Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

The Germanwings tragedy was front-page news and lead broadcast story for much of last week, with more and more creepy details emerging swiftly each day, focusing recently on the state of depression of the co-pilot who reportedly intentionally crashed the airliner into a French mountainside.  The event unfortunately made it clear that the media and public are becoming very expert at these stories now.

Elsewhere:

  • Kraft will merge with Heinz in an approximately $50 billion deal, a story that put the spotlight on the food industry and the Brazilian PE firm, 3G, which owns Heinz and is known for its cost-cutting strategies;
  • Jurors in San Francisco found that VC firm Kleiner Perkins did not sexually discriminate against a former partner in a very closely watched;
  • Amanda Knox’s murder conviction in Italy was overturned;
  • Facebook said it is considering hosting news content directly on its site – linkfree -- so that readers will not have to visit, for example, Buzzfeed or the New York Times web sites for articles;
  • The NFL is experimenting with totally digital strategy when it announced last week that it would “broadcast” a game on a national platform (not TV), which will open the door to a wonderful scrimmage of digital rights, viewership, advertising, etc.;
  • The Dow fell 2.3 percent for the week to end Friday at 17,712; and
  • Never Too Late:  Richard III got a proper funeral last week, five centuries later in Leicester after his bones had been discovered under a parking lot.

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Round-up news from across the Atlantic . . .

BattleFor10 David Cameron and Ed Miliband both faced a grilling from Britain’s most fierce interviewer, Jeremy Paxman, as the General Election race officially kicked off this week. The “debate” proved particularly popular online with #BattleForNumber10 trending on Twitter in the UK and globally. This has led to predictions that GE2015 might be the UK’s first “social media election”.

The Prime Minister found out this week, however, that older voters may be the toughest audience to please. When speaking to the Age UK conference, Mr. Cameron was heckled and mocked during his speech – definitely worth a watch!

Britain edged a step closer to deflationary territory this week as it was revealed that inflation fell to zero for the first time since the current records began. However, this may not necessarily be bad news. According to Chris Williamson, the chief economist at Markit, “the drop in inflation is a boon to the economy, providing households with greater spending power at a time when pay growth remains frustratingly weak."

Finally, are you sitting comfortably? Well, maybe you shouldn’t be. A survey by the British Heart Foundation has found that too many people are inactive at work, leading to a number of negative health consequences. Luckily, the helpful chaps at City AM have put together some tips to help you keep the blood pumping whilst you’re at work. End of Story

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The-World-in-2015I’ve always been a fan of magazines (and getting mail in general), so by December of last year, a subscription to The Economist had been on my mind for a while. I was even more convinced by our fearless leader’s recent recommendation to subscribe. But if that wasn’t enough, I found a Groupon deal for a year’s subscription shortly after Christmas, which finally tipped me over the edge and made reading the magazine my New Year’s resolution.

Three months later, having experienced many successes and struggles of becoming an official reader of The Economist, I wanted to share my three takeaways so you may too embark on this tempting, yet intimidating journey.

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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

News outlets focused last week and all weekend on the growing threat of terrorism with deadly attacks in Tunisia and Yemen, showing an ever-increasing influence of ISIS with well more than 100 killed in one of the bloodiest attacks in Yemen ever.

Elsewhere:

  • Prime Netanyahu of Israel flip flops on Palestine after winning fourth term (but The New York Post has best front-page headline on victory, “BiBi King”);
  • Fed loses “patience” and markets react, remaining volatile, a likely theme for a while;
  • As a result, the Dow ended 2.1 percent higher on the week to close at 18,127 and Nasdaq at a 15-year high at 5,026;
  • Jinx You’re It: Robert Durst “hot mikes” his murder confession on HBO and AP has to issue a correction that Fred Durst is the former front-man of Limp Bizkit and not the suspected murderer;
  • The White House issued rules on fracking that fueled immediate lawsuits from energy companies and cries of too lenient by environmental groups;
  • Out@NBC Universal become first gay group to march in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade;
  • The Guardian named Katharine Viner as its first-ever female editor, replacing Alan Rusbridger who held the top spot for 20 years;
  • Facebook introduces epayments through its messaging service;
  • A totes solar eclipsed happened, forcing protective goggles in Europe and elsewhere and causing little feared disruption to the power grid; and
  • March madness and sadness.

LatAm Gaze

  • Honduras this week became host to Latin America’s largest solar energy project, valued at US$23 million.
  • At the 78th annual Mexican Banking Convention, BBVA Chairman Luis Robles Miaja projected that credit extended to the private sector will account for 40% of Mexico’s 2018 GDP.
  • Five Brazilian banks are joining Standard Chartered in seeking early repayment of loans to oil rig producer Sete Brasil Participações SA, which has been significantly impacted by the Petrobras corruption scandal.End of Story
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Round-up news from across the Atlantic . . .blighty 4

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the 2015 Budget this week. The annual statement, which outlines the government’s cuts and allowances for the coming year, was the final one of this parliament, and a last chance for the coalition to offer “goodies” to voters ahead of the election. The opposition, however, described it as “having nothing in it” meaning they wouldn’t need to reverse any of the policy measures announced by the Chancellor. Read More

TSB, the UK’s leading high street challenger bank, today accepted a takeover offer of £1.7bn from Spanish bank Sabadell. Although this is well over twice the valuation given to them by the British government, some in the City are unhappy that we are allowing a relatively unknown Spanish bank to take over a British one. Read More

The Guardian newspaper announced this week the appointment of Katharine Viner as its editor-in-chief, replacing Alan Rusbridger. She will be the first woman to lead the newspaper in its almost 200-year history. Read More

As mentioned last week, Jeremy Clarkson, the lead presenter of Top Gear has been suspended from the show, dividing the nation into “ClarksONs” and “ClarksOFFs”. The ClarksONs have been out in force though; millions of viewers have shown their support in the form of a petition that demands he is rehired. If that wasn’t enough, they delivered the petition to the BBC today in a tank! Read More End of Story

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