Thursday, 8 October 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From Peston poached, praised and criticised to PM on what Twitter isn't

Robert Peston on his BBC blog: "So you may have noticed that I am off to another place. I don't think this is my last blog post here, but I did want to say something a bit more personal than normal on this occasion - which is that working for BBC News has been the high point of my working life. Its unrivalled commitment to objectivity, seriousness and relevance is a beacon. And its journalists, editors, producers and cameramen are world class."

Piers Morgan@piersmorgan on Twitter: "The more BBC stars queue up to mock & brief against @Peston, more obvious it is a) how good he is and b) what a coup ITV have pulled off..."

Andew Marr, on Steve Wright in the Afternoon on BBC Radio 2: It is rumoured that Robert Peston, a man crippled by a sense of his own lack of self-worth and insecurity, is going to be up against me doing an ITV 9am politics show. I think all competition is good, I think we all do better if we're competed against, head to head. Fine. Bring it on."

Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail: "Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but I believe that we journalists should be personally respectful when we ask questions of politicians. They are elected; we are not.I don’t mean that the questions should be deferential or soft, but they should be asked in a civil manner.  For that reason, I don’t believe I was the only BBC viewer shocked to witness Robert Peston, the BBC economics editor, asking questions of the Chancellor on his recent trip to China in a casual shirt, unbuttoned, reclining in his chair."

Michael Crick ‏@MichaelLCrick on Twitter: "Anarchists shout 'Tory scum' at us as we enter Conservative conference, and I was spat at."

suzanne moore ‏@suzanne_moore on Twitter: "I do get that a lot of people hate journalists. An elite from very narrow pool. That pool has narrowed since I started. Its a problem."

Stig Abell ‏@StigAbell on Twitter: "The Guardian: writing incomprehensible headlines for awful hipsters since 1834."

Mr Justice Saunders refusing to lift an order banning the media naming the 15-year-old Blackburn boy who plotted an Anzac Day terror attack in Australia, as reported by PA/Press Gazette: "I am satisfied that in this case there will only be a limited deterrent effect in naming and shaming, and that there is a risk that in some parts of our society he will be glorified for what he has done. That glorification is more likely to be effective if (the defendant) is identified and more likely to encourage others to do what he has done."

Committee to Protect Journalists' executive director Joel Simon in a statement on Turkish journalist, Ahmet Hakan, who was assaulted by four men in Istanbul: "Turkish journalists have been jailed, harassed, insulted, and sued, but this physical attack makes clear that press freedom is being further undermined in Turkey. Authorities must take immediate action to ensure that all those responsible for this attack are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The right of Ahmet Hakan to express himself is guaranteed under Turkish law and must be protected."

Raymond Snoddy ‏@RaymondSnoddy on Twitter: "Former FT editor Andrew Gowers is nothing if not courageous - PR director for Leahman Brothers, BP during great oil spill and now Glencore."

The News Media Association in a submission to the Government: "The NMA believes that business rates relief should apply to all properties which are involved in the production of local newspapers, irrespective of the type of property occupied or the size of publisher. Some of our members still have properties in town centres and it is important that they continue, where possible, to have a presence on the high street so they remain central to the communities they serve."

David Cameron told the Conservative party conference the reason polls were wrong in the run-up to the General Election was because: "Britain and Twitter are not the same thing."

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From being a journalist means never having to grow up to Llama Drama Ding Dong! the famous headline that just won't die

James Delingpole in the Sunday Times [£] on why he revealed in Call Me Dave he had smoked dope with David Cameron in their student days: "Was this naive, irresponsible and impulsive of me? Well, of course. That’s why I chose to be a journalist rather than, say, a diplomat or a senior civil servant or a lawyer. The whole point of being a hack is — or should be, I believe — that you never grow up. You spend your whole life in a state of arrested adolescence, forever the cheeky fifth-former at the back of the bus, waving for attention, gurning for easy laughs and flicking two fingers at authority."

David Cameron on Sky News says he won't sue authors of Call Me Dave: "No. I'm too busy running the country, taking decisions, getting on with work. If you do a job like this, you do get people who have agendas and write books and write articles and write all sorts of things. The most important thing is not to let it bother you, get on with the job."

Jeremy Corbyn in his speech to the Labour conference: "Now some media commentators who’ve spent years complaining about how few people have engaged with political parties have sneered at our huge increase in membership. If they were sports reporters writing about a football team they’d be saying:  'They’ve had a terrible summer. They’ve got 160,000 new fans. Season tickets are sold out. The new supporters are young and optimistic. I don’t know how this club can survive a crisis like this'.”

Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail: "No one who is loathed by the bankers, the BBC and Tony Blair all at once can be that bad. Corbyn is the first genuinely original party leader to emerge in Britain since a certain Margaret Hilda Thatcher made her first speech to Conservative conference in 1975. Remember: the establishment hated her, too."

Peter Barron, editor of the Northern Echo, on the way the national press covered the closure of Teesside's steelworks with the loss of 1,700 jobs: "At best underwhelming, at worst pretty pathetic, and a failure to understand the consequences of what is happening in part of the United Kingdom. Imagine if a 150-year-old industry in the Home Counties was being consigned to the scrapheap, with 1,700 jobs axed. I respectfully suggest the national press might find it would have different priorities. Thank goodness for local papers."

Peter Preston on Newsquest-owner Gannett in the Observer: "Gannett is not well-loved here, or in the US. Gannett seems to exist to keep shareholders cheerful and pay executives royally. Gannett is a row of figures on the bottom line."

Sean O'Neill in The Times: "He hosts the most salacious show on daytime TV — a raucous parade of abandoned spouses, jilted fiancées and bitter ex-boyfriends. Yet Jeremy Kyle emerged yesterday as Britain’s most unlikely shrinking violet with a plea for privacy over his own private life.  Famous for curating controversy and confrontation on his eponymous ITV show, Kyle, 50, has hired lawyers to request a media blackout over his recent separation from his wife, Carla Germaine, 40. It is understood that the break-up is amicable and the couple are anxious to protect their three children from media intrusion."

Daily Mail in a leader: "In what looks like a stitch-up between the Civil Service and Government, Sir Jeremy [Heywood - Cabinet Secretarytold his audience of fellow mandarins that an ‘independent panel’ had begun work to look at the ‘pros and cons of the current regime’. Its membership? The five person cabal includes the chairman of Ofcom, which is itself subject to FoI, and two ex-Home Secretaries – including Jack Straw, who has repeatedly argued the law allows too great a level of disclosure. Little wonder that 140 freedom of information campaigners wrote to the Prime Minister this week to complain that the commission is prejudiced and appears to have been established to propose savage new curbs on the public’s right to know.David Cameron – who, let’s not forget, was elected on a promise of greater ‘transparency’ – should stand ready to throw this biased panel’s findings in the Downing Street bin."

Daily Star resurrects a famous headline over the story of love rival zookeepers. I blogged about the origins of Llama Drama Ding Dong! here. It first appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post above a story about a llama that escaped and caused havoc in a school playground. It was adapted by the Sun over a story about President Obama meeting the Dalai Lama despite sparking a row with China: Obama Llama Ding Dong; and was the title of a book on headlines.


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: Lefties love the Daily Mail and at last Jeremy Corbyn gets a good press

David Wooding ‏@DavidWooding on Twitter: "Who'd have thought it? Suddenly, all the Lefties just love the Daily Mail!"

Former Met Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson on the setting-up of the Leveson Inquiry, quoted in the Daily Mail from its serialisation of Call Me Dave: ‘It’s that classic leadership trick, which a number of us pull when we’re in deep difficulty, to say: 'This is disgraceful and we must have an inquiry.’ I think they deliberately spread it wider to try and take the flak away from the decision to employ Coulson . . . I think there was a very strong agenda there to spread the heat around."

Oliver Letwin, who led talks with editors, as quoted by the Daily Mail from Call Me Dave"‘I don’t know why I’m doing this. I hate journalists, I hate all journalists,’ he wailed at one point. It was a strange thing to admit to a room full of editors."

Isabel Oakeshott, co-author of Call Me Dave on Channel 4 News, quizzed about the pig allegations: "We're very careful about the way we worded the story, and as I say it's up to people to decide whether they think it's true or not. We don't say whether we believe it to be true."

Francis Beckett ‏@francisbeckett on Twitter: "I fear Oakeshott can't stand it up. She bought a poke in a pig."

Simon Heffer in the Telegraph: "By – so far - avoiding the evils of spin and speaking in proper sentences he [Jeremy Corbyn] may well create a public demand for other, more successful politicians to do the same. And if we end up not being patronized quite so much, or treated as blithering idiots, we would have something to thank him for."

Ed Vulliamy in The Observer:  "The Observer – a broad church, to which I’m doggedly loyal – responded to Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide with an editorial foreseeing inevitable failure at a general election of the mandate on which he won. For what it’s worth, I felt we let down many readers and others by not embracing at least the spirit of the result, propelled as it was by moral principles of equality, peace and justice...Instead of a stirring leader, which did not have to endorse Corbyn but could celebrate the spirit of the vote along with those who delivered it, we’ve left a lot of good, loyal and decent people who read our newspaper feeling betrayed."

Noel Whelan in The Irish Times: "With typical self-regard the British media have made the change of opposition leadership about them. Large chunks of the news cycle have been given over to whether Corbyn’s media style, or lack of it, has already fatally damaged his leadership. It is no surprise that Corbyn has faced trenchant hostility from the Tory and Murdoch press since they oppose the politics he espouses. This week, however, even the coverage of him on the supposed fair or left of centre media has been over the top. Frankly, some of it has been disgraceful and undemocratic. It is as if the Oxbridge university elites, who dominate much of Britain’s political media, as they do much of Britain’s establishment politics, have determined that Labour is not entitled to elect a leader of his views."

Peter Preston in The Observer: "Former speechwriters, aides and spin doctors have never had it so rich. The in-office tangles where 'Corbynites' and 'Blairites' snipe away are just as vitriolic as anything you find on the net. And both sides, naturally, can cite 'media distortion' as a reason for their failures, a scapegoat in waiting."

Professor Jane Chapman, Jeremy Corbyn's first wife, in the Mail on Sunday: "I think a better communication strategy can complement his natural authenticity. There is an amount of anti-media feeling in the Labour Party historically. That's always been the case and for good reason – the press have always been very damaging to Labour, so I can understand that antipathy to the media. But this is the 21st Century and we've got to accept that the media won't go away."

The Telegraph in a leader: "It is only because of investigative journalism that the conduct of Sir Malcolm and Mr Straw became known to the voters they were supposed to serve. Yet the committee 's report amounts to a warning to journalists not to carry out such investigations in future, promising to 'consider further the role of the press in furthering…understanding and detecting wrongdoing'. At a time when politicians have still not ruled out new laws to muzzle the free press, such veiled threats from a parliamentary committee risk having a chilling effect on journalism, to the detriment of British democracy. "

Dominic Ponsford on his Press Gazette blog: "If a journalist was secretly filmed suggesting they would take money to use their influence to get stories in the paper they would get drummed out of the profession. They would probably also be sent to prison for committing an offence under the Bribery Act. Yet when reporters expose MPs keen to take thousands from foreign special interests, the MPs are exonerated and Parliament's watchdog accuses the media of unfairly tarnishing their reputations."

Met Police spokesman on the decision not to prosecute Lord Sewel after the Sun on Sunday's drug taking allegations: "The investigation, led by officers from the Special Enquiry Team of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, has now concluded. Following a review of all the material, including a forensic examination of an address in central London, there is insufficient evidence to proceed with this investigation and the matter is now closed.”

Andrew Barrow in the Guardian on art critic Brian Sewell who has died aged 84: "Sewell was high-spirited to the end: passionate, cruel, kind, far-sighted, puffed up, self-hating – and, the author of many secret acts of kindness, always loyal to old friends and new."

Ian Hislop asked by Press Gazette's William Turvill who his favourite editors and journalists are: “Oh God no – I’m certainly not [going to answer] that. No. Absolutely not. None. No admiration at all.”

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From Jeremy Corbyn's lack of a PR team puts media in a spin to no surprises for Toynbee and Hinton in Twitter spat

Jeremy Corbyn in his first speech as leader, as reported by Sky News : "A huge thank you to all of my widest family because they have been through the most appalling levels of abuse from some of media in the last three months. It's been intrusive, abusive and it's been simply wrong. I say to journalists attack public political figures. Make criticism of them, that's o.k. that's what politics is all about. But please don't attack people who didn't ask to be put in the limelight, merely want to get on with their lives. Leave them alone in all circumstances."

Tom Clark in the Guardian: "If his first 48 hours at the helm of the Labour party have demonstrated one thing, it is that Jeremy Corbyn badly needs a spin doctor. In decision after decision, he has been making controversial calls that are bound to upset a lot of people. In case after case, however, there is at least an argument for what he is doing – and yet nobody has heard it."

Matthew Norman in the Independent: "Unless Jeremy Corbyn radically rethinks his approach to the media now – and by now, I mean this instant (or better still, via the miracle of time travel, last Saturday) – he is finished. He will never have a hearing. As an admirer, it pains me to state the obvious. But in so far as he has anything that might be dignified as a media strategy, it is suicide by naivety. He is cycling into the valley of death."

Roy Greenslade in the London Evening Standard: "It may well be seen also as a sign of Corbyn’s political naivety. Politics is, by its nature, about selling policy. That cannot be achieved through social media. Nor is it good enough to rely on tweeters screaming abuse at Corbyn’s treatment by the mainstream press in the hope that that will influence the public. The Labour leader must overcome his prejudices against newspapers and form a proper media team that wins, if not the admiration, then at least the grudging respect, of political journalists."

Times' cartoonist Peter Brookes [£] welcomes Corbyn's election: “Corbyn is a dream, really. That Lenin-style cap he wears. The beard. Of those who stood for the leadership he is by far and away the most appealing one to do. Despite the fact that he is completely f***ing up the party that I would normally be voting for, he is the most interesting.”

Private Eye Magazine ‏@PrivateEyeNews on Twitter: "So far most of our cartoonists have sent in versions of Corbyn, either as Father Christmas or as Obi-Wan Kenobi."

Paul Bradshaw ‏@paulbradshaw on Twitter: "Media academics start your engines: if ever there was a test of media influence it's going to be Corbyn and Watson."

Raymond Snoddy ‏@RaymondSnoddy on Twitter: "Please don't be too unkind to Jeremy Corbyn - he is endlessly, peerlessly amusing and it would be a great shame to lose him too soon."

Simon Duke in the Sunday Times [£]: "Next month, Trinity Mirror is expected to seal the £200m acquisition of Local World, the owner of the Cambridge News and Nottingham Post...In the past, the competition watchdog has blocked a number of deals in the local news arena, citing concerns that business would be forced to pay higher prices for ads. The growing power of Facebook and other social media means the Local World deal is likely to be waived through.  That should open the door to more mergers. Some publishing executives privately predict that, in time, this consolidation will sweep all local news outfits into one large publisher powerful enough to compete with ITV, Facebook and Google for advertising spending."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet interviewed in the Guardian: "I would be deeply concerned about the BBC funding reporters to work for commercial newspaper groups, who should be funding proper quality local coverage themselves.”

Jessica Valenti in the Guardian: "It shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m not fond of comments sections. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find many female writers who are. On most sites – from YouTube to local newspapers – comments are a place where the most noxious thoughts rise to the top and smart conversations are lost in a sea of garbage."

Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish secretary, on a death threat to an Irish News journalist in Northern Ireland: “This latest death threat issued against an Irish News journalist is a sinister development. There is a need for independent, fearless journalism in Northern Ireland and, in the current climate we regard the death threat as especially worrying. Journalists must be allowed to work in the public interest without intimidation. There is an obligation on those in positions of influence to work to ensure that reporters, photographers and editors are able to operate without risk or threat from any quarter. Journalists in Northern Ireland will not be deterred by such threats."

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian: "The great question now is whether the newspapers’ bully-power and political muscle to terrify politicians will force retreat once Murdoch, Dacre and the rest face the reality that staying outside a new recognised regulator could land them with colossal damages. Their current defiance suggests they are confident that the boot is always on their foot, the whip hand is always theirs – amid rumours that Cameron sorely regrets ever setting up the Leveson inquiry."

Les Hinton ‏@leshintonon Twitter: "BREAKING: @pollytoynbee atttacks @rupertmurdoch and self regulation. I love a columnist who surprises me."

Polly Toynbee@pollytoynbee on Twitter: "@leshinton @rupertmurdoch Oh Les if only you had ever surprised us!"


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: From press slams door on 'open' BBC plan for 100 shared journalists to arsenic and strychnine cure for a broken editor

BBC director-general Tony Hall in his speech on an 'open BBC': 'We will open up the BBC to other news providers, through a new partnership which will help local journalism to thrive."

The Times [£] in a leader: "As the chequered history of nationalised industries shows, corporations operating in a protected market have an inherent tendency to laziness and bureaucracy. This is true of the BBC, too. It increasingly exhibits (in the phrase of George Osborne) imperial ambitions. These are a threat to newspapers far older than the BBC. Instead of cosmetic palliative, the corporation should decide now on either charging a subscription for its online news or getting out of the publishing business. There is no third way."

The Telegraph in a leader: "As the corporation faces the renewal of its Royal Charter and the licence fee that underpins its £5 billion budget, one of the issues it faces is that its vast regional news operation is putting local newspapers and other commercial media out of business. They cannot compete with a rival that has near-limitless resources and the ability to give away its news for free.
The almost surreal response offered by Lord Hall to this concern was the creation of 'a network of 100 public service reporters across the country' who will provide video and other content for commercial media outlets. In effect, the BBC’s answer to a problem caused by there being too many BBC journalists providing local news is to recruit more BBC journalists to provide local news."

News Media Association vice chairman and Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield, quoted by Press Gazette"It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the BBC’s proposal - to create a network of 100 local public service reporters for towns and cities ‘run by the BBC’ and with the BBC itself able to ‘compete to win the contract’ – are anything other than BBC expansion into local news provision and recruitment of more BBC local journalists through the back door."

Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog: "Newspaper publishers, although they plead for cooperation, really want the BBC to fold its tent and walk away in the misguided belief that it will stop their audiences from deserting them. Meanwhile, who is the loser? The public, of course, which is getting less and less information at a local and regional level."

Gareth Davies ‏@Gareth_Davies09 on Twitter: "So, the BBC is going to share content with local papers. How? Sending our stories back to us after they've nicked them?"

Kelvin MacKenzie interviewed in the Sunday Times [£]: “If I was doing it now, I would be editing The Sun from Wormwood Scrubs. I never asked where stories came from.”

Hugo Rifkind ‏@hugorifkind on Twitter: "One day somebody will chase Michael Crick down a street, demanding to know why he chased somebody else down a street."

Ian Katz ‏@iankatz1000  on Twitter: "@MichaelLCrick has done some great doorsteps in his time but this one is up there.."

David Yelland ‏@davidyelland on Twitter: "Kudos to my old paper for leading a turnaround in national mood. Wonderful. It will save lives. @TheSun #AylanKurdi"

Photographer Nilufer Demir, of the Dogan News Agency, who took the picture of Aylan Kurdi, speaking to CNN: “I thought the only thing for me to do was to take their photographs to make sure Turkey and the world sees this..I thought, 'This is the only way I can express the scream of his silent body.' "

Martin Shipton, chair of the NUJ’s Trinity Mirror group chapel: “Once again Trinity Mirror has announced a development of its newsroom model in tandem with job losses. The group’s strategy for audience growth is based on greatly increasing website clicks - yet reducing the number of writers will make that more difficult to achieve. We are extremely concerned by the potential implications of setting individual click targets for journalists. At its worst, this could encourage reporters to sensationalise stories, to trivialise the news and make news out of trivia, and to give up on more challenging, public interest journalism that takes time to research and deliver."

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, on plans by Newsquest to cut the number of staff photographers in York, Bradford and Darlington: "Newsquest is clearly stripping away its support for quality, professional staff photography. This leaves this business reliant on the public or submitted pictures from vested interests or freelance photographers, often those it has made redundant. The NUJ has warned this is detrimental to the journalism being produced because independence of content creation is compromised. Reporters cannot, and will not, take up the slack as they do not have the time and have not had the training or support or equipment. This represents Newsquest completing the first part of making its news an amateur pursuit."

A spokesperson for Tony Blair after the Independent Press Standards Organisation rejected his complaint against the Daily Mail: "It would seem that the truth counts for little in the eyes of IPSO."

Kay Burley ‏@KayBurley on Twitter: "I don't buy @TheSun says Corbyn to loud cheers from the audience. It is biggest selling paper in UK #LabourDebate."

Les Hinton on the stresses of being an editor, in the British Journalism Review: "No Murdoch editor suffered more than Arthur Christiansen (pictured) in his 24 years at the Daily Express. In Headlines All My Life, he writes: 'The telephone constantly rang. Wherever Beaverbrook went, the telephone followed.' When he cracked under the pressure, a dodgy Harley Street doctor injected Christiansen for 12 days with a preparation of strychnine, iron and arsenic. This treatment restored his broken confidence but seemed a little extreme to me. Reading this story as a teenager, I resolved never to work at close quarters with an overbearing proprietor. Not everything works out in life."