December 2013 Newsletter
Welcome to IBT’s December newsletter with a brief update on our work and relevant news from the media industry. (Print this Newsletter)
Briefing with Channel 4 News
Our next briefing will be from 10-12 on Tuesday December 10th. We’ll be hearing from Nevine Mabro, Foreign Editor of Channel 4 News and Job Rabkin Commissioning Editor for the C4 News Film Fund. This event is for IBT members only. There are a few places left – if you’d like to attend, please register using the members’ area of the IBT website. Any problems registering, let me know.
Making sense of the global economy
We have now launched our new project which explores media coverage of the global economy. Yesterday, Channel 4 co-hosted a round table discussion, chaired by Michael Crick. Attendees included Paul Mason from Channel 4 News, Ed Conway from Sky News, Richard Miller from ActionAid, Loretta Minghella from Christian Aid and representatives from the BBC, government, business and academia. It was an enlightening discussion that looked at ways of broadening economics coverage to include a wider range of voices, including those dissenting from the consensus view that economic growth is good per se, and also the need to reflect more effectively connections between actions we take in the UK and their impacts around the world. We’ll be continuing with this project in 2014.
BBC Charter renewal
The Culture Media and Sport Select Committee has announced a new inquiry into the future of the BBC. This effectively kicks off the public debate about the next BBC Charter. The current Charter ends in December 2016. So we face almost three years of debate about the future of the BBC. IBT will be submitting evidence to the Select Committee. Please let us know if you have any views you’d like us to include. The central argument will be about the optimum size of the BBC. Do we want the BBC as it is, with a licence fee of £145 a year, or do we want a much smaller BBC at less cost? The BBC Director General Tony Hall has begun to address this issue in his public statements. It’s IBT’s view that the size of the BBC is one of its great strengths and, as Tony Hall reminded the audience at a recent VLV event, the BBC is no longer the biggest broadcasting organisation in the UK (that’s Sky) and nor is the BBC the global player it once was (it’s dwarfed for example by CCTV).
The Environment on TV – are broadcasters meeting the challenge?
Following the publication last month of our new research report, examining media coverage of the environment, we organised a round table discussion so that broadcasters and producers could meet scientists and campaigners and look at practical ways in which programme ideas could be developed. With the support of broadcasters, we’ll be doing more work on this next year, brokering new partnerships between producers and climate scientists and campaigners. Copies of the research report can be downloaded from our website.
The Climate Media Net
A new organisation, the Climate Media Net, has been launched to develop tv projects about climate change. The Net will pull in information and stories from a network of experts, including NGOs, and will generate early stage ideas for media content. The ideas will be the starting point for discussions with independent producers, commissioning editors and journalists.
One World Media Awards
The call for entries has just been announced for next year’s One World Media Awards which will take place on Tuesday May 6th 2014. The annual awards recognise excellence in international media coverage and highlight the role of journalists and filmmakers in increasing cultural understanding and promoting fairness and justice worldwide. For the first time, there will be an award which recognises corruption reporting.
The European Social Documentary
ESoDoc, the European Social Documentary, is open for registration. This training scheme brings together filmmakers, new media professionals and NGO film practitioners who want to develop projects about social issues and find new funding strategies. The project has been widely praised for its innovative approach enabling participants to develop a range of creative and practical skills.
Media coverage of Africa
The BBC Trust has held a seminar to look at media reporting of Africa. The decision to hold this seminar follows discussions that IBT has been holding with the Trust on this issue. The seminar covered a wide range of themes: Is coverage too polarised? Is it either bad news or the Africa rising narrative but not much in between? Are there enough African reporters with access to mainstream audiences? Is there enough coverage of Africa in the mainstream? Is news dominated by the so called ‘NGO agenda?’ There was a widespread feeling amongst attendees that BBC News coverage was improving as a result of the merger with the World Service and the frequent conversations that were taking place between the WS Africa team and the producers of news programmes aimed at mainstream UK audiences. James Harding, the BBC’s Head of News, said he would like to see more coverage of Africa on programmes such the Six O’clock News and the Ten – and that the key was to find more good stories.
Inspiring ideas about Africa
There will be a TEDx event in London on Saturday December 7th looking at ‘inspiring ideas about Africa.’ The aim of the event is to hear ideas coming from a new generation of African thinkers and leaders. TEDx Euston is an independently organised TED event. There are a few tickets still available.
Many thanks to all those who have given us feedback on the value of this newsletter. From January 2014 it will become a members-only newsletter. If you are currently receiving this but do not belong to one of our member organisations or have not joined as an individual member, this is the last newsletter you will receive. All former and present staff and trustees will also receive the newsletter. If you’re unsure of whether your organisation is a member, you can check here.
New IBT member
We’re delighted to welcome AFFORD, the African diaspora group, as a new member of IBT.