March in media

29th March 2018

A ‘modern’ look for the Evening Standard

The Evening Standard went through its first redesign in a decade. The word “London” was dropped from its title, the muted yellow of its masthead changed to a vivid red, the finance pages went pink, and emojis – most notably including the poo emoji! – can now be found in the weather forecast.

George Osborne’s appointment as editor of the paper back in March 2017 surprised many, particularly as he hadn’t previously worked as a journalist. But since his appointment he has proved that it is no honorary role, putting in the hours and regularly writing the papers leader pieces himself.

With this redesign he has noticeably changed the look and feel of the paper, saying: “our new look Evening Standard: a modern, confident paper for a modern, confident city. Open, international, pro-business, socially progressive – speaking to London but also for our values across the UK and the world. We’re turning up the volume.”

Corbyn’s hat trends

This month the BBC was accused of photoshopping Jeremy Corbyn’s hat during an episode of Newsnight to make him look like a “Soviet stooge”, something the BBC has vigorously denied. The claim was first made by Guardian columnist and Owen Jones, and quickly went viral.

However, an investigation by Channel 4’s FactCheck concluded that the hat had not been photoshopped, and that the curved Newsnight set made it appear lengthened. Some have theorised that “hatgate” was all a tactical distraction to draw attention away from Corbyn’s political actions over the month, most notably his hesitancy to condemn Russia for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal.

The Telegraph expands its technology coverage

Meanwhile, the Telegraph announced an expansion of its technology coverage through 12 new appointments, and the establishment of the Telegraph Technology Intelligence initiative. The publication’s stated ambition is to become the UK’s leading publisher of technology journalism. The new roles will be based in London and the Silicon Valley where the paper is opening its largest foreign bureau to date—with a team of five. The average age of the Telegraph’s audience is currently 61, so it will be interesting to see if this focus on tech can attract the younger reader.

The BBC invests £77m in Belfast

The BBC has confirmed it will invest £77 million in the redevelopment of its Broadcasting House building in Belfast. The money will go towards essential structural work on the building and, according to the broadcaster, create a “technologically advanced broadcast centre to serve future generations”.

Glasgow bids for new Channel 4 headquarters

Glasgow has thrown its metaphorical hat in the ring to host the new national headquarters of Channel 4, which, if successful, would constitute a sizeable boost to Scottish media sector. The city’s bid is supported by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, who had hinted at Glasgow’s aspiration back in August, saying: “Glasgow is, after all, a major creative industries hub which is already home to two other national broadcasters.” Others in the running include Cardiff, Manchester and Liverpool.

Too much of good thing?

Finally, is the BBC guilty of creating too many good podcasts? “Auntie” has appointed Jason Phipps as its first commissioning editor for podcasts, but with the podcast charts already dominated by popular BBC content there are concerns that the smaller podcasts will be crowded out of the market completely.