Thursday, 26 March 2020

Media Quotes of the Week: From Coronavirus crisis could kill papers when they are most needed to an astonishing double byline in The Times

Jane Martinson in the Guardian: "For many of the least secure newspaper titles, especially local papers in the US and UK, the virus could sound the death knell after years of struggle. The question is whether the pandemic will lead to the death of print itself? That this is even being contemplated at a time when the need and demand for news and information is at an all-time high is the great, somewhat heartbreaking, paradox of an industry that should provide a public as well as private good."

HoldTheFrontPage reports: "Newsquest has announced it is placing a “significant number” of employees on leave through the government’s Coronavirus job retention scheme, which will see those affected receive 80pc of their basic salary, while it will also implement a 15pc wage cut for other staff earning more than £18k from 1 April."
  • Chris Morley, Newsquest NUJ national coordinator in a statement"Clearly there are massive changes around us brought on by the crisis enveloping the world as a result of Covid-19. But Newsquest’s harsh and knee-jerk response came without warning to staff struggling with their important work in incredibly difficult circumstances."

Press Gazette reports: "JPI Media has suspended 12 local print titles amid a “substantial reduction” in advertising and concerns over home deliveries under extreme measures imposed to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Seven paid-for newspapers, one magazine title and four free newspapers will stop printing from Monday, 30 March. Areas affected include Bedfordshire, Sussex and the North East. "

The Impartial Reporter deputy editor Rodney Edwards on Twitter: "I would respectfully suggest that @niexecutive steps in to help NI newspapers struggling at this time. A drop in advertising revenue and sales means only one thing — newspapers here will die. Once they are gone, they are gone. Never has trusted news been more important than now."

HoldTheFrontPage reports: "The regional press industry has sent a united message of solidarity to the nation with more than 60 titles publishing identical front pages headlined: “When you’re on your own, we are there with you.” Archant, Reach plc, JPIMedia, Newsquest and Iliffe Media have joined forces to launch the #ThereWithYou campaign reassuring readers that their local title is there to support them in challenging times."

Dan Hodges on Twitter: "Journalists get a lot of stick. Justifiably in some cases. But you can't produce an entire paper remotely. And there are a lot of hacks, editors, subs, support staff, etc working away today making sure a free press doesn't become the latest victim of this virus. Spare a thought."

President Trump at a White House briefing on Coronavirus, as reported by CNN: "We were very prepared. The only thing we weren't prepared for was the -- the media. The media has not treated it fairly."

Trump replying to NBC reporter Peter Alexander, who asked what his message would be to Americans who are frightened by the coronavirus pandemic"I say that you are a terrible reporter. That's what I say. That's a really nasty question and I think that’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people. That's really bad reporting. And you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism."

The International Federation of Journalists in a statement: “The control over information by the Chinese authorities at this time is highly concerning. The IFJ reaffirms that the access to public information is critical, particularly during the public health crisis we are currently facing. The IFJ urges the Chinese authorities to consider its country’s place in the global community and the need for free flow of vital information at this unprecedented time.”

EU report, leaked to the Guardian: “Pro-Kremlin media outlets have been prominent in spreading disinformation about the Coronavirus, with the aim to aggravate the public health crisis in western countries, specifically by undermining public trust in national healthcare systems,”

Former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger on Twitter after sharing a joint byline with Jonathan Aitken: "Miracles do happen. The most unlikely double byline in history? ⁦@ChtyCommission⁩ (from today’s Times)."

Jonathan Aitken's failed libel action against the Guardian in 1997 led to him being jailed for perjury and perverting the course of justiceWhen Aitken launched his libel action he claimed to be fighting "the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth." The case collapsed when the Guardian proved Aitken had lied.

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