The Week Kick-off: From MPs to NFTs and iPods En Vogue

The Economist launches its first NFT, the Guardian looks back at 20 years of the iPod, and we speak to the newly launched Vogue Scandinavia. Additionally, the Facebook show transfers from Washington to London today as former employee, Frances Haugen, appears before UK MPs scrutinising the Online Safety Bill. It’s our latest weekly instalment of the encyclopaedia of global media… and it’s LIVE! 

The Economist’s Not For Turning

The Economist reaffirmed its commitment to both modern media and commercial reporting last week, when the publication launched its first ever NFT. The piece will be auctioned off to raise money for The Economist Educational Foundation (TEEF), an independent charity. Titled ‘Down the rabbit hole: The promise and perils of decentralised finance’, the NFT makes up the publication’s 18th September cover along with its lead story, and sees Alice (of Wonderland fame) peering into the decentralised finance sector. 

“The Economist regularly writes about new technologies and their potential to change the world,” said Alice Fulwood, Wall Street Correspondent for The Economist. “We described the potential for decentralised technology in our cover story of September 18th. By selling our ‘Down the rabbit hole’ cover as an NFT we are now, in our own small way, journeying down the rabbit hole ourselves, in a fun experiment that will hopefully also raise money for a worthwhile cause.”

20 years of the iPod

Meanwhile, a fabulous article appeared in the Guardian over the weekend, looking back at the history of the iPod, and how it revolutionised the global music industry. Business & Technology Journalist, Eamonn Forde, writes: “In October 2001, the music industry was riven by piracy and had no idea how to solve it. Enter Steve Jobs, whose new device created a digital music market – and made Apple into a titan.” Full article

Sustainability is in Vogue

And speaking of fabulous articles, our own Pierre de Villiers here has an exclusive interview with Martina Bonnier, Editor-in-Chief of the newly launched Vogue Scandinavia. It’s a publication that’s heavily focussed on sustainability, to the point of being 100% plastic free, and put Swedish Environmental Activist, Greta Thunberg on its launch issue. You can read the interview in full here

Frances Haugen to appear before UK MPs

Reports began to emerge last week that Facebook is considering a rebrand, to better reflect the company’s wider commitments including building out the metaverse. That may not be such a badly timed decision, as the regulatory focus on the company continues to intensify, and former employee Frances Haugen this week appears before a committee of UK MPs dedicated to scrutinising the country’s Online Safety Bill. 

Earlier this month, Haugen gave testimony to a Senate subcommittee in the US, where she appealed directly for greater regulation around the platform: “I’m here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy. The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer, but won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people. Congressional action is needed. They won’t solve this crisis without your help.”

Google, Facebook, Twitter & TikTok commit to tackling fake news ahead of South African elections

In more positive social media news, the afore-mentioned Facebook and friends have issued a joint statement alongside the South African Electoral Commission and Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) organisation, declaring their intention to work together in tackling fake news. It comes ahead of the South African municipal elections, taking place on 1st November, which the country fears could be influenced by the spread of disinformation online.

The news is in stark contrast with that emanating from the north of the country today, as Netblocks reports that all Internet service remains cut in Sudan, hours after the detention of the country’s transitional leadership and reports of a military coup. Commenting on the situation, Writer & Researcher Amr Magdi said “No good people rule in the dark.”

As for FIPP…

Our in-depth look at the IAC Meredith deal has proved hugely popular on during the past week. There is data and analysis around some of the key components of the deal, as well as insights from industry experts Colin Morrison, Bo Sacks, and Mr Magazine Samir Husni, as well as FIPP President & CEO, James Hewes. Full article here


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