The Wrap: Jonathan Reed Managing Director Sunny Thinking

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Each Friday in The Wrap, one of the North’s leading media and creative figures gives us their take on the week’s news covered by Prolific North. This week it’s the turn of Jonathan Reed Managing Director Sunny Thinking.

I’ve got to start my wrap of this week’s news with a nod to what’s going on in Russia. Hasn’t the World Cup been superb so far? After last week’s massive audience figures of 18.3m for the Tunisia game it was interesting to see BBC One’s coverage of England’s win over Panama achieved an 82.9% peak share of the TV audience - the biggest of the tournament so far. 14.1m watching on TV and 2.8m live stream requests across BBC online is huge. It will be interesting to see what happens if England progress through the knock-outs. Research suggests the feel-good factor of England doing well will spike consumer confidence and increase spending which is obviously good for the economy.

Thinking of the World Cup and global travel, a massive happy birthday to Manchester Airport as they celebrate their 80th anniversary. The short video they created with the fantastic poet Tony Walsh is a wonderful way to highlight how the airport has become ‘the beating heart’ of the North and played such a significant part in many of our personal and business lives. 'Time Flies' tells the story of the airport’s evolution from a wooden hut in 1938 to becoming the UK’s third largest airport. That’s 80 years of amazing human stories. As the airport continues with its £1bn transformation programme, it will be exciting to see what new journeys and adventures are told over the coming years.

Time does fly indeed. I set up Sunny Thinking 10 years ago and so much has changed during that time, especially when you consider how rapidly technology is transforming our lives. News of Jaguar Land Rover committing their Tech Hub to Manchester is brilliant and so too is Allied London’s plans for Enterprise City. Creating a “cluster for modern industries” centred around the former Granada Television building, will develop the media, tech and supporting creative industries in the region and they hope over 10,000 jobs. There’s so much to embrace in that.

There’s always a flip-side to obviously consider when it comes to technology and how we adopt it. I’ll be fascinated to see the results from the independent review into the future of British journalism for example. It’s hugely important we protect and support high-quality journalism so that it can be effectively produced, distributed and consumed. Yes, digital obviously plays a massive fundamental part in that. But credible, authentic journalism needs to stand proudly above the oceans of poorly written content that has appeared online.

As a dad myself, I find it fascinating, exciting and worrying to equal degrees when considering the fast-paced world my children will grow up in and the part technology will inevitably play. The study by Parents Insights showing that 2/3 of Under 2s are using tablets and 1/3 can even open apps doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. It was also revealing to read parent’s attitudes towards social media for their children. Ironic, considering many of them probably have their own social media and mobile addiction! It’s yet another intriguing insight in to our increasingly digital world.