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
(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.

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.

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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.

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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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Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 5 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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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.

Apple previews iOS12

Apple held its keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference yesterday, 4 June 2018.

There were no announcements regarding Apple hardware. The main announcement was a preview of Apple’s next mobile operating system iOS12.

It will include more features to manage time using mobile devices and minimise disturbances. Such features include an enhanced Do Not Disturb feature, new settings for notifications and a new “Screen Time” feature which measures time spent using specific apps.

Apple also promises much faster performance, new tools to manage photographs and Group FaceTime chat. (Apple Newsroom)

Apple also previewed new software for Apple Watch (Apple Newsroom) and Apple TV. (Apple Newsroom)

iOS12 will be available for download this autumn.
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Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 29 May 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.

“The Fourth Estate”

One of the illustrations of the difference between the UK and the US is the relative extremes in domestic media coverage of Brexit and Donald Trump’s Presidency.

In the US, you have Fox News where by day, one the dumbest news shows on television, “Fox & Friends” dictates the Presidential agenda. By night, Sean Hannity undergoes the most exhausting mental gymnastics to create a grand conspiracy narrative against President Trump. On the other hand, The New York Times and Washington Post are producing some of their best work.

In the UK on Brexit, everything is somewhere in the middle and satisfying nobody. A new Showtime series goes behind the scenes at the New York Times in “The Fourth Estate”. There’s no word yet on when and where it will be available in the UK. Not even the Showtime website works in the UK…
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Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 22 May 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 » Page 5

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.

BBC Radio 2 is going to Ibiza (!)

It has long been a fixture for BBC Radio 1 to spend a weekend in Ibiza every summer.

20 years ago, in 1998 and an era of BBC largesse, virtually the entire radio station decamped to the White Isle. Zoe Ball just about made it on air to co-present her breakfast show after a night partying with her then future husband Norman Cook. Lisa I’Anson missed her Sunday lunchtime show after a night at the notorious Manumission Club and Motel (legend has it liquid acid was dropped in her eyes).

In news that may well make some readers feel a little old and a sign of how the island’s appeal is changing, BBC Radio 2 is to spend a weekend in Ibiza with Zoe Ball returning to the island alongside Gary Davies and Ana Matronic from Friday 29 June 2018. (BBC Media Centre)

On a slight tangent, in a sign of how much the island has changed the marmite W Hotel brand is due to open a property on the island next year. (Marriott)

The BBC’s Biggest Weekend

There’s no Glastonbury festival this year, so the BBC is stepping into the void with its “Biggest Weekend”

It features live music across four days from Friday 25 May to Monday 28 May 2018 from four locations: Belfast, Coventry, Perth and Swansea. In addition to coverage on BBC Radio’s 1, 2, 3 and 6 Music, there’s TV coverage on BBC2 and BBC4 across the weekend.

On a related note, the BBC has announced a new music discovery festival BBC Music Introducing LIVE at Tobacco Dock from Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 November 2018. (BBC Media Centre)

The Soft Power of The Royal Family

What more can be said of the Royal Wedding?

To give an indication of the soft power of The Royal Family abroad, in spite of the 5-8 hour time difference, the wedding secured an audience of 29 million across 15 networks in the United States. (Nielsen)
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Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 15 May 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
(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.

Wardour News To Close

Any one who has ever visited Soho in London with any degree of frequency could not fail to have noticed Wardour News at 118-120 Wardour Street.

The long-standing newsagent sold titles from the around the world on travel, as well as fashion and design. It will close its doors permanently on Friday 25 May 2018 after nearly 34 years in business. There have been heartfelt tributes from The Evening Standard and Vogue.

Its closure will leave a hole in Soho which has long been steadily turning from the home of London’s creative industries into a gastronomic theme peak. A few doors down from Wardour News is a restaurant dedicated to toasted cheese sandwiches. If that wasn’t absurd enough, around the corner on Old Compton Street is a venue dedicated to serving potato crisps…

Google I/O Conference

Google held its annual “I/O” conference last week.

There were no less than 100 announcements across Google’s suite of products. These include new voices and custom routines for the Google Assistant and additional self-controls as part of Google’s Digital Wellbeing initiative.

The Spoken Word on Spotify

Bloomsbury has signed a deal with Spotify to make its 33 1/3 books available on the platform. (The Book Seller)

National Public Radio is also making its podcasts which include Fresh Air and TED Radio Hour available on the platform. (NPR)

Also of note this week:

BBC Radios 1, 2, Five Live and commercial radio stations around the UK are to join forces at 10:59 BST today, 14 May 2018, to broadcast a minute long message about mental health. (RadioCentre)

In the quest for ever more aesthetically pleasing and higher resolution TV screens, sound has become somewhat overlooked in television. The BBC “Sounds Amazing” audio conference looks at ideas to improve the audio experience for viewers and listeners, such as binaural sound. (BBC Academy)

Brian Stelter of CNN’s Reliable Sources interviews Trevor Noah of the Daily Show. (CNN)

CNN’s Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour joins PBS on a permanent basis with a daily show “Amanpour & Company” (Hollywood Reporter)

Facebook has suspended 200 apps pending a full investigation into misuse of member data on the platform. (Facebook)

Here’s an extraordinarily detailed account on the close relationship between President Tump and Sean Hannity of Fox News. (New York Magazine)

It’s “Upfront” season in New York this week where, in a longstanding tradition, the American TV networks pitch their new shows to advertisers. The New York Times looks at why traditional TV is in trouble, a trend that is likely to follow on this side of the atlantic. (The New York Times)

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 8 May 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.

The Eurovision Song Contest

There is simply no better display of pan European geopolitics than the Eurovision Song Contest.

The final of the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest, one of the longest running and most watched non-sporting events in the world, takes place in Lisbon on Saturday 12 May. It will be broadcast to an estimated audience of 200 million.

It has long been regarded in the UK as something of a joke. However, in recent years, thanks to Sweden in particular, the final has become an increasingly ambitious production. And of course, there is the voting, where loyalties and rivalries come to the fore.

In the UK, the BBC will air the two semi-finals on BBC4 tonight, Tuesday 8 May and on Thursday 10 May, all at 20:00. The Saturday final, where 26 finalisits will perform, is on BBC1 at 20:00 with commentary from Graham Norton.

As well as being shown across Europe, the final is shown live in Australia on SBS which embraces the contest with gusto, and Logo TV in the US.
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