From SpaceX to ZX and cover to cover hits

Media made the headlines in every sense last week, as bold covers from Time and ES magazine lit up social timelines. For Facebook, the spotlight brought unwelcome scrutiny, in the form of a damming Wall Street Journal Investigation (WSJ). And while Elon Musk’s SpaceX somehow managed to fly under the radar, there was unavoidably sad news from the UK, as Sir Clive Sinclair – inventor of the ZX Spectrum – passed away. So fire up your tape-decks and prepare for launch, as we load up another week in Media… 

Magazines engage from cover to cover: Two magazine covers set tongues wagging last week, as Time and ES magazine reminded us of the power of a strong visual. The former ran with an image of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who the publication included on its Top 100 Most Influential of 2021 list. The image received some detailed social commentary, with some readers suggesting that the Prince’s bald spot had been airbrushed, while others speculated that he looked like a hairdresser talking Meghan through what he’d done to her layers.

Facebook hits back at The WSJ: For Facebook, last week’s media scrutiny left the company looking far from fashionable. The Wall Street Journal published the findings of an investigative report into the social media giant, inclusive of what it claims are internal documents. One slide posted on the Facebook message board is reported to say, “Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” while an internal programme known as XCheck has given millions of celebrities and other high-profile users special treatment that exempts them from certain rules.

Reflecting the more positive side of the industry: While the platform-publisher dispute rages on, there are also more positive stories beginning to emerge from Mediaville. A new agency has been launched in the UK, focussed specifically on championing diverse and inclusive influencer talent. Launching last Thursday, Reflect will operate as a non-profit D&I influencer talent management agency, with all revenues generated being pumped back into its social enterprise vision.

Space X fails to ignite the imagination: We’ve reported this year on pioneering space launches for both Richard Branson’s Virgin Galatic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, both of which became significant global media events. So roll-up Elon Musk and SpaceX – the company that’s arguably winning today’s commercial space race, technologically at least.

Sir Clive Sinclair dies: There was sad news from the UK last week as Sir Clive Sinclair – creator of the ZX Spectrum and electric powered Sinclair C5 – passed away at the age of 81. He is also credited as being the inventor of the pocket calculator. The Guardian newspaper reportedthat Elon Musk, commenting on an article about Sir Clive on Twitter, wrote: “RIP, Sir Sinclair. I loved that computer.” His daughter, Belinda, told the newspaper: “He was a rather amazing person. Of course, he was so clever and he was always interested in everything. My daughter and her husband are engineers so he’d be chatting engineering with them.”

You can view the full article on the FIPP website here.