Facebook Watch has commissioned Britain’s Channel 4 News, the division responsible for breaking the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal, to make a weekly news show. It will launch Uncovered in the new year, which will go behind the headlines to tackle stories that often go unreported, focusing on one single major international issue each week. It forms part of Facebook’s funded news show scheme. The ten-minute show will be fronted by specialist C4 News correspondents from around the world. Ben de Pear, editor of C4 News, said, “When the credibility of news is being constantly challenged, never has it been more important to increase the visibility and reach of high-quality sources of news across social network platforms. That is why we are excited to work with Facebook Watch, bringing together compelling content on a platform that connects audiences with timely and reliable news videos, produced by serious news organisations and being properly funded.” “Channel 4 News has a proven track record for engaging their audiences with investigative reporting,” added Shelley Venus, Video Lead, News Partnership, Facebook. “I look forward to seeing how Uncovered highlights unreported international issues in a mobile-first format and shows people what else is happening in the world.”
Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run producer Aardman is to hand over ownership of the film and TV animation studio to its employees. Co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton are to transfer the company into employee ownership, transferring the majority of shares into a trust. The pair said that they hoped the move would allow Aardman to remain independent. Sproxton will continue as Managing Director but will look to appoint a new MD in the next 12 months before moving into a consultancy role. Lord will continue as Creative Director and will focus on its feature film output including forthcoming Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddo and Chicken Run 2, while Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park will continue to have an active role. “We’re not quitting yet”, said Lord & Sproxton. “But we are preparing for our future. This approach, the creation of an employee trust, is the best solution we have found for keeping Aardman doing what it does best, keeping the teams in place and providing continuity for our highly creative culture. And of course, those that create value in the company will continue to benefit directly from the value they create. The statistics show that employee owned companies are significantly more successful than conventionally owned companies. So, we are very excited by the prospect of seeing Aardman roll far into the future under this arrangement and can rest easy that those four decades which have slipped by have paved the way for many more years of great creativity”, they continued.