Thursday, 14 October 2021

Media Quotes of the Week: From Nobel Peace Prize award is a tribute to journalism to concern over journalists SLAPPED with legal proceedings

The Nobel Peace Prize: 
“The Norweigian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace. Ms Ressa and Mr Muratov are receiving the Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia. At the same time, they are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.”

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire in a statement on Ressa and Muratov: "This prize is an extraordinary tribute to journalism and a mobilisation appeal, because this decade will be absolutely decisive for journalism. It is a powerful message at a time when democracies are being undermined by the spread of fake news and hate speech.”

International Federation of Journalists general secretary Anthony Bellanger in a statement: “We welcome the Nobel Committee's recognition of the importance of freedom of the press and the role of journalism in the service of democracy and peace, especially at the moment when journalists' rights are under unprecedented threats globally".

Committee to Protect Journalists' executive director Joel Simon in a statement: "These are journalists under personal threat, who continuously defy censorship and repression to report the news, and have led the way for others to do the same. Their struggle is our struggle.”

The Times
 [£] in a leader: "
The award of the Nobel peace prize to two journalists who have exposed crimes of the powerful is among the best decisions in the history of this often contentious accolade. Maria Ressa, co-founder of a Philippine news site, and Dmitry Muratov, a Russian investigative journalist, have shown raw courage in exposing repression perpetrated by the rulers of their respective nations...The Nobel award may not sway the regimes whose depravities are exposed by courageous journalists, but the world is a better place for such heroism."

John Simpson on Twitter:
"Two journalists win the Nobel Peace Prize for their courage in reporting the truth about the Philippines and Russia, at the moment when Newcastle United is bought by someone accused of murdering a journalist who had the courage to report the truth about Saudi Arabia."

BBC News reports:
 "Hours after independent editor Dmitry Muratov was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Russian authorities have designated several publications and journalists as foreign agents. Investigative group Bellingcat and BBC Russian journalist Andrei Zakharov are among those listed."

Kelvin MacKenzie on Twitter: "
Just heard that Rupert Murdoch is paying an astonishing £50million over 3 years to @piersmorgan for his nightly show which will be broadcast in the UK, US and Australia. Rupert at 90 negotiated the deal personally. Piers is now the highest paid TV guy anywhere outside the US. Murdoch's London arm couldn't afford the deal so Fox is bearing most of the cost. It was so expensive because Murdoch wanted Piers to move his columns and 7million followers from Mailonline and the Mail on Sunday to The Sun and New York Post. ITV's management do look idiots."

The Guardian
"Tommy Robinson has been given a five-year stalking protection order after he shouted abuse outside the home of a journalist and threatened to repeatedly return to her address. The founder of the English Defence League, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, went to the property of the Independent’s home affairs correspondent Lizzie Dearden and her boyfriend, Samuel Partridge, in January of this year. Westminster magistrates court heard he stood outside Dearden’s house and shouted unsubstantiated allegations about Partridge. The deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram said Robinson’s behaviour 'crossed the line between mere harassment and stalking'.”

News Media Association chief executive Owen Meredith in The Times [£]:
"In its BBC Across the UK plans, the Beeb reveals ambitions to use its privileged position to encroach further into local news in an unprecedented assault on the space already well-served by commercial news media...By increasing its local news footprint, the BBC would create a democratic deficit by putting local publishers out of business. That does nothing to enhance the voice of the overlooked, hold the powerful to account, or sustain media plurality and access to high-quality journalism."
  • Paul Wiltshire on Twitter: "So utterly bored of this tired, demeaning, divisive line. The regional media faces many challenges. The BBC recruiting more journalists is not one of them."

Gill Phillips, GNM director of editorial legal services, in the Guardian:
 "Freedom of speech is a fundamental part of any democracy, but exercising and defending it can be a difficult and expensive thing.The rich, the famous and the powerful don’t like criticism and don’t like having their dirty laundry aired in public. They can be well-resourced, and will spend heavily on expensive lawyers. They don’t always tell the truth, or fight fair."

The RAID website reports:
 "Fifteen organisations express their serious concern at the legal proceedings that have been filed in a UK court against journalist and author Tom Burgis, his publisher HarperCollins, and his employer the Financial Times. Two lawsuits have been filed by Kazakh multinational mining company, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), for what it claims are a series of 'untrue' and 'highly damaging' allegations made by the defendants about the company...'We are extremely concerned that the lawsuits against Tom Burgis, HarperCollins, and the FT are Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs). SLAPPs are a form of legal harassment used by those with deep pockets to silence journalists and other public watchdogs by exploiting intimidatingly long and expensive legal procedures,' the organisations said."


Thursday, 7 October 2021

Media Quotes of the Week: From Culture Secretary says BBC has forgotten about the working class to best of British journalism is often in local press

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries interviewed in the Sun: "
When I talk about access, I mean the make-up of who works at the BBC. They often tell us what percentage of their employees are gay, black or trans. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about what the BBC is doing to represent the vast number of low socio-economic, non-diverse areas in the UK. Places like Breck Road, like Leicester and Bradford. Towns and cities with big council estates and strong working-class communities. It’s almost like they have forgotten about them. They didn’t think they really mattered because nobody was raising the issue. It’s about group-think. The BBC thinks in one way about lots of issues. But that groupthink is out of step with what the majority of other people in the UK think.”

Nick Robinson interviewing Boris Johnson on the Today programme:
"Prime Minister, stop talking. We are going to have questions and answers, not where you merely talk, if you wouldn’t mind."

John Simpson on Twitter:
 "Margaret Thatcher was the first British political leader to question publicly whether the BBC should have a future. ‘It’s so left-wing,’ she told a group of us. ‘But you say you never watch tv; how do you know?’ I asked. ‘Rupert Murdoch keeps me informed about it,’ she replied."

Michelle Stanistreet NUJ general secretary in a statement on the £75k a year pay increase for BBC director general Tim Davie: “NUJ members gave their all over the past 18 months to provide the best possible service to the public during the pandemic. Their reward was a pay freeze last year, and a below-inflation deal this year. This lavish bung for the director general, accompanied by briefings that try to justify his pay in relation to the so-called ‘market’, is tone deaf and represents an insult to staff whose remuneration is repeatedly approached through the prism of public sector constraints."

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on its Pandora Papers investigation:
"The ICIJ obtained the trove of more than 11.9 million confidential files and led a team of more than 600 journalists from 150 news outlets that spent two years sifting through them, tracking down hard-to-find sources and digging into court records and other public documents from dozens of countries. The leaked records come from 14 offshore services firms from around the world that set up shell companies and other offshore nooks for clients often seeking to keep their financial activities in the shadows. The records include information about the dealings of nearly three times as many current and former country leaders as any previous leak of documents from offshore havens."

Ed Cumming in the Observer on doing work experience at the NME:
"One evening I was offered 24 cans of Carling to stay late and transcribe an interview with Keith Richards. The next morning I was asked if there were any 'news lines'. Not really, I said. Just the usual Keith Richards stuff. A few days later I saw some of the words I’d typed up on the front page of the Sun under the headline: KEITH: I SNORTED MY DAD."

Joe Thomas in the Liverpool Echo on Kier Starmer writing for the Sun: "
When Mr Starmer stood on a stage in this great city and vowed not to speak with the S*n during his leadership campaign he was content to receive the support that followed. Now that he is leader he may argue he is involved in a different campaign that requires a different approach. Yet if this is a calculated political gamble it is one that, to many on Merseyside, renders his past words hollow and creates the sense that it is the support of this Labour stronghold that he is willing to risk in his pursuit of power."

Afghan journalists in an appeal to the international community via Reporters Without Borders:
"In the short term, we need strong support for evacuations of journalists in danger, by assigning them all necessary diplomatic, consular and financial resources. Journalists who have fled the country must be given facilities so that they continue to work as journalists. At this historic and also chaotic time, the disappearance of Afghan journalism would be disastrous. Ensuring the safety of media professionals is crucial in order to preserve the fundamental right of all Afghan citizens to receive accurate news and information, a prerequisite for any hope of one day seeing Afghanistan on the road to a lasting peace. Help us to make Afghan journalism survive."

Bill Browder interviewed by John Sweeney for  Index on Censorship on the libel action against ex-Financial Times journalist Catherine Belton's book Putin's People: “I’ve known Catherine for many years. She’s one of the most rigorous reporters I’ve ever come across. I’ve read her book. And my own view is that the libel action against her is creating a climate of fear among journalists...This is, in my opinion, not just about terrorising Catherine Belton, this is an act of terror that terrorises you and every other journalist and every other publishing company. And so I fear this will have a huge damping effect on vigorous reporting about what’s going on in Russia, without question. And I think it goes well beyond Catherine Belton."

Alastair Campbell on Twitter: 
"It’s such a shame that most people in the country do not see the best of British journalism. So often it is local and regional. Most of the national front pages these days are now either propaganda or trivia."