Thursday 27 August 2020

Media Quotes of the Week: From can readers' voluntary cash donations save the regional press? to why the Tory-supporting Mail is bashing Boris

Yorkshire Post
editor James Mitchinson in a letter to readers asking users of the paper's website to make a voluntary monthly cash contribution:
"What we do - and the way we do it - costs money. It takes time and it takes courage. In this digital age there are traps all around us. The temptation to resort to sensationalism and titillation - click-bait - has been too much for many. Having listened intently, I am convinced that you do not want this type of journalism. You want proper journalism. Quality journalism. And, if I may, I am asking you to help us to produce it... Just £5 per month is the starting point. Again if you think that which we are trying to achieve is worth more, you can pay us what you think we are worth. By doing so, you will be investing in something that is becoming increasingly rare. Independent journalism that cares less about right and left and more about right and wrong. Journalism you can trust."

PA City editor Simon Neville on Twitter:
 "Dear PRs. If your boss is always demanding changes to media articles over minor points, I'd suggest working on managing their expectations. If there's a factual error, we will always change it. But we're not here to change whatever 'tone' you derive from it to fit your narrative."

Barack Obama in his DNC speech said Joe Biden and Kamala Harris understand:
"That a free press isn't the 'enemy' but the way we hold officials accountable."

Jeff Stelling on Twitter:
"Interesting to note two D Mail scare stories today that Britain faces a second lockdown and pandemic could last two years are both written by the same TRAINEE journalist. When I was their age/experience I was reporting on women’s institutes rather than scaring a nation to death."

Kelvin MacKenzie on Twitter: "Hear that Discovery (alongside a £20million investment from Murdoch) are launching a TV news station in the New Year called GB News. Andrew Neil and Nigel Farage due to sign. Taking on the quite dreadful Sky News. More people see my rear end than watch Kay Burley at breakfast."

Findings of latest Reuters Institute research on public views of the news media and Covid 19 coverage:
"The majority of the public continues to rely on news media for information about the coronavirus as the UK heads into a complicated and uncertain autumn. BBC News (both offline and online), ITV (primarily offline), and the Guardian (primarily online) are the three most widely used brands. But both news use, trust in news, and the overall perception of whether the news media help people understand and respond to the crisis have declined significantly since the early stages of the crisis. And a third (35%) say that they think that the coronavirus situation in the UK has been made worse by how the news media has covered it."

BBC director-general Lord Hall in his Edinburgh TV Festival speech:
 “Our responsibility as the UK’s most trusted news provider has never been clearer and more important. It’s right at the heart of this duty to help bring the nation together. The forces of disinformation and social media tend to feed on fracture and drive polarisation...More and more, in the fake news world, truth is a priceless commodity in our societies. So let’s not forget that, in the BBC, the UK has a remarkable asset: the pre-eminent provider to the world of facts you can trust.”

Robbie Gibb on Twitter on Lewis Goodall's article in the New Statesman: "Is there anyone more damaging to the BBC's reputation for impartiality than @lewis_goodall ? This is so off the scale I don't even know where to begin."

Denis MacShane on Twitter: "
Labour did itself big damage attacking BBC political journos over actually quite restrained coverage of Corbyn. Now top Tory Sir @RobbieGibb attacks young BBC political reporter @lewis_goodall for not crawling to Johnson. Tories looking rattled so early."

Daniel Finkelstein in The Times [£] on why the Government wants to appoint a press spokesman to hold White House style daily televised briefings: "The government’s motivation, I think, is this. They fancy their chances when up against the press...Their view is that the Westminster political press is self-obsessed and hares off after trivial stories that don’t interest most voters. The more the media is filmed asking such questions, goes the thinking, the more foolish, unfair or irrelevant they will appear. The government will be able to summon up its own supporters on social media to question the questioners, accusing them of unfairness or incompetence."

Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times [£]:
 "The Tories also insist that Johnson is up against relentlessly hostile press coverage. Ha! How the members of Momentum must laugh when they hear that."

Nick Cohen on Twitter:
 "Conspiracy theorists never understand that successful newspapers follow their readers. It's not such a hard idea: all businesses give their customers what they want. The fact that the Mail is turning on Johnson tells me that opinion is shifting in Tory England."


Thursday 20 August 2020

Media Quotes of the Week: From reporter waits five years to quiz Trump on lies to PR soft soaps journalist in bid to promote cleaning products

Huff Post 
White House correspondent S. V. Dáte, who asked Donald Trump: "Do you regret all the lying you have done to the American people,"on Twitter:
"For five years I've been wanting to ask him that."

Tim Shipman in the Sunday Times [£] on the MP accused of rape:
"MPs are public servants and in the same way that you would want to know if a local GP was arrested over sexual misconduct claims, the same should apply to MPs. The fear seems to be that allowing greater publicity would encourage political and personal enemies to make vexatious complaints. In my experience, those considering making a complaint about an MP were profoundly reluctant to do so, precisely because of who they would be up against. Most chose not to do so. What this case and others before it show is that the current system for dealing with MPs who are accused of wrongdoing simply doesn’t work."

Matthew d'Ancona on Twitter:
"Baffled to hear the brilliant @PhilipJCollins1 is leaving @thetimes - big loss to the paper of a truly original thinker, writer and wit. He’ll thrive elsewhere."

Philip Collins on Twitter: "I'm baffled too. Maybe they thought that now there is no chance of a viable Labour party there was no need for a .... oh no, can't be that...Thank you to everyone who has said kind things about the writing I did for The Times and will now do elsewhere. I've always wanted to be thought too left wing but never thought I would achieve it."

Ray Snoddy on Mediatel on Philip Collins leaving The Times: "One journalist moving on, however talented, is hardly going to bring democracy to its knees but it might stand as a symptom of a narrowing of public discourse, a new intolerance of views that don’t quite fit. Ironically, the Labour leader Keir Starmer, whom Collins probably approves of, stirred up a Twitter storm of opposition by daring to write an article for the Mail on Sunday."

Gulnoza Said, Committee to Protect Journalists' Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, in a statement:
“Belarusian authorities should stop the brutal treatment of journalists who have been reporting on post-election protests and allow them to work freely and safely. Detained journalists should be released, those injured should be provided access to medical treatment, journalists’ equipment should be returned, and all representatives of the press should be treated with respect.”

Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray in a statement: “It is essential that journalists the world over as well as our politicians voice their support for our media colleagues who are struggling to provide the people of Belarus with accurate and impartial coverage in their country.We urge the authorities in Belarus to ensure the safety of journalists who are simply going about their legal employment.”

Private Eye
 on Twitter: 
"Here’s one Covid figure that the government can’t adjust downward – Private Eye is actually selling as many copies as we were this time last year - an average of 231,073 copies!...Our editor Ian Hislop says: 'Thanks to the public for their fantastic response to our 'Fork out to Help Out' offer of a FULL PRICE copy of the magazine to EVERY reader who buys it'."

Scottish Sun 
editor Alan Muir in a message to readers after the paper's front page on the Stonehaven rail crash showed a picture of the train’s driver and the scene of the accident with the headline 'death express': "I'm writing today to apologise. Wednesday was a tragic day for Scotland, and the headline on the front page of our paper in relation to the terrible train accident caused further distress. For that, I am truly sorry. My team and I work hard every day to give you a product of high standard - but this time I made a mistake. At a time when family, friends and colleagues are grieving the loss of their loved ones, the last thing they need is something else to add to their grief. It would never be my intention to cause any deliberate upset or harm, especially in such terrible circumstances. I got it wrong on this occasion and can only apologise for that. We value our loyal family of readers very much and I personally thank you for continuing to support us."

Chichester Observer sports ed Steve Bone on Twitter: "Email of the day: Hi Steve, I discovered you through your work at Chichester Observer and I must admit it’s quite impressive! I just could not help but reach out to you directly. We have come up with a home appliance that is set to make scrubbing clean easy and faster than ever."


Thursday 13 August 2020

Media Quotes of the Week: Is chasing Channel migrants essential reporting or nauseating? to Guardian is racist about me claims Lebedev

Tim Walker on Twitter: "
The spectacle of rich privileged white people interrogating small groups of desperate people of colour in overcrowded dinghies from their large yachts is becoming nauseating. This is not journalism. It is mindless rabble-rousing."

Thais Portilho on Twitter: "Genuinely don’t understand complaints about journalists reporting from the English Channel. I much prefer to see what’s happening. They’re documenting the conditions in which migrants are making the crossing and the way authorities handle the situation. Essential reporting. It may feel voyeuristic, but journalists are the eyes and ears of the public. They’re documenting the crossing and the way migrants are treated when approached by the authorities. When they’re out there, we can see what’s happening. They’re not there for fun."

David Yelland on Twitter:
 "Brexit editors, knowing that being a Remainer meant a career cul-de-sac, colluded to con their readers. Already the trade issue and now migrant crisis show they lied to the country. Brexit is a disaster. Always was. What a scandal this is....."
Sir Bernard Ingham in the Yorkshire Post on plans to appoint a Government spokesman giving daily televised White House-style media briefings: "The post is a constitutional outrage even if we have been subjected to televised briefings since the onset of coronavirus. It is a further ill-considered undermining of our Parliamentary democracy. And Parliament will be for ever damned if it permits this further step down the road to US-style presidential its heart is the malevolent presence of Dominic Cummings, the PM’s principal adviser, who thinks the Civil Service is pretty useless and the machine would be in the better hands of weirdos like himself."

Nick Cohen in the Observer:
"The trouble with having a government run by second-rate Tory journalists is that it cares more about bad headlines in the second-rate Tory press than the lives and liberties of its luckless subjects."

Hew Edwards interviewed by Andrew Billen in The Times [£]:
“You have to be a street fighter to survive. It’s true. And over the years you have to learn some skills in survival, especially in the BBC, which actually can be a treacherous place to be sometimes.”

Jon Sopel in the Observer on the Chris Wallace and Jonathan Swan interviews with Donald Trump: "What these two interviewers had in common is that they were white men. If you have sat in as many White House briefings as I have, you know the president does not react favourably to being challenged like this by women. He very quickly gets hot under the collar. He was so 'triggered' by a twentysomething female CNN reporter, Kaitlan Collins, that just before one press conference, White House staff tried to move a male reporter into her allocated front-row seat so she would be pushed to the back of the room and not be in Trump’s eyeline. There are endless more examples."

Mark Thompson, who is leaving as CEO of the New York Times after eight years, interviewed on McKinsey&Company:
"When I got there, we had a print newsroom, with a few digital people. They’d make a wonderful print newspaper out of which they could get a website. And my notion was, it’s exactly the opposite of that. We want to make a great smartphone news product out of which we can get a website. And then we can curate a great physical paper out of our website."

Mark Sweney and Jim Waterson in the Guardian: "The Evening Standard is to sack a third of its employees, as the London freesheet seeks a dramatic reduction in costs to survive the coronavirus pandemic. The newspaper has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic as it relies on advertising for 80% of its revenues. The move comes a week after its owner, Evgeny Lebedev, was given a peerage by Boris Johnson’s government...The newspaper intends to cut its 167 newsroom staff by 69, a reduction of 40%."

Evgeny Lebedev in the Mail on Sunday: "I also want to register my reaction to the snobbery and casual racism which is still widespread throughout British society – even in surprising places. This is a racism that considers the House of Lords to be no place for someone such as me. Take, for example, the extensive coverage of me in The Guardian, that beacon of tolerance, over the past 12 months, where stories invariably describe me as ‘Russian’ or ‘Russian-born’ in their first sentences.  The newspaper might alternatively have chosen to describe me as a first-generation immigrant, who came to this country when I was eight, was educated in the British state school system, became a British citizen in 2010 and has also tried to make a difference by campaigning and fund-raising through my newspapers. But such a narrative doesn’t fit their prejudice that I am racially suspect, possibly corrupt and corrupting and maybe even a spy."


Thursday 6 August 2020

Media Quotes of the Week: From why the press can't risk naming MP to how to startle people: tell them the average salary for a UK journalist

The Times [£] in a leader: "The Times has decided for now not to name the MP in the latest investigation because the risks created by this recent case law are too high. Yet the reality is that the pendulum has swung too far in favour of privacy, with potentially chilling consequences. Not naming suspects makes it less likely that other victims in cases such as this will come forward and thereby increase the prospects of a conviction. It also makes it harder to investigate the actions of the police, not least in cases of wrongful arrest. The public can tell the difference between allegations and a conviction. The law should beware creating a means by which the rich and powerful can shield themselves from scrutiny and censure."

Alan Rusbridger on Twitter: "If true, this is the return of the press baron - a species that appeared to have died out with Lord [Conrad] Black, (later jailed.) That feels like a backward step in so many ways. And Claire Fox in the House of Lords. This must be a cunning Dominic Cummings plan to so discredit a British institution that it implodes."
  • Michael Crick on Twitter: "And the fact that Downing Street regularly announces these peerage lists on a Friday afternoon in the summer recess suggests they know they’re up to no good, and that it will get a lot less media scrutiny."

James Murdoch, in a letter of resignation from the board of News Corp., as reported by the Hollywood Reporter: "My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions."
  • David Yelland on Twitter: "James Murdoch’s courage to be himself, to make that stand, can only be applauded. He is his own man now; he has lost a job title but gained his freedom."
  • Les Hinton on Twitter: "Oh how he suffered for all those years and all those billions."

Kelvin MacKenzie in The Spectator on Rupert Murdoch: "Today Rupert’s British empire is not what it was. The Sun is losing £30 million a year and its sales are so low they have decided not to release the figures. In my day, it was four million; today it’s around 800,000. Very sad. My advice: the working class won’t buy a woking-class paper. All journalists should be thankful Murdoch invested here. He has kept literally thousands in work for decades. And in the case of the Times, has lost more than a billion in his 40-plus years of ownership.You should judge him by his enemies. Watson, Mosley, Grant. Enough said."

Jonathan Swan in his AXIOS interview with Donald Trump:  “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the U.S. is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.”
Trump: “You can’t do that.” Swan: “Why can’t I do that?”

Daniel Finkelstein on Twitter: "I should emphasise that my problem with the Wiley article in @TheVoicenews is not so much the fact they interviewed him - which is questionable but an editor could justify - it is the content of the interview, and the interviewers reflections which are truly truly shocking."

Sajid Javid MP on Twitter: “You would think that The Voice — of all newspapers — would’ve avoided providing a sympathetic platform for a racist. Very poor judgement.”

Owen Jones on Twitter after the Guardian mixed up pictures of Kano and Wiley to illustrate his column: "Newspapers work on tight deadlines. Columnists generally don't get to see the headline, let alone the image used. If we all did, the process would grind to a halt, especially given we don't work from the office...Kano aI have never heard of any columnist being given approval over the image used with their columns in advance. That's never happened once in the near decade I've worked for newspapers, and I had absolutely nothing to do with what happened yesterday whatsoever."
  • Piers Morgan on Twitter: "This isn’t true. I never let any column go to print or appear online without reviewing it first, including all pix. Precisely for this reason."

Guardian media editor Jim Waterson on Twitter: "What's happening with cuts at Mirror/Express/Star*Mirror/Express will have identical weekend magazines with different covers *Same content increasingly shared by all three papers *Direction of travel? Star reporters expected to do 10 stories a day with 3hrs/week for 'exclusives'."

Charlotte Tobitt on Press Gazette: "Google and Facebook could be fined millions of dollars by the Australian Government if they do not comply with a proposed code that would force them to pay news publishers for their content. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published a first-of-its-kind draft code of conduct, which it said aims at 'addressing acute bargaining power imbalances between Australian news businesses and Google and Facebook'. The code will force the tech giants to negotiate with a news business – or a group of them banded together – and if they cannot agree a deal within three months then an independent arbitrator will decide which offer is most reasonable."

WalesOnline rugby correspondent Simon Thomas on Twitter: "The average salary for a journalist in the UK is £24,300. I like to startle folk with that fact from time to time. It always surprises people. But then what do you expect when just about everyone reads my work for free and when scores of journalism/media students are graduating each year, meaning supply exceeds demand, keeping wages down?"

Jon Coles on Twitter: "16k for a graduate starting salary on a local newspaper, with little hope of getting much more than that for several years: it makes me wonder why youngsters bother. As the senior writer on a local paper, I speak from some experience."