Media News Roundup

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A few stories worth a gander:

1. Guardian Media Group ponders the future of The Observer, among other things. The venerable Sunday newspaper has an average net circulation of around 400,000, around 200,000 less than the Sunday Telegraph and a whole lot less than The Sunday Times, which has an average net of over 1.2 million copies. In a Newsnight report last night, former Sunday newspaper editors agreed that it would be wrong to single out The Observer for blame when it comes to the Guardian Media Group’s losses. But since The Obs was never part of the original Guardian Trust, it would be easy to shed. It’s doing a lot better than The Independent on Sunday (net circulation of just 162,000), and might be snapped up. (Note: Sunday newspapers have an interesting history, and were formerly unique and individual titles with their own traditions and views. They came into being because the traditional dailies refused to publish on the so-called Sabbath. From the start, then, unique Sunday titles had an anti-Establishment vibe, gaining a reputation for sensationalist and campaigning journalism. It’s a shame they all got absorbed into large corporates.)

2. Classic Silly Season story: an MP proposes that airbrushing in magazines aimed at under 16s should be banned. Of course, with Parliament not sitting she hasn’t really proposed this. She’s just taking advantage of the lack of hard news to voice her opinion. New regulations insist that when false eyelashes are used in mascara ads (as they are), then we should be told. It wouldn’t hurt for face creams and other makeup ads to include a little note saying: “model airbrushed”. It might stop a few teenagers from trying to cover their spots with makeup.

3. Another classic Silly Season story: Oxo on the hunt for a new “Oxo family”. Still interesting, of course, because the Oxo ads are always in the business of reflecting back at us an image of the “ideal” family and family lifestyle. It gets harder to do as our society becomes less homogeneous and family life more fragmented.

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