Jon Slattery

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A freelance journalist writing from the UK.
Updated: 1 hour 4 min ago

Media Quotes of the Week: Hey, that's our job! journalists react angrily to Osborne's Evening Standard editorship to MPs bash BBC over Brexit

23 March 2017 - 8:57am



Roy Greenslade‏ @GreensladeR On Twitter: "My flabber is gasted! George Osborne editor of @EveningStandard"

Anne Pickles‏ @AnnePickles on Twitter: "Evening Standard takes on a traditionalist editor - one who's there only until lunchtime. By 'eck, them were the days."
Tom [email protected]_watson on Twitter: "The long hours and early starts that editing a paper like the Evening Standard requires are incompatible with the demands placed on MPs."

Patrick [email protected] on Twitter: ""My recollection is my father never saw editing the London Evening Standard as a part-time job."

Andrew Neil @afneil on Twitter:"When made Editor of The Sunday Times I was criticised because I hadn't been an editor. Mr Osborne hasn't even been a journalist."

Tim Crook on the Charted Institute Of Journalists blog: "The role of editor in British journalism should remain the pinnacle of professional journalistic achievement. It needs to be respected as the goal, aspiration and dream of a career in journalism. It deploys political, social, and cultural power and the position usually commands significant rewards in terms of salary and reputation. The George Osborne and Evening Standard affair risks trivialising, mocking and compromising the vital role that professional journalistic media should have in our society. While it might be a boon to those sections in the Conservative Party who have an agenda in relation to Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, it is unlikely to bring many benefits to British journalism."

Guido Fawkes on his blog: "The editor one of the country’s highest circulating newspapers will now have a parliamentary vote on any further issues relating to press regulation. Osborne voted for the full implementation of the Leveson Inquiry. The whole point of Leveson was to stop politicians and newspaper editors becoming too close…"

Peter Preston in the Observer: "Osborne has nil relevant journalism experience. You might as well make Richard Littlejohn chancellor of the exchequer. No: George will pen a few words, front a few Lebedev cocktail parties and pocket a few hundred thousand pounds, burying the remains of a once glowing political career. The perfect PR symbol of our times: a fake newspaper editor."

Piers Morgan's advice for Osborne on MailOnline: "Remember, everyone on the Standard staff now probably hates you. They'll pretend not to, and do a lot of fake smiling as they constantly reassure you that having zero journalistic experience is absolutely no problem for the editor of their great newspaper. But behind your back, they'll be a seething hotbed of indignant fury and some of them will be absolutely desperate for you to fall flat on your face very quickly."



Marina Hyde in the Guardian: "One of the more questionable pleasures of the age has been to watch people who used to be journalists cocking up the country, and people who used to cock up the country becoming journalists."



A spokesperson for the Guardian: “Allegations that the Metropolitan police has accessed the email accounts of Guardian journalists are extremely concerning and we expect a full and thorough investigation into these claims.”

John Rentoul in the Independent on Michael Crick: "One of the crowning glories of the uncodified British constitution is called 'Michael Crick'. The holder of this post is essential to the functioning of democracy. His relentless reporting of Conservative election expenses bore fruit when the Electoral Commission fined the Tory party £70,000 and asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate whether a crime had been committed. Crick, who has been one of my heroes since he exposed the Militant tendency’s covert entryism in the Labour Party in 1984, has provided a textbook example of how free media is needed to make democracy work."


The Times [£] in a leader: "Companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Google routinely publish false news stories and hate speech. Their approach to removing this content has been lackadaisical at best. They try to abdicate responsibility by calling themselves “platforms”, when in fact they are publishers. No one is fooled."


MPs in a letter to the BBC accusing it of anti-Brexit bias, as reported by the Telegraph: “BBC bias can have a substantial effect on national debate. We fear that, by misrepresenting our country either as xenophobic or regretful of the Leave vote, the BBC will undermine our efforts to carve out a new, global role for this country."

Nick [email protected] on Twitter: "Do not adjust your set. Normal service from the BBC means you will hear people you disagree with say things you don't like. (That's our job)."

[£]=paywall

Media Quotes of the Week: From judges back Daily Mail to tweet and be damned in the libel courts

16 March 2017 - 8:17am


Judges of the British Press Awards naming the Daily Mail Newspaper of the Year: “In the seismic year of Brexit, the battle for No.10 and campaigning journalism, the winner had its finger on the pulse of the national conversation. Not only did it shape both the agenda and the narrative it reflected the temper of a large part of the country in a year of political upheaval. It was a must-read across the political and public spectrum and its strong and provocative voice never wavered."


Ian McEwan, quoted in the Guardianon pro-Brexit politicians: “Their militant wing, the tabloid press, has started to look into the lives of the judges who rule that Brexit could result in the loss of human rights to see whether they’re homosexual or something. It’s reminiscent of Robespierre and the terror of the French revolution. The air in my country is very foul.”


Polly Toynbee in the Guardian on Brexit: "The 'framers', as usual, will be the Mail, the SunExpress and Telegraph, pouncing on any compromise, blaming foreigners who, not unreasonably, say a Brexit deal must be worse than Britain staying in. Monday’s Daily Mail, ahead of the Lords’ reprised debate, issued a typically thuggish threat across its front page: “Cover-up over ‘dodgy’ payouts to peers.” Vote the wrong way, and we’ll dig out your attendance expenses. That’s how it will be every step of the way with these true 'enemies of the people'. Theresa May, who apparently never knowingly opposes the will of the Mail, will surely give way every time. Indeed, it might save a lot of time if she simply asked Paul Dacre and Rupert Murdoch what, if any, compromises they will stomach to get a deal, and do what they say."


The Brighton Argus NUJ chapel in a statement: “As journalists we are used to facing the unexpected every day, but at present this extends beyond our roles, and we have grave concern for the future of the paper and the security of our jobs. Over the past few months members of the editorial team have faced an unprecedented amount of change – with no clear future plan in sight. The team has shrunk in the last year because of cuts made by the company and because departing staff are not being replaced...The management's decisions appear unplanned, inconsistent and made without consideration for the welfare of staff who are committed to their jobs."


Matt [email protected]_dathan on Twitter: "Asked for his reaction to this morning's newspaper headlines, Hammond responds: "I love Sun sub-editors - they're brilliant, aren't they?"


Donald J. [email protected] on Twitter: "It is amazing how rude much of the media is to my very hard working representatives. Be nice, you will do much better!"



Owen Jones on Facebook: "I'm going to take a break from social media except to post articles and videos and the occasional events. This isn't flouncing off. It's just it has come to point where it is a) totally unproductive and b) frankly just completely and utterly depressing."

Piers [email protected] on Twitter: "Nothing more risible than media types making pompous statements about quitting Twitter.
 a) Nobody cares.
b) They always come back.


Mark Lewis who acted for Jack Monroe in her successful libel action over a tweet by Katie Hopkins, as reported by Press Gazette: “Hopkins has had to pay out of her own pocket a six-figure sum in damages and costs for a tweet that should have been deleted within minutes as soon as she was told it was wrong. On this occasion, the cost of renting that gob was particularly high. Hopkins claimed that Twitter was just the wild west where anything goes. The judge has shown that there is no such thing as a Twitter outlaw.”

Brendan O'Neill on Spiked: "The Twitterati is celebrating the court judgement because they hate Hopkins. The fools. It doesn’t matter what you think of Hopkins – you should be concerned that England has some of the worst libel laws in the world and that they have now been deployed to punish someone for making a mistake in a tweet."

Jack [email protected] on Twitter:
More"Lol all the people wanging on about free speech re this case. "Sorry" would have been free speech. Like literally, free. Literally. FREE."
David Banks @DBanksy on Twitter: "I carry no torch for Katie Hopkins, but to face a legal bill of £300k+ for two tweets is an obscenity..."