Above the Fold: February 2019

By Matt Gray

6th March 2019

The Cairncross Review, and other tragedies

February saw the release of the much anticipated Cairncross Review, an independent government report investigating the future of journalism in Britain. If you were hoping for a picture of health to emerge in Dame Frances Cairncross’ findings—you were in for a shock.

According to the review, local news coverage as we know it could disappear altogether unless the government begins providing direct financial support. That’ll be music to Westminster’s ears, we’re sure.

What form could this take? Direct funding from taxation? Tax relief, or charitable status, for publishers? These suggestions and more are included in the report, but regardless of the eventual solution the current status quo is bleak.

The media is suffering job losses at an exponential rate. February alone saw over 2,000 reporters forced out of work, a result of the maelstrom of pressures bearing down on publications across borders.

Download the latest Above the Fold podcast below, in which Matt and Jack discuss the Cairncross Review among a truly rotten month for the media industry.

Then read on, as the Above the Fold team examine the trends driving the ever-changing worlds of branding, social media and the press.

  • Above the Fold podcast – Matt and Jack look through the trends and narratives driving the media agenda
  • The month in numbers – Who’s up? Who’s down? What is the country tuning into?
  • Trends Matrix – The UK’s biggest social media conversations, distilled
  • In focus: The Facebook news you didn’t hear aboutIt doesn’t feel like the week has started until you read some negative press for Facebook. But as the world focuses on never-ending scandals, the company is making changes that will have a significant impact on its greatest revenue stream: advertising. Eulogy’s own Sam Stevenson goes under-the-radar.
  • Media month: YouTube under fire… again
    More social media sob stories in February, as a who’s who of the most powerful companies began pulling their adverts from YouTube’s platform. This isn’t the first time YouTube has suffered the wrath of the big brands, but what tipped them over the edge this time? Khizar Mohammad found out more.
  • Brand buzz: M&S says it with sausage
    Ahh, Valentine’s Day. A topic guaranteed to split people down the middle more effectively than Marmite, Brexit and Ed Sheeran combined. Whether you find the day sickening or sweet, brands certainly make it their business to jump on board the love train. So, why did M&S’s meaty offering have romantics all in a flutter? Marie Allen bit into the month’s social media phenomenon: the Love Sausage.