Television Magazine

The ethics of true crime in television

The Christmas before last, you might have expected the most streamed programme in the UK to be The Holiday or Elf. In fact, it was My Lover My Killer, the Netflix series exploring the cases of murder victims who meet tragic ends after relationships turn deadly. It’s not typical festive fare, but testament to the mushrooming market for true crime, via TV – both factual and drama – as well as podcasts and, increasingly, TikTok.

The impact of AI on film and TV - is it a friend or foe?

On screen, Alex Mahon’s image from the camera trained at the podium is being manipulated by Metaphysic’s AI technology to alter her appearance and voice in real time

A funny thing happened on the stage of America’s Got Talent in 2022. Tom Graham brought gasps from the audience when, with the aid of a talented performer and a lot of deepfake technology, he brought a vision of Simon Cowell to life, apparently singing a ballad while swinging his arms around. Cowell looked equally bewildered and impressed, before asking: “Is it inappropriate to fall in love with a contestant?”

Crisis management: how to handle a media firestorm

Four photos in a two-by-two grid of (from top left clockwise) John Gapper, Andy Coulson, Caroline Kean and Greg Dyke

As the allegations against Russell Brand circled the broadcasters gathered at Cambridge, there was particular interest in this session about – as the panel chair, John Gapper, put it with an ironic smile – “the incredibly unlikely situation” in which a media crisis erupts involving a well-known TV figure.

The key to launching new content with GK Barry, Jordan Schwarzenberger, Rajiv Nathwani and Ajaz Ahmed

Ajaz Ahmed stands while speaking

How to launch new content depends on the platform you want to launch it on was the main message from some of the leading practitioners at the cutting edge of content creation and marketing.

During an entertaining and engaging session chaired by Roughcut Television Chief Executive, Ash Atalla, it emerged that word of mouth is a key attribute, especially when it comes to relatable and shareable material.

Emma Thompson and Bryan Lourd on content and the future of creativity

There was no closer pair of speakers on the stage at Cambridge than Bryan Lourd, co-chairman of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and his good friend, the double Oscar winner Emma Thompson. This was fitting as the duo discussed the need for creatives and executives to work effectively together for the benefit of all.

Piers Morgan and Krishnan Guru-Murthy on impartial TV news

Piers Morgan and Krishnan Guru-Murthy sit next to each other in conversation at the RTS Cambridge Convention 2023

When he sat down in Cambridge for a discussion about the vexed question of impartiality in television news presenters, Piers ­Morgan was clearly still licking his wounds from his abrupt departure in 2021 from ITV’s Good Morning Britain. He was quick off the mark, offering a “hypothetical” scenario:

Gogglebox's Simon Minty and Stephie Lacey present a disability access journey

As an industry and medium, television’s strength is its ability to constantly evolve – and the steady, if slow, improvement in disability representation is an important part of that.

Disability consultant and Gogglebox star Simon Minty opened the session by celebrating the progress (as well as noting points of regress), before writer and actor Steph Lacey (Stay Close, Creep) reflected on the work still to be done.

The future of advertising

Rita Clifton and Richard Huntington sit in two separate pictures placed side by side

Amid the ever-changing media landscape, how can advertisers harness partnerships and consumer insights to give brands more “bang for their buck”? That was the question global branding expert and session chair Rita Clifton wanted answered, along with which factors her panellists thought “will stay the same” and “which will be totally different”.