November in media

Above the Fold

4th December 2017

By Oliver Pink

YouTube under Fleet Street Siege
A landmark deal in British media was finally cemented on the 22nd as rival publishers Telegraph Media Group, Guardian News and Media and News UK banded together to combat the ‘duopoly’ of online video advertising held by Google and Facebook. The Verified Marketplace is ‘designed to attract advertisers seeking large audiences and to ensure their brands do not appear alongside inappropriate material, as well as assurance their money is not wasted.’

Coincidentally, the announcement came only a few days after an investigation by News UK’s The Times revealed that big brands were being marketed on YouTube videos attractive to paedophiles.

Adidas, Mars and Diageo withdrew campaigns from the platform immediately and ISBA called an urgent meeting with Google executives to demand more proactive policing of its video platform, lest the lost advertising revenue would not be readily replenished.

It’s been hard to feel really sorry for Google since the late ‘90s. But daggers are drawn. And, boy, are they sharp.

Make America Tweet Again
Damon Linker’s June article in The Week resurfaced on social media this month, as he ponders whether Twitter is destroying the very fabric of America. After all, he wrote, “it intensifies and amplifies pathological social tendencies among those who act within, report on, and write about the political world.”

He echoed Farhad Manjoo’s claims that propaganda bots have turned the platform into a “terrifying scourge on democracy,” decried it as a phenomenon of ‘outrage porn’ – citing Kathy Griffin’s ISIS gaffe and subsequent evisceration – before concluding that ‘the single best thing for both politics and journalism would be for Twitter to go out of business tomorrow.’

Linker goes on to remark how much he’d miss it if it were shut down.

The Fox bares its teeth
The BBC reported at the start of the month that Sky has threatened to shut down Sky News if the channel proves to be ‘an obstacle in Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox bid’.

The Beeb’s media editor, Amol Rajan, noted that it was a ‘credible threat’ citing the tens of millions of pounds the channel loses each year.

Canary fails to Impress
Left-leaning online newspaper, The Canary is under investigation by Impress for its treatment of Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, reports Press Gazette. It began in September with an article entitled: ‘We need to talk about Laura Kuenssberg. She’s listed as a speaker at the Tory Party conference.’

Except, well, she wasn’t. It prompted an outcry on social media, led by Buzzfeed UK’s political editor Jim Waterson who tweeted “It took me two minutes to…find out this is b*****s. It’s going viral regardless”.

The website’s treatment of Kuenssberg has been widely criticised from both the left and right wings of the media. Helen Lewis in the New Statesman famously wrote in September that ‘The Canary is running a sexist hate campaign against Laura Kuenssberg for clicks’.

What does £50 get you in 2017?
Luckily for Kuenssberg, a claim against a newspaperaccording to the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Damian Collins.

The new arbitration scheme introduced by IPSO allows for the public to pay a one-off fee to seek legal redress against serious complaints on a newspaper—while avoiding the costly court process. The previous charge was £300.