The Week Kick-off: Journalist safety, BBC Studios, and 600 retro magazines

This week we’re kicking things off in the UK, where a new government action plan seeks to provide further protection for journalists, who are being increasingly subjected to both online and offline abuse. We also take a look at BBC Studios’ plans for world domination, the unboxing of 600 rare and retro gaming magazines, and the latest from FIPP as the 2021 Innovation in Media World Report is launched.

UK Government publishes journalist safety plan

In the UK, the government has published the country’s first ever action plan to protect journalists from abuse and harassment. It follows increasing reports that journalists are suffering abuse and attacks, simply while going about their work. A survey of members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) last November for example, found that more than half of respondents had experienced online abuse, while nearly a quarter had been physically assaulted or attacked.

The announcement comes during a week in which issues surrounding freedom of speech and press intrusion were already well under the microscope, following the much talked about interview between Oprah Winfrey and the Sussex Royals. It’s a timely reminder that within these wider debates, we must remember that those working within the industry also often need to be protected from abuse.  

BBC Studios set to take over the world

Staying in the UK, the BBC last Thursday announced plans to further increase its commercial income. This will include moving BBC Children’s Production (makers of Blue Peter, JoJo & Gran Gran, My Mum Tracy Beaker, and other hit shows) into BBC Studios, allowing the company to produce content for rival broadcasters. The BBC said that Studios is on track to meet its five year returns commitment of GBP£1.2bn (US$1.7bn) by 2021/22, and is seeking to grow this even further in the future.

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, said: “We are actively building commercial income with ambitious commercial plans for high quality programmes, vital funding and international audiences. The BBC’s commercial activity will become even more important in future as we expand commercial disciplines to new areas, such as children’s production, and – despite a challenging market – seek to achieve the highest possible return from all our assets. This enhances value for licence fee payers and boosts the wider creative economy.”

Video Game History Foundation unboxes 600 rare and retro games magazines

In California, the Video Game History Foundation – a non-profit dedicated to preserving digital history particularly in the gaming arena – unboxed 600 vintage games magazines last week. The unboxing was livestreamed on Twitch, and reported by Nintendo Life, showing off titles that had previously been amassed by a single collector from a range of genres and dates. FIPP recently reported on an historical magazine exhibition that has been taking place at the Grolier Club in New York, and it seems that particularly during the current Covid/lockdown period, physical publications have been providing audiences with an entertaining look at historical trends. 

Netflix crackdown could be imminent

Bad news for those currently sharing Netflix login details with a separate household, as the Media Guardian reports that the streaming company could be about to clamp down on this practice. Apparently some Netflix users are already being shown a feature that asks them to confirm whether they live with the account holder, by entering a code sent to the subscribers’ phone or email. With increasing competition now coming Netflix’s way from the likes of Amazon Prime and Disney+, it could end up being an understandable move.

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And from FIPP…

The Digital Innovators Summit (DIS) kicked off last week and as has traditionally been the case, this event also marked the launch of the latest Innovation in Media World Report. The 2021 incarnation of the annual publication looks at the key areas of: The post-Covid world of work, People, Direct to Consumer, Podcasting, Sustainability, Podcasting, Creativity, Monetisation and Print. We’ll be hosting a special event this coming Tuesday 16th March, in which Author’s, John Wilpers and Juan Senor will be talking us through some of the book’s key findings. You can find out more and sign-up here.


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