new journalists by Muhammed Raza Hussain on Newsleaf"Be yourselves and be true to what you believe in, not what the proprietor you end up working for believes in. All the journalists I love the most – Kevin Maguire, Matthew d’Ancona and, though sadly no longer with us, Anthony Howard, who gave me my first national newspaper job on The Observer – command respect because they are always true to their own lights. We need more individualists in journalism, not more yes men and women. People like that come and go and are quickly forgotten."

Carole Walker @carolewalkercw on Twitter: "PM on plane.... Asked what she will do if she loses on March 12, May told reporters: "Why is it that people are always trying to look for the next thing after the next thing after the next thing?" ... well i wonder... maybe its because the next thing is the UK leaving the EU ..?"

Camden New Journal deputy editor Richard Osley @RichardOsley ‏‏on Twitter: "If you’ve got some big news, tell it to the people who matter first - your constituents - via the local newspaper."

Graeme Demianyk @GraemeDemianyk on Twitter: "Respect to politicians who give the story to their local paper first. A dying tradition."

Thursday 21 February 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From digital giants rapped in 'fake news' report to has Private Eye found the ultimate digital business model?

Damian Collins MP, chair of the DCMS Committee following the publication of its investigation into disinformation and fake news: “Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised ‘dark adverts’ from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use everyday. Much of this is directed from agencies working in foreign countries, including Russia. The big tech companies are failing in the duty of care they owe to their users to act against harmful content, and to respect their data privacy rights."

Collins also claimed"Much of the evidence we have scrutinised during our inquiry has focused on the business practices of Facebook; before, during and after the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal. We believe that in its evidence to the Committee Facebook has often deliberately sought to frustrate our work, by giving incomplete, disingenuous and at times misleading answers to our questions."

Collins strongly criticised Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg“Even if Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t believe he is accountable to the UK Parliament, he is to the billions of Facebook users across the world. Evidence uncovered by my Committee shows he still has questions to answer yet he’s continued to duck them, refusing to respond to our invitations directly or sending representatives who don’t have the right information. Mark Zuckerberg continually fails to show the levels of leadership and personal responsibility that should be expected from someone who sits at the top of one of the world’s biggest companies."

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour in the Guardian: “Today’s audience – not just Vogue’s audience, every audience – wants journalism to take a stand. People want to know what you believe in and what you stand for. In this time of fake news, when there is so much disregard for truth and value and for supporting those less fortunate than oneself, we have a moral obligation to stand up for what’s right.”

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter on front page of The Times using watermarks on its iPad edition: "Unwelcome trend; intrusive watermarking of important news photos, presumably to preserve their market value."

Telegraph political editor @gordonrayner Gordon Rayner on Twitter responds to Rusbridger: "Important news stories are only unearthed with investment and risk by media organisations. Why on earth should they then give away the hard-earned results of that endeavour to their rivals Alan? Competition breeds excellence, which benefits everyone."

Rusbridger replies on Twitter: "Not saying anyone should give away anything Gordon. Maybe it’s all inevitable - but we’re surely allowed to feel a little sad that future Don McCullins may have branded watermarks slapped in the middle of their brilliant images."
BuzzFeedUK investigations correspondent Jane Bradley @jane__bradley on Twitter: "When I got the first photo of ISIS ‘Beatle’ Alexander Kotey, we naively didn’t place our watermark prominently enough and countless newsrooms just cropped out the BuzzFeed credit. Scoops like this one take risk & resources and deserve recognition."

Chris Morley, Newsquest NUJ national coordinator, in a statement as the union put in a pay claim on St Valentine's Day: “Newsquest chapels up and down the country have used the fact that it is Valentine’s Day today to fire an arrow of passion from Cupid’s bow to local management to lodge their annual pay claims. They want to show how much burning desire there is among NUJ members to start the recovery from the severe neglect of their pay by the company over many years.... The annual pay for new news apprentices at Newsquest is just £7,250 while the boardroom remuneration bill runs to millions."

Michael Barbaro @mikiebarb on Twitter: "Having been repeatedly warned that this invocation endangers reporters — and is manifestly untrue — the president just keeps saying it anyway."

Owen Jones in the Guardian"The media is also desperately unrepresentative of those it exists to serve, partly because of the decline of local newspapers, which offered a way in for aspiring non-privileged journalists; and partly because of the prevalence of unpaid internships and expensive postgraduate journalism degrees, two routes into the profession which are financially prohibitive options for most."

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones  @ruskin147 tweeting about Private Eye reporting a print circulation of  233,869 copies: "Private Eye has found the ultimate digital business model - not having a digital presence."

Thursday 14 February 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From the Cairncross Review under review to is this the best New York Post headline since Headless Body in Topless Bar?

Dame Frances Cairncross in her Review into the sustainability of high-quality UK journalism“Ultimately, the biggest challenge facing the sustainability of high-quality journalism, and the press, may be the same as that which is affecting many areas of life: the digital revolution means that people have more claims on their attention than ever before. Moreover, the stories people want to read may not always be the ones that they ought to read in order to ensure that a democracy can hold its public servants properly to account.”

Cairncross Review on local press: "Most national and regional news publishers are generating good profits, with margins of 10% ormore. But for several publishers, a large proportion of those profits is being used to pay down debts or pension liabilities (as in the cases of Johnston Press and Reach/Trinity Mirror respectively).1 As a result, they have reduced staffing, closed local offices, and have less money available for investment in the substantial innovation that a successful digitalfuture requires."

Cairncross Review on digital giants: “The overall position online of Google and Facebook appears to be directly impeding the ability of news publishers to develop successful business strategies. Whether or not the current monetary exchange between platforms and publishers is fair, the platforms’ position allows them to take decisions with significant impact on publishers, but with little to no engagement with them. If the powerful position of Google and Facebook remains unchanged (or even grows), the Government must ensure these companies do not abuse their position, and just as critically that their position does not threaten the viability of other industries.”

Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray in a statement: "It is extremely gratifying that Dame Frances and her panel have underscored the need to protect and indeed reinvigorate the reporting of local democracy and open justice, areas which have suffered and continue to suffer as the industry contracts. An enlarging of the present Local Democracy Supporting Service, which sees funds from the BBC supporting around 150 local journalists covering councils, also makes sense, although again there is no indication where such funding would come from and on what scale. Crucial to all of the recommendations for what is really state support for the local media industry in particular, are the report’s insistence that bodies such as the proposed Institution are free from political and other interference in deciding what constitutes public interest news worth supporting.”

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement on the Cairncross Review: "It’s a nonsense to suggest that BBC online has destroyed local newspapers – as the report says, the newspaper groups went on costly acquisition sprees before the market collapsed in the late 2000s and then cut investment and sacked hundreds of journalists to maintain profit margins. BBC Online is a trusted and much-used source of news, it is not the problem here and its future must not be imperilled."

Guido Fawkes on the Cairncross Review's call for an Institute of Public Interest News: "Why do we need another public body? Isn’t the BBC actually part of the reason independent local journalism is dying? The expansion of the BBC into local radio and covering local affairs online is killing off independent private sector journalism. The billions in revenue that the BBC has supports 46 local radio stations and the most visited news website in Britain, how can local newspapers compete with that? That the BBC has started funding a “Local Democracy Reporting Service” is an admission that it is part of the problem."

Telegraph editor Chris Evans, quoted by BBC News, after Philip Green dropped his legal case against the paper: "In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein affair, we became aware that gagging orders called NDAs were being used to cover up allegations of sexual misconduct and racial abuse in the workplace. And that led to our investigation into Sir Philip Green and Arcadia. We maintain there is a clear public interest in telling people whether a prospective employer has been accused of sexual misconduct and racial abuse."

Green in an audio recording released by the Telegraph: "I will personally sue your editor for damages that will be long beyond what he'll be able to earn if he lives to 1,000 years old."

International Federation of Journalists  president Philippe Leruth, after an IFJ report revealed the  cases of 94 journalists and media professionals who lost their lives in targeted killings, bomb attacks or crossfire incidents in 2018: "Those tragic figures remind us of our duty to act and hold governments responsible for the lack of investigation for journalists' crimes. We need an international instrument to force all states to act to halt the killing of journalists and bring the killers to justice. Our draft Convention on the Safety and Independence of Journalists and other media professionals would achieve this."

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, quoted by the Sunday Times [£]: “I want there to be an international taboo for journalists to be killed or detained in the course of their work. I want countries considering doing that to feel it is going to make them the focus of huge international attention and therefore it is not a step they should take.”

Sir Harold Evans in the Sunday Times [£]: "The majority of journalists’ deaths are not bad luck on a battlefield. They are planned assassinations. Nine out of every 10 have been killed in their own countries at the instigation of government and military authorities, drug traffickers and criminal gangs. Since 1992, a total of 737 journalists have been murdered with impunity: not a single perpetrator identified.”

Mark Mazzetti in the New York Times "Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia told a top aide in a conversation in 2017 that he would use “a bullet” on Jamal Khashoggi, if Mr. Khashoggi did not return to the kingdom and end his criticism of the Saudi government, according to current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of intelligence reports. The conversation, intercepted by American intelligence agencies, is the most detailed evidence to date that the crown prince considered killing Mr. Khashoggi long before a team of Saudi operatives strangled him inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and dismembered his body using a bone saw."

LBC's James O'Brien, interviewed by the New York Times about the high profile his anti-Brexit stance has brought him: “Hand on heart, I’d swap it all to see my country go back to what it was like before the referendum. Achieving fame of sorts for chronicling and criticising an act of epic national self-harm is a mixed blessing to say the least.”

Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos posts about communications with National Enquirer publisher America Media Inc, headed by David Pecker: "These communications cement AMI’s long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism. Of course I don’t want personal photos published, but I also won’t participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out."

  • V.A. "Vinnie" Musetto became a newspaper legend after he was credited with the 1983 New York Post banner headline 'Headless Body In Topless Bar.'


Thursday 7 February 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From how the Assad regime has failed to silence Marie Colvin to why you should never evacuate the sub-editors' desk

The Sunday Times [£] in a leader: "The Assad regime thought it could silence Marie with one foul act. It was wrong. A documentary, Under the Wire, chronicles Paul’s [photographer Paul Conroy] last days in Homs with Marie. A biography, In Extremis, has been written by Lindsey Hilsum, the Channel 4 News war reporter. A Private War, starring the Hollywood actress Rosamund Pike as Marie, will open in cinemas this month. Even in death Marie’s reporting continues to shame Assad. She represents the very best of her profession and we are proud of her legacy."

Judge Amy Jackson of the US district court for the District of Columbia, as quoted by the Guardian,  declared Marie Colvin was “specifically targeted because of her profession, for the purpose of silencing those reporting on the growing opposition movement in the country. [The] murder of journalists acting in their professional capacity could have a chilling effect on reporting such events worldwide. A targeted murder of an American citizen, whose courageous work was not only important, but vital to our understanding of war zones and of wars generally, is outrageous, and therefore a punitive damages award that multiples the impact on the responsible state is warranted.” 
  • Judge Jackson ordered the Syrian regime to pay $300m dollars (£228m) in punitive damages.

The Times [£]: in leader "The Assad family remain ensconced in Damascus, but the Colvin family’s victory is far from pyrrhic. Extensive family assets have been frozen in Britain, the United States and elsewhere for many years. Across numerous jurisdictions, they can and should be seized...Yesterday’s ruling marks the first legal acknowledgment that the Syrian government took active, calculated steps to intimidate, harass and ultimately murder those who sought to inform the world of what they were doing. Alongside punitive damages and a criminal prosecution, it could, and must, lead to a change in international law."

The Observer in a leader: "The premeditated murder of Colvin should now also form a part of the ongoing UN-led criminal investigations of Assad. The UN must designate the deliberate killing of a reporter as a war crime."

Mathew Ingram in the Columbia Journalism Review: "Can a company that became a titan based on its understanding of how to manufacture social virality metrics change its spots, and figure out how to build a sustainable business based on things like donations, events, and e-commerce? At one point, BuzzFeed seemed like the antithesis of traditional media companies who were trying to move from print to digital. But now the former superstar has its own transformation to make, and it appears to be struggling just as much as the ancien regime it was hoping to replace."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet, quoted by the International Federation of Journalists: “The sheer scale of these cuts is sad to see. It’s a swingeing blow to morale in the newsroom and a far cry from where staff were told things would be after major redundancies a year ago, which were billed as setting the company up for the future. That staff are going through this again so soon raises questions that need to be addressed across digital publishing, about future strategy and the importance of long term investment, rather than unrealistic expectations of short term returns. It is a real shame to see BuzzFeed choose to lose another large number of skilled and experienced digital journalists.”

Emily Bell in The Observer: "The future of journalism will generally be smaller and more challenging in the short term and remains uncertain in the long term. However, the problem now is so clear that even the most advanced digital thinkers can see it: a digital free market for journalism doesn’t work."

Matthew Garrahan in the Financial Times: "There are bright spots amid the gloom. Appetite for news remains healthy: just ask anyone who has devoured coverage about the latest Brexit negotiations or the latest travails of Donald Trump. The quality of investigative reporting on these ongoing sagas bears comparison with the best journalism of recent decades."

Ex-Sun editor  David Yelland @davidyelland on Twitter: "Tony Gallagher, the current Editor of The Sun, is far more responsible for the Brexit disaster than Leo Varadkar, who he attacks again today - on a page of half truths and no truths."

Jay Elwe@JayElwes on the Sunday Times splash headline on Twitter: "An old subbing point from way back - if you “evacuate” a place, then you remove its inhabitants. If you “evacuate” a person, you give them an enema."
  • As backed up by two sub editors in this episode of The Wire