The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 27 February 2018

Monocle Media Summit

Image: Alex Atack

Anchors away?

The second annual Monocle Media Summit asks some searching questions about TV news coverage.

With the rise of digital journalism and social media, how much has the role of the traditional news anchor changed in society? That was one question posed at this year’s Monocle Media Summit in London yesterday. In the event’s opening panel, “Truth and the TV anchor”, journalists Francine Lacqua of Bloomberg Television and Hala Gorani from CNN International waded in on how their roles have evolved. “The job description has changed tremendously,” said Gorani, noting that it’s never been easier for the audience to make their voices heard. “But it’s important not to be completely [swayed by] the online agenda.” According to Laqua, keeping your audience in mind is key. “We know who we’re targeting,” she said, noting that Bloomberg Television helps guide its viewers in terms of coverage and tuning out the echo chamber. Both anchors said that they expect their roles to continue to shift as audience news consumption changes. But maintaining trust will always be the priority. Ultimately, said Gorani, “All you can do is report the news in a balanced way.”

Monocle Media Summit

Image: Alex Atack

Behind the times

When it comes to digital expansion, we learn that sometimes it’s better to let others take the lead.

As more and more media outlets seem to be chasing digital audiences – pivot to video, anyone? – is there something to be said for looking before you leap? For legacy print brands the answer is almost universally yes. “The problem with being early is that can it be very expensive,” said Thomas Linder, CEO of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in the panel “The view from Frankfurt”. He explained that when the paper has charged ahead with digital projects, such as iPad editions, it has often ended up losing money. That’s not to say that experimenting with new formats is verboten, however. But it’s important to do so in a considered way. “I’ve never seen us lose out on chances just because we were a few months behind someone else.”

Sport

Image: Alamy

Snow joke

A Japanese federation has mounted a campaign to get snowball fighting included in the Olympics.

The Winter Olympics had barely ended when officials of one Japanese winter pastime – yukigassen (snowball fighting) – began a public appeal to gain inclusion in the Games. The Japan Yukigassen Federation (JYF), formed in 1993 and based in Nagano prefecture, is one of two groups in Japan to host an annual national tournament for the sport, which features head-to-head matches between two teams hurling snowballs for three minutes or until one side captures the other’s flag. The JYF says it now plans to set up an international sports federation and invite several teams from overseas for its first international competition at Hakuba Ski Jumping Stadium in March 2019. Winning recognition from the International Olympic Committee won’t be easy: JYF officials will have to show that yukigassen is played by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents and by women in at least 40 countries and on three continents.

Military

Image: Getty Images

Billion-dollar question

The US military has requested a significant budget increase from Congress to bolster its special forces.

It is no secret that the US military loves special forces. These elite forces – which include the fabled Seal Team 6 and Air Force Special Tactics Operators, among others – have more troops than ever before and could soon be even bigger. The US military is requesting its largest budget increase from Congress yet for these clandestine forces with the purpose of bolstering their ranks by more than 1,000 troops. Military officials in charge of special operations say they are stretched more than ever, with deployments to 149 countries this year alone (up from 138 last year). The request for $13.6bn (€11bn) – marking a 10 per cent increase – would be geared towards keeping up the current tempo of operations, a rate that many say is unsustainable. There are 70,000 special-operations troops, more than double the number there was before the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001.

From Monocle 24

Image: Christie Jenkins

Jeremy Gavron, Chiara Rimella, Josh Fehnert and James Erskine

The Monocle Weekly

Author Jeremy Gavron discusses his new book Felix Culpa, we preview the latest edition of Monocle magazine with Chiara Rimella and Josh Fehnert, and learn about the story of British ice-skating pioneer and gold medalist John Curry with filmmaker James Erskine, director of new documentary The Ice King.

From Monocle Films

Designing the news

How do you unpack stories in the most engaging way while building a credible and comprehensive brand? Monocle Films showcases best design for paper and screen too.

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