Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 14 August 2018

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST.

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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.

The Fox News Presidency

The symbiotic relationship between President Trump and Fox News has long been established.

The President is known to be an avid viewer of its morning show “Fox & Friends”. Many of his tweets can be traced back to Fox News “talking points”. Trump is also known to speak regularly to Fox host Sean Hannity who, every weekday evening, begins his show with an exhausting display of mental gymnastics in a monologue of some grand conspiracy involving Hillary Clinton.

The relationship between Fox News and the Presidency traces its origins even further. The founding CEO of Fox News, the late Roger Ailes, was an advisor to President Nixon and knew how to harness the power of television.

Now a former Fox News executive, Bill Shine, as Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications is producing Trump’s image as how Trump sees the Presidency: a TV show where its all about image, ratings and a simple narrative of winners and losers. (Seattle Times) (The Washington Post)

On a related note, on Thursday 16 August 2018, more than 100 US newspapers will publish an editorial criticising Trump’s anti-press rhetoric. (CNN Money)

The Tyranny Of Clickbait

We’re sure anyone reading this is familiar with the concept of “clickbait”.

Websites are heavily dependent on click-throughs from Google searches and social media, and many digital journalists paid according to clicks. This means there is no press release so ordinary that cannot be given the appearance of a major revelation with a clickbait headline: “This will surprise you/melt your heart”. “This is what happened…” “Here’s why…” The irony of course is when a website has a major exclusive, it simply shouts it.

Not only is it patronising to readers and disrespectful of their time, it is tiresomely predictable. Everybody is doing it. As The Drum notes everybody following the same rules is stifling creativity.

In the words of ad agency BBH, when the world zigs, zag.
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Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 7 August 2018

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST.

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BA First WiFi
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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.

Sky Wars

The long-running battle for ownership of Sky in Europe should reach a head this week.

Fox and Comcast have been locked in a bidding war for Sky after Disney launched a now successful bid for the entertainment assets of Fox. The deadline for Fox to launch a counter bid to Comcast expires this Thursday.

The New York Times reports on Disney’s advanced plans to launch its own streaming service dubbed “Disneyflix”. It is expected that as part of this Disney will remove much of its own content from Netflix.

Comcast it has to be said does not have the best of reputations in the US. We’ve experienced at first hand its broadband network outages. It also owns NBC which let go of journalist Ronan Farrow who had been working on one of the biggest stories to break in Hollywood – the expose of Harvey Weinstein. NBC News has also faced questions over its own workplace culture which led to the firing of Today Show presenter Matt Later last year.

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Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 31 July 2018

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST.

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Lee Lin Chin - SBS Australia
Lee Lin Chin – SBS Australia (Image Credit: SBS Australia)

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.

Lee Lin Chin Departs SBS Australia

Readers who have spent any time in Australia will be aware of its multilingual and multicultural Special Broadcasting Service channel.

The channel shows a mix of news bulletins from around the world and factual and cultural programming, including the Eurovision final. One of its most famous faces newscaster Lee Lin Chin, also famous for announcing Australia’s Eurovision results to the world, departed the broadcaster last week.

Lee Lin Chin, which doesn’t in any way detract from her journalistic credentials, also attracted a cult following for her sartorial choices. (SBS)

Facebook in the dock again

Facebook continues to battle the response by Governments around the world to abuse of the platform and its use in promoting fake news.

Under German domestic law against hate speech, it has been forced to delete thousands of offensive posts. In the UK, the Department for Culture Media and Sport House Of Commons Select Committee has published its interim report on fake news. This is particularly pertinent as the Government and Parliament struggle to translate the narrow 2016 EU Referendum result into a workable solution for the UK’s future relationship with Europe. Here are the ads posted on Facebook by organisations campaigning in favour of the UK leaving the European Union in 2016.
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Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 24 July 2018

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST.

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New York Daily News Front Pages Saturday 14 July & Tuesday 17 July 2018
New York Daily News Front Pages Saturday 14 July & Tuesday 17 July 2018 (Image Credit: New York Daily News)

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.

New York Daily News Editorial Staff Slashed

The American newspaper market is a different world to the ferociously competitive daily tabloid market of the UK. Whilst most American newspapers have a closer relationship to the truth, many are local monopolies and can be just a little too earnest.

The one exception is New York which has two tabloids, The New York Daily News and the New York Post. The former is owned by Tronc which also owns the Chicago Herald Tribune and, until recently, The Los Angeles Times. The latter is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

The New York Daily News is known for its uncompromising front pages and campaigning local journalism. Tronc has announced that it is to slash its editorial staff by 50%. Many staff have already announced their departures.

There is little better news for the daily newspaper market in the UK. Most are reporting double digit circulation declines with The Daily Boris Johnson Telegraph reporting a 23% year on year fall to 370,613 copies a day and there is little sign of this abating.

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Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 17 July 2018

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST.

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BA First WiFi
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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.

Twitter Cleans Up

If you’ve logged on to Twitter recently you may have noticed that some accounts you follow have experienced large drops in follower numbers.

There has long been a common practice of “buying” followers on Twitter, and other platforms such as Instagram, from bot accounts. The biggest clues are sharp rises in follower counts and relatively low levels of responses to tweets. A Twitter user with followers in the tens of thousands should have a signifiant response to every tweet. It’s a very short term and self-destructive move as it destroys a user’s credibility.

Twitter has previously responded to this by locking accounts that exhibit the behaviour of bots. Twitter is now in the process of removing locked accounts from follower counts. As a consequence some users, including some aviation commentators it has to be said, have experienced sharp falls in their followers.

On a related note, given events in Helsinki this week, NPR reports on how the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg set up “sleeper” accounts to build trust in users ahead of its influence campaign during the 2016 US Presidential Election.

BBC Under Fire

Brexit continues to dominate the political climate in the UK and, barring some shock event, will continue to do for at least the next 9 months.

Despite two years having passed since the referendum result, attitudes towards the UK’s departure from the European Union have barely shifted.

There has been very deep frustration, particularly those who supported Remain, at the BBC’s coverage. Notably its failure to carry out original investigative journalism which other outlets such as Channel 4 and The Observer have done. Also, under fire is its painstaking pursuit of “balance” giving all sides of every argument equal weight which has arguably given the likes of Tim Martin of Wetherspoon and hardcore Conservative Eurosceptics more air time than they merit.

Traditionally supportive voices such as former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger are raising the alarm. The Observer columnist Nick Cohen has also penned a polemic for The New York Review of Books “How The BBC Lost The Plot On Brexit” to which the BBC has issued a rebuttal.
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Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 10 July 2018

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST.

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BA First WiFi
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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.

HBO And Chill

The American cable network HBO has long been world renowned for high quality TV series such as “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos”.

Something that it is not widely know to those who don’t have access to the channel itself is that these shows make up only a very small amount of HBO’s scheduled programming.

HBO has long favoured quality over quantity. It may not produce many shows a year, but when it does, they are critically acclaimed hits. This is in contrast to Netflix which throws of billions of dollars at new shows, far beyond what most can keep up with, and with varying degrees of success.

HBO’s parent company Time Warner has recently been acquired by AT&T. Based on account of internal meeting reported by The New York Times, HBO is to be tasked with increasing both the quantity of programmes it produces and subscriber numbers, with unease over the impact on quality. (New York Times)

A Tribute to The Guardian from an unlikely corner

A memorial service was held last week for the late former editor of The Guardian, Peter Preston.

Although The Daily Mail and The Guardian share little in common in terms of political views, its respective journalists still have a grudging admiration for the technical quality of each other’s publications.

Paul Dacre, the much revered and feared editor of the Daily Mail, delivered a tribute to Peter Preston, that is as much a tribute to the end of the printed newspaper.

“The reason, of course, was that he was quite simply, a print man. He loved that magical symbiosis of newsprint, pictures, headlines, fonts and beautiful words that at their best can make a paper a functioning part of society rather than a commentary at its edges.

“Inevitably, sadly, those Fleet Street skills needed for that magic symbiosis are dying in an internet age which seems to have a voracious need for free, somewhat crudely expressed, round-the-clock information and gratification.

“Yes, of course, journalism will survive and may, one day, flourish again. But it will be different. Whether it will, in future, have the creative beauty and sheer power of Peter’s Guardian, I don’t know.

Dacre who in the 1999 remarked “A lot of people say that the internet is the future for newspapers. Well, I say to that: bullshit.com” has always had a very difficult relationship with technology. He effectively disowns the Daily Mail’s online presence. Dacre is due to retire as editor of the Daily Mail in November which is likely to presage a decline in the Daily Mail’s political influence as a print product.

Also of note this week:

A great scoop by BuzzFeed: How The Times sacked a reporter for posting fake reviews on its website to secure free tickets. (BuzzFeed)

Sacha Baron Cohen returns to television with a 7 part series “Who Is America?”. Produced by the American network Showtime it will premier in the UK on Channel 4 on Monday 16 July. (Channel 4)

Previous editions of the Travel Media & Technology Bulletin

Here are the latest editions of the Travel Media & Technology Bulletin:

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

Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 3 July 2018

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST.

London Air Travel » Travel Media & Technology Bulletin

The BBC Micro B Computer (Image Credit: London Air Travel)
The BBC Micro B Computer (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

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.

BBC Computer Literacy Project Archive

If you were a child of the 1980s in the UK, you were no doubt familiar with the BBC Micro B computer.

The computer was built for the BBC’s Computer Literacy Project. This was a Government supported initiative which ran from 1980-1989. The computer was a fixture in schools all over the UK, whether to write programmes in BASIC or play games like “Grannie’s Garden” or “Chuckie Egg”. The project was supported a by a large number of TV programmes including “Making The Most Of The Micro”.

An extensive archive of TV programmes and BBC Micro computer software has been curated and is hosted by the BBC.

It goes without saying that by any measure the hardware and TV programmes look very dated, but at the time this was a groundbreaking project. It was also an era of co-operation between the Government and the BBC for the public good you don’t see much evidence of today.

Trouble at The Today Programme

The most popular breakfast radio programme in London cannot found on Capital FM or LBC. It is on BBC Radio 4. By some considerable distance, The Today Programme is by far the most popular, and influential, morning radio programme in London.

However, it has had mixed fortunes over the past couple of years, particularly since the 2016 EU Referendum result. Its listeners have fallen. Some of its presenters, notably John Humphrys, have been charged with bias. Its painstaking attempts to be balanced by treating two sides of a debate as equals, regardless of the weight of supporting evidence, has also been criticised. As has the limited size of its contacts book for contributors.

In a fair and balanced article, The Observer’s Miranda Sawyer takes the temperature of Today.

On a related note, Eddie Mair, presenter of Radio 4’s PM, who once said to Boris Johnson on a BBC TV interview “You’re a nasty piece of work, aren’t you?”, is to leave the BBC and join LBC from September in an as yet unspecific slot.

Russian Interference in 2016 EU Referendum

On the subject of the 2016 EU Referendum, the story of Russian interference is slowly gaining traction.

However, like the issue of phone hacking at the News Of The World, there is a degree of wilful blindness on the part of much of the UK press. Indeed, the US press, which is looking at Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential Election, is paying more attention. (New York Magazine)

The Sun Sets On The Sun King

As Rupert Murdoch prepares to sell the bulk of his media empire to Disney, leaving behind Fox News and many local US TV stations and what were thought to be carefully honed plans to pass on his legacy to his children, The Washington Post looks at the background to the deal. The The New York Times looks at the symbiotic relationship between President Trump and one of the most divisive Murdoch properties, Fox News.

Also of note this week:

Apple is to rebuild its Apple Maps app entirely from scratch. (TechCrunch)

The Economist on Netflix. (The Economist)

Previous editions of the Travel Media & Technology Bulletin

Here are the latest editions of the Travel Media & Technology Bulletin:

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

Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 26 June 2018

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST.

London Air Travel » Travel Media & Technology Bulletin

BA First WiFi
(Image Credit: British Airways)

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.

Instagram launches IGTV

If you’ve logged into Instagram lately, you may have noticed a new icon at the top of your screen for IGTV.

Instagram is now allowing “creators” to post long form videos up to 10 minutes long (or one hour for larger accounts). Ordinarily, videos posted to your Instagram feed are limited to 1 minute. Irritatingly, IGTV videos must be in portrait format. Videos are infinitely better on the eye in horizontal widescreen format as it fits your natural frame of view. IGTV is also available as a separate app. (Instagram)

MTV launches MTV Studios

Back in 1992, when MTV had not long celebrated its 10th birthday, it launched a show called “The Real World”.

Featuring seven strangers sharing an apartment in Manhattan, the “fly on the wall” cameras documented their lives as they tried to make it in New York. Whilst The Real World certainly wasn’t the first ever reality TV programme, it did create a template that many followed, notably “Big Brother”. This also marked a move by a channel which had its origins in music videos into non-music programming. Many others followed such as “Beavis and Butthead” and “Jackass”.

MTV has launched a new division called “MTV Studios” which is to bring back a number of these previous formats for platforms outside of MTV itself, such as Netflix and Amazon. (Viacom)

BBC to show Wimbledon in Ultra HD

The BBC continues to trial Ultra HD live streaming on the BBC iPlayer.

The BBC will show every match from Centre Court at Wimbledon in Ultra HD. Like its World Cup coverage, Ultra HD streaming will only be available to a limited number of users with compatible smart TVs. Wimbledon returns on Monday 2 July 2018. (BBC Media Centre)

Also of note this week:

Amazon launches “Alexa For Hospitality”. This is a special version of its voice-recognition software for the hotel industry to install in hotel rooms. A lot of corporate and public organisations may be naturally suspicious about listening devices being installed in hotel rooms. (Amazon)

Apple is reported to be working new AirPods which are noise-cancelling and water resistant, as well as a new HomePod device and what are claimed to be studio quality over ear headphones. (Bloomberg)

BBC2 begins showing “The New York Times: The Fourth Estate”, a four part fly-on-the-wall series covering its reporting of the Trump presidency over a period of 16 months. (BBC iPlayer)

The BBC has a global audience of 376m. (BBC Media Centre)

Facebook has hired an investigative team to try and anticipate potential means by which the platform can be used. The only surprising thing is that it didn’t do this sooner. (Buzzfeed)

The scourge of “influencer” marketing fraud. (The Drum)

Previous editions of the Travel Media & Technology Bulletin

Here are the latest editions of the Travel Media & Technology Bulletin:

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

Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 19 June 2018

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST.

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Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross
Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross (Image Credit: Kings Cross)

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.

Samsung at Coal Drops Yard Kings Cross

Samsung has confirmed it is opening a “showcase store and digital playground” at Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross.

Designed by Heatherwick Studio, Coal Drops Yard is a reinvented coal store which opens to the public in autumn of this year. Samsung will occupy 20,000 sq ft on the upper level of the development. If Samsung’s store in The Meatpacking District New York is anything to go by, this should be very impressive and will certainly give the Apple store on Regent Street a run for its money.

AT&T & Time Warner become Warner Media

AT&T, following a successful win in a court case brought by the Department of Justice, has now acquired Time Warner and has become WarnerMedia.

The telecommunications group now owns a larger number of media properties such as Warner Bros and CNN. This is likely to trigger greater consolidation in the US media market. Comcast (owner of NBC) is currently engaged in a bidding war with Disney to acquire most of the assets of Fox including its film and TV studios and its stake in Sky in Europe.
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Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 12 June 2018

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST.

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"Print Tearing It Up" Somerset House, London
“Print Tearing It Up” Somerset House, London (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

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.

Local TV

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.

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