The Media Weekly: From Lionesses to Lieutenants, female trailblazers light up the skies

A record 17.4 million UK viewers tuned in for the final of the 2022 UEFA Women’s Championship at the weekend, while elsewhere there was sad news about another female trailblazer, as Nichelle Nichols aka Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura, passed away aged 89. We’ll also take a look at a brand refresh for ELLE magazine, and a new study from DistriPress, which shows how global print supply chains are evolving into networks… 

It’s come home

A BIG result for the power of sport on Sunday, as well as the media that showcases it, as the final of the European Championships attracted a peak television audience of 17.4m. This record-breaking figure made it the most-watched women’s football game in UK television history, while the tournament at large saw a total TV reach of 27.4m (15mins or more) and was streamed 18m times across BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website and app.

In a statement issued on the BBC website, Director-General, Tim Davie, said: “We are incredibly proud to have championed women’s football and are thrilled we were able to bring such a special sporting event to the public. The final was the most-watched women’s football game on UK television of all-time and the most-watched programme in 2022 so far – and deservedly so. Everyone at the BBC is delighted with how successful this tournament has been.”

Boldly gone 🖖

And from one set of female trailblazers to perhaps one of the most important shining stars that the modern media has ever seen… Star Trek actress, Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt Nyota Uhura in the original series and across the film franchise, died on Saturday aged 89. 

Writing in The Guardian, Author, Activist, & Cultural Critic, Mikki Kendall, said of the iconic star: “Nichelle Nichols was my hero. Her death on Saturday at 89 was the passing of an icon who changed the world, and then kept fighting to make the future in our imaginations and in reality, a better brighter place for Black girls.”

US President Joe Biden also led the tributes to Nichols, saying: “Our nation has lost a trailblazer of stage and screen who redefined what is possible for Black Americans and women… During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, she shattered stereotypes to become the first Black woman to act in a major role on a primetime television show with her ground-breaking portrayal of Lt. Uhura in the original Star Trek.”

ELLE to the Izzo 

While Nichols may have departed for the stars, her legacy on earth lives on, and we see this in the enduring efforts that the media continues to make towards greater representation today. In addition to the Lionesses, another example to come out of the UK this week is ELLE magazine, which for its September issue – on sale now and the first to be fully edited by new Editor-in-Chief, Kenya Hunt – has introduced an exciting and energising evolution for the brand

There’s a design refresh, new sections, a cohort of new ELLE voices and editorial features, with Grammy-award winning singer, Lizzo, adorning the cover.  

As part of their remit, the new contributors will be providing features across a range of subject matters, both online and in print, with names including:

  • Award-winning author and podcaster, Jessica Andrews
  • Author and ethical fashion consultant, Aja Barber 
  • Cook and best-selling author, Ixta Belfrage 
  • Writer, broadcaster and influencer, Camille Charrière
  • Bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster, Emma Dabiri
  • Art historian, curator and writer, Aindrea Emelife
  • Writer, consultant and content creative director, Lynette Nylander
  • The Stack World Founder and entrepreneur, Sharmadean Reid
  • Award-winning doctor and founder of Skndoctor, Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe
  • Designer, fashion & textiles lecturer and educationalist, Berni Yates

From chains to networks

And of course, it’s not just in front of the flashbulbs that we see media evolution taking place… A new study from DistriPress – the global association for the print circulation and distribution sector – shows how the role and power of data has become critical in shifting modern content distribution pipeline from chains to networks. 

Authored by Wessenden Marketing, the report opens: ‘It is now central to the future of the whole Newspaper & Magazine (N&M) industry to help create better products & services, and to deliver those products & services in the most efficient and user-friendly ways to the end consumer.’

Some of the topics honed-in on within the report include: 

  • Moving from physical supply chains to data networks
  • The evolution of publishing and its supply processes
  • Moving from a supply chain to multiple fulfilment networks
  • Multiple content products for the Complex Consumer
  • The Complex Consumer: 6 big drivers
  • A deeper dive: digital editions

And Finally… 

One network that shows no sign of abating anytime soon is the cookie-web that surrounds us all… and it now transpires that you’ve got EVEN LONGER to get your sugar rush before Google finally phases the technology out in two years time. In a post published on the Google Blog by Anthony Chavez, VP of Privacy for Sandbox, the exec wrote, “we now intend to begin phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome in the second half of 2024.”

Rolling eyes emoji and on we roll… 🙄

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