Jon Slattery

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A freelance journalist writing from the UK.
Updated: 2 hours 28 min ago

Media Quotes of the Week: From what they won't be reading in Reading any more to what's on the menu for readers of different national newspapers

20 November 2014 - 4:32pm


Simon Edgley, managing director of Trinity Mirror Southern, on the move to close seven local papers in Berkshire, including the Reading Post, and focus on digital publishing around the getreading website: “This is a bold digital-only publishing transformation that will re-establish us as a growing media business that delivers the best quality journalism to our digital-savvy audience. We wholeheartedly believe that the future of our business here in Berkshire is online and this is an important and pioneering step that might, in time, be applicable to other existing markets or indeed new ones.”

The Grey Cardigan on The Spin Alley:"I think we all know what’s going to happen here. The 'best quality journalism' will turn out to be a roomful of kids with no journalism qualifications, cutting and pasting complete bollocks while uploading submitted content and mobile phone pictures with nary a glance at its relevance or even legality. 'Go out of the building and research and write a proper story? Sorry, don’t know how to do that.' It’s a sad day for the regional newspaper industry and especially for the journalists involved. It’s an even sadder day for the population of Reading."

Martin Shipton, chair of the Trinity Mirror NUJ group chapel, on the newspaper closures in Berkshire: "This is a watershed moment for the regional newspaper industry. Trinity Mirror is shutting down well-established titles and replacing them with an online news presence unattached to newspapers. So far there is little evidence that an operation of this kind can generate the revenues needed to sustain a workforce of sufficient size to provide a decent news service. The speed at which this transition is taking place is very worrying. It seems the remaining journalists will be used as guinea pigs for an as yet unproven business model. There are good grounds to fear for the future of the sector."

Steve Dyson on the Guardian's Media Blog: "Trinity Mirror, of course, is a plc and so is perfectly entitled – some would say legally bound – to employ strategies it thinks will best make the most profits for its shareholders. But if its ‘digital-only’ gamble is played out across the company’s regional portfolio, with fewer fixed costs, and fewer reporters, and if this is then looked at and emulated by other publishers, it could spell catastrophe for the local newspaper industry."


Guardian readers' editor Chris Elliott on the paper's decision to lead the successful legal fight to name 16-year-old murderer Will Cornick: "Whatever the legal arguments, the Guardian has to be sure that its decision to go to court to have the boy named is consistent with the values it espouses and for which it is often criticised, not least when it puts its faith in the capacity for rehabilitation. The next time we are faced with a choice, I hope we take a longer, harder look at the options."


Tatler editor Kate Reardon in the Observer: "When people are being cruel about Tatler, they say it’s the only magazine that tries to photograph every single one of its readers. Hell, yes! My God, if I could, I would!"


David Conn ‏@david_connon Twitter: "When Panorama exposed Fifa corruption in 2010, FA wanted World Cup & denounced BBC. Now Bernstein is on BBC saying FA should boycott Fifa..."


Rory Cellan-Jones @ruskin147 on Twitter: "PR email this morning starts 'Hi Rory,
I hope you're both well..' I'm in two minds about this..."


YouGov profiles of newspaper readers, as published on the Guardian's Media Blog:

  • The top three favourite dishes of Guardian readers are likely to be antipasti, aubergine parmigiana and braised endive, they are into hiking and shop at Waitrose.
  • Chips, curry sauce, ham and eggs are a Daily Mirror customer’s dishes of choice. The favourite sport of this reader is football and they describe themselves as bighearted.
  • The Telegraph reader enjoys eating Vichyssoise soup, stinking bishop cheese and Tournedos rossini, is most likely to own a cat as a pet and describe themselves as analytical but arrogant on occasion.
  • Sun customer enjoys eating pork chops and chips, watches 36-40 hours of TV per week and describes themselves as big-hearted but headstrong on occasion.

Media Quotes of the Week: Will Bill of Rights protect journalists? to monstering Miliband

13 November 2014 - 3:09pm


Culture Secretary Sajid Javid at the Society of Editors' conference: "I have agreed with the Justice Secretary that the British Bill of Rights will include specific protection for journalists and a free press.The Human Rights Act and the European Court of Human Rights have not done enough to protect journalists who play such a unique role in our society. Our British Bill of Rights will change that.”


Liberty in a statement: "Article 10 of our HRA, freedom of expression, and the Strasbourg court have long acted as vital defenders of reporters and their sources. However, the so-called 'British Bill of Rights' would diminish the rights of everyone in Britain, including reporters – leaving the already powerful freer to act with impunity. And it’s only the lax laws and lousy surveillance policies of successive Governments that have allowed the authorities to snoop on such sensitive sources in the first place. That’s precisely why The Sun is currently relying on Article 10 in its complaint over the Metropolitan Police’s obtaining of its journalists’ telephone records."


IPSO chairman Sir Alan Moses, speaking at the Society of Editors' conference“Proper, successful independent regulation will not be established by manic firing of a big bazooka (a fine)… and anyway we don’t know how to fire it.”

Eastern Daily Press editor Nigel Pickover on relations with the police, at the Society of Editors' conference, as reported by HoldTheFrontPage“We are lied to on a regular basis…we are made to feel like the enemy when really we are on the same side."


John Sweeney on why Panorama showed pictures of Mazher Mahmood: "We're identifying him  to make it more difficult for him to entrap people in the future."

Jack of Kent ‏@JackofKent on Twitter:

2012: News International figures warn Leveson of prior restraint injunctions.

2014: News International journalist seeks such an injunction.


The Grey Cardigan on The Spin Alley: "IN MOST towns and cities in Britain, the editor of the local newspaper used to be a man of significance; a figurehead of the community, a person to be looked up to. You could see it at school fetes and WI coffee mornings, town council meetings and business forums. This due – or perhaps undue – reverence gradually diminished as first children in suits began to get the top jobs, and then as the position itself began to be ‘rationalised’, leaving the local newspaper to be run by a stranger on an industrial estate 30 miles down the road."


Northern Echo editor Peter Barron blogs about his paper's special Remembrance Sunday edition "Newspapers still have their place, and it is an important place too. We should acknowledge their faults and apologise sincerely when mistakes are made. But we really should love newspapers, protect them, and never underestimate the work and care that goes into producing them - especially on days like this."


Olenka Frenkiel in the Guardian on women and ageism at the BBC: "Only Miriam O’Reilly – braver than the rest – had fought the enormously powerful BBC and won. And even after she’d won and the BBC had expressed contrition and promised change, inside the BBC, they were still doing it. Nothing had changed. Nothing except for the ever bigger and tighter gagging clauses BBC lawyers were demanding we sign preventing us from discussing why we’d left. Not to reveal how we’d been forced out. That’s when I protested. I loved the BBC. I still believed in it as a beacon of free speech and open debate. It was supposed to be an equal opportunities employer, opposed to discrimination of all kinds. This was now a matter of public interest ripe for a vigorous airing with participants from all sides.The gagging clauses were there to prevent exactly that."


Matthew Parris in The Times [£]: "The personal attacks on Mr Miliband are lazy, evasive and rather cowardly: a kind of displacement activity for people stumped for ideas as to what their dream leader would actually do, and falling back on shin-kicking an inexperienced and somewhat maladroit leader for a gap that he is powerless to fill. We in the media, too, are being shallow about this. Once the world has got it in for somebody, once their 'haplessness' is the big story and journalists clamour to reinforce it, there will never be a shortage of trivial incidents to giggle or gasp at. People must eat, and sooner or later the cameras will find a mouth and a bacon roll, just as with David Miliband (when we were casting him as hapless, rather than a lost leader) we once found a banana."


Roy Greenslade in the Guardian: "There is nothing new about pre-electoral anti-Labour propaganda in Tory-cheerleading newspapers. It is part of Britain’s post-war political history stretching back to Clement Attlee.Every Labour leader – with the single exception of Tony Blair – has suffered. Three modern leaders were subjected to especially harsh treatment. Gordon Brown was scathingly lampooned in 2010 as a ditherer, with papers giving huge coverage to supposed plotters within the party. Neil Kinnock was savagely mocked in 1992 as 'the Welsh windbag' among many other insults about his competence. Michael Foot was witheringly derided for his inappropriate dress sense as well as his political stance in 1983. There was a grain of truth in each case, but the attention paid to the various misrepresentations of their characters was disproportionate."

David Wooding ‏@DavidWooding on Twitter: "Ed Miliband's aides really must stop blaming the messenger over plight of their leader. Newspapers are only reporting what his MPs tell us."

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