Thursday 3 June 2021

Media Quotes of the Week: From sports press conferences are a 'cynical game' to when a local paper had as many staff as a modern day national

Jonathan Liew in the Guardian after Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open after refusing to do press conferences:
 "The modern press conference is no longer a meaningful exchange but really a lowest‑common‑denominator transaction: a cynical and often predatory game in which the object is to mine as much content from the subject as possible. Gossip: good. Anger: good. Feuds: good. Tears: good. Personal tragedy: good. Meanwhile the young athlete, often still caught up in the emotions of victory or defeat, is expected to answer the most intimate questions in the least intimate setting, in front of an array of strangers and backed by a piece of sponsored cardboard."

Nadeem Badshah in the Guardian:
"Journalists are being encouraged to share their experiences of being threatened, abused and intimidated as part of a government drive to protect their safety. The Home Office said the call for evidence would help to better understand the scale of the problem, the criminal justice system’s response to it and the impact that such incidents have on the industry. The National Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists in the UK was formed after the government received reports of journalists facing abuse and attacks while going about their daily work – including being 'punched, threatened with knives, forcibly detained, and subjected to rape and death threat' – and hopes to implement measures to tackle the problem."
  • The call for evidence ends on 14th July 2021

Alistair Osborne in The Times [£] on the decision to re-run the selection of the new Ofcom chair after claims Boris Johnson's favourite for the post, Paul Dacre, had been rejected by the independent assessment panel:
"For the PM to rip up an appointments process running six months late because the four-strong assessment panel is said to have rejected his preferred candidate — Dacre — is still a shocker. Ofcom is supposed to be an independent regulator, not the plaything of whatever government happens to be in charge."

Justin Webb on UnHerd:
"University these days encourages a way of thinking about the world that is homogenous. Those who go — even those who have seen hardship and adversity — are smoothed around the edges. They don’t question the establishment because they (alright, we) are the establishment. At its worst, all this leads to a deadening. A weeding out of the kind of prickly cussed characters who bring vivacity to any line of work — and have made British journalism what it is."

Nick Davies on Twitter: "In amongst all the news from Cummings' evidence, there is an important background point, that most of this never made it into the news before. Why? a) the UK has a culture of official secrecy and b) our mainstream news media are too weak to break it."

Ray Snoddy on MediaTel:
"Rather wearily, we must now dust down the old arguments and go into battle once more in protection of the concept that for Channel 4, privatisation is the solution to a problem that does not exist. The channel was hit hard, as was every commercially-funded broadcaster, by Covid and the lockdowns, but like others such as ITV, the bounce back is well under way. There is no reason to doubt that Channel 4 is perfectly sustainable in its present form, for the foreseeable future...This populist Conservative government, unlike any other we have ever had, does not like Channel 4 and Channel 4 News in particular. Shamefully no minister, let alone Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will appear on Channel 4 News for fear of being asked difficult questions and being held to account."

John Ware in the Observer:
"For all the post-Dyson ballyhoo over Bashirgate, there aren’t that many lessons for the BBC to learn – other than the fact that Martin 'whatever it takes' Bashir is a one-off: shameless and irrepressible. That and the fact that incuriosity, if that was indeed Lord Hall’s failing, is one of journalism’s biggest sins."

Jim Waterson in the Guardian"Fifteen years after the phone-hacking scandal began, more than 20 individuals have recently filed legal proceedings against the owner of the Mirror, with more cases waiting in the wings. Although the phone-hacking scandal has largely faded from the public eye, legal cases brought by potential victims seeking damages continue to make their way through the court system, amid predictions the final industry-wide bill for damages and legal fees could hit £1bn."

National World chief executive David Montgomery on Press Gazette:
 “We have editors who have been involved in the community for years, decades in some cases, and in some respects the previous management didn’t take account of that expertise and drafted very experienced people into central functions rather than having them do what they do best which is serve their communities and provide leadership in those communities. We have tried to get those experienced journalists back into the jobs they love and excel at and it has made a huge difference to the service we’re providing.”

Trevor Kavanagh in XCity magazine, published by City University's department of journalism: 
"When I started on the Surrey Mirror, the staff at head office would have been as big as some minor national newspapers today. I think we have lost an enormous resource by not having local newspapers covering the very fundamentals of our democracy: how local government works, how major trials are conducted."


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