Jon Slattery

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A freelance journalist writing from the UK.
Updated: 2 hours 37 min ago

Media Quotes of the Week: Are political pundits part of an elite? to NUJ impressed by Impress

21 May 2015 - 4:54pm


Lynton Crosby in the Telegraph: “The problem with political commentary and punditry in this country is that it’s conducted by a bunch of people most of whom live inside the M25 who could never live on the £26,000 that is the average annual earnings of people in this country. Most went to Oxbridge, talk only to themselves and last time they met a punter was when they picked up their dry cleaning.”

Steve Hilton in the Sunday Times [£]: "When the corporate bosses, the MPs, the journalists — and the authors of books such as mine — all go to the same dinner parties and social events, all live near one another, all send their children to the same schools (from which they themselves mainly came), an insular ruling class develops. They flit and float between Westminster, Whitehall and the City; regardless of who’s in office, the same people are in power. It is a democracy in name only, operating on behalf of a tiny elite no matter the electoral outcome. I know because I was part of it."


Peter Preston in the Observer: "Leveson is over: let it go. Or rather, press regulation, save for some further egregious error of a phone-hacking variety sometime during the next five years, is not on this government’s agenda. The Independent Press Standards Organisation, chaired by Sir Alan Moses, is, more than ever, the only show in town...If those outside current regulation – the Guardian, Indy, FT and Standard – wish to enter the tent rather than risk five more years of independence and possible vulnerability, then their moment of choice (and influence) draws near. And for those who genuinely wish for a cleaner, more transparent regime, then, like Moses and his board, it’s time for men and women of goodwill to get stuck in."


Mark Lobel on BBC News: "We were invited to Qatar by the prime minister's office to see new flagship accommodation for low-paid migrant workers - but while gathering additional material for our report, we ended up being thrown into prison for doing our jobs."


Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz on why he is leaving the magazine, as quoted in the Guardian: “Each issue is torture because the others are gone. Spending sleepless nights summoning the dead, wondering what Charb, Cabu, Honoré, Tignous would have done is exhausting.”


Raymond Snoddy @RaymondSnoddy on Twitter: "More billions in fines for banks - for fixing foreign exchange. How many arrests? Cops clearly too busy launching dawn raids on journalists."


Mark Sweney in the Guardian: "Impress, set up as an alternative press regulator to the industry-backed Independent Press Standards Organisation, is to seek recognition under the controversial royal charter."

David Banks ‏@DBanksy on Twitter: "If Impress gets Charter recognition it triggers costs protection for those in it (no-one) and punitive damages for those not (most of press)."

Chris Frost, chair of the NUJ ethics council, in a statement:"The NUJ welcomes the recognition application submitted by Impress and we will take an interest in the way it develops. Impress offers an independent framework that can enable our profession to drive up standards, public trust and ethical journalism in the UK. Crucially, Impress supports the introduction of safeguards for all journalists who object to being made to act unethically in the pursuit of a story."

 [£]=paywall

Media Quotes of the Week: Shock, loathing and blame: the press and the 2015 General Election

14 May 2015 - 3:07pm



Peter Preston in the Observer: "No ifs, no buts. This, in the small, stifling area of the universe where journalists and politicians mingle, was a bonfire of the certainties, a pyre of punditry. No one – except John Curtice and his exit pollsters – emerges with reputation intact. No prophet of a columnist saw this coming. No editor believed it possible. Everyone settled for the supposed stasis of a parliament hung, drawn and divided into multi-party segments. So the one great lesson for May 2020 and elections beyond is inescapable. We’re used to the pollsters telling us what’s happening (as opposed to finding out for ourselves). We somehow believed the politicians have an inside track – until we saw their mouths gape incredulously on Friday morning. Data journalism is only as good as the data it deploys. Shoe leather and inquiring minds still count."


Polly Toynbee in the Guardian: "The press will be rewarded for their filthy North Korean election coverage. Forget Leveson, Murdoch can expect bounty and the savage pruning of the BBC he always demanded."

Ian Leslie in the New Statesman: "No left-wing account of this defeat will be complete without a reference to the Tory press (bonus drink for 'Murdoch-controlled') and its supposed inexorable hold over the political psyche of the nation. Funny: the day before the election everyone decided The Sun was a joke and nobody reads newspapers anyway."

Francis Beckett on his blog: "At first they thought they could win by mocking Miliband. Miliband confounded that strategy, simply by being the calm, thoughtful, intelligent man he is. But the last minute localised blitzkrieg of rumour and innuendo did the job, against all expectations. It shows what you can do if you have unlimited money and the unqualified backing of most of the national press."


Roy Greenslade on his MediaGuardian blog: "As the Labour party tears itself apart trying to come to terms with its general election performance, it should understand this reality: the right-wing press was overwhelmingly responsible for its defeat."


Les Hinton ‏@leshinton  on Twitter: "Here's a crazy theory - Fleet Street was more in tune with real people than the Labour Party. #GE2015"


Nick Cohen in the Observer: "The universities, left press, and the arts characterise the English middle-class as Mail-reading misers, who are sexist, racist and homophobic to boot. Meanwhile, they characterise the white working class as lardy Sun-reading slobs, who are, since you asked, also sexist, racist and homophobic."


Michael Wolff in USA Today: "Labour not only got the mood of the country wrong, but so did the news media. Indeed, part of Labour's problem was likely to have only seen its future, and understood the ambitions of the electorate, through its own favored media. The left-leaning BBC was wrong; the left-leaning Guardian was wrong; digitally centric Buzzfeed, trying to make inroads in Britain by targeting news to a young audience, was wrong."


Andrew Marr in the New Statesman: "A big election defeat ought to shatter old ways of thinking. It’s important not to waste a good defeat. I have spent the past few days doing two things – sleeping and worrying about how I do my job. Defeated politicians, as well as humbled journalists, could do worse."


John O'Farrell @mrjohnofarrell on Twitter: "I fear Twitter has not helped the Left since the 2010 election. We create our own digital bubble & forget that millions don't agree with us."


Gary Shipton, editor-in-chief of  Eastbourne Herald and Hastings & St Leonards Observer on the use of Tory front page ads, as quoted by HoldTheFrontPage: "We very much regret it if some readers were given the impression that our neutrality has been compromised. In those circumstances it is wholly appropriate to review our advertising policy so that we clearly respond to the genuine concerns of our readers and the people in this community.”


Daily Mail in a leader: "Licence-fee payers should rejoice over the appointment of Mr Whittingdale, who will oversee the renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter next year. As a Commons committee chairman, he took a robust stand against the Corporation’s bloated bureaucracy and entrenched Left-wing bias, calling for a radical rethink of funding."



Rupert Murdoch ‏@rupertmurdoch on Twitter: "UK poll explodes myth of social media power. Great time for competitive free press."