Thursday, 24 June 2021

Media Quotes of the Week: From super-rich are abusing UK libel laws to attack journalists to jihadists were polite compared to online warriors

Sean O'Neill in The Times [£]: "The most potent threat to courageous journalism is not from baying mobs of conspiracy cranks or toxic Twitter trolls. It comes from super-rich men who cannot bear their personal and business affairs to be questioned, probed or criticised. When these men feel aggrieved they turn to big London law firms who will do their bidding for a very fat fee...Attacks on journalism take the form of defamation and libel cases, breach of copyright actions and allegations of privacy violations...If [Boris] Johnson genuinely believes in media freedom he must stop the campaign of lawfare being waged in London against journalists from all over the world."

The International Federation of Journalists after police raided the pro-Democracy Apple Daily in Hong Kong and arrested five executives: “This is an outrageous attack on a voice for independence and democracy in Hong Kong and follows a sustained campaign of intimidation against Apple Daily since the National Security Law was imposed upon the people of Hong Kong. The excessive show of force by Hong Kong police in descending on Apple Daily’s operations is a disturbing development and shows the great lengths to which authorities are prepared to silence critical reporting in Hong Kong. This attack defies all international human rights principles and represents a dire low point in its Hong Kong’s media history. Journalism is not a crime.”

The Observer in a leader"Apple Daily’s true offence is to have opposed Beijing’s illegitimate takeover through the exercise of principled, informed, critical journalism. Xi and his censorious commissars just can’t bear it. The fact that citizens rallied to support the newspaper last week, buying copies in huge numbers, is a cheering sign that Beijing’s bullying has not crushed Hong Kong’s independent spirit. The brave stand taken by Jimmy Lai, Apple Daily’s owner, who is already in jail on trumped up charges, and editor-in-chief Ryan Law, deserves deep respect."
  • Apple Daily has announced it has been forced to close "in view of staff safety."

Steve Dyson on the demise of the newsroom in InPublishing: "While modern, online journalists might justifiably point out how old-fashioned those days were, and how irrelevant they might be to audiences on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the old high street office had one crucial element that no number of websites, phone screens and social media can replace: people in the flesh. People talking, smiling, greeting, laughing, commiserating, advising, shouting and sometimes snoring, but people all the same, breathing into that day’s or that week’s newspapers, then read by the audience we served, becoming their conversations, delights, debates and sometimes moans."

Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, in a statement following more speculation the Government is set to sell off Channel 4 next year: “We are calling on the government to keep Channel 4 in public hands. Privatisation would see the channel’s public ethos replaced in favour of the interests of shareholder profit. It currently has a unique place in the market and is particularly popular with younger viewers. This should be cherished and not sold off to the highest bidder. The government says it agrees that public service broadcasting should remain as strong as ever, so why is it considering selling off Channel 4?”

Patrick Freyne
 reviews GB News in the Irish Times: "It doesn’t take long for [Dan] Wootton to go full wingnut. On Tuesday he highlights a baseless conspiracy theory about how lockdowns might ultimately be a government plot to curb carbon emissions. Does he have facts to back this up? No. But he’s the type of journalist who doesn’t need facts. He prefers to ask questions. You know, like your four-year-old: What is a dog? Why is the moon? Are spiders happy? Is Isis funding the BBC?"

The International Federation of Journalists in a statement after the Tokyo Olympics said foreign journalists would be GPS tracked via their mobile phones throughout the games: “The implementation of such precaution denies journalists their right to privacy and limits the freedom of the press. The IFJ urges the Olympic Organising Committee to repeal this regulation and discuss alternative ways of maintaining the safety of all attendees with journalists and their unions.”

Christina Lamb in the Sunday Times [£] on the online abuse she received for one sentence in her Duke of Edinburgh funeral report: "
As a female journalist I am sadly used to online abuse, from jihadists who hate western women, or Pakistani hardliners because of my association with the activist Malala Yousafzai, whose autobiography I worked on. This was different. People apparently thought it was a perfectly reasonable response to abuse me, my husband and son. The jihadists were polite in comparison."


No comments: