The Week Kick-off: Big Issue rebrand as Zuckerberg saves face

The clocks went back in the UK over the weekend, but the world still remains at one minute to midnight on climate change, as global leaders headed to Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). Meanwhile, The Big Issue has today joined Facebook in a major rebrand, while The Economist has put its monetary knowledge where its mouth is and sold its very first NFT. It’s the start of a new week in media, and you’ve never met a more self-referential digest to take you through it… 

One minute to midnight: Boris Johnson will today tell global leaders that the world is at “one minute to midnight” when it comes to tackling climate change. The eyes of the world are now on Glasgow, where more than 120 world leaders are in attendance of the COP26 conference for urgent UN climate talks. We looked last week at how Gold Key Media is playing its part in the event, delivering the world’s press to its total 30,000+ delegates.

30 years in the making: Also in the UK, The Big Issue continues to tackle one of the other huge humanitarian challenges of our time: homelessness. The magazine today launched its latest issue, which includes a redesign marking 30 years of publication. In that time, the organisation has helped more than 105,000 vendors earn over £144 million. Since its launch in 1991, over 200 million copies of The Big Issue have been sold.

In addition to a bolder, more visible cover, the new-approach magazine incorporates greater use of photography and curates the biggest issues of the week, as well as new sections, including a digest of news and views that set out The Big Issue agenda. Full story here.

Zuckerberg saves face…or has he? Few could have avoided the other big rebrand news last week that Facebook is now Meta. It’s a pivot that reflects the CEO’s desire to steer the overall organisation towards a new north star focussed on helping build out the metaverse, while Facebook’s current crop of services looks set to remain unchanged… for the time being at least.

The rebrand comes as the company has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks, not least as former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, has appeared before committees in both the UK and US. But Facebook’s public relations play has not necessarily been helped by a series of awkward videos featuring Mark Zuckerberg that have released around the relaunch, including an insight into the company’s gaming aspirations.

Economist sells NFT: We recently reported that The Economist has launched its first ever NFT, to raise money for The Economist Educational Foundation (TEEF), an independent charity. Titled ‘Down the rabbit hole: The promise and perils of decentralised finance’, the cover NFT has now been sold, fetching an impressive US$422,000.

BBC appoints first ever health disinformation reporter: The BBC has appointed Rachel Schraer to the position of Health Disinformation Reporter, in the first role of its kind at the organisation. Over the past 18 months, Schraer has focussed on identifying and debunking misleading information about Covid-19, and will continue in this capacity as well as investigating misinformation about wider health topics.

Elsewhere at the organisation, BBC Presenter and Chief International Correspondent has been named Broadcaster of the Year by the London Press Club. Tweeting from Canada, the reporter said, “It was a bolt out of the blue to receive this news. I have to say it left me breathless for a while, I didn’t quite believe it. Thank-you!”

Rajar returns: Following a brief hiatus at the start of the year, Radio Joint Audience Research Limited (RAJAR) began publishing listening figures again last week, and the UK’s Q3 results made for some interesting reading… 89% of the country’s population tunes into some form of radio once a week, with 74% of the population specifically tuning into digital.

You can read the article in full on FIPP.com here.