Jon Slattery

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A freelance journalist writing from the UK.
Updated: 2 hours 4 min ago

Media Quotes of the Week: From newspapers fury over new press regulator Impress to Donald Trump says he could the English libel courts

5 hours 10 min ago

Press Gazette reports Impress has became the UK’s first state-approved press regulator after its application for Royal Charter recognition was granted: "The move clears the way for the current Government, or a future one, to commence Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 which imposes tough financial penalties on any publishers that are not part of a Royal Charter-backed regulator."

Daily Mail in a leader before Impress gained recognition: "What Impress does have, apart from the backing of a few minuscule publishers, is money – £3.8million of it, from multimillionaire motor-racing tycoon Max Mosley, who has been on a mission to 'reform' the British press ever since the revelation of his involvement in a sadomasochistic orgy with prostitutes. And if, as Mr Mosley and the zealots of Hacked Off hope, Impress does gain recognition, it will set in place a system of State licensing which would be condemned without reservation by liberals in Britain were it imposed by a totalitarian regime."

Daily Mail leader after Impress granted recognition: "Could anyone ever have imagined this would be how 300 years of British Press freedom might end – at the mercy of the plaything of a millionaire sexual deviant, smarting from the Press exposure of his taste for German-themed S&M orgies?"

The Times [£] reports: "Westminster sources revealed last night that the 'punitive elements' of Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, which would force a newspaper to pay libel damages irrespective of whether or not it won, 'will not go ahead'."

Philip Johnston in the Telegraph: "For the moment, Section 40 is not yet in force and the Government says it does not wish to see it proceed. But Ministers believe the Lords and MPs will try to force the issue with a vote in Parliament. If that were to happen it would represent the most serious restraint on press freedom since state licencing was abolished the late 17th century."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in a statement: "The NUJ welcomes the Press Regulation Panel's decision to recognise another press regulator. The union has so far worked and cooperated with IPSO and will also continue to do so with Impress. Our objection to IPSO has always been that it is an organisation that represents the interests of the proprietors and management of newspapers. The union has long-held policy on the need for independent regulation that involves journalists, as well as the industry and representatives of the public."

Brian Cathcart on OpenDemocracy: "For the first time ever, everyone who reasonably feels they have been libelled or have suffered unjustified invasion of privacy by a news publisher will have access to affordable justice. No longer will only the very rich or fortunate enjoy the full protection of the law – every citizen will be able to do so."

Judge Gerald Gordon jailing Mazher Mahmood for 15 months for plotting to pervert the course of justice, as reported by BBC News: "Mazher Mahmood, it was your idea. You were the intended beneficiary and you made use of a loyal person, partly an employee, in order to achieve your purpose. The motive was to preserve and enhance your reputation. You wanted another scalp and Miss Contostavlos's conviction would have achieved that. And to achieve that, when you saw a problem, you were prepared for the court to be deceived."
News UK in a statement to the Guardian: “Mazher has led scores of successful investigations during his 25-year career with the company. His work has led to the exposure of criminality and wrongdoing. It is a source of great regret that his time with the company should end in this manner. We have noted the threats made after Mazher’s conviction of civil claims against this company in relation to his previous work. Should such claims be brought, they will be vigorously defended.”

The Sun in a leader: "WHO polices liars on Twitter? No one, of course.Yet many of those same liars are also the noisiest advocates of the toughest possible State regulation of newspapers. They are too dim to see the irony of slating the accuracy of papers like The Sun, then tweeting unsourced and un-checked fiction to millions of followers because it suits their political prejudices. Sun-haters gleefully shared baseless hearsay yesterday that the thirty-something 'child' migrant we pictured this week was an adult interpreter.The BBC piled in too. Almost no one ate humble pie or apologised when the Home Office confirmed the rumour was nonsense. Reporters are paid to find stories and check facts. They don’t always get it right, but they take pride in trying."

FleetStreetFox on her Mirror column: "Gary Lineker's gross offence was to speak the truth. 'What's happening to our country?' he asked. It's become a place where liars claim the moral high ground, racists say they're offended, and footballers with a reputation for being nice are told they should be drummed out of town."
Nick Cohen [email protected] On Twitter: "Abysmally hypocritical attack on @GaryLineker. Sun wants free speech for itself & bans for all who disagree with it."

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, after five journalists left Newsquest South London titles in a week: "It's embarrassing for the company that they now won't have a single senior reporter between their titles, or any dedicated sport and leisure journalists. Remaining reporters will be expected to plug gaps from the office by turning round press releases. Journalists will see their pay fall because of the introduction of shifts previously classed as overtime and individuals still haven't been given job descriptions or information about how things are actually supposed to work in the new structure. It's a shambles."

Chris Sutcliffe on TheMediaBriefing asks if the regional press can survive, under the headline 'What is the point of the regional press': "Facebook, in its quest to make every online community a part of its amorphous whole, might well be poised to usurp regional publishers as the go-to source for local news...As the revenue that previously supported regional publishers continues to dwindle away, they are more dependent than ever on the communities that sustain them. If, as has been argued, cuts make it impossible to serve those audiences effectively, regional publishers will find that their reason for being disappears as well."

David Higgerson on his blog responds to Sutcliffe: "The regional press’s purpose has never been clearer: We’re to talk to, talk with and talk about local life in a way which makes people want to keep talking to us. Don’t be fooled by misleading headlines – the regional press has a purpose, and a point which built upon 150 years of history and a readiness to adapt and change for the future ahead. Proof of that purpose and point is surely to be found with the readers who are voting with their fingers and swiping, typing and clicking on to our websites and apps or engaging with us on social media and other distributed platforms every day of the week."

Kevin Anderson on TheMediaBriefing: "Newspapers have declined, but due to their dominance in the past, they still employ the vast majority of locally-focused journalists in the US. There are no easy answers for what is going to fill that void, but ditching digital at newspapers to refocus on a declining print audience isn’t going to solve the business problems we face. And it’s not going to bring back the tens of thousands of local journalism jobs that are gone."

Grayson Perry in the Big Issue about buying a wig from an advert in the back of the  Daily Mail: "It was about £1.50, a shapeless, brunette, very wiggy sort of thing.The Daily Mail would be happy to know they facilitated my sexual fetish."

Editor Ian Hislop in Private Eye after ex-senior police officer Gordon Anglesea, who successfully sued the magazine and others 22 years ago for libel for claiming he had been involved in sexual abuse of boys, was convicted of indecent assault against boys at Mold Crown Court last week: "I take a certain grim satisfaction in this verdict and the fact that justice has eventually been done. But it is a miserable story and it was one of he darkest periods of my editorship. I can't help thinking of the witnesses who came forward to assist our case at the time, one of whom later committed suicide telling his wife that he never got over 'not being believed'."

Donald Trump in an interview with CBS4 News [£]: “In England, they have a system where you can actually sue if someone says something wrong. Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it...In England you have a good chance of winning. And deals are made and apologies are made.”

Media Quotes of the Week: From Donald Trump presidency a threat to press freedom to how Mirror bosses mocked launch of the Sun with dead flowers

20 October 2016 - 8:50am

The Committee to Protect Journalists in a statement:  
"Through his words and actions, Trump has consistently demonstrated a contempt for the role of the press beyond offering publicity to him and advancing his interests. For this reason CPJ is taking the unprecedented step of speaking out now. This is not about picking sides in an election. This is recognizing that a Trump presidency represents a threat to press freedom unknown in modern history."

Donald Trump at a rally in Florida on the media, as reported by RawStory: “They will attack you, they will slander you, they will seek to destroy your career and your family.”
The New York Times in response to a legal threat from Trump's lawyers: “Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr Trump through his own words and actions has already created for himself.”

Michael Wolff in the Holywood Reporter: "Trump, not surprisingly, now that he has been simply categorized as a sex abuser, makes matters worse for himself. By attacking the media — with toothless threats of lawsuits — he fortifies its unity and its certainty. But you can see why he's hurt and confused. For so long the media encouraged him to be Donald Trump. Thirty years of enabling him and encouraging him. And through more than 18 months of campaigning for president, it really seemed like he was going to get away with being who he was. But lest nobody forget: The media, if it makes you — in this instance with great civic resolve — can break you, too."

Jack Shafer on politico: "What if almost the entire newspaper industry got it wrong? What if, in the mad dash two decades ago to repurpose and extend editorial content onto the Web, editors and publishers made a colossal business blunder that wasted hundreds of millions of dollars? What if the industry should have stuck with its strengths—the print editions where the vast majority of their readers still reside and where the overwhelming majority of advertising and subscription revenue come from—instead of chasing the online chimera?"

Independent publisher Evgeny Lebedev, quoted by the Financial Times on the paper going digital only. “It is still early days, but the first six months have shown that by being more nimble and digitally focused we can better serve our new, much bigger audience online. We are profitable for the first time in 23 years, which brings with it new opportunities.”

The Independent Press Standards Organisation rejecting the complaint by Channel 4 News' presenter Fatima Manji about a Sun column by Kelvin MacKenzie headlined 'Why did Channel 4 have a presenter in a hijab fronting coverage of Muslim terror in Nice': "While the columnist’s opinions were undoubtedly offensive to the complainant, and to others, these were views he had been entitled to express. The article did not include a prejudicial or pejorative reference to the complainant on the grounds of her religion."

Russia Today's editor-in-chief Margarita Simony: “They closed our accounts in Britain. All of them. ‘Decision not to be discussed’. Long live freedom of speech!”
Oliver Kamm in The Times [£]: "The regime of Vladimir Putin murders journalists, represses homosexuals, imprisons critics, assassinates dissidents, flattens cities, attacks aid convoys, shoots down civilian aircraft, foments xenophobia and alters national boundaries by force. Yesterday its state-run propaganda outlet complained of an assault on its liberty because a British bank asked it to take its custom elsewhere."

An NUJ chapel spokesman for Newsquest journalists in South London who have voted to extend their strike over redundancies: "Our strike continues and our resolve is undiminished. All we want is to report the news and celebrate our communities. We totally reject Newsquest's plan for reduced coverage and generic content that will rob local communities with the news and features relevant to where they live. By reducing the quality of the newspapers and websites, how can we build up circulation and be a viable prospect for advertisers?"
Part of an Early Day Motion on the Newsquest South London dispute in which MPs call for: "Newsquest's CEO Henry Faure Walker, Editorial Development Director Toby Granville and local Managing Director Tony Portelli to enter into urgent talks and meaningful consultation with staff representatives from the National Union of Journalists to protect the future of these South London titles, and for a focused public inquiry to urgently be held into the future of local and regional news provision more generally."

The Sun claims a secret tape recording shows that journalist Paul Mason, who campaigned for Jeremy Corbyn, wants him replaced as Labour leader: "His true feelings come despite the TV journalist-turned-author publicly championing Mr Corbyn at major rallies through out Labour’s leadership contest, including one outside Parliament. The left wing former Newsnight and Channel 4 News economics correspondent also revealed he wants to replace Mr Corbyn with shadow business secretary Clive Lewis. The conversation – at the troubled party’s conference in Liverpool two weeks ago – was recorded by a bystander and passed to The Sun."

Paul Mason @paulmasonnews responds on Twitter: "When people on Merseyside realise scabs from the Sun are creeping around their pubs and cafes, taping conversations between journalists and their sources, I hope they will redouble their boycott off this scab newspaper."
Matthew Parris in The Times [£] on the criticism of remainers in the EU campaign: "Blaming The Guardian, blaming The Times, blaming fat British businessmen, blaming golf, Marmite, Japanese car bosses and the governor of the Bank of England, lashing out at the “doom-mongers” and 'naysayers', the 'international bankers' who would 'talk our country down', as though the strong fundamentals of 'the world’s fifth-largest economy' that you promised would power us easily through are now candles in the wind, snuffable by a handful of weedy newspaper columnists . . . blaming everyone and everything but your own lack of an agreed plan, is futile."

Racing journalist Claude Duval 'The Punters Pal' signs off at the Sun: "THIS is it, folks! I am retiring today after 47 years with The Sun. I am the only remaining staff member of the red-top tabloid from the first day it hit the streets — November 17, 1969, later becoming the country’s best-selling newspaper. Yet on the day when The Sun was launched by Rupert Murdoch, Daily Mirror grandees threw a dinner party in their High Holborn boardroom with dead sunflowers running the length of the table. But within years we blossomed, galloped past the Mirror and have been leading the field ever since."