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."

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