Jon Slattery

Subscribe to Jon Slattery feed
A freelance journalist writing from the UK.
Updated: 6 min 25 sec ago

Media Quotes of the Week: Regret over Ukraine air disaster coverage to sub editor struck by lightning

24 July 2014 - 2:33pm



 Sky News spokeswoman, quoted by the Guardian:  "Today whilst presenting from the site of the MH17 air crash Colin Brazier reflected on the human tragedy of the event and showed audiences the content of one of the victims' bags. Colin immediately recognised that this was inappropriate and said so on air. Both Colin and Sky News apologise profusely for any offence caused."

Sky News' Colin Brazier in the Guardian: "I stood above a pile of belongings, pointing to items strewn across the ground. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a pink drinking flask. It looked familiar. My six-year-old daughter, Kitty, has one just like it.I bent down and, what my Twitter critics cannot hear - because of the sound quality of internet replays of the broadcast - is that I had lost it. It is a cardinal sin of broadcasting, in my book anyway, to start blubbing on-air. I fought for some self-control, not thinking all that clearly as I did so. Too late, I realised that I was crossing a line. I thought aloud: "we shouldn't be doing this … this is a mistake", an instant apology that was only selectively quoted by those determined to see what I did as a powerful example of journalistic vulturism."


Russia Today London correspondent Sara Firth to Press Gazette on why she had quit over coverage of the plane shot down in Ukraine: "When the story broke you get the kick in your stomach when you’re going to get the facts and it’s this huge story. And I walked into the newsroom and they were running an eye-witness account of God-knows who the person was blaming the Ukrainian government, and it is such a volatile situation. I said [in a previous interview], if I was asked to burn the facts and not tell the truth I’d be a goner, and so I’m gone… it’s the level of disrespect for the facts that really bugs me."


Matthew Price ‏@BBCMatthewPrice on Twitter on BBC News shots of relatives of passengers killed in the Ukrainian air disaster: "We left out much from the relatives we could have used, deliberately. We picked our pictures with care. And I hope my words gave context."


Tulisa, quoted by BBC News, on Sun on Sunday's Mazher Mahmood, after the collapse of her trial on drug charges: "Mahmood has now been exposed by my lawyers openly lying to the judge and jury. These lies were told to stop crucial evidence going before the jury."



Peter Jukes on Rebekah Brooks in the New Statesman: "Over the eight months I spent watching Brooks at the Old Bailey it felt as if the whole courtroom had become her friend. She nearly always smiled and said 'hi' to journalists, whether from the Guardian or the Times. I found myself wishing her happy birthday towards the end of the trial."


David Ho, editor for mobile, tablets and emerging technology at the Wall Street Journal, speaking at News:Rewired, as reported by Adam Tinworth on his blog: "Mobile is not the future. Mobile is here. If you're just now welcoming it into your journalism, you're playing catch-up. This is not to depress us, but to convey urgency. You keep hearing 'mobile, social, video', because it's a safe answer. He's a non-safe answer: Newspapers will outlast websites."


Express NUJ chapel: "This chapel does not see why hardworking journalists should subsidise Britain's greediest billionaire. It rejects Richard Desmond's damaging and flawed proposals to cut a third of editorial posts across Express Newspapers. We say these historic titles deserve better than the man who has mismanaged their decline and, time and time again, asked his staff to pay the price with pay freezes and with their jobs."


Andy Cooper ‏@arrazandy on Twitter: "Is it just me who'd like Louis Van Gaal's NEXT job to be editorial director of a regional media company?"

Edward Snowden alan rusbridger @arusbridger on Twitter: "Snowden to journalists: If the government thinks you’re the single point of failure, they’ll kill you.”


Hearst magazines chief executive Duncan Edwards in the Guardian: "We are moving from months to moments in our editorial thinking.”


Jay Rayner ‏@jayrayner1 on Twitter: 'Piss poor journalism from @Bwood_times. Misspells my name;gets book title wrong;says I spoke direct to them. I didn't."


The Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley: "His arms are wrapped around his knees and he is rocking back and forth while gently wailing. He is wearing a cardigan and by his side is a half-empty bottle of plastic cider. Every couple of minutes he stops rocking, looks up, and shouts skywards: 'THERE IS NO ‘E’ IN LIGHTNING!' I instantly realise that he is a sub-editor who has spent too long on Twitter over the weekend."

Media Quotes of the Week: Is Parly paedo probe payback by Fleet Street? to Hansen on Twitter

17 July 2014 - 6:00pm

Ian Burrell in the Independent: "We are now seeing payback for what many papers regard as Westminster’s disproportionate response to the misdemeanours of Andy Coulson and some of his underlings. The press coverage of Parliament’s paedophiles has been awesome to behold – that is, awesome in the traditional sense of jaw-dropping, rather than punching the air in delight. It refutes the popular notion that Fleet Street’s muscles have been withered by the debilitating impact of the changing media landscape."


Don Hale in the Daily Star Sunday on what happened when he was editor of the Bury Messenger and tried to investigate claims of about politicians involved with a paedophile group: “I was sworn to secrecy by ­Special Branch at the risk of jail if I repeated any of the allegations."

Pic:BBCJohn sweeney ‏@johnsweeneyroar on Twitter: "Today is a great day for Church of Scientology, North Korea, Barclay Twins, Glencore etc. I've been made redundant from #BBCPanorama. Byeee"




Former cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour: "I sat at the breakfast table with my male colleague, saying I cannot believe we have all these exciting politicians into key positions and what people are talking about it is what they are wearing, their makeup, how tight their jacket is and what their shoes look like. I think it's just insulting."

Michael Wolff @MichaelWolffNYC on Twitter: "Wouldn't it be a hoot if Murdoch was just beginning the most active and expansive phase of his career?"



Adam Boulton asked on Sky News if he wants to take a pause: “No, I’ve swallowed a fly, that’s alright.”

Socialist Worker: Headline and column caused outrageOwen Jones in the Guardian on the Socialist Worker column on Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple who was killed in a polar bear attack: "Whoever wrote that Socialist Worker column thought they were being oh-so-revolutionary, so courageously and provocatively sticking it to the man. But all they were doing is laughing at a dead teenager, whose last moments were no less painful or terrifying because of his cosseted childhood. It is socialism with the heart cut out, devoid of the humanity and compassion that must surely underpin it. That might be their socialism. It certainly isn't mine."

Matthew Parris in The Times [£]: "The enemies of internet freedom will advance in a series of individually minor incursions, each individually arguable — usually pleading “emergency”. The best hope for free speech is that a Western government will overstep the mark and some appalling miscarriage of justice will occur, turning the tide of public opinion. However, short of Clare Balding being shot by mistake as an Islamic extremist on the basis of an appalling IT muddle-up at the Home Office internet surveillance department, the outlook is bleak. Arguments in principle, like this column, will be lost in the wind."

The Grey Cardigan on TheSpinAlley: "I came across the following charming job advert [placed by Newsquest] on Holdthefrontpage: 'Our regional group editing services department, based in Newport, now has vacancies for Graduate Copy Editors. Working as part of a team, typical candidates will be qualified to the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism or have passed some of the modules associated to this qualification. Applications will also be considered from those who are educated to degree level. They must be highly motivated and be able to work to tight deadlines, spot mistakes and have a flair for creating great headlines.' So let me get this right. The legions of experienced, knowledgeable sub-editors who Newsquest have made redundant around the country – most of whom will have progressed to the job through the traditional route of trainee reporter, senior reporter and newsdesk duties – are being replaced by callow youths who may or may not have any actual journalistic training and have never actually done the job. I wonder what those angry hacks who insisted that the Newport hub was manned by talented, experienced subs have to say now?"


Roy Greenslade on his Guardian Media blog on plans by Archant to centralise subbing in Norwich: "The only winners out of this are the owners and their bean-counters. As the NUj points out, Archant's chief executive, Adrian Jeakings, was paid £284,000 plus a cash supplement of £82,000 last year. The same situation exists among the managements at all the major corporate publishers. They are growing wealthy by making others poor. Ain't capitalism wonderful?"



Express & Star editor Keith Harrison interviewed by Steve Dyson in InPublishing: “My personal view is that a metered paywall is likely to be the most successful model for newspaper websites.”

Mike Lowe ‏@cotslifeeditor on Twitter: " 'Hi Mike. Richard here from XXX. I hope you don't mind me reaching out.' Reach out all you want, pal. Just don't touch."


Alan Hansen in his farewell column in the Daily Telegraph: "Twitter has changed everything, to the point whereby you not only have to make sure that what you say is right, but also that you say nothing wrong. There has never been a hiding place in the media, but nowadays, you can find yourself being judged within 10 seconds of publication or broadcast."

Local press campaigning journalism is something to be proud of in era shamed by hacking scandal

15 July 2014 - 12:20pm


I enjoyed writing this article on why the local press matters for InPublishing  which was based on my experience as a judge in the 2013 Regional Press Awards.

One of the points I made is that I love the internet and Twitter but still get all my important local news about planning, the health service and local government from my weekly newspaper, the West Sussex Gazette.

It was the same when I lived in London and got brilliant local news coverage from the Islington Tribune, sister paper to the excellent Camden New Journal which won campaign of the year in the Regional Press Awards.

What I liked was the enthusiasm of the journalists at the awards do despite the problems that have beset the sector. One reporter said to me: “Apart from the shit pay and the long hours, it’s the best job in the world.”

The Regional Press Awards showed that campaigning journalism by local newspapers does make a difference and is something to be proud of in an era shamed by the hacking scandal.