Hello and welcome to our weekly travel media and technology bulletin featuring the latest developments on media and technology around the world, published every Tuesday at 06:00 BST.
In 2011, the then Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt had an idea.
If Birmingham, Alabama could have a string of local TV stations, then why couldn’t Birmingham, England?
Even though local media in Britain was already under pressure with ITV cutting back on regional news bases and local & regional newspapers closing, Jeremy Hunt was convinced it would be a success.
As anyone who has ever visited the US and taken one step out of the East and West Coast states would know, a combination of culture, geography and politics means that individual US cities and states are radically different from each other. This is much more so than the nations and regions of the UK with power still relatively concentrated in Westminster.
The UK communications regulator OFCOM advertised licences for more than 30 local TV stations in the UK. The BBC, in the face of a hostile Government, was forced to pay tens of millions to fund its infrastructure. Not only that the BBC is required to buy content from local TV stations, regardless of whether it is fit for broadcast.
Most local TV stations have not delivered on their initial promises and have substantially reduced their hours of original programming. Many TV stations have fallen into the hands of one group, That’s TV. BuzzFeed has an extraordinary account of its working conditions at That’s TV and how it is gaming the system to secure funds from the BBC.
One station not mentioned is London Live. Owned by the proprietor of The Evening Standard, this channel launched in 2014 with grand promises of dedicated IPTV streams for London boroughs. Despite extensive cross promotion in The Evening Standard, it has had remarkably little impact. According to CityAM the channel is up for sale. Arguably, there is a place for a dedicated TV channel for London with someone with both the ideas and the resources to support it.
“Print! Tearing It Up” at Somerset House
The world of print media has also had a very tough time of late.
Whilst there have been some pockets of success such as Monocle and Private Eye many titles such as Interview and the NME have either suspended print operations all together or been forced to become freesheets.
Even large groups like Conde Nast, publisher of Vanity Fair and Vogue are not immune to tough market conditions with some titles suspended and cost cutting measures implemented.
However, print is proving resilient in some respects. Many niche and lower frequency titles are thriving, particularly in the travel sector. Somerset House, one of the best cultural venues in London, takes a look at the history of the independent British magazine sector in “Print! Tearing It Up”
The exhibition is supported by a series of podcasts and talks. The exhibition is free and runs until 22 August 2018.
Also of note this week:
Guardian columnist Roy Greenslade takes a look at the legacy of the soon to depart Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre. (The Guardian)
An extraordinary piece of investigative journalism by the Financial Times on the circumstances behind the departure of WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell. (Financial Times)
BBC Monitoring, a unit formerly funded by The Government to monitor worldwide media on its role in spotting fake news. (BBC)
VICE Media A company built on a bluff. (New York Magazine)
Inside The Binge Factory Vulture on Netflix’s exponential spending and growth (Vulture)
Previous editions of the Travel Media & Technology Bulletin
Here are the latest editions of the Travel Media & Technology Bulletin:
- Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 12 February 2019
- Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 5 February 2019
- Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 29 January 2019
- Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 22 January 2019
- Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 15 January 2019
- Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 11 December 2018
- Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 4 December 2018
- Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 27 November 2018
- Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 20 November 2018
- Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 13 November 2018
Our weekly Travel Media & Technology Bulletin is published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST. If you have any comments or suggestions, please e-mail us at mail [at] londonairtravel.com