Above the Fold: March 2018

By Matt Gray

29th March 2018

So, it is said, did a roadside soothsayer warn Julius Caesar in the days before his assassination—the event that triggered a civil war that would turn the Roman Republic into an Empire.

March 2018 saw its own assassination attempt dominate the news agenda, and as international tensions between Russia and the west continue to simmer in the wake of the Salisbury poisoning, could this year’s March ultimately hold as much historical importance?

Only time will tell. But hey, apart from the whole reignition of the Cold War, it’s been a pretty calm month… right?

Not quite.

In amongst the major newspaper redesigns, “photoshopped” hats, fish throwing, dodgy elections, ball tampering, spitting footballers and departed legends, we’ve also learnt exactly how much Facebook knows about us. The four-day weekend couldn’t come soon enough.

Luckily for you, the intrepid Above the Fold team has been on hand to record it all.

So, crack open the decadent avocado-shaped Easter egg you’ve been so looking forward to, and get your sticky mitts on this month’s edition of media analysis from Eulogy towers.

March in numbers
Who’s up? Who’s down? Who’s looking at what? The latest figures from right across the media landscape.

The month in media
A new look Evening Standard, the Telegraph goes tech and a Glasgow kiss for Channel 4? Read our in depth analysis of the month’s biggest media happenings here.

Spotlight on… the Novaya Gazeta in Russia
The Novaya Gazeta (simply New Gazette) is a Moscow-based paper described by the Committee to Protect Journalists has referred to the Novaya Gazeta as “the only truly critical newspaper with national influence in Russia today”. But in Russia, state critics don’t often last long… Read more here.

March in headlines
The beginning of March welcomed the 90th Academy Awards, the end gave us Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica exposé, and stories scattered throughout included that of spies, driverless cars, Farage’s fish, elections and new passports… We’re tired just thinking about it. Click here for our full take on the month’s biggest stories.

Everyone’s talking about… dodgy data dealings
Turns out those innocuous time-wasting Facebook quizzes had the power to influence elections and referendums, thanks to sneakily collecting data on 50 million oblivious users. Once again, it was “traditional” media who broke the story. Read how the Observer and Channel 4 broke the data story of the decade.

The one we’ll remember: Russian Spies

The East has had a lot of air time this March. First, the beast, in the form of a blistering snowstorm, grinding Britain’s infrastructure, all too predictably, to a halt. Then, a former Russian spy was found on the streets of one of its prettiest towns—frothing at the mouth, alongside his unconscious daughter. Here, we pick apart the story that pulled the media out of the Brexit mire, and ask ourselves: ‘at what cost?’

Take a bow

Above the Fold couldn’t happen without its amazing Eulogite contributors. Special thanks this month go to Carys Bedford, Ben Brigden, Jess Brown, Alanna Duffield, Harry Gardiner, Jack McCormick, Oliver Pink, Chloe Redfern, Ben Robinson and Natalie Williams.