Jon Slattery

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A freelance journalist writing from the UK.
Updated: 1 hour 29 min ago

Media Quotes of the Week: From what journalists can do about Trump to getting the local reporter blues when you really want to be Muddy Waters

1 December 2016 - 8:51am


Washington Post editor Marty Baron, accepting the annual Christopher Hitchens prize, as reported by Vanity Fair: "We will have a new president soon. He was elected after waging an outright assault on the press. Animosity toward the media was a centerpiece of his campaign. He described the press as 'disgusting,' 'scum,' 'lowlifes.' He called journalists the 'lowest form of humanity.' That apparently wasn’t enough. So he called us 'the lowest form of life.' In the final weeks of the campaign he labeled us 'the enemies.' It is no wonder that some members of our staff at The Washington Post and at other news organizations received vile insults and threats of personal harm so worrisome that extra security was required....Many journalists wonder with considerable weariness what it is going to be like for us during the next four—perhaps eight—years. Will we be incessantly harassed and vilified? Will the new administration seize on opportunities to try intimidating us? Will we face obstruction at every turn? If so, what do we do? The answer, I believe, is pretty simple. Just do our job. Do it as it’s supposed to be done."




Jeremy Corbyn, asked by Sam Delaney "Does it really matter what the papers say any more? I get the impression you don’t think speaking with them is important,"in an interview for The Big Issue: "It matters in that it often frames debate. Numbers of people that buy and read newspapers are declining but the number that follow news online is huge. I do a straw poll at meetings, asking ‘how many people buy a newspaper?’. With an older aud-ience you get usually about a third to half buy a newspaper once a week, often the local paper. When you go to a younger audience, it’s almost none. One audience I spoke to, nobody did. They read it online though."


National newspaper executive talking off the record to Digiday: "We’re long past the point of thinking advertising alone pays for the cost of quality journalism. You’re grabbing for pennies. I’m sick of ad tech vendors knocking at my door, promising to give me 10-30 percent increase in yields. For starters, they can’t, but even if they could, it wouldn’t make any difference, because you’re talking pennies. And Facebook is ad tech. You’re encouraging consumption of journalism on a platform other than your own. And for what end? A few pennies. It’s the most ridiculous deal that anyone could strike. And it’s because publishers are so desperate that it seems in any way attractive."


Matthew Parris in The Times [£]: "In time I expect we shall adapt ourselves to the violence of social-media-driven formation of opinion; learn to question; learn to distrust or discount. But for the moment I fear the advance of technology is outrunning our ability to contain and civilise its effects. All at once, too many individuals who had felt solitary, outnumbered in their unbalanced or unpleasant opinions, have learned that there are millions more like them out there. I worry that the social media are putting us in touch with our inner barbarian."


Newsquest's Croydon Guardian editor Andy Parkes in a column in his paper, as reported by Press Gazette: “In an effort to get even more of your news stories onto our websites we would like to invite you to publish your own stories on our website.…write your article as close to the style of a news story as you can, making sure you include detail of the what, who, where and when. Attach any photos you’ve got to go with it and then click send.”



Charlotte Edwardes interviewing John Humphrys in The Times [£]: "He’s constantly asking his bosses whether they want him to leave, displaying that complicated neediness common among journalists. 'Nobody seems desperately keen to get rid of me,' he says. 'I’ve talked to everybody. I keep saying to people, ‘Do you want me to …?"

Roy Greenslade on MediaGuardian on the way the publisher of the Mirror gave up a source to police: "Trinity Mirror has no right to own newspapers. Its board should resign. Read the story of what the publisher did to Robert Norman, as detailed in a Press Gazette interview, and you will understand why."


Martin Stone, ex-journalist, rock guitarist and rare book dealer who died this week, on leaving the Croydon Advertiser, according to his obit in the Telegraph"I wanted to be Muddy Waters - instead I was covering the Women's Institute donkey derby for seven quid a week."

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InPublishing: My Media Quotes of the Year

24 November 2016 - 12:06pm


My Media Quotes of the Year are up on InPublishing.

They cover media milestones of 2016: including Indy quits print, Boris and Brexit, Trump and Corbyn, launches and closures, cuts and more cuts, press investigations, the future of news plus privacy and olive oil.

My Media Quotes of the Week are below.

Media Quotes of the Week: From President-elect Trump continues his war on media to President Obama on the dangers created by 'fake news'

24 November 2016 - 8:57am


New York Post on Trump's media summit with network chiefs: "Donald Trump scolded media big shots during an off-the-record Trump Tower sitdown on Monday, sources told The Post.'It was like a f–ing firing squad,' one source said of the encounter. Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ the source said."
Jon Snow [email protected] on Twitter: "Hard to imagine in the Western world, media bosses being summoned and abused in such a way: Though Idi Amin once did it to me in 1977."

Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior aide to Barack Obama, quoted by the Guardian: “If your media outlet is focused on Trump v Hamilton instead of Trump’s $25m fraud settlement, you are a sad pawn in Trump’s game.”

Donald J. Trump [email protected] on Twitter: "Prior to the election it was well known that I have interests in properties all over the world. Only the crooked media makes this a big deal!"


Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon, interviewed by Michael Woolf in the Hollywood Reporter"The media bubble is the ultimate symbol of what's wrong with this country. It's just a circle of people talking to themselves who have no f—ing idea what's going on. If The New York Times didn't exist, CNN and MSNBC would be a test pattern. The Huffington Post and everything else is predicated on The New York Times. It's a closed circle of information from which Hillary Clinton got all her information — and her confidence. That was our opening."

Bannon on the Murdochs: "They got it more wrong than anybody, Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump. To him, Trump is a radical."


CNN's Christiane Amanpour, speaking in New York after accepting the Committee to Project Journalists' Burton Benjamin Memorial Award: "I never in a million years thought I would be up here on stage appealing for the freedom and safety of American journalists at home."


AA Gill in the Sunday Times Magazine [£]: "I’ve got cancer. Sorry to drop that onto the breakfast table apropos of nothing at all. Apropos and cancer are rarely found in the same sentence. I wasn’t going to mention it, the way you don’t. In truth, I’ve got an embarrassment of cancer, the full English. There is barely a morsel of offal not included. I have a trucker’s gut-buster, gimpy, malevolent, meaty malignancy."

The NUJ in a statement on the Investigatory Powers Bill: "The bill is an attack on democracy and on the public’s right to know and it enables unjustified, secret, state interference in the press. The government has argued the bill is about dealing with national security and serious crime but what they have actually done is use terrorism as an excuse to give themselves new powers to spy on journalists.



 Motion passed by City University's Students' Union:

This Union Resolves:

1. That there is no place for the Sun, Daily Mail or Express (In their current form) on City, University of London campuses or properties.

2. To promote, amongst City students, the active pressuring of the aforementioned media outlets to cease to fuel fascism, racial tension and hatred in society.

3. To unite with other student bodies, community organisations, and businesses, to bring about a tangible change in the way the UK’s media operate.

4. To use the University’s industry contacts to reach out to employees and shareholders of the media outlets in question.

5. To provide the resources and meeting space needed to organise direct action, online and social media campaigns.

City journalism student Jack Fenwick on The Huffington Post: "Add in the fact that the word fascism was spelt incorrectly in the title of the motion and you’re left with a scene from a dark sitcom. Twitter has today been awash with high-profile journalists deriding this horrible decision. But they must understand that this terrible, terrible SU does not represent the thousands of liberal, intelligent minds that are today embarrassed by a decision that has been made on their behalf. To all students in the country who feel let down by a culture of censorship and anti-free speech within our elected student officials and activists, the time has come for change. Let’s not let them get away with it any longer."

Harriet Marsden in the Independent: "One of the first things I learnt at City is that the Sun and the Daily Mail are the two most widely-read newspapers in the country.  This means that students voted to ban the news publications that most of their country is reading, even while there are those studying at the university who are ostensibly learning how to produce news for their country. Some students are even taught by professors who have worked for these papers. They voted in the full knowledge that many City graduates will go on to work for those papers, and even aspire to do so."


Barack Obama on fake news, as reported by Tech Crunch: "Because in an age where there’s so much active misinformation, and it’s packaged very well, and it looks the same when you see it on a Facebook page or you turn on your television, where some overzealousness on the part of a U.S. official is equated with constant and severe repression elsewhere, if everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we won’t know what to protect. We won’t know what to fight for. And we can lose so much of what we’ve gained in terms of the kind of democratic freedoms and market-based economies and prosperity that we’ve come to take for granted."

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