Jon Slattery

Subscribe to Jon Slattery feed
A freelance journalist writing from the UK.
Updated: 1 hour 2 min ago

Media Quotes of the Week: From killers of journalists are getting away with it to why does Rupert Murdoch still keep working at 83?

3 hours 22 min ago


Committee to Protect Journalists in a new report The Road to Justice which highlights the way the killers of journalists are escaping justice: "The lack of justice in hundreds of murders of journalists around the world is one of the greatest threats to press freedom today. While international attention to the issue has grown over the past decade, there has been little progress in bringing down rates of impunity. States will have to demonstrate far more political will to implement international commitments to make an impact on the high rates of targeted violence that journalists routinely face."


Paul Dacre, speaking at the 175th anniversary of the NewstraAid Benevolent Fund, as reported by the Guardian: “I note with some irony that there has been no judicial inquiry into the BBC’s role in the Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris scandals. The News of the World may have hacked celebrities’ phones, it didn’t sexually abuse teenage children. And as for the BBC’s negativity about the popular press, I say be careful of what you wish for. Support government controls shackling the press and you may find that the political class comes for you next. The media as a whole should be united in defending freedom of expression.”
Scoops: Neville ThurlbeckLiterary agent Andrew Lownie on Tabloid Secrets, an account of Neville Thurlbeck's scoops for the News of the World, as reported by Press Gazette“For 25 years, Neville served up some of the most famous headlines and he reveals for the first time how he broke his award winning stories which thrilled, excited and sometimes infuriated the nation. The book is laced with drama, fun, humour and occasional tragedy and gives a candid first hand account of a cavalier, barn-storming Fleet Street which has vanished for good.”


The Mail on Sunday: "A Mail on Sunday journalist trying to uncover the truth about Fiona Woolf’s appointment to the child abuse inquiry received unwarranted threats from a PR man claiming to be working with the Home Office. This newspaper was warned it would be reported to the new press complaints watchdog for simply arranging an interview with another panel member who could shed light on the controversy."


Peter Preston in The Observer on the death of Ben Bradlee:  "But the basic Bradlee, living on in legend, also asks one of the most immediate questions journalism – in print, on air, across the net – has to grapple with. Simply, do we need editors any longer? The new seeming editor of the Daily Telegraph arrives disguised as 'director of content' reporting to a 'chief content officer'. Trinity Mirror makes a cost-conscious group habit of rolling its local editorships into a distant one. A former BBC online master is busy remaking Johnston Press in his image and experience. The imperatives of 'digital first' puts copy into cyberspace in a moment and works out later whether, if at all, it will fit into some computerised print grid."

Observer readers' editor Stephen Pritchard on complaints about the paper's regional coverage: "In some respects, though, the paper can’t win. In the past, when it had the resources to fill editionised pages with local news, readers would complain that they did not want to read about their own region: they wanted the Observer to tell them about matters that affect the nation as a whole and to give them a world view. But still that’s no excuse for failing to reflect regional differences in national stories: Britain is more than England – and England is more than London and the south-east – but that’s another story."


Peter Oborne on his Telegraph blog: "The scabrous political blogger Guido Fawkes (real name Paul Staines), who played host, loves to name names, notoriously publishing lists of those who go to lunch at Downing Street or dine at Chequers. Well, I did the same at his 10th anniversary. (Yes, I was among the mob of free-loading hypocrites who were there.) As the dinner ended, I went up to the board of the place settings, ripped it down, and put it in my pocket. When his own crude, though effective, methods of exposure are used against him, Guido can get quite cross. There was a stir. Anyway, I kept the list."


An anonymous PR on dealing with journalists, on the Guardian's Media Network: "A PR friend of mine once told me how she’d taken a journalist on a trip to a wine region in Europe to visit a range of producers. The said journalist proceeded to drink, rather than taste and spit, at each visit and then, at the evening dinner with the regional bigwigs, announced in a slurred voice that she didn’t like any of their wines and please could they order her a glass of champagne instead."


Ian Burrell in the Independent on the turmoil at the Telegraph: "To the outside world it seems like madness but the Telegraph operates to strict financial targets. Senior management is under pressure to better last year’s £61.2m profit as the calendar year closes."


Rupert Murdoch, after being asked by Business insider why he is still working at 83: "Curiosity."

Media Quotes of the Week: From death of Washington Post's legendary Watergate editor Ben Bradlee to Charlie Brooks whips his prosecutor

23 October 2014 - 4:30pm

Ben Bradlee: Pic Washington Post
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, who died this week aged 93, in a joint statement published by the Guardian“Ben was a true friend and genius leader in journalism. He had the courage of an army. Ben had an intuitive understanding of the history of our profession, its formative impact on him and all of us. But he was utterly liberated from that. He was an original who charted his own course. We loved him deeply, and he will never be forgotten or replaced in our lives.”

The Washington Post: "Mr. Bradlee’s patrician good looks, gravelly voice, profane vocabulary and zest for journalism and for life all contributed to the charismatic personality that dominated and shaped The Post. Modern American newspaper editors rarely achieve much fame, but Mr. Bradlee became a celebrity and loved the status."

Alan Rusbridger in the Guardian: "Few reporters look like Robert Redford, or even Dustin Hoffman. Most journalistic careers don’t offer the opportunity to bring down a president. Most stories are fuelled more by coffee than adrenaline. But Ben Bradlee will remain for all time everyone’s idea of what an editor should be."

Ben Bradlee giving a spin doctor the brush off in a letter, revealed by the Washington Post: "I don't see any  purpose in meeting with you and Mr. Bloom. I would like to be sure that you understand we trust our editors' news judgement and that we distrust yours."


The Sun in a statement: "The Sun is proud of our record standing up for children and we believe we make a real difference. We have listened to the concerns about a story we ran on 29th July headlined 'Boy, 4, has mark of devil' and we accept that, on this occasion, we didn't get it right. As a result, we have tightened our procedures on all stories involving children, including the issue of paying parents."


Playwright David Williamson to the BBC on the difficulty of casting Rupert Murdoch in his new play: "All commercial productions rely on getting a cast that will attract an audience and we've found that some actors are actually scared of playing Rupert on stage. The man has so much power and quite understandably, people - and that includes actors - don't want to offend him. He owns Fox Studios, for heavens' sake!"



Ryan Chittum on the Columbia Journalism Review on the ethics of the Guardian's Whisper scoop: "What The Guardian did was entirely ethical. Whisper told its reporters highly newsworthy facts about its own service. The information was all on the record. The Guardian reported it. It would have been a journalistic lapse for the paper not to have told readers what it had learned."


Bob Geldof in the Guardian: "You know, the children were never, ever, ever given a break, particularly by the Daily Mail, who engaged in a lifelong exercise in bullying. These tiny little girls – never once did they write anything about their courage, their strength, their beauty, their abilities. If they went to a teenage party, then they were out of control, they were exactly following in their mother’s footsteps – and look at her, guess what she was – and this would be posted on the school noticeboards… When I tried to occasionally stop it, inevitably it would be a freedom of the press issue."

Matthew Parris in The Times [£]: "Down below this column — if you read me online — there’s a dark and rather scary world we call Readers’ Posts. I go there often to do battle with the Ukip and ConHome astroturfers — the rabble who migrate between the online comment sections of papers like ours, the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian (places you often sense are not their natural pastures) giving the impression of a huge, angry, grassroots surge of support for Ukip."

Tim Walker @ThatTimWalker on Twitter: "I can't think of any newspaper that would dream of running the blandly obvious pieces written for #thoughtfortheday. Why does @BBCRadio4?"


Early Day Motion 352 : "That this House is gravely concerned about recent reports that police forces have used powers contained in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to access journalists' sources and materials; notes that unlike requests made under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 there is no public record of these requests or their frequency, extent or even the existence of these applications, and there is no judicial oversight or independent process to grant permission to use these powers; further notes and welcomes the Interception of Communications Commissioner's new inquiry that will be asking all chief constables how many applications under RIPA have been granted since 2000 to access journalists' communications, and calls on these findings to be made public."

Met Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme and reported by the Telegraph: "I think Ripa has been sometimes poorly presented in the media .. I think everyone would accept nobody should be above the law. Whether it's any member of the public, whether it's a police officer, whether it's a journalist, we should be able to investigate and pursue any one of those... Now, if Parliament wants to decide that there are special issues around journalistic privilege which means there needs to be more safeguards around that - well, that's something for Parliament to debate."


Mark Pritchard @MPritchardMP on Twitter: "Glad to have reached 'amicable settlement' with Sunday Mirror and have now withdrawn my complaint from IPSO. The settlement is confidential."


Charlie Brooks in his Telegraph column about being found not guilty in his Old Bailey trial:  "After the winning distance was announced, you have never heard wingeing like it. The prosecutor shook like a tramp on a park bench and wailed to The Guardian that they’d been under resourced.  'Only 180 coppers to help us,’ he bleated. It would be akin to Sheikh Mohammed weeping in the paddock at Ascot if Rod Millman had put one over on Godolphin."

[£]=paywall