Thursday, 15 February 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From this is the most thrilling and frightening time to be a journalist to staff photographers are an endangered species

Columbia Journalism Review editor-in-chief Kyle Pope on a special issue of the CJR on the threats facing journalism: "What this issue makes clear is that journalists around the world are doing astonishing work in a climate that is perhaps tougher than ever. We are working under a leader of the free world who calls us liars, as our ad revenue continues to leach away to Facebook and others, in office environments that can be hostile to our own coworkers. I’ve said before that we are living through one of the most thrilling—and frightening—moments to be a journalist in our lifetimes. The story is enormous. Our readers care deeply what we have to say. The stakes couldn’t be higher."

Matthew Moore in The Times [£]: "The former head of Formula One is seeking to gag the media using a law never intended to limit press freedom. Max Mosley, 77, is attempting to use data protection law to force newspapers including The Times to stop publishing widely reported details about his sexual life. The privacy campaigner is also trying to ban newspapers from asserting that he personally funds or bankrolls Impress, the state-recognised press regulator, or can exert control or influence over it...Mr Mosley’s attempts to use the Data Protection Act 1998 to restrict press freedom in this way are legally unprecedented. The act governs how companies and organisations can handle individuals’ private data but includes a broad exemption for journalism."
  • The Times in a leader: "The Data Protection Act 1998 was passed by parliament to protect personal data from misuse in an age when more and more of it is accessible online to any company, government or hacker who knows how and where to look. It was not passed to muzzle the press."

Hugh Muir in the Guardian on Trinity Mirror buying the Express titles from Richard Desmond: "These days good cheer for the print sector is rare but it must ultimately be good news that Richard Desmond has decided there are better things to do than be a press baron. Press barons aren’t a much admired breed but Desmond over his 17 years found ways to lower even a denuded brand. He took a newspaper with a long history – once the biggest selling daily paper in the world – and turned it into an object of ridicule and pity."

Guido Fawkes on this blog: "The usual suspects who raise a hue and cry about media plurality seem strangely silent about the MirrorExpress merger. Print sector media plurality is being dramatically reduced from four major media groups to 3 plus the also rans. The new group will have about a quarter market share of the UK dead tree press. As the print market withers it is turning oligopolistic…Tom Watson is silent, the usual gobby ‘media plurality’ campaigners are also mute. The Guardian isn’t going on about the hackers at the Mirror not being fit and proper to take over the Express. There are genuine public interest concerns; plurality is being reduced and the distinctive political voice of the Express is being put at risk. Are plurality concerns only applicable to Rupert Murdoch?"

Rob Irvine, who is stepping down as editor of the Manchester Evening News: "It has been a privilege to be editor of the Manchester Evening News and to have led such a talented team of journalists. We have tackled the ever-changing landscape of multi-media journalism to build a local, national and global audience. What matters to our readers matters to us. We offered a place for the people of Greater Manchester to come together when our city suffered a murderous act of terror which claimed 22 innocent lives in May last year. We raised millions of pounds for the bereaved and those most affected, and through our We Stand Together campaign we are helping to heal our city's wounds. Now it's time for me to hand over the reins."

The Times [£] in a leader: "Without a reporter in the room at a magistrates’ court, patterns in crime go unnoticed, police prejudices unprobed, communities unprotected by knowledge of what is happening around them. Without reporters on the streets, abuses of children or of old people in care homes go unrecorded. Public life does not hold itself to account. That is why the future of the press matters, even if newspapers may seem self-serving in writing about it. That is why the government should be congratulated for announcing a review into the sustainability of newspapers."

Fiona Swarbrick, NUJ national organiser, on unpaid internships in journalism  "Employers often talk the talk when it comes to increasing diversity, but they are reluctant to deal with the practicalities of the problem. The reality is that unpaid internships (as well as poorly paid entry level jobs) can make it impossible to get your foot on the ladder if you don’t have access to financial support from elsewhere."

Matthew Parris in The Times on "Nick" [£]:  "Were the British — were ordinary men and women — really gripped by a wave of madness in which it became possible to believe the rantings of a self-serving fantasist? Maybe they were; maybe millions do think Westminster and Whitehall really are like this; but the media? The reply “we must report what we hear” won’t do. Palpable or likely hogwash should be reported in sceptical voice. Too often, Nick’s exotic fantasies were reported wide-eyed."

Committee to Protect Journalists: "Myanmar's media, both local and foreign, are under heavy assault as security measures used to suppress the press under military rule are reactivated under Suu Kyi's quasi-democratic regime, several journalists who cover the country told CPJ. It marks a dramatic reversal in recent press freedom gains and augurs ill for the country's delicate transition from military to elected rule...Nowhere is that backsliding more apparent than in the continued pretrial detention of local Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo."

Matthew Moore in The Times [£]:  "A YouTube documentary that blamed government failings for the Grenfell Tower fire was produced by a media organisation owned by the Russian state, it can be revealed. The three-part series, presented by a former resident of the block, was described as a “grassroots report” into how austerity and gentrification caused the tragedy. In fact the film was made by a subsidiary of the Kremlin-controlled television network RT."

The NUJ reports: "£15 a week. That is the budget available to spend on photography at local Johnston Press newspapers in Scotland. This sum amounts to less than a daily cup of coffee from your local takeaway. Johnston Press, publishers of local newspapers such as Deeside Piper, Fife Herald, and Montrose Review, has cut away at the amount its spends on professional photographers. It is a similar situation at its titles across the UK, where staff photographers have become an endangered species."


Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From PM announces review into the future of newspapers to how many journalists does it take to down a 13 bottle lunch?

Theresa May, announcing a review of the future sustainability of newspapers in the UK and whether creators are appropriately rewarded for their online content, as reported by BBC News: "Good quality journalism provides us with the information and analysis we need to inform our viewpoints and conduct a genuine discussion. It is a huge force for good. But in recent years - especially in local journalism - we've seen falling circulations, a hollowing-out of local newsrooms, and fears for the future sustainability of high quality journalism...This is dangerous for our democracy. When trusted and credible news sources decline, we can become vulnerable to news which is untrustworthy."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet, welcoming the review: "The media industry is in crisis today, more than 300 local newspapers have been closed in the past decade and more than half of all parliamentary constituencies do not have a dedicated daily local newspaper. We have consistently highlighted the severity of this situation – our local communities deserve better. Hollowed-out shells of titles are no substitute for properly-resourced titles, with real investment in the provision of news and information that communities are crying out for."

Sun chief reporter@ByTomWells on Twitter:"Worth noting this morning that that the quite extraordinary development in the ‘Nick’ saga can only be revealed today because of a legal battle launched - and won - by @TheSun."

Caitlin Moran in The Times [£] on the Piers Morgan interview with Donald Trump:"He didn’t mention the investigation into Russian collusion, or his repeated threats of nuclear attacks on North Korea, or ask how a man with the hugest information resources on Earth could have the brass balls to claim that it was OK to retweet the racist organisation Britain First because he “didn’t know who they were”. It really wasn’t journalism. The next day the ratings came in — only three million. The afternoon quiz Eggheads gets 2.4 million, so it wasn’t really showbusiness in the end — it was no business. Celebrity-wise, Trump and Morgan are a failed double act."

Piers Morgan‏ on Twitter: "BREAKING NEWS:I think we have a late winner of my £1000 prize for the nastiest, bitchiest review of #TrumpMorgan by a jealous media rival - congrats @caitlinmoran! I’ll send the money to SAS hero Bob Curry to help him kit out his new home."

David Hepworth in Inside Publishing on Fire and Fury: "Michael Wolff is a magazine journalist by trade. After this book, it’s reasonable to assume that he’s one of the wealthier magazine journalists in the world. Most of his career has been spent writing for people like Vanity Fair and the Hollywood Reporter. He likes being near fame and power as much as his readers like reading about fame and power. His speciality is being able to explain power to media and media to power. Here is where he has an advantage over the standard hard news guys who have been trying to fit Trump into their idea of a politician. If ever you needed proof that the pen is mightier than the You Tube clip, then the bombshell success of Wolff’s book is it. Hard news men might have thought they didn’t have enough to go on. A magazine man like Wolff knew that he had more than enough."

The Sunday Times [£] in a leader on  the decision by the Independent Press Standards Organisation to uphold a complaint against an article by Lynn Barber on a Syrian asylum seeker she took into her home: "In effect, its ruling forbids writers from telling a story without the approval of their subjects. If this stance were to be repeated, there would be no memoirs or eyewitness accounts in the press. Attempts to silence people’s first-hand experience will only drive controversial narratives to the unregulated internet...Ipso’s condemnation after Mr [Mohammed]
Ahmed complained he was discriminated against is a cruel blow to Ms Barber’s freedom of expression and the press freedom that sustains the quality of The Sunday Times’s journalism. We are submitting to its ruling because we believe in self-regulation of the press and will not bow to a state-approved regulator. But Ipso should ask itself whether its purpose is to prevent a journalist of Ms Barber’s stature from keeping faith with her readers."

IPSO in its ruling against The Sunday Times: "The article included extensive information about the complainant, relating to: his family and personal relationships; his domestic arrangements; his financial circumstances; his journey to the UK; his asylum application; his relationships and interactions with the journalist, including an argument they had had, and a letter he had written to her, expressing his feelings about the disagreement; his psychological and physical health; his drug use; and allegations about the possession of private, sexual material. These details were used to create a detailed and intimate portrait of the complainant, and his life. The complainant was not a public figure, and had not publicly disclosed the information about his experiences contained in the article, or consented to the article’s publication. The extent of this detail, published without his consent, and where no steps were taken to obscure his identity, represented an intrusion into his private life."

Trinity Mirror in a statement in open court as part of settling a phone hacking case with actor Hugh Grant, as reported by Hacked Off“A number of its senior employees, including executives, editors and journalists, condoned, encouraged or actively turned a blind eye to the widespread culture of unlawful information-gathering activities at all three of its newspapers for many years and actively sought to conceal its wrongdoing from its many victims of intrusion. its repeated and prolonged intrusions into innocent people’s lives over, in some instances, a decade, could have been prevented or interrupted. Instead, Trinity Mirror failed to properly investigate these disgraceful actions and/or to act sufficiently when the allegations of MGN’s journalists’ unlawful activities were first alleged and publicly emerged in 2006 and when the first inquiries into these wrongdoings were made.”

Dickon Ross in InPublishing on how InsideHousing magazine highlighted the dangers of cladding on tower blocks before the Grenfell Fire: "So, next time you hear someone remarking that no one, least of all the media, ever called out the conditions and the failings that led to the tragedy that was the Grenfell fire, you can correct them. They were just looking at the wrong media. At least one magazine was on the case and it was speaking truth unto power. The terrible shame is that those in power were not listening as they should."

Peter Pringle in The Times [£]: "In your otherwise excellent obituary of Philip Jacobson (January 16, 2018) [pictured] you state that the record-breaking eight-hour lunch he enjoyed in Bogotá was shared with “colleagues”. On the contrary, it was attended by just two people — myself and Philip. We were, between us, solely responsible for the 13 bottles of wine consumed that day. I believe it is only fair to the great tradition of Fleet Street lunches that the record on this matter should be set straight."


Thursday, 1 February 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From insults fly over the Trump, Morgan interview to NUJ accuses BBC managers of lying to women journalists over pay

Piers Morgan‏ on Twitter: "I’m going to donate £1000 to charity for the nastiest, bitchiest review of #TrumpMorgan - from all the media outlets who failed to get an interview with President Trump."

John Crace in the Guardian on the Morgan Trump interview: "Piers would have got more sensible answers from most 10-year- olds. And Graham Norton would have asked more probing questions. As a serious interview, the whole thing was pretty much a non-starter. But it had never been about that. It had been about entertainment. The Piers and Donald show, and it wouldn’t have mattered if they had spent the whole time talking rubbish. So that was precisely what they had done."

John Simpson‏ on Twitter: "The art of the political interview, Piers, is to push your interviewee hard - not let them spout self-evident tosh. That's just showbiz."

Piers Morgan‏ on Twitter responding to Simpson: "The BBC led on revelations from my interview all Friday morning, and Andrew Marr said it had made real news. So it would appear you’re the one spouting tosh, you pompous old prune."

Suzanne Moore in the Guardian: "Asking if Donald Trump is a feminist is like asking if Piers Morgan is a journalist: unnecessary and embarrassing, given the evidence before us."

James Delingpole in The Spectator: "Here’s the biggest problem of all with Piers Morgan, though. Yes, he’s the annoying little tosser you absolute loathed at school because he was so bumptious and full of himself and perpetually on the make, not nearly as clever as you and with no obvious talents save outrageous chutzpah and zero self-doubt. And now, there he is, a gazillion times more successful than you. But what’s worse, far worse, is that you have to concede that he probably deserves it....Morgan has bagged his career-defining love-in with Trump and, for all his irritating braggadocio, I can’t think of a person on earth who could have done a better job."

Donald Trump at Davos, as reported by CNN: "As a businessman I was always treated really well by the press... and it wasn't until I became a politician that I realised how nasty, how mean, how vicious, and how fake the press can be."

Bill Browder‏ on Twitter: "Message to Western journalists writing about Putin’s fake elections on March 18. He’s killed, imprisoned and exiled all real opponents. He stuffs the ballot box. Anytime you use the word “election” please use quotation marks around the word not to legitimize Putin’s farce."

The Sunday Times [£] in a leader on why the paper held back its Insight investigation into senior politicians exploiting their connections for lobbyists post-Brexit: "The simple fact, which the public has a right to know, is that we withheld publication of our investigation on compassionate grounds as we were preparing to go to press. At the disruptive time of 4.30pm last Saturday a public relations spokesman for Lord Lansley delivered a “confidential” letter from his cancer specialist about his medical treatment. It included details of his condition that we will not be revealing here. The Sunday Times felt it would be improper to rush ahead with publication in the circumstances. We concluded that the humane decision was to pause and consider the implications of the letter from Lord Lansley’s doctor, in consultation with Channel 4. Our reporting was exclusive and on this occasion, as we have demonstrated today, it could wait."

Lionel Barber‏ on Twitter:"Our original story exposing The Presidents Club has just gone over 2m page views - that’s a tribute to technology but also shows it touched a nerve."

David Yelland on Twitter: "Could the @FT’s undercover tabloid tactics erode the wider business world’s trust in its journalists? Reality is the FT can’t know. It will win awards and the current private anger about this may pass. But trust has been damaged, for good or ill."

Guardian Media Group CEO David Pemsel, quoted by DIGIDAY UK: “We’re making great progress with our three-year strategy and on track to break even by 2019. The media sector remains challenging. However, our reader revenues are growing well, our advertising proposition remains strong, and more people are reading us than ever before. We now reach over 150 million unique browsers each month and we have over 800,000 supporters.”

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson in the Express & Star, Wolverhampton: "All Section 40 is going to do is destroy the local press and take away a local voice for so many people around the country. That is why it is vital we get rid of Section 40 and ensure we give local newspapers the opportunity to dig out the facts that need to be revealed. Anyone who voted for Section 40 is voting to get rid of their local newspaper."

BBC News reports: "There is 'no gender bias' regarding pay decisions at the BBC, according to a new report into the corporation. But the BBC's approach to setting pay in general 'has been far from perfect', auditors PwC found."

Carrie Gracie speaking to the Commons Digital, Culture and Sport Committee, as reported by BBC News"The thing that's very unacceptable to me… it [the BBC] basically said in those three previous years - 2014, 2015 and 2016 - I was 'in development'."

The NUJ in evidence on BBC pay to the DCMS Select Committee: "Worse than the routine secrecy over pay, is the fact that many NUJ members were deliberately misled by BBC management over their salary levels, in some cases despite explicitly querying whether they were being paid equally to male comparators. In numerous cases, women were given assurances that their earnings were on a level pegging with men doing work of equal value, colleagues carrying out a commensurate role or even presenters they were sharing the same sofa with and quoted NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet saying'In the months since, I have lost count of the women journalists who say they have been lied to, misled and let down by the organisation they have committed their careers to'."


Thursday, 25 January 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From the Financial Times' charity dinner sexual harassment scoop to should Facebook pay publishers for 'trusted' news?

The Financial Times' Madison Marriage on going undercover to investigate the sexual harassment at the Presidents Club charity event: "There was no other way of going in as women aren't welcome as guests. The men were initially quite decorous, but things very quickly took a turn for the worse. Some of the behaviour was pretty shocking and depressing."

The Financial Times undercover investigation into the Presidents Club charity event which led to its closure: "The Financial Times sent two people undercover to work as hostesses on the night. Reporters also gained access to the dining hall and surrounding bars. Over the course of six hours, many of the hostesses were subjected to groping, lewd comments and repeated requests to join diners in bedrooms elsewhere in the Dorchester."
  • Mark Di Stefano @MarkDiStef on Twitter: "The Presidents Club investigation just passed 700k views making it the most read FT online story ever."

Press Gazette reports: "The Times has a larger daily print circulation than the Telegraph (when bulk sales are included) for the first time, new monthly figures show. The Times sold 446,204 copies in December last year, up on 393,310 at rival the Telegraph, according to ABC’s monthly newsbrands report."

The Competition & Markets Authority in a statement: "The CMA has provisionally found that Fox taking full control of Sky is not in the public interest due to media plurality concerns, but not because of a lack of a genuine commitment to meeting broadcasting standards in the UK. The media plurality concerns identified mean that, overall, the CMA provisionally concludes that the proposed transaction is not in the public interest."

Matthew Moore in The Times [£]: "Trust in social media has fallen to a record low as Britons lose faith in companies such as Facebook and Twitter, according to research. Fewer than a quarter of people trust the technology and publishing giants. Most Britons believe that such companies are doing too little to address extremism, tackle cyberbullying or prevent illegal use of their platforms, the world’s largest study of trust has found. Sixty-four per cent want social media companies to face tighter regulation. There are continuing calls for them to be accountable for inappropriate content. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer also found: Trust in traditional media such as newspapers and television has jumped 13 percentage points in a year to 61 per cent, a six-year high, as consumers look for reliable news coverage."

The Observer in a leader on its new tabloid format and values: "Today, we are proud and excited to launch our new design for the Observer. We think it’s vital for a newspaper to shed its skin from time to time, to reimagine itself for loyal readers and to welcome a new generation to our journalism...In this country, a polarised politics has led to unprecedented official attacks on expert opinion and established fact. In America, President Trump’s “Fake News Awards” may have been a laughable distraction from the Mueller investigation but they were, too, a further signal that repressive forces are ascendant. In such a climate – and with an internet growth industry in deliberate untruth and unsourced conspiracy – reliable voices can be hard to find. The Observer can point to a tradition of putting itself not only at the heart, but also on the liberal, human, side of the issues of the moment."

Channel 4 News editor: Ben de Pear @bendepear on Twitter: "@Channel4News onscreen journalists expect to be held to account for their journalism but the level of vicious misogynistic abuse, nastiness, and threat to @cathynewman is an unacceptable response to a robust and engaging debate with @jordanbpeterson. Such is the scale of threat we @Channel4News are having to get security specialists in to carry out an analysis. I will not hesitate to get the police involved if necessary. What a terrible indictment of the times we live in."

The Times [£] on an analysis of Donald Trump's tweets: "The insights gleaned from the analysis show that Mr Trump, 71, did not start using the phrase “fake news” until December 2016, after the presidential campaign was over. He went on to use it 179 times last year. By doing so, he turned, in less than a year, an expression coined by the mainstream media to criticise his outlandish statements into one that conveyed his disdain for those same critics."

Sue Harris, NUJ national broadcasting organiser in a statement, after the union claimed half of the experienced producers on Panorama are to be made redundant: "The BBC's reputation and its remit as a public service broadcaster depend on flagship current affairs programmes such as Panorama and it is deeply worrying that staff say the latest cuts will all but kill off the programme and put their health and safety at risk."

Patrick Smith @psmith on Twitter: "Briefing Media, the company that owned TheMediaBriefing, which I edited during 2010-2013 (!), has rebranded itself to AgriBriefing  - proving that the future of media is in fact tractors."

Press Gazette reports: "The Times has a larger daily print circulation than the Telegraph (when bulk sales are included) for the first time, new monthly figures show. The Times sold 446,204 copies in December last year, up on 393,310 at rival the Telegraph, according to ABC’s monthly newsbrands report."

Rupert Murdoch in a News Corp statement: "Facebook and Google have popularized scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently unreliable. Recognition of a problem is one step on the pathway to cure, but the remedial measures that both companies have so far proposed are inadequate, commercially, socially and journalistically... If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies. The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services. Carriage payments would have a minor impact on Facebook’s profits but a major impact on the prospects for publishers and journalists.”

[£] =paywall

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Media Quotes of the Week: From the Guardian's tabloid revamp to how Trump's 'fake news' jibe enables repressive regimes to silence journalists

Guardian editor Kath Viner on the paper's new tabloid revamp: "We have grounded our new editions in the qualities readers value most in Guardian journalism: clarity, in a world where facts should be sacred but are too often overlooked; imagination, in an age in which people yearn for new ideas and fresh alternatives to the way things are.  These hopeful themes of clarity and imagination have also been our guiding principles as the Guardian’s new design has taken shape."

The Sun in a leader: "THE Sun warmly welcomes the Guardian to the tabloid club. As of today, the cash-strapped newspaper has shrunk to save on costs after making a £38million loss in 2016/17. So, from one tabloid to another, here is our suggestion for them to turn around their failing fortunes: actually report some exclusive, rip-roaring stories...We know that is an alien concept to them but it might help them flog a copy, or two."

Roy Greenslade‏ @GreensladeR on Twitter: "Sure, I'm biased. But I was delighted to see - and read - today's new-look @guardian. It has pace, uses colour intelligently and the new typeface is elegant. Would have liked a separate sports section but that's just a niggle. All round, a great effort."

Amol Rajan on his BBC blog: "Curiously, given how much thought would have gone into it, I think the front page is the weakest aspect of this otherwise commendable switch. When you change from broadsheet - or indeed Berliner - to compact size, you obviously lose a lot of height. That means that the journalism gets squashed, or pushed downwards. There's a danger it can be cramped, and doesn't have room to breathe...Tabloid or compact size is simply more convenient to read, especially in transit, than broadsheet. When Simon Kelner, the former Editor of The Independent, made that argument in the early 2000s, he was initially met in some quarters with derision. Imitation is a high form of flattery; and on seeing The Guardian go compact fifteen years after he championed the idea, Kelner could be forgiven a wry smile this morning."

Matthew Moore in The Times [£]: "The head of a press regulation campaign group that helped to draw up the media restrictions approved by the House of Lords is representing the offshore law firm at the centre of the Paradise Papers. Hugh Tomlinson, QC, the chairman of Hacked Off, has been instructed by Appleby to block further publication of leaked documents detailing its clients’ tax avoidance schemes. Appleby is suing the BBC and The Guardian for breach of confidence, and has sought a permanent injunction stopping future use of information in the documents."

Richard Branson  on the decision to reverse the Virgin Trains decision to longer stock the Daily Mail, as quoted by Press Gazette:“Freedom of speech, freedom of choice and tolerance for differing views are the core principles of any free and open society. While Virgin Trains has always said that their passengers are free to read whatever newspaper they choose on board West Coast trains, it is clear that on this occasion the decision to no longer sell The Mail has not been seen to live up to these principles...we must not ever be seen to be censoring what our customers read and influencing their freedom of choice. Nor must we be seen to be moralising on behalf of others."

Nick Cohen in The Observer: "For all their bombast, censors give every appearance of being dictatorial neurotics, who are so frightened of their opponents that they cannot find the strength to take them on in the open. I can’t imagine many saying, 'I’ll side with the people who tell me what I can and can’t think.' I find it equally hard to picture readers turning away from the Mail because Sir Richard Branson and 'alternative'comedians who haven’t had an alternative thought since Blair’s second term tell them to."

Committee to Protect Journalists in a statement: "CPJ and IFEX [the global network defending free expression] will lead a delegation of global press freedom groups on an unprecedented mission to the United States, reflecting concerns about threats to journalists and heightened anti-press rhetoric. The mission will coincide with the one-year anniversary of President Trump's inauguration and will leverage the first year's findings of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which will be released at an event at the Newseum. CPJ, IFEX, Reporters Without Borders, Article 19, Index on Censorship, and International Press Institute--will conduct a fact-finding visit to Houston, Texas, and the Missouri cities of Columbia and St. Louis."

Michael J. Socolow in the Columbia Journalism Review on the backlash against Michael Wolff's book on Trump: "Wolff is going to make millions, if not tens of millions, on this book, at precisely the time when ethical, professional, nuts-and-bolts political journalism is collapsing. In other words: Part of what’s animating all the Wolff-hate is envy, and journalists should admit this. Some of this jealousy is rooted in the way journalists historically have prefered to see their work, as service to the public rather than as an opportunity for riches. The problem isn’t just Wolff. It’s that political journalism at every level is dying. Local newspapers are firing seasoned reporters, and the idea of dedicating a single, full-time employee to a city hall or a statehouse is now considered a luxury in many newsrooms."

Conrad Black in the National Review on Micheal Wolff: "I attest that he is an utterly odious man. He can’t write properly, has no professional integrity, and is a sociophobic mud-slinger and myth-maker. His entry into the continuing Trump controversy in its twilight proclaims that we have reached the era of the swiftly evaporating, nausea-inducing nothingburger. "

Senator John McCain in The Washington Post: "While administration officials often condemn violence against reporters abroad, Trump continues his unrelenting attacks on the integrity of American journalists and news outlets. This has provided cover for repressive regimes to follow suit. The phrase “fake news” — granted legitimacy by an American president — is being used by autocrats to silence reporters, undermine political opponents, stave off media scrutiny and mislead citizens."
  • Syrian President Bashar Assad, confronted with evidence in an Amnesty International report of torture and mass hangings of up to 13,000 prisoners in one of his military prisons,  told Yahoo News last February: “You can forge anything these days, we are living in a fake news era.”

  • Rob Crilly in the Telegraph: "Donald Trump’s fake news awards arrived with not so much a bang as the 2018 equivalent of a whimper. They arrived with an error message. When Mr Trump dropped the tweet announcing the "winners" it offered a link to the Republican National Committee webpage which promptly crashed, leaving viewers with the message: “The site is temporarily offline, we are working to bring it back up. Please try back later.” It is difficult to think of a more fitting metaphor for this administration."