December 2014 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 2nd December 2014

Welcome to IBT’s December newsletter with a brief update on our work and relevant news from the media industry.     (Print this Newsletter)

HIV and stigma – the media challenge

Following the launch of our research report in September in the House of Commons, we have been exploring what IBT can do to ensure that media content which aims to  reduce the stigma of HIV has greater impact. We have had meetings with funders, NGOs specialising in HIV treatment and care and pharmaceutical companies to discuss how best we can contribute to ensure that current work in frontline treatment is supported by impactful media. We are hoping to present some concrete proposals to HIV specialists in the New Year. We have also continued to disseminate the research which has been sent to many frontline HIV organisations around the world. If any IBT members with networks in developing countries affected by HIV can assist in this process we would be grateful for your support. We want to ensure that our recommendations are as widely read as possible.


Bond Transparency Group to discuss IBT report on media coverage of aid

Last month we published our new report The aid industry – what journalists really think in which we quoted journalists and their personal views about NGOs and aid. The report raised a number of issues for NGOs but its aim is to enable IBT members to be more proactive in the face of media criticism. Later this month, I’ll be presenting our findings to members of the Bond Transparency Group. This is an open event, which will take place on Friday December 12th, at 2pm at the ActionAid offices in Clerkenwell. If you wish to attend, please contact the organizer

Last month’s briefing with Today

Last month we heard from Adam Cumiskey, acting planning editor on Today. Adam gave us a very useful insight into how a planning editor deals with ideas coming in from NGOs and others. In one week, he deals with around 150-200 potential stories. Adam  emphasized the importance of establishing a personal relationship and advised that press releases should be much more carefully targeted and contain a clear top line, named experts available for interview and case studies. Notes from Adam’s briefing can be downloaded from the members’ area of the IBT website.



Next briefing will be with online news websites

Our next briefing will focus on online news websites and have a slightly different format from normal. We’ll be hearing from a panel of 4 editors – from Buzzfeed, Vice News, Huffington Post and New Statesman online. The editors will talk about how to pitch stories and proposed blogs to them – and they’ll give advice on how online material can achieve greater exposure. This event will take place from 10-12 on Tuesday January 27th. Further details about the speakers can be found on the IBT website and places can be booked now.



iPhone and iPad training session

Later this month, we will run our first training session on how to shoot, record sound and edit using an iPhone or iPad. The trainer will be Mark Egan. This event is now fully subscribed but we hope to run another session next year. If there’s sufficient demand, we will also run a session for android appliances. The iPhone training will take place from 9.30-1 on Thursday December 18th. If you have booked a place and are no longer able to attend, please let me know, so that I can offer your place to someone else.



CEOs and Twitter

Last month we held a training event aimed at helping CEOs to be more effective on Twitter. The event was run by our regular Twitter trainer, Mary Mitchell.  There’s a useful new guide for CEOs which is now available online. Written by Zoe Amar and Matt Collins, the guide is aimed at CEOs interested in developing their voice on Twitter and other social media.


Reframing climate change

Later this month we will be holding our next event with producers in our Reframing climate change project. This event is aimed at the BBC’s long form documentary strand, Storyville. We’ll be bringing together half a dozen producers from the strand with a group of experts involved in climate science, technology, business and architecture.  Next year we will be holding similar events with Sky, BBC Science and Natural History and Channel 5.



Climate change – what do young people think?

The Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN) has published a new report documenting what young people think about climate change. The Young Voices report interviewed 18-25 year olds and concludes that present engagement strategies are failing with young people. It proposes – and tests – new climate change narratives aimed specifically at this age group.



Any ideas for Unreported World?

Channel 4’s Friday night current affairs series, Unreported World, has now completed its present run. If you missed it, there was a superb episode investigating the plight of deaf children living in rural Uganda. 15 and Learning to Speak is still available to view online


The team at Quicksilver is now researching stories for the next series which will go out in the spring. If you’d like to pitch ideas to them, get in touch with their new Associate Producer, and mention IBT in your email. If you’d like advice on what kind of stories would work for the strand just email me.



Two events to look out for

On December 3rd, the Frontline Club will host a panel discussion Documenting Disasters: Ten Years on from the Indian Tsunami. The event will consider the way in which communicating natural disasters has changed especially now that affected communities are using social media to tell their own stories and journalists are also using social media to gather information.


On December 9th, the ODI and BBC Media Action will host a debate Making waves: the media’s potential for girls in the global south which will look at how media can play a positive role in improving girls’ lives.



Thank you dinner for John Whitaker

In January we’ll be holding a farewell dinner for John Whitaker who stepped down as IBT Chair in the summer. John steered IBT through a period of great change, serving as Chair from 2002-2014. The dinner will take place on Thursday January 15th – if you’d like to attend and have not already let me know, please get in touch.


Best wishes




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