Category Archives: Economics

➤ Fire up the Lada! Gene Hunt is off to Moscow in British TV exports boom

Life on Mars, Philip Glenister , Gene Hunt , John Sim, television series,UK TV exports,

The original UK version of the 70s-set British police series Life on Mars: Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt and John Sim as Sam Tyler, right (BBC)

➢ Today’s Guardian reports that the British TV export industry now brings in more than £1.4bn annually…

❚ Last year sales of UK programmes and format ideas generated revenues of £1.4bn, up from £1.3bn in 2009
❚ North America represented 42% of total UK export revenue in 2010, with Europe 31% and the rest of the world 27%
❚ Sales to Canada rose from £61m to £73m in the year to 2010, a 20% increase
❚ Revenue from ready-to-screen TV sold abroad in 2010 raised £657m, up 15%
[UK Television Exports Survey]

THE CATCHPHRASE ‘Fire up the Lada’ could soon be sweeping Russia. The BBC has licensed the hit TV series Life on Mars, which turned actor Philip Glenister’s politically incorrect DCI Gene Hunt into one of the nation’s best loved characters, to be set in the former Soviet Union and the action relocated from 1970s Manchester to communist Moscow.

The BBC’s announcement comes as figures from the UK Television Exports Survey show that the world’s appetite for British television is booming. The success of formats such as Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor, as well as the dramas Downton Abbey and Sherlock, have led to a 13% rise in export revenues to more than £1.4bn in the past year… /continued at Guardian online

Life on Mars, Jason O’Mara , Harvey Keitel, US TV series,

Next stop, Moscow: The US version of Life on Mars, starred Jason O’Mara as Sam Tyler and Harvey Keitel as a quieter Gene Hunt (photography: FX)

❏ iPAD & TABLET USERS PLEASE NOTE — You are viewing only a very small selection of content from this wide-ranging website on the 1980s, not chosen by the author. To access fuller background features and topical updates please view on a desktop computer


➤ The four catastrophes Martin Luther King foresaw

Martin Luther King Jr, Memorial,Washington

The Martin Luther King Jr National Memorial was to have been dedicated on Sunday, the 48th anniversary of Dr King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Photograph by Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times

Martin Luther King Jr is weeping from his grave, writes the philosopher and Princeton professor, Cornel West, in today’s New York Times …

❚ THE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR MEMORIAL was to be dedicated on the National Mall on Sunday — exactly 56 years after the murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi and 48 years after the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. (Because of Hurricane Irene, the ceremony has been postponed.)

On the Sunday after his assassination, in 1968, Dr King was to have preached a sermon titled “Why America May Go to Hell.”

King did not think that America ought to go to hell, but rather that it might go to hell owing to its economic injustice, cultural decay and political paralysis. He was not an American Gibbon, chronicling the decline and fall of the American empire, but a courageous and visionary Christian blues man, fighting with style and love in the face of the four catastrophes he identified…

Martin Luther King Jr, sermon,Why America May Go to Hell,

Martin Luther King: an unpreached sermon titled “Why America May Go to Hell”

1 Militarism is an imperial catastrophe that has produced a military-industrial complex and national security state and warped the country’s priorities and stature (as with the immoral drones, dropping bombs on innocent civilians).

2 Materialism is a spiritual catastrophe, promoted by a corporate media multiplex and a culture industry that have hardened the hearts of hard-core consumers and coarsened the consciences of would-be citizens. Clever gimmicks of mass distraction yield a cheap soulcraft of addicted and self-medicated narcissists.

3 Racism is a moral catastrophe, most graphically seen in the prison industrial complex and targeted police surveillance in black and brown ghettos rendered invisible in public discourse. Arbitrary uses of the law — in the name of the “war” on drugs — have produced, in the legal scholar Michelle Alexander’s apt phrase, a new Jim Crow of mass incarceration.

4 And poverty is an economic catastrophe, inseparable from the power of greedy oligarchs and avaricious plutocrats indifferent to the misery of poor children, elderly citizens and working people.

➢ Sounds familiar? Continue reading Martin Luther King Jr weeps from his grave, at the NYT


➤ 30 years ago today: “The Day the Middle Class Died”

filmmaker, Michael Moore,blogger,

Fighting America’s downward slide: Moore blames President Reagan

❚ PROVOCATEUR EXTRAORDINAIRE and Oscar-winning filmmaker, Michael Moore, argues today on his OpenMike blog that President Ronald Reagan (1981–1989) kick-started the decline of the American economy on this day in August, 30 years ago. As the USA’s international credit rating is tomorrow set to lose its triple-A status and China proposes a new global reserve currency for the 21st century, Moore claims that in 1981 “Big Business and the Right Wing decided to ‘go for it’ — to see if they could actually destroy the middle class so that they could become richer themselves” . . .

➢ Read his full rant “The Day the Middle Class Died”


2011 ➤ EPIC forecasts for the 2015 media landscape loom closer than we think

Robin Sloan , Matt Thompson, Poynter Institute, EPIC 2014, EPIC 2015, new media

A decade from now, it has never been easier for people to make their lives part of the media landscape . . . The press, as you know it, has ceased to exist. After the News Wars of 2010, The New York Times loses a supreme-court battle with Google and eventually goes offline as a print-only newsletter for the elite . . . 20th-century news organisations are a remnant of a not too distant past.
— EPIC predictions made in 2004

❚ SUCH UNWELCOME FORECASTS of global media convergence were made in 2004 by two young Americans, Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson, alumni of the Poynter Institute. EPIC 2014 was the title of a flash slideshow made by Sloan and Thompson for the fictitious Museum of Media History. Set in 2014, it charted the history of the internet from 1989, and envisaged an evolving mediascape and the impact of online technologies on print and on daily life. It coined the word “Googlezon” from a putative merger of Google and Amazon to form the “Google Grid”, and predicted “news wars” after which the online New York Times reverted to being a print-only paper for a literate, elderly elite.

EPIC 2015, GooglezonThe emergent media mechanism was dubbed EPIC — the Evolving Personalised Information Construct — which spookily anticipated Google Maps and GPS matched to personalised data capture, all too familiar to us today through Google, Facebook and mobile phone apps.

Epic 2014 was prescient and unnerving in 2004. As superfast broadband was rolled out many of its prophecies came into existence, and a year later MySpace was being bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Epic 2015 was an updated sequel in 2005 only marginally less dystopian than the original. Its vision will certainly rattle the confidence of all affected by the latest concerns at Guardian News Media (GNM) in the UK.

➢ View Epic 2015 — an eight-minute vision of a media landscape that is almost upon us


➢ Guardian News and Media is to axe dozens of staff after it lost £33m in the last financial year — Daily Telegraph report June 17

Alan Rusbridger, Guardian News Media, GMG,

Alan Rusbridger: only the tenth Guardian editor in the newspaper’s 190-year history

“Andrew Miller, chief executive of GNM’s parent company, Guardian Media Group (GMG), told staff in a series of briefings yesterday that the group could run out of cash in three to five years unless it underwent a ‘major transformation’ . . . The Guardian will continue to publish in the morning, but will focus on analysis and opinion instead of reporting widely available news.”

➢ The Guardian faces going out of print after warning of a cash crisis — Daily Telegraph report June 18

“Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, has repeatedly had to dispel rumours that the title might stop producing printed papers altogether and become an internet-only business . . . Andrew Miller’s commitment to a ‘digital first’ strategy relies partly on launching an online-only New York office later this year, which he hopes will help take The Guardian’s website into the top 10 most read in the US, where advertisers would automatically include it in major national campaigns.”

➢ Update June 27 from Media Guardian: Media guru Jeff Jarvis on what Digital First means for journalism

“News mimics the architecture of the internet: end-to-end, witness-to-world, without a central gatekeeper… Reporting is our highest journalistic priority. Telling stories will always have a role. But journalists have more roles to play today. When working in collaboration with the public — which can help news become at once more expansive and less expensive — it may be useful to help collaborators improve what they do: journalist as community organiser, journalism teacher, support system. At every turn, the question must be where can I add the greatest value? Is that necessarily in writing articles?”

➢ “We’ll all have voices in our heads by 2040” — View video of Ray Hammond, the futurologist who coined the term “online” back in 1984, discussing eight key drivers of the future as seen from June 2011. Download his latest book free


➤ Smartphones become UK shoppers’ essentials

online dating, smartphones, apps, digital economy❚ “SMART PHONES, APPS AND DATING AGENCY FEES have been added to the basket of goods the government uses to calculate the cost of living. The new additions show the importance of the burgeoning digital economy. The basket is designed to reflect what Britons really spend their money on, enabling the government to calculate how rises in prices are affecting living standards… Television prices are being collected differently to separate out TVs larger than 32 inches — reflecting the rise of home cinema systems.”

➢ UK’s shopping basket updated: apps in, fleeces are out
— Full report at Guardian online