Jon Slattery

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A freelance journalist writing from the UK.
Updated: 1 hour 20 min ago

Media Quotes of the Week: From fears over media crackdown in Turkey to can you remember when regional newspaper editors were demi-gods?

28 July 2016 - 9:36am


International Federation of Journalists' president Philippe Leruth on Turkey: “Since the failed coup we have had to react even more against the media crackdown in Turkey. The new arrest warrants are aimed, one more time at targeting journalists who are simply doing their jobs, and they do this criminalizing the journalistic work. The Turkish people who went on to the streets on 24 July were showing their attachment to democratic values. Through their attachment to authorities elected by votes Press freedom is an essential component of democracy. And clearly, it is even more at stake today.”


Committee to Protect Journalists' executive director Joel Simon in the Columbia Journalism Review: "The failed coup reaffirmed in the minds of Erdoğan and his supporters the relationship between information and power and drove home the importance of government control. While the internet and the remnants of independent media may have helped Erdoğan survive the coup attempt, now that he is firmly back in control and Constitutional protections suspended, the media operates at his mercy. The framework for future repression is simple: For Erdoğan, information is a weapon. He will never again allow it to be used against him."


CN editorial director David Heliwell on the decision to close its new newspaper for the north 24 after a month, as quoted by Press Gazette: “We were proud of the design and content and had encouraging feedback and buy-in from advertisers but unfortunately copy sales are just not high enough to justify continuing daily publication. It was always a calculated risk to see whether there was enough of a gap for us to squeeze into beside the big beasts of the daily market and it hasn’t come off."


Donald Trump speaking at a press conference: "I’ve always said, ‘Why didn’t the National Enquirer get the Pulitzer surprise for Edwards? And OJ Simpson? And all of these things?”

Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail"Ephraim Hardcastle is touting Piers Morgan as Press secretary to a possible President Donald Trump. And why not? Shy and retiring Piers is hugely popular in Republican circles because of his principled stand on gun control and would be an ideal mouthpiece for the self-effacing Trump."


Gideon Spanier in Campaign: "The Guardian is scaling back its media coverage in print and is to use automation to upload and lay out some stories on its website in a bid to slash costs. The newspaper confirmed it will halve its weekly media coverage in print from two pages to one. Insiders also expect the website will carry less media coverage, although the publisher insisted that won't be the case."


Decca Aitkenhead interviewing Len McCluskey for the Guardian: "He poses behind one of several chess sets in his office, and toys with the pieces. 'Now this is getting interesting,' he murmurs playfully. 'Hmm, who is going to be the king? Which one’s Jeremy Corbyn, and which one’s us? Angela Eagle,' he smirks, 'she was just a pawn.' His press officer rolls her eyes in despair, and groans. 'Oh God, this is every trope in the powerplay book. We might as well put a white cat in his lap'."


Sports news PRquoted by DigidayUK: "What really bothers me about today’s journalists is the knee-jerk decisions rooted in the number of clicks a story may/may not receive. While there are understandably pressures to reach the largest audiences, this mindset forces a lot of PR people to rethink what they share with journalists. Ultimately, it’s why many brands are turning to their own platforms to tell their own stories. Why risk a damaging narrative caused by a salacious headline created for the express purpose of reaching the masses?” 

Carl Bernstein‏ @carlbernstein joins Twitter: "Hello, Twitter. After all this time, finally surrendering to being less wordy. Looking forward."


Alastair Campbell [email protected]  on Twitter: "Corbyn office on 'did you take 20k from Press TV. 'we don't comment on historical matters.' What? He does little else."


Jennifer Williams in the Manchester Evening News on Jeremy Corbyn's leadership campaign launch in Salford: "The mention of Tony Blair drew boos and hisses. The mention of the miners' strike, an event firmly entrenched in rose-tinted Labour mythology, drew an ovation. The mention of the Guardian, when he said it couldn't tell working class people what to think, drew massive applause too."


Peter Sands in InPublishing"When I became a regional newspaper editor 26 years ago, I joined a band of demi-gods. They were men (yes, all men) such as Alex Leys, Sean Dooley, Mike Lowe, Allan Prosser, Barrie Williams and Graeme Stanton who prowled the industry with colossal self-belief. They answered to almost no-one except their readers and they often terrorised the management, lesser beings from accounts and sales. 'You are just a van driver in a suit,' is how I recall one exchange with an MD."

Media Quotes of the Week: From fears over media crackdown in Turkey to can you remember when regional newspaper editors were demi-gods?

28 July 2016 - 9:36am


International Federation of Journalists' president Philippe Leruth on Turkey: “Since the failed coup we have had to react even more against the media crackdown in Turkey. The new arrest warrants are aimed, one more time at targeting journalists who are simply doing their jobs, and they do this criminalizing the journalistic work. The Turkish people who went on to the streets on 24 July were showing their attachment to democratic values. Through their attachment to authorities elected by votes Press freedom is an essential component of democracy. And clearly, it is even more at stake today.”


Committee to Protect Journalists' executive director Joel Simon in the Columbia Journalism Review: "The failed coup reaffirmed in the minds of Erdoğan and his supporters the relationship between information and power and drove home the importance of government control. While the internet and the remnants of independent media may have helped Erdoğan survive the coup attempt, now that he is firmly back in control and Constitutional protections suspended, the media operates at his mercy. The framework for future repression is simple: For Erdoğan, information is a weapon. He will never again allow it to be used against him."


Donald Trump speaking at a press conference: "I’ve always said, ‘Why didn’t the National Enquirer get the Pulitzer surprise for Edwards? And OJ Simpson? And all of these things?”

Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail"Ephraim Hardcastle is touting Piers Morgan as Press secretary to a possible President Donald Trump. And why not? Shy and retiring Piers is hugely popular in Republican circles because of his principled stand on gun control and would be an ideal mouthpiece for the self-effacing Trump."


Gideon Spanier in Campaign: "The Guardian is scaling back its media coverage in print and is to use automation to upload and lay out some stories on its website in a bid to slash costs. The newspaper confirmed it will halve its weekly media coverage in print from two pages to one. Insiders also expect the website will carry less media coverage, although the publisher insisted that won't be the case."


Decca Aitkenhead interviewing Len McCluskey for the Guardian: "He poses behind one of several chess sets in his office, and toys with the pieces. 'Now this is getting interesting,' he murmurs playfully. 'Hmm, who is going to be the king? Which one’s Jeremy Corbyn, and which one’s us? Angela Eagle,' he smirks, 'she was just a pawn.' His press officer rolls her eyes in despair, and groans. 'Oh God, this is every trope in the powerplay book. We might as well put a white cat in his lap'."


Sports news PRquoted by DigidayUK: "What really bothers me about today’s journalists is the knee-jerk decisions rooted in the number of clicks a story may/may not receive. While there are understandably pressures to reach the largest audiences, this mindset forces a lot of PR people to rethink what they share with journalists. Ultimately, it’s why many brands are turning to their own platforms to tell their own stories. Why risk a damaging narrative caused by a salacious headline created for the express purpose of reaching the masses?” 

Carl Bernstein‏ @carlbernstein joins Twitter: "Hello, Twitter. After all this time, finally surrendering to being less wordy. Looking forward."


Alastair Campbell [email protected]  on Twitter: "Corbyn office on 'did you take 20k from Press TV. 'we don't comment on historical matters.' What? He does little else."


Jennifer Williams in the Manchester Evening News on Jeremy Corbyn's leadership campaign launch in Salford: "The mention of Tony Blair drew boos and hisses. The mention of the miners' strike, an event firmly entrenched in rose-tinted Labour mythology, drew an ovation. The mention of the Guardian, when he said it couldn't tell working class people what to think, drew massive applause too."


Peter Sands in InPublishing"When I became a regional newspaper editor 26 years ago, I joined a band of demi-gods. They were men (yes, all men) such as Alex Leys, Sean Dooley, Mike Lowe, Allan Prosser, Barrie Williams and Graeme Stanton who prowled the industry with colossal self-belief. They answered to almost no-one except their readers and they often terrorised the management, lesser beings from accounts and sales. 'You are just a van driver in a suit,' is how I recall one exchange with an MD."

Media Quotes of the Week: From fears over media crackdown in Turkey to can you remember when regional newspaper editors were demi-gods?

28 July 2016 - 9:36am


International Federation of Journalists' president Philippe Leruth on Turkey: “Since the failed coup we have had to react even more against the media crackdown in Turkey. The new arrest warrants are aimed, one more time at targeting journalists who are simply doing their jobs, and they do this criminalizing the journalistic work. The Turkish people who went on to the streets on 24 July were showing their attachment to democratic values. Through their attachment to authorities elected by votes Press freedom is an essential component of democracy. And clearly, it is even more at stake today.”


Committee to Protect Journalists' executive director Joel Simon in the Columbia Journalism Review: "The failed coup reaffirmed in the minds of Erdoğan and his supporters the relationship between information and power and drove home the importance of government control. While the internet and the remnants of independent media may have helped Erdoğan survive the coup attempt, now that he is firmly back in control and Constitutional protections suspended, the media operates at his mercy. The framework for future repression is simple: For Erdoğan, information is a weapon. He will never again allow it to be used against him."


Donald Trump speaking at a press conference: "I’ve always said, ‘Why didn’t the National Enquirer get the Pulitzer surprise for Edwards? And OJ Simpson? And all of these things?”

Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail"Ephraim Hardcastle is touting Piers Morgan as Press secretary to a possible President Donald Trump. And why not? Shy and retiring Piers is hugely popular in Republican circles because of his principled stand on gun control and would be an ideal mouthpiece for the self-effacing Trump."


Gideon Spanier in Campaign: "The Guardian is scaling back its media coverage in print and is to use automation to upload and lay out some stories on its website in a bid to slash costs. The newspaper confirmed it will halve its weekly media coverage in print from two pages to one. Insiders also expect the website will carry less media coverage, although the publisher insisted that won't be the case."


Decca Aitkenhead interviewing Len McCluskey for the Guardian: "He poses behind one of several chess sets in his office, and toys with the pieces. 'Now this is getting interesting,' he murmurs playfully. 'Hmm, who is going to be the king? Which one’s Jeremy Corbyn, and which one’s us? Angela Eagle,' he smirks, 'she was just a pawn.' His press officer rolls her eyes in despair, and groans. 'Oh God, this is every trope in the powerplay book. We might as well put a white cat in his lap'."


Sports news PRquoted by DigidayUK: "What really bothers me about today’s journalists is the knee-jerk decisions rooted in the number of clicks a story may/may not receive. While there are understandably pressures to reach the largest audiences, this mindset forces a lot of PR people to rethink what they share with journalists. Ultimately, it’s why many brands are turning to their own platforms to tell their own stories. Why risk a damaging narrative caused by a salacious headline created for the express purpose of reaching the masses?” 

Carl Bernstein‏ @carlbernstein joins Twitter: "Hello, Twitter. After all this time, finally surrendering to being less wordy. Looking forward."


Alastair Campbell [email protected]  on Twitter: "Corbyn office on 'did you take 20k from Press TV. 'we don't comment on historical matters.' What? He does little else."


Jennifer Williams in the Manchester Evening News on Jeremy Corbyn's leadership campaign launch in Salford: "The mention of Tony Blair drew boos and hisses. The mention of the miners' strike, an event firmly entrenched in rose-tinted Labour mythology, drew an ovation. The mention of the Guardian, when he said it couldn't tell working class people what to think, drew massive applause too."

Peter Sands in InPublishing"When I became a regional newspaper editor 26 years ago, I joined a band of demi-gods. They were men (yes, all men) such as Alex Leys, Sean Dooley, Mike Lowe, Allan Prosser, Barrie Williams and Graeme Stanton who prowled the industry with colossal self-belief. They answered to almost no-one except their readers and they often terrorised the management, lesser beings from accounts and sales. 'You are just a van driver in a suit,' is how I recall one exchange with an MD."

Digital life after print death for the Independent

25 July 2016 - 9:40am


I've written an article for InPublishing looking at the Independent since it decided to abandon its print edition last May and go digital only. A journey other newspapers may have to make.

Like many, I was sad to see a newspaper close its print edition for good but the Independent's traffic figures for its first digital only month in April were encouraging. Since I wrote the article the Independent has released its figures for June:

In the UK, the Independent reached its highest ever monthly page views figure, 175m (+92% year-on-year and +47% month-on-month), with a total of 33m unique visitors (+79% year-on-year and +52% month-on-month).

Globally, 82m (+56% year-on-year and +33% month-on-month) unique visitors came to the Independent, generating 319m page impressions (+75% year-on-year and +33% month-on-month) globally. The number of average daily unique visitors increased by a record 72% year-on-year and 44% month-on-month to 4.4m.

Coverage of the EU Referendum attracted more than 30m visitors, and average daily visitors to the Independent’s homepage have increased by 55% since the EU Referendum results were announced.

Christian Broughton, editor of the Independent, said in a statement: “In a month when bias, spin and plain lies consumed the news agenda and other media outlets, The Independent’s core values shone through. We have always been committed to explaining the big issues that grip the world, with passion, insight and authority, resolutely resisting party political bias. We speak to the subjects people really care about, with passion and an approachable language that connect with millions – both ‘classic’ Indy readers and a new audience. And they come back for more.''

Maybe the future is not so bleak after all.

Media Quotes of the Week: From how the Independent crossed over to the digital side to why the BBC newsroom was cheering cabinet moves

21 July 2016 - 8:57am


Independendent editor Christian Broughton in InPublishing on the move by the paper to digital only: “We’ve been through a painful experience. We had to close the Independent in print because we love the Independent and everything it stands for. Now we are not beholden to rolls of paper, printers and delivery times. We are far more agile. We do not have to compromise between digital and print. It was a massive decision to take. We are on the other side now while others still have that shockwave to come."

Kelvin MacKenzie in the Sun on watching Channel 4 News coverage of Nice: "The presenter was not one of the regulars — Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Matt Frei or Cathy Newman — but a young lady wearing a hijab. Her name is Fatima Manji and she has been with the station for four years. Was it appropriate for her to be on camera when there had been yet another shocking slaughter by a Muslim. Was it done to stick one in the eye of the ordinary viewer who looks at the hijab as a sign of the slavery of Muslim women by a male- dominated and clearly violent religion?"

Channel 4 News in a statement"The comments published in The Sun today by Mr MacKenzie are offensive, completely unacceptable, and arguably tantamount to inciting religious and even racial hatred. It is wrong to suggest that a qualified journalist should be barred from reporting on a particular story or present on a specific day because of their faith. Fatima Manji is an award-winning journalist. We are proud that she is part of our team and will receive, as ever, our full support in the wake of his comments."

Fatima Manji writing in the Liverpool Echo: "THE TRUTH? I confess. I pi**ed on Kelvin MacKenzie’s apparent ambitions to force anyone who looks a little different off our screens, and I’ll keep doing it."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, in a statement: “To suggest that a journalist is incapable of reporting on a terrorist outrage because of the colour of her skin, her religion or the clothes that she wears says all you need to know about the contemptible views of Kelvin MacKenzie. His feigned moral outrage is the language of racial hatred and bigotry, and sadly just the latest incoherent ramblings of a pundit who should have been put out to pasture a long time ago. Journalism in the UK needs more diversity, not less.”


Ian Katz [email protected] on Twitter: "Top fact about @OwenSmith_MP, man who cd be Lab leader: as young BBC producer asked to get police comment on story, he called 999 #newsnight"


Les Hinton [email protected] on Twitter: "You know there’s a print ad crisis when Fleet St papers each have room for THREE pages pitching -- print advertising."


Nick Cohen in the Observer: "As the opposition collapsed last week, Paul Mason insisted that Labour must be transformed from a party that seeks to govern into a “social movement”. Mason, along with Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Milne, is part of a group of journalists who have poisoned public life by taking braggart swagger and cocksure certainties of newspaper punditry into politics."


Reporters Without Borders (RSF) secretary-general Christophe Deloire in a statement “Like the rest of Turkish society, the leading news media demonstrated their commitment to democratic principles. It is time for the authorities to take note and to stop treating critical journalists as traitors and terrorists. Reinforcing national cohesion requires respect for basic freedoms including media freedom.”
  • According to RSF: "While covering events, Selçuk Şamiloğlu, Hürriyet’s Istanbul correspondent, and Kenan Şener, a CNN Türk reporter in Ankara, were both physically attacked by government supporters suspicious of Kemalist media outlets. After being hospitalized, Şamiloglu told RSF he came close to being thrown from a bridge."

Guardian leader on Boris Johnson being made Foreign Secretary: "Celebrity and brash behaviour will not go far in the pursuit of strategic goals – and Britain right now has much to try to secure. Mr Johnson will no doubt continue to make headlines, because that is his special talent. But his appointment is, simply, very bad news."

Raymond Snoddy [email protected] on Twitter: "Spontaneous cheer went up in the BBC newsroom when word of Whittingdale sacking came through - surely the worst Culture Secretary."