Tag Archives: newspapers

Book review: Human Kind

Rather than a dystopian future, in the UK were clapped in the street during Coronavirus. Source: Damien Walmsley on Flickr

When my children were younger, if they heard bad news I would reassure them that there are many more good people in the world than bad people. This is one of the reasons we have so few police compared to the population.

Human Kind, written by Rutger Bregman in Dutch and then translated to English, takes this view a few steps further.

The book explains, in lavish and often repetitive detail, how we are naturally a good-natured species, and it’s the media that makes everything sound bad.

Although we are good natured in our actions, it seems there’s a part of our brain that is attracted to and remembers bad news over good news.

Newspaper and news website headlines are an obvious example. Continue reading Book review: Human Kind

This person REALLY does not exist

Keep looking at the image and repeating “This person doesn’t exist.”

ThisPersonDoesNotExist is my favourite site of the year so far. It’s mesmerising.

Each time you look at the site, it generates a face from a very clever Machine Learning algorithm. And the algorithm, well the learning, only gets better with time.

The more you look at the site, you then start wondering:

  1. If the facial components on ThisPersonDoesNotExist are from real people, who owns those parts? (E.g. my chin)
  2. If the faces on ThisPersonDoesNotExist are indistinguishable from real-life portraits, how much longer before we are looking at other computer-generated artefacts? Newspaper articles written by robot journalists and TV robot news anchors have already been done.
  3. When will we started reading fictional news items, totally fabricated from non-real photos and facts? How will we certify real things?
  4. What’s next?

Tips for creative or innovative thinking at work

This isn’t the ideal environment for creative or innovative thinking. Photo: Michael Loke on Flickr 

During some recent presentations on innovation and technology trends, I’ve been asked for day to day advice, techniques and tips for creative or innovative thinking at work.

In summary, creativity or freshness comes from breaking habits, which are often unconscious behaviours – those things we do without even thinking about it. So here are 10 ideas for breaking habits to foster more creative or innovative thinking at work:

1. Meet customer facing staff, e.g. sales, front line support. Carefully listen to their anecdotes. If you don’t usually speak directly to customers, you’ll probably find the stories revealing. I’ve seen CIOs’ jaws drop when listening to customer service staff.

2. Read different publications. Whether it’s news websites, social platforms, newspapers, even the trade press of a different skill (e.g. legal press if you work in IT). You’re seeking different opinions to your usual ones. Continue reading Tips for creative or innovative thinking at work

Are printed newspapers dead?

Printed newspapers: "It ain't over yet" - if you stick your head in the sand much longer it will be
Printed newspapers: “It ain’t over yet” – if you stick your head in the sand much longer it will be

Last night I went with some colleagues to a Media Society event called “Newsprint – It’s Ain’t Over Yet?” After listening to the panel and some of the questions, I think the end of printed newspapers could be nearer than previously thought.

The panel consisted of two academics, Professor Roy Greenslade and Professor Jane Singer both from the City University London; Sarah Baxter the Deputy Editor of The Sunday Times; Christian Broughton, Editor of The Independent; and Alison Phillips, the Editor of The New Day. Professor Greenslade was the chair, and Alison sent him a text half way through the event to say she couldn’t make it. Continue reading Are printed newspapers dead?

Deloitte Media Consumer 2015

Sobering PewDiePie vs Corrie viewing stats. Source: Deloitte 2015
Sobering PewDiePie vs Corrie viewing stats.
Source: Deloitte 2015

I went to the Deloitte Media Consumer 2015 survey presentation presented by Matt Guest, their Head of Digital Strategy EMEA. The survey focusses on media consumption habits in the UK, and was an informal, highly interactive presentation. So interactive, that I apologise to the rest of the audience for asking so many questions.

The invite pulled out some key stats:

  • A third of us watch the same TV shows every day
  • 61% watch on average one short form video a day
  • The younger generation prefers sharing social media content with a limited amount of followers
  • 36% of adults feel they don’t need to go and see big releases in the cinema as they are available on demand so quickly
  • For up-to-date news content, 70% of users turn to Twitter

Continue reading Deloitte Media Consumer 2015

The Guardian newspaper Supporter Membership model

The Guardian supporter membership model
The Guardian supporter membership model

This is a neat idea from the Guardian with some clever language – instead of pushing more traditional subscription models, they are offering “Guardian supporter membership” for £5/ month.

Whilst competitors are pushing many more adverts over their well designed pages, or moving to a pure subscription model, the Guardian have sharpened their copywriting pencils (err, keyboards?) and produced a more enticing product offering – as shown here https://membership.theguardian.com/about/supporter?INTCMP=MEMBERSHIP_BANNER_TEST_A

Continue reading The Guardian newspaper Supporter Membership model