Jon Slattery

Subscribe to Jon Slattery feed
A freelance journalist writing from the UK.
Updated: 2 hours 6 min ago

Media Quotes of he Week: From terror attacks and lazy journalism to defending 'death knocking' and is a vote for the Tory Party a vote for a free press?

25 May 2017 - 8:55am


Indira A.R. Lakshmanan on Poynter on the Manchester terror attack: "Yes, the attack is news. But does replaying footage of victims for hours or turning over the entire homepage to the story, as CNN, Fox News and Breitbart did, elevate the public understanding of why terrorism is committed or how to stop it? Or is it just lazy and sensationalist tabloid journalism, blowing the murder of 22 people out of proportion to stoke fear?...Does flooding the public with images of terrified innocents further the malevolent agenda of those who seek to foment fear and hate in civilized society, by terrorizing those watching at home?"


Manchester News MEN‏@MENnewsdesk on Twitter: "We are aware of the leaked images circulating of evidence at the Arena after the bomb. We have taken the decision not to publish them."


Rodney [email protected] on Twitter: "So much respect for journalists at @MENnewsdesk as they report amid such personal difficulty with care. Proud to be a regional reporter."


Dominic Ponsford on Press Gazette in defence of 'death knocking': "It was suggested to me yesterday on Twitter that journalists should refrain from contacting the families of those killed in the Manchester terror attack out of respect. I would argue that when you are writing a story about someone’s death or serious injury it would be disrespectful not to contact the family. This gives them a chance to put their comments on the record and gives the reporter an opportunity to make sure they get their facts right. It is a task which no journalist enjoys, but it has to be done. And as a mark of respect it is something which should be done face to face."


Media academics in a letter to the Guardian: "Our concern as media educators, however, is that whole sections of the media are already committed to a narrative that paints Labour as unelectable and Corbyn as a barely credible candidate. This is not a new phenomenon. Academic surveys have shown how newspapers belittled him from the moment he won his first leadership election, while broadcast bulletins systematically gave more coverage to his opponents than to his supporters. Serious discussion of Labour’s proposed policies has been negligible – drowned out by memes focused on Labour’s apparent lack of opposition and Corbyn’s lack of leadership. We are not asking for eulogies of Corbyn, but for reporting that takes seriously the proposals contained in the manifesto and that doesn’t resort to a lazy stereotype of Corbyn as a 'problem' to be solved."


Brian Cathcart on Byline: "If there is a single leading national journalist, in broadcast or in print, who is seriously concerned that modern British journalism might itself be an important problem, and might be contributing to our national troubles, he or she is keeping quiet about it. The Mail, the Sun and the Express lie and distort on their front pages today to a degree that would have astonished Lord Beaverbrook or Lord Northcliffe, the most swaggering and thuggish press barons in British history. The journalists doing this are a disgrace, but they are beyond hope: nobody expects them to change. The people who are really failing the country and failing journalism are the rest of the trade, the journalists with platforms who are not under the yoke of the proprietors – at the BBC and ITV, the Guardian and the Financial Times, the New Statesman and Huffington Post."

Emily [email protected] on Twitter: "Wondering if there will be a pause in the 'journalism is broken, let's fix it' talk, while we fix all the things journalism has exposed."

Neuroscientist Dr Tara Stewart announcing the results of her study into the mental resilience of journalists at the London Press Club: “It shows that the highest functions of journalists’ brains were operating at a lower level than the average population, due to dehydration, self-medicating, and fuelling their brains with caffeine and high-sugar foods. However, the pressures of the job are not affecting journalists’ ability to endure and bounce back from adversity in the long term, due to a belief their work has meaning and purpose.”


Index on Censorship in a statement: "Index on Censorship welcomes the Conservative Party’s promise in its manifesto to repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. This repressive legislation would gravely jeopardise the local and regional press and endanger investigative journalism."


Toby Young on the Spectator Coffee House blog welcomes Tory manifesto pledge to scrap Section 40 and Leveson 2: "So the decision not to activate section 40 is a victory, not just for the press, but for Brian Leveson too. I daresay he’s not too unhappy about the fact that he won’t be holding the ring in another three-ring circus, either. But the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and the enemies of the press in the Lords will no doubt already be plotting to insert something similar to section 40 in another bill in the next Parliament. Let’s hope the fact that the manifesto could not be clearer on this issue means they won’t succeed."

Media Quotes of the Week: From Jeremy Corbyn plays the NUJ card to stop booing to Evening Standard editor George Osborne before and after

18 May 2017 - 8:52am


Jeremy Corbyn after Labour supporters booed reporters asking questions at the party's manifesto launch, as reported by Press Gazette“No, please. Let’s have respect for everyone who wants to ask a question including members of the media. By the way, I’m a member of the NUJ."

Len McCluskey in an interview with Politico claimed working class voters who say they are going to vote Tory for the first time are doing so: “Because their mind is being turned by the constant attack of the media on Jeremy Corbyn and the image that they’ve pinned on Jeremy.”


Donald J. [email protected] on Twitter: "As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!.......Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???"

Trump, reported by the Washington Post“No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.”


David Brooks on Trump in the New York Times: "He is thus the all-time record-holder of the Dunning-Kruger effect, the phenomenon in which the incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence. Trump thought he’d be celebrated for firing James Comey. He thought his press coverage would grow wildly positive once he won the nomination. He is perpetually surprised because reality does not comport with his fantasies."


Tim Adams in the Observer on Paul Dacre: "Observation suggests that as people age, they tend to become more like themselves. Dacre is 68. If the past year is anything to go by, he and his paper seem to be becoming more Dacre-like with each passing month. He first took the helm of the Mail during the ERM crisis in 1992. At the time, Vere Harmsworth, then proprietor of the paper, told the Financial Times: 'I am quite clearly in favour of a common market but I am not in favour of a federal Europe. Nor is the Daily Mail.' He added that perhaps his new editor did not share that distinction and occasionally went too far. 'Sometimes I think Paul would like to tow England out into the middle of the Atlantic,' he observed. Twenty-five years on, the moorings are being released, and Dacre appears ready to set sail."

Daily Mail in a leader:  "Not a moment too soon, the Tories are to pledge a crackdown on social media giants, with stiff fines to protect minors from pornography and ensure offensive material and bullying tweets are taken down...These tax-dodging, filth-peddling, terror-abetting purveyors of fake news have been a law unto themselves for far too long."

    Gareth Davies‏ @Gareth_Davies09 On Twitter: "So publishers, show your commitment to #trustednewsday by investing in your papers & staff. Give them the time to their jobs properly...As noble as this campaign is, the mantra at many local papers is publish first. Checking is very much a secondary concern in race for hits."


Martin Bell, speaking at a Yorkshire Post literary lunch: "I believe that our newspapers are worth fighting for against the trend of the times. They are the mainstream Press. Their reports are fact-based. They provide real news, not fake news. They offer shared experiences. And at the regional and local level they bind our communities together. My own belief is that the present storm will pass. This newspaper is not only a business but a public service. It has a proud tradition. It has a loyal readership. It belongs to its readers in a way that no fly-by-night website can hope to achieve. The relationship is a special one. We must not only read our newspapers but support them. Nor should we take them for granted: for if we take them for granted we can easily lose them."

Sun spokesman in a statement: “Further to our statement on 15 April that Kelvin MacKenzie’s services as a columnist for The Sun were suspended, we can confirm that Mr MacKenzie’s column will not return to The Sun and his contract with News Group Newspapers has been terminated by mutual consent.”

The Mirror on George Osborne before and after becoming a newspaper editor: "Former Chancellor George Osborne looks like he’s had a rough first week in his new job if his dishevelled appearance is anything to go by. The Evening Standard editor, 45, looked as though he had forgotten to brush his hair as he went tieless on the way to work after grabbing breakfast and a coffee to go. Snapped at 7.05am today, the scruffy look was a far cry from his first morning in the job just eight days earlier."