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Social Media Muscles in on TV

The way we access content is fundamentally changing.  Shorter-form content continues to grow apace and, at the same time, viewing is fragmenting across myriad devices and screens.  Helping drive this change has been the emergence of a new generation of distribution platforms that blend professional video, user generated content and social media.

Channel 4 News announces new Facebook Watch show

(Credit: Channel 4)

Channel 4 News has announced a partnership with Facebook to produce a new weekly news show.

Uncovered is an in-depth news and analysis programme that will see Channel 4 News correspondents shedding light on unreported stories in 10-minute episodes.

The series will focus on one major international issue each week and is due to premier in the new year.

It is the latest commission for Facebook’s funded news shows initiative to tackle fake news and will be available on Facebook Watch.

A global shift to home-grown

Netflix commissions from Germany, India and Spain

The old saying “Think global, act local” is the new mantra for the Net­flix-led, global tech platforms as they push for ever greater numbers of subscribers. In recent months, Net­flix, Apple and Amazon have all started to open offices, staffed largely by locally grown TV commissioners, in the UK and other non-US markets. Simultaneously, the tech platforms are ramping up local marketing efforts.

Amazon has also jumped into local sports markets, purchasing major live sports rights for the UK, including a Premier League football package and US Open tennis rights.

Guest post: A four-step plan to safeguard UK television

Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Digital UK

Our reaction to a major change of any kind usually goes in phases…

Avoidance (“I’m not going to look”)

Denial (“I’ve looked but I don’t believe it”)

Fear (“We’re doomed”)

Panic (“I just need to do something”)

Response (“Ok – maybe there is something practical I can do”)

Acceptance (“Well that wasn’t so bad”)

British TV has been fairly consistent in following this pattern when it has faced transformative change in the sector in the past.

Lord Puttnam: We need regulation to curb data capitalism

Lord Puttnam (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

In a high-concept, passionate RTS lecture, illustrated by film clips and quotes from such 20th century giants as John Maynard Keynes and Bob Dylan, Puttnam mounted a passionate case for media regulation to curb the excesses of “data capitalism.”

“Tech monopolies (Google, Amazon, Facebook) are taking over the internet. A pernicious form of corporatism could, under the wrong set of circumstances, replace democracy as we have known and enjoyed it,” he said.

It was “nonsense” that these companies were too big to regulate.  

Channel 4 News' Jon Snow hits out at social media giant Facebook

The Channel 4 News anchor called for journalists and their recruiters to leave their bubble in order to widen the awareness and understanding of people outside the media elite.

Snow said that the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy had exposed a shameful lack in awareness of issues facing those on lower incomes.

In a moving speech, Snow spoke of the guilt he felt when confronted by the survivors of the Grenfell disaster who asked broadcasters “where were you? Why didn’t you come here before?”