April 2017 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 4th April 2017

Risk education sessions have been held in Rafah. teaching children how to protect themselves in the event of bombing or armed violence. © S. Hejji - HQ / HI

Welcome to IBT’s April newsletter with an update on our work and relevant news from the media industry.    (Download/Print this Newsletter)

This month’s briefing will be with BBC News online

BBC News online has been through a major revamp but it remains without doubt one of the key destinations for audiences wishing to find international content. We are delighted that our next briefing will be with Angus Foster, World editor on BBC News online. Angus will talk us through the changes and the best way to pitch ideas to him and his colleagues. BBC News is often regarded as impenetrable to outsiders so this is a great opportunity for us to get a better understanding of the different points of entry for NGOs wishing to pitch to BBC News. The briefing will take place at 10am on Wednesday April 26th at the IBT offices in Southwark. You can register in the usual way via the IBT website. Apologies to those who wanted to hear from Dan Williams of Sky News – he is still off sick and we will reschedule this event asap.


Launch of new IBT report Video first – making an impact

Next month we’ll be launching our new research report Video first – making an impact. This report looks at the changing media landscape and focuses on online video – who is watching, where are they watching and what are the key lessons for NGOs wishing to produce their own video content? There has been a huge growth in online video and many social media sites actively promote video rather than text or still images. Media organisations are responding by producing more video content but this remains a major challenge for many NGOs. Our report is designed as a practical guide for IBT members. We will be launching it on the morning of Tuesday May 16th at the Channel 4 offices in Horseferry Road. Sophie Chalk will present the key findings and there will be a panel discussion with a range of broadcasters and social media experts. Invitations will go out shortly.


Social media training

We will be running a social media training session in May. This is free to all IBT members. It is mainly targeted at media officers but others are welcome too. The session will provide a refresher on the four main social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. It will give an update on new features and trends and give advice on the capability and uses for each. This event is specially targeted at NGOs and we’ll be showing examples of how NGOs have made good use of the different sites. The training session will be run for us by social media specialists Zoe Amar and Martin Carter. If you have any queries about the content just get in touch. It takes place from 9am – 2pm on Thursday May 25th. Lunch will be provided. Book your place(s) on this site.


Digital advice for charities

Last month, Zoe Amar and David Evans published Charity Digital Skills Report which is a very useful guide on charities and social media. The report argues that a lack of a digital strategy is hampering the progress of many charities. An estimated 50% do not have such a strategy. Many do not see digital as a priority. You can read more by following the hashtag #charitydigireport on Twitter. The full report is here http://report.skillsplatform.org/charitydigitalreportdetail/


Climate change on TV

Channel 4 has announced that it will show a season of programming on climate change to mark Earth Day on April 22nd. This is the culmination of many conversations that we have had with the channel to encourage them to give more prominence to the issue of climate change. Full details of the season have not yet been announced but it will include Earth from Space, a film from Arrow Media, and Escape to Costa Rica, which follows the writer Gaia Vince as she moves from the UK to a country that is well on the way to achieving carbon neutrality.



Tracking your carbon footprint

The BBC has announced that all TV programming within factual, comedy, drama, entertainment and daytime will have to start tracking their carbon footprints from this month. This is the latest success for the Albert carbon calculator which was developed by the BBC and launched by BAFTA several years ago. The Albert scheme helps to identify carbon hotspots and to inform best practice. It’s great to see the television industry making such a sustained effort to reduce its environmental impact. Several BBC shows have been leading the way on this, notably Casualty, Springwatch, Dragon’s Den and BBC Breakfast. If anyone in the development community is aware of similar initiatives in the sector please let us know as we would be keen to publicise these further.


New BBC regulator

This month marks the beginning of a new era of regulation for the BBC. For the first time in its history it will have an outside regulator, Ofcom. Ofcom has published detailed proposals on how it will regulate the BBC which include a series of targets for the number of hours of news and current affairs which the BBC should produce. IBT will be submitting evidence to Ofcom, arguing that the regulator should also be measuring the total number of hours of international content. In a separate development, the BBC Trust has published its own End of Charter review in which it identifies two key challenges for the future: retaining young audiences and improving BAME representation. It says that many mainstream services ‘skew white.’


Channel 4 saved from privatisation

Karen Bradley, the Culture Secretary has announced that Channel 4 will not be privatized. This brings to an end two years of uncertainty for the channel. Privatisation was strongly opposed by IBT as we felt that it would make some key international programmes such as Channel 4 News and Unreported World vulnerable to cuts. The Secretary of State has announced a new review to look at whether Channel 4 should relocate to Birmingham to ensure that it is less London centric as an organisation. Channel 4 is resisting the move, arguing that it would provide a serious distraction from its main task and that its actual physical location should not affect what is on the screen.


Fake News – what are the implications for NGOs?

Channel 4 has called for the introduction of a social media ‘kitemark’ so that regulated news organisations can make their online content stand out, as the main social media platforms find themselves under increasing political pressure to police fake news more effectively. The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has also launched its own enquiry into fake news. The whole debate about fake news may ultimately be good for mainstream quality journalism if it can demonstrate its expertise and ethical values. IBT will be investigating the implications of this debate and the issue of trust in a new report to be published in the autumn. If you have any relevant experience of this issue please let us know.


Bond media group proposed messaging on aid

The Bond media group has identified three key messages that it is asking NGOs to include in their local press releases. The three messages all reflect key drivers that have the potential to persuade those who are marginally engaged to be more actively supportive of aid. The messages (and drivers) are: everyone deserves a fair chance in life (moral driver); making the world a safer place (personal efficacy); and Brits from the NHS through to the Army are playing an important role in tackling poverty (social norms). If you would like the exact wording or would like to find out more about the work of the Bond media group, contact Maryam mmohsin@bond.org.uk or Hratche Hratche.koundarjian@vsoint.org


Best wishes



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