Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 23 October 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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Apple 30 October 2018 Event Logos
Apple 30 October 2018 Event Logos (Image Credit: Apple)

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.

James Harding Launches Tortoise Media

James Harding, former Editor of The Times and Director of BBC News & Current Affairs, is launching a new “slow news” media venture Tortoise Media.

Backed by private investors and donations through Kickstarter, Tortoise Media will eschew the breaking news maelstrom. When at the BBC, James Harding was reported not to be fan of its rolling news channel, and came close to shutting it down altogether.

Tortoise Media promises not take ads nor cover press conferences. Its journalism will focus on five themes: technology; natural resources; identity; finance and longevity.

Members, depending on their choice of package, will have access to daily news conferences and receive a daily digital briefing and a quarterly print publication.

Tortoise Media has already recruited Chris Cook, policy editor at Newsnight, who broke major stories about financial mismanagement at Kids Company and alleged bullying by Speaker of the House Of Commons, John Bercow.

At the time of writing it has received donations of more than £360,000 from over 1,400 donors. There are a wide range of supporter packages available, starting at £50 for under 30s.

Apple Special Event

Apple is holding a “special event” in Brooklyn next Tuesday 30 October 2018.

It starts at 10:00 EDT. As is to be expected, details are scant at the moment. However, as Apple recently announced the launch of new iPhones at an event in Curpurtino, it is likely to focus on other Apple products. The fact that event invitations feature artistic renderings of the Apple logo, suggests it relates to creative tools such as the iPad.

The “Pivot To Video” That Wasn’t

Facebook has had a profound effect on digital journalism.

The reliance on Facebook for referrals to news websites has resulted in stories heavily tilted towards clickbait headlines. There is no press release so pedestrian that cannot be passed off as a major revelation in a clickbait headline.

Another trend is the supposed “pivot to video”. This has been the talk of newsrooms for years. News organisations have felt compelled to keep feeding their Facebook pages with videos – something that takes considerable resources to do well – under the belief this is what users of the platform were watching.

However, it seems this is not quite the case. A class action suit in the US, as reported by CBS News and others, alleges that Facebook has inflated video viewing figures by up to 150% – 900% and adopted a “no PR” strategy to keep the issue quiet.

There is a visceral anger amongst many journalists were made redundant in favour of video producers. Expect this one to run.

Lynn Barber

The journalist Lynn Barber, famous for many interviews, such as Marianne Faithfull, was recently made redundant from the Sunday Times.

However, all was not lost. Lynn received a commission from the Financial Times to spend a weekend reviewing “luverly” champagne with Instagram influencers. And then receives a commission from The Spectator in which she takes aim at her former editor Eleanor Mills “It was hard to deal with an editor who didn’t seem to like reading — sending articles to her was like dropping stones down a well.” And The Spectator. “And there are some publications — hello Spectator! — who can get away with paying peanuts because they know writers want to come to their parties.” Luverly.

Also of note this week:

Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive takes lunch with the FT. (Financial Times)

The BBC replaces its radio webpages with BBC Sounds which is also available as a beta app, and will ultimately replace the existing iPlayer Radio app. (BBC)

As ad land industry bible Campaign magazine celebrates its 50th anniversary, Steve Henry, the man behind ads for Guinness, Ronseal and Tango reflects on a life in advertising “More bullying, back-stabbing, lying and philistinism than I’d ever wish to see in seven lifetimes”. (Campaign)

Spotify introduces new features to improve users experience of Spotify Premium. (Spotify)

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