Thursday 30 May 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: Booing of journalists at Farage rallies shows we've been Trumped to if Assange is jailed are investigative reporters next?

Lewis Goodall in the Observer: "People have spoken of the fear of the Americanisation (by which they really mean the Trumpification) of British politics. I followed Farage from his first rally to the last and I can assure them, it is already here. The tenor of the rallies, the rhetoric from the stage, the way the party’s messages are communicated. The bitterness, the anger, the contempt of the crowd, the boos for journalists."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, in a statement welcoming the indication that the High Court is set to quash the warrants against No Stone Unturned documentary makers Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey: "We welcome the decision of the High Court and eagerly await the formal quashing of the warrants on Friday. Three High Court judges have vindicated the stance taken by Trevor, Barry and the NUJ. We have said all along that there was no legal basis for the searches and the intrusion into the family life of our members."

Dame Liz Forgan, in the Guardian on former Ham & High editor Gerald Isaaman, who has died aged 85: “Gerry Isaaman is what you mean when you mourn the loss of local and regional papers. He knew his patch, posh and poor. He was a player in local affairs but also a formidable critic of local politicians. He thought global and acted local. And he hired and trained an extraordinary band of future politicians, scholars, and national figures in culture and the media.”

Hunter Davies in the Camden New Journal on Gerald Isaaman:  “Gerry was ‘Mr Hampstead’. He had a finger in every pie, knew everyone and everything, and even when he didn’t he knew someone who did. But he didn’t just know the gen, he got involved. He was in many ways the last of the old editors who saw themselves as part of the fabric of the community, with a social conscience, a political nose, who was not just passing through on the way to Fleet Street, to better things, but felt he was here to stay, to serve his parish, his readers, the locality.”

Reach's regionals digital editor-in-chief Alison Gow asked by Press Gazette what she was most proud of: "Playing a small role in the digital transformation of our regional newsrooms. Working in any disrupted industry, at any level, is hard! You can’t ever be complacent or think 'that’s it, we’ve done it' because the world shifts, or what you know of it shifts, and you start the process again. I can’t believe how far we’ve travelled, culturally and operationally – I don’t know what will come next but I feel we are better journalists now. We listen more, react faster, have bigger audiences we talk to more openly and regularly than ever – as a result of the tumult of recent years."

Sky's special correspondent  Alex Crawford"The Sky News crew - clearly identified as journalists - was deliberately targeted and attacked by Syrian regime forces using military drones to pinpoint our location, before launching a series of strikes."
Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary: "We are appalled by this deliberate targeting of our colleagues from Sky News and we remind President Bashar al Assad that journalism is not a crime and that he should abide by his international commitment towards press freedom. The Syrian president should be providing the media with the necessary safety to carry out their duties, not treat them as terrorists to be attacked. "

Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg, interviewed by Ray Snoddy in InPublishing magazine, on Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's plans to join with Canada to launch a worldwide campaign to protect journalists and the media, promoted by a conference in London in July: “I am always cautious about these kinds of initiatives because I worry they are more about talk than action. We haven’t seen a response from the UK on Saudi Arabia on the Jamal Khashoggi killing. There has been condemnation but we haven’t seen any further action or demonstration that perhaps the UK won’t do business with, or otherwise support, countries that systematically harm their journalists.”

Ben Woods in the Sunday Times [£]: "National newspaper the i and more than 200 regional titles could be auctioned off as the owner of JPI Media starts hunting for buyers. A group of bondholders led by GoldenTree Asset Management has appointed bankers at Stella EOC to lay the groundwork for a potential sale of part, or all, of the business formerly known as Johnston Press."

Sabine Dolan, interim executive director of Reporters Without Borders North America bureau: “The latest charges against Assange could be truly disastrous for the future of national security reporting in the United States. We have seen the Espionage Act used far too many times against journalistic sources already. RSF worries that this extraordinary measure by the Trump administration could set a dangerous precedent that could be used to prosecute journalists and publishers in the future for engaging in activities that investigative reporting relies on.”

Alan Rusbridger in the Observer"Assange is a problematic figure in many ways. But the attempt to lock him up under the Espionage Act is a deeply troubling move that should serve as a wake-up call to all journalists. You may not like Assange, but you’re next."


Thursday 23 May 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: Prince Harry wins Splash helicopter pics privacy payout to Guardian re-writes style book to reflect scale of climate crisis

Court statement on behalf of Prince Harry after he won damages from the Splash news agency for breach of privacy, as reported by the Guardian: "The helicopter flew over the home at a low altitude allowing Splash to take photographs of and into the living area and dining area of the home and directly into the bedroom. The photographs were taken for commercial gain and syndicated for that purpose. As a result, the photographs were published by the Times newspaper and elsewhere online by a number of other media outlets. No consent was given to the action taken by Splash... The syndication and publication of the photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of the duke and the home to the extent that they are no longer able to live at the property.”

Stephanie Sugars for the  Committee to Protect Journalists: "Since announcing his candidacy in the 2016 presidential elections to the end of his second year in office, U.S. President Donald Trump has sent 1,339 tweets about the media that were critical, insinuating, condemning, or threatening. In lieu of formal appearances as president, Trump has tweeted over 5,400 times to his more than 55.8 million followers; over 11 percent of these insulted or criticized journalists and outlets, or condemned and denigrated the news media as a whole."

Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "The Mainstream Media has never been as corrupt and deranged as it is today. FAKE NEWS is actually the biggest story of all and is the true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE! That’s why they refuse to cover the REAL Russia Hoax. But the American people are wise to what is going on....."

Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear @bendepear on Twitter: "We hope to resolve our access ban from Brexit Party events ASAP. We were unaware of the 6-week ban until last Thursday when we broadcast this Nigel Farage investigation, revealing he had been bankrolled by £450k from Arron Banks. Until then we had full access, including to Farage."
Marina Hyde @MarinaHyde on Twitter: "The other broadcasters should show solidarity and decline to cover until Channel 4 is reinstated - this is just Trump bullshit and should be resisted."

  • The Brexit Party lifted its ban after a meeting between Channel 4 News and Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice.

Amy Fenton, chief reporter of Newsquest's The Mail, Cumbria, attending a meeting of parent company Gannett shareholders in there US"I've travelled all the way from England to be here today because amid all the uncertainty and confusion facing our industry I wanted to act as a reminder that you have some incredibly talented and dedicated reporters, here and in the UK, who work their socks off, but ultimately we do that because we love the papers we work for and the communities we serve. I'm here to ask you to bear in mind those committed journalists when considering any changes to the company."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after being asked by a reporter if he was being accused of “receiving money” through separate payments from the club’s Abu Dhabi owners, following City's FA Cup win, as reported by the Observer“Do you know the question you’re asking me? Did I receive money for another situation, right now, today? Honestly, do you think I deserve to have this type of question, the day we won the treble, did I receive money? Are you accusing me of receiving money?”

Jane Bradley @jane__bradley on Twitter: "I’ve never seen this before: a government press release/advert on its much criticised Universal Credit dressed up as 4-page investigative news report, basically framed around the ‘fake news’ narrative."

The Guardian on updating its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world: "Instead of 'climate change' the preferred terms are 'climate emergency, crisis or breakdown' and 'global heating' is favoured over 'global warming', although the original terms are not banned."
Guardian editor-in-chief Katherine Viner“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue. The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity. Increasingly, climate scientists and organisations from the UN to the Met Office are changing their terminology, and using stronger language to describe the situation we’re in.”

Thursday 16 May 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From Nigel Farage's war on BBC is out of the Trump playbook to UK's greatest tabloid headline was fake chews

Nigel Farage in response to questioning on the Andrew Marr Show“What’s wrong with the BBC? I’ve been going round the country speaking at packed rallies every night and do you know who’s not there? The BBC. And from this line of questioning I can see why. You’re just not interested, are you?.. I've never in my life seen a more ridiculous interview than this. You are not prepared to talk about what is happening in this country."

Ian Birrell @ianbirrell on Twitter: "Farage calling BBC 'now the enemy' shows how much he is following the Trump playbook suggested by his white supremacist pal Steve Bannon - tell lies, attack critics, flip-flop shamelessly, pose as anti-elitist - and then berate the media even as it gives you non-stop platforms."

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "After the @afneil/Shapiro encounter and the Farage/Marr meltdown I hope the BBC is urgently thinking about how to handle demagogues who refuse to submit to journalistic questioning. Normal rules not working."

Rob Burley, editor of BBC Live Political Programmes  @RobBurl on Twitter:  "My timeline before the interview with Farage: you are pro-Brexit and promoting Farage. My timeline since the Farage interview: you are metropolitan liberals and you hate Nigel and Brexit. The truth: we ask difficult questions of all politicians without fear or favour."

Marc Reeves @marcreeves on Twitter: "Always amazed at the resilience of Mr Burley as he patiently, endlessly, explains to the wingnuts on both left and right How Journalism Works. Keep it up, Rob - they might get it one day."

Nick Cohen in the Observer:"Brexit has as much been a failure of British journalism as British politics. The basic questions have not been asked. You promised the electorate a trade deal with the EU should be the easiest in history. You said the German car industry would force Merkel to capitulate. Are you a fool or a liar or both? When the honourable exceptions have been listed, the British media have not held politicians to account or followed stories regardless of the consequences."

The White House in a statement after President Trump granted a pardon to former Daily Telegraph owner Conrad Black, who was convicted of fraud charges, stating he had: “Broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character. This impressive list includes former Secretary of State Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Sir Elton John, Rush Limbaugh, the late William F. Buckley, Jr., and many additional notable individuals.”

Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times [£] on Danny Baker: "I’ll miss his cheerful Radio 5 Live show and I hope he comes back soon, having probably been to a re-education camp. If he does, here’s a tip: stay off Twitter. It is a pit of madness inhabited by the perpetually enraged, where nuance and context don’t exist and everything you say will destroy you."

The Sun @TheSun on Twitter: "Freddie Starr joins his hamster. RIP our favourite pet-eating comedian."

Ray Snoddy @RaymondSnoddy on Twitter: "The "truth"about Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster from Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie - story heard in a Fleet Street pub from the wife of a newspaper executive whose friend had told her over lunch ...nothing like fact-checked journalism...In fact the story was that Starr had put the hamster sandwich in his mouth - not even that he ate it! Starr protested for the rest of his life that nothing like it had actually happened."

According to the i newspaper: "A vegetarian since his teens, Starr wrote with tangible exasperation in his 2001 autobiography: “I have never eaten or even nibbled a live hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, mouse, shrew, vole or any other small mammal.”

Mark Lawson in the Guardian: "Starr’s sensational supper never happened: the late publicist Max Clifford admitted to making it up. It was a clever invention, because, whereas readers would have found it hard to believe that, say, Des O’Connor ate pets, the anecdote seemed plausible, given Starr’s dangerous, impulsive performing persona."


Thursday 9 May 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From lay off Nicholas Witchell to Fleet Street's response to climate emergency could leave it doomed to extinction

Kay Burley @KayBurley on Twitter: "For those who think they can do a better job than the supreme professional #nickwitchell, I’d like to see you try. Doctors bury their mistakes, lawyers jail theirs and TV journalists broadcast theirs. Get off his case and get on with your day."

Jeremy Corbyn in a letter to the president of the Board of Jewish Deputies, reported by the Jewish Chronicletakes aim at The Times and columnist Daniel Finkelstein: "I note that the Hobson story was written by a Conservative party peer in a newspaper whose editorial policy, and owner, have long been hostile to Labour."

Mark Kleinman on Sky News: "A consortium of hedge funds which seized control of Johnston Press last year is plotting a quickfire strategic review that could trigger the sale of prized newspaper assets such as the i and The Scotsman. Sky News has learnt that the owners of JPIMedia, the company's new name, are sounding out advisers about launching an auction of parts or all of the business, which publishes hundreds of regional titles.City insiders said this weekend that the likeliest outcome was the sale of the i in one transaction, and the rest of the group in another. The likely valuations of the regional titles, which include the Yorkshire Post, Arbroath Herald and Belfast Newsletter, is unclear but is expected to reflect the dwindling financial prospects of news outlets hurt by the shift towards online, often free, rivals."

From The Times [£] obit on former Mirror journalist John Knight: "Knight belonged to Fleet Street’s finest tradition of bons vivants. Once he disappeared for lunch for three days. Upon his return he was asked where he had been. 'On the piss,' he said. 'Oh, thank goodness,' replied his editor. 'We were worried in case you were ill'.”

Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen J Adler in a statement: “We are enormously pleased that Myanmar has released our courageous reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. Since their arrests 511 days ago, they have become symbols of the importance of press freedom around the world. We welcome their return.”

Sean O'Neill @TimesONeill on Twitter: "Two journalists [Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney]  were arrested by armed police under the Official Secrets Act in Northern Ireland last year after exposing police collusion in the Loughinisland murders. But Downing Street says Gavin Williamson’s national security breach is a 'closed matter'."

Prisoners of Conscience chief executive Gary Allison: “Until 2014, we received a handful of application each year for emergency hardship grants for journalists. However, given the increasingly world-wide threats to freedom of speech and the often dangerous circumstances within which journalists report, the numbers applying for these grants are rising rapidly. We know there are many more people that need support, but due to the fact human rights defenders are so often driven underground, it’s impossible for us to calculate the exact scale of the problem. We want people to help us help others. Spread the word among colleagues that grants are available, and if you're able to, please donate. Because if journalists are not supported, their voices die. And in some cases, so do they.”

Simon Jack on BBC News: "The publishers of the Sun and now-defunct News of the World, along with the publishers of the Mirror Group newspapers, could face a total bill for phone hacking of up to £1bn, says the group representing the victims. Settlements to victims, plus legal costs, already total nearly £500m. There are hundreds more claims already under way and many thousands more victims who could potentially claim."

Gavin Esler on the Huffington Post: “Balance in politics has been easy in Britain because we have all fallen into the 20th century idea if you have a Tory on you get a Labour Party person. If you have the left you have the right. That’s not what politics is like anymore. Brexit is not only not just about left and right. Brexit is about expertise. You cannot and should not have someone who really knows what they are talking about balanced by someone who is essentially the village idiot.”

Alan Rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "This is surely a diary paragraph rather than a front page splash? If this is the British press’s best response to climate emergency then Fleet Street is doomed to extinction (hopefully not taking the rest of us with them)."

 [£] = paywall

Thursday 2 May 2019

Quotes of the Week: Clooney urged to investigate press freedom in UK to young journalists advised to challenge sub editors over bad headlines

Sean O'Neill in The Times [£]: "Amal Clooney, the newly appointed press freedom envoy, is under pressure to examine the case of two journalists from Northern Ireland who were arrested after exposing police collusion in a sectarian mass murder...There have been calls for her to look at the case of Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney, who were arrested in 7am raids on their homes...Amnesty International expressed 'deep concern' over the arrests and has written to Ms Clooney to explain its worries.."

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the NUJ, told The Times: “If the foreign secretary and his envoy want to offer credible advice and support to protect global media freedom then their remit and terms of reference have to include the UK. It is not tenable to preach to other countries while ignoring the significant problems facing journalists at home, not least in Northern Ireland.”

Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray on the investigation ordered into the Huawei security leak to the Telegraph that led to the sacking of Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson: “For journalists and media organisations the ability to keep sources confidential and protect contacts and whistle-blowers is paramount. What can be seen by some to be unacceptable breaches of confidentiality will by others be considered as important airing of vital subjects. Regardless of how uncomfortable the subject matter may be, those in authority should resist the temptation to damage the UK’s reputation for enabling a free media to hold those in power to account.”

Tim Shipman @ShippersUnbound on Twitter:  "I do think it rather ill behoves journalists to dance on the grave of ministers who pick up the telephone from time to time. I don't think this country needs the security services hunting down journalists' sources."

Guardian editor-in-chief Kath Viner after the paper posted an £800,000 operating profit for the 2018-19 financial year – compared with a £57m loss three years previously: “Thanks to the support of our readers and the incredible hard work and talent of Guardian staff, we have reached an important financial milestone. We are now in a sustainable position, and better able to deliver on our purpose by producing outstanding journalism that understands and illuminates our times.”

Krishnan Guru-Murthy in The Observer: "I wouldn’t want to attack the BBC, but I think any big organisation with tiers of management is inevitably going to have a built-in caution. People are never quite sure if they are going to get the blame for something. The strength of Channel 4 News is that we are a small, nimble newsroom with a single editor, who has a single boss above him at the channel. So it’s a very streamlined process. When decisions need to be made about whether to air something or not, they can be made very quickly and there’s no arse-covering. That may account for our editorial confidence if you like by comparison with some other larger organisations."

Daily Beast reports: “Trump has repeatedly griped to associates about how his predecessor, Barack Obama, has had more Twitter followers than he has, even though—by Trump’s own assessment—he is so much better at Twitter than Obama is.”

Private Eye @PrivateEyeNews magazine on Twitter: "This is your periodic reminder that our editor is not on Twitter, and apart from the single tweet by @realianhislop a decade ago, any account using his name is not him."

Yorkshire Post editor James Mitchinson @JayMitchinson on Twitter: "Forgive my romanticism, but I honestly believe that quality journalism nourishes minds; informs people; connects communities; enhances civic responsibility. If only we were a growth industry..."

Sub editors 1952: National Archive/Newseum
Vincent Bevins @Vinncent on Twitter: "A piece of advice I gave to a young journalist the other day - if someone gives your article a headline that makes you look like an absolute shithead you can make them change it...Don't ask, just tell them it's inaccurate and needs to be improved. It's horrible watching good young writers getting chewed up so some website can try for 5-15% more clicks."

David Banks @DBanksy on Twitter: "This is the equivalent of sending young apprentices to the factory stores to fetch sparks for the grinder, or a bubble for the spirit level...Go on, tell the chief sub to change it, she won’t mind at all, no honestly, full of the milk of human kindness are the subs...While you’re at it, ask them to make sure you’ve got a byline, and while you’re there you may as well check what they’ve done to your intro...*Dials 999* Yeah, we may be needing an ambulance to the newsroom. No, make that a hearse."

Vincent Bevins @Vinncent on Twitter: "Lol this little thread got some traction in England so it has been quote tweeted by like 15 guys saying like 'yeah right good luck with that lads' and if you check their bios they are all like Night Editor at EastEssexRacismRag dot co dot uk."

Amol Rajan @amolrajan on Twitter after tweeting prise to his tv producers: "It is a total and unjust anomaly of so much journalism that so few take the credit for so many. Tried and failed to devise imaginative ways to give subs and desk editors more credit in newspapers. Tweeted shout-outs for producers is the very least we can do."