Thursday, 17 June 2021

Media Quotes of the Week: From anti-BBC rhetoric blamed for mob attack on journalist to if England win Euro 2020 will it be down to Rupert Murdoch?

BBC Newsnight editor Esme Wren on Twitter after film of Newsnight political editor Nick Watt being harassed at an anti-lockdown protest outside Downing Stre
et was posted online: "Harassing and intimidating any journalist is completely unacceptable. All journalists should be able to do their work without impediment or risking their safety #newsnight"

Alan Rusbridger on Twitter: "A fine BBC journalist mobbed on the streets on London. The repeated dog whistle attacks on the BBC are not without consequences...."

The Times
[£] in a leader on the Nick Watt attack:
"These kinds of attacks on journalists are becoming more frequent and are the product of a political climate increasingly hostile towards the media. Though not exclusively, attacks on journalists in the West have largely been at the hands of a reinvigorated far right...While it may be extremists who are committing these acts, root culpability lies with the politicians who seek to undermine the work of the press."

BBC correspondent Jonah Fisher on Twitter after authorities in Belarus paraded the detained opposition journalist Roman Protasevich at a news conference in Minsk: "
We have just walked out. Not taking part when he is clearly there under duress."

Government response to a Sunday Times [£] story about a billionaire property tycoon who gave £150,000 to the Conservative Party 48 hours after a government minister approved a controversial housing scheme for him: "Asked repeatedly whether [John] Bloor or his representatives had lobbied [Robert] Jenrick or other ministers ahead of these decisions, government officials said it would be 'too costly' to find out under Freedom of Information laws."

Alex Barker in the Financial Times:
"Rupert Murdoch has written down the value of The Sun newspapers to zero, acknowledging the tabloid brand that helped build his global media empire has become a worthless asset. The Sun titles, whose accounts were published on Friday, suffered badly as the pandemic hit print advertising and circulation, with its turnover falling more than a fifth to £324m in the financial year to June 2020. The bleak year left News Group Newspapers, a subsidiary of Murdoch’s NewsCorp that operates The Sun and The Sun on Sunday, nursing a pre-tax loss of £201m, even after slashing its costs and marketing.  The grim medium-term outlook for the print revenues, which carried the business through its heyday, forced the company to write down the asset by £84m, an impairment that left The Sun brand with zero carrying value." 

Sam Tobin in the Evening Standard
: "Former Liberal Democrat MP Sir Simon Hughes has said knowledge that his private information was unlawfully obtained 'went to the top in The Sun' after accepting 'substantial' damages from the newspaper’s publisher. Sir Simon sued News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publisher of The Sun and the now-defunct News Of The World, for misuse of private information and breach of confidence in 2019.  The former MP, who represented Bermondsey and Old Southwark over a 32-year period until 2015, claimed 'he had been the victim of unlawful information-gathering by various journalists and executives at The Sun'." 

Chris Bennion in the Telegraph on the launch of GB News: "
The sound was often out of sync, one presenter suffered a microphone failure, Sir Alan Sugar disappeared one word into his interview and the sets looked as if they had been hastily cobbled together (which, of course, they have been). However, at this early stage the glitches may well have boosted GB News’s cause, giving more credence to the idea that they are 'disruptors', outsiders taking on the slick establishment. The BBC doesn’t have glitches."

Stuart Jeffries on GB News in the Guardian: "GB News’s biggest problem is that the elephant isn’t in the room. Piers Morgan, the man for whom GB News could have been and perhaps was invented, has not yet been signed up. Nor has another anti-woke tabloid bruiser Nick Ferrari, whom GB News sought to lure from LBC, where the breakfast bulldog is renowned for eviscerating politicians, exposing for instance Diane Abbott’s innumeracy. These are the A-listers GB News needs if it is to produce reach as well as ratings. There’s a danger that it could have neither...My three words? 'A year tops'."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, in a statement on the BBC’s review into the re-hiring of Martin Bashir as Religious Affairs Correspondent in 2016:
“The NUJ was regularly demanding an end to so-called cappuccino interviews and stitched-up recruitment processes back in 2014 and 2015, ahead of Martin Bashir’s re-hiring in 2016. Our objections to his and many other appointments – made whilst the BBC was making sweeping cuts and spending vast sums on needless redundancies – were brushed aside and dodgy recruitment practices denied. Decisions on hiring Bashir were made over cosy coffees."

Jack Shafer on Politico: "The local news movement won’t make much progress until its proponents realize that its primary obstacle is a demand-side one, not a supply-side one. It’s not that nobody wants to read local news; it’s just that not enough people do to make it a viable business. Maybe the surfeit of local news of yesteryear was the product of an economic accident, a moment that cannot be reclaimed. But even if you were to underwrite local news with taxes and philanthropy, and distribute it to citizens via subsidies, you’d still have to find a way to get people to read it. Until some editorial genius cracks that puzzle, the local news quest will remain a charitable, niche project advanced by journalistic, academic and political elites."

David Yelland on Twitter:
"If England win #EURO2020 kudos will be due - but not given (!) - to Rupert Murdoch whose vision created the modern @premierleague - and transformed clubs' balance sheets - & @ManCity's Pep Guardiola for perfecting our game and players."


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