Thursday, 5 December 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From Boris Johnson offered oven-ready grilling by Andrew Neil to is clocking up the clicks calling time on local news?

Andrew Neil challenges  Boris Johnson to follow all the other party leaders and agree to an interview: "It is not too late. We have an interview prepared. Oven-ready, as Mr Johnson likes to say. The theme running through our questions is trust - and why at so many times in his career, in politics and journalism, critics and sometimes even those close to him have deemed him to be untrustworthy. It is, of course, relevant to what he is promising us all now...Leaders' interviews have been a key part of the BBC's prime-time election coverage for decades...We have always proceeded in good faith that the leaders would participate. And in every election they have. All of them. Until this one...There is no law, no Supreme Court ruling that can force Mr Johnson to participate in a BBC leaders' interview.
But the prime minister of our nation will, at times, have to stand up to President Trump, President Putin, President Xi of China. So it was surely not expecting too much that he spend half an hour standing up to me."
  • Senior Conservative source, according to Laura Kuenssberg: “The public are fed up with interviews that are all about the interviewer and endless interruptions. The format is tired and broken and needs to change if it is to start engaging and informing the public again.”

Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter:  "The billionaire owner of the Daily Mail, the Viscount Rothermere, has bought @theipaper. Two billionaire press barons now own half of the top 10 daily newspapers. Remember this when they attack Labour's plan to make the super-rich pay their fair share."

Oly Duff, editor-in-chief of the i, on Twitter replies to Jeremy Corbyn: ."Dear Jeremy, We were comfortable holding you to account when you were an i reader (still are? not sure) and we will continue to do so! Every leader of every other political party can expect the same - since we report on politics without fear or favour. It's why our readers trust us. They judge us on our journalism. Hopefully you will welcome the same scrutiny.And on a point of fact we haven't actually attacked Labour's plan to make the highest earners pay more tax... We remain editorially independent, politically impartial. Best - Oly"

Paul Zwillenberg, the chief executive of DMGT, in comments to the City: “The i has a different editorial style and tone to the Mail and the audience has a different demographic. I want to make absolutely clear that we will ensure that the editorial independence of the i is preserved. Its readers value its distinctive style and politically neutral approach and we are committed to maintaining that. We take a long-term approach and we will invest in high-quality editorial."

Guardian media editor Jim Waterson on Twitter: "They've got an excellent editor and a strong editorial team and it makes money in its current format, so DMGT would be absolutely crazy to change its editorial direction. It's not all a plot to control minds, sometimes it's a plan to get cash from different sources."

Nick Cohen in the Observer: "The corruption of journalism and the corruption of politics march together. On the right, the former columnists Boris Johnson and Michael Gove threaten to review Channel 4’s licence solely because it embarrassed them. On the left, sympathetic 'journalists' receive 'lines, briefings, transcripts, invites to events and asks of support for certain content' directly from a Labour party WhatsApp group. If this were happening in any other country, we would have no hesitation in deciding that the local strongman or mafia boss was striving to control the free press."

The Times of Malta reports: "The family of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has called for the prime minister and his actions to be investigated and for related evidence to be preserved as part of the ongoing investigation. In a judicial protest on Monday morning, Caruana Galizia's husband Peter and their three sons also called upon Joseph Muscat to desist from any further involvement in the investigation and the independent inquiry surrounding the assassination. The family noted that in recent developments in the murder probe, several persons had been interrogated, including the prime minister’s former chief of staff, Keith Schembri, whose role had placed him in close proximity to the prime minister."

Rachel Sylvester in The Times [£]: "In the era of fake news, truth has become the casualty of a depressingly dishonest election campaign. The Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson was forced to deny a made-up story that she enjoys killing squirrels. Labour has repeatedly suggested that the NHS is 'for sale' although there is no evidence to back this up. The Conservative Party tried to mislead the public by rebranding one of its Twitter accounts “FactCheckUK” during the first leaders’ debate and had one of its ads banned by Facebook after using footage of BBC presenters without permission and out of context."

Chris Morley, Newsquest NUJ group chapel coordinator, in a statement"Yet again, as we approach Christmas as the season of goodwill, the ghost of Scroogequest looms large for journalists within Newsquest. Haunted by low pay and relentless workloads that produce unsafe levels of stress for its journalists, the company is yet again recklessly picking off editorial workers seemingly at will at the hardest possible time to be made redundant."

Ex-Burton Mail news editor Jon Griffin in InPublishing on the changing news values of the regional press: "Where once newsrooms would avidly discuss page leads, exclusives, tip-offs and all the rest of what makes – or made – regional journalism so enthralling, a conversation would break out over why an online query ‘Should you say thank-you to the bus driver when you get off?’ had attracted 6,600 comments from screen-happy souls. The best reporter in the office was sent out to take on a monster breakfast challenge at a cafe in Swadlincote and was warmly praised for clocking up thousands of clicks. 'I wouldn’t have got this sort of reaction for uncovering Watergate,' he remarked wryly."


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