November 2014 newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 3rd November 2014

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


The aid industry – what journalists really think

Today we publish a new briefing for IBT members. As the aid industry comes under increasing media scrutiny it’s vital that NGOs working in this field have a clearer idea of what journalists think about aid and development. From the journalists’ point of view, what works and what doesn’t? What are the issues that particularly concern them? In our latest report The aid industry – what journalists really think we hear from a range of journalists working in the press, radio, television and online. We asked them to tell us on and off the record what their own personal views were about NGOs and aid. Some of this report gives cause for concern but our aim in publishing it is to enable NGOs to respond more effectively to media criticism in the future. The report is essential reading for all media officers and others involved in communicating to the media. We shall be organising a series of events to promote discussion of the report’s findings. A copy of the report is attached to this newsletter. It can also be found in the members’ area of the website but it will not be available in the public area of the site. Distribution will be limited to IBT members.


Bond Transparency Group to discuss new IBT report

The first event at which we will discuss the findings of The aid industry – what journalists really think will be the next meeting of the Bond Transparency Group. On Friday December 12th, the Bond group will be debating In the Public Interest: NGOs, Transparency and the Media. The speakers will be Mark Galloway (IBT Director) and Caroline Diehl (Media Trust Chief Executive). The meeting will take place at 2pm at the ActionAid offices in Clerkenwell. This is an open event but places need to be booked in advance with the group’s co-chair

See also ActionAid’s own report on transparency:


Last month’s briefing with Focus on Africa

Last month we heard from the editors of Focus on Africa, Rachael Akidi and Stephane Mayoux. Rachael, who edits the radio show, told us that she was keen to find stories from countries that rarely featured, such as Angola, Swaziland, Lesotho, Guinea Bissau and Equatorial Guinea. Stephane, who edits the tv show, said that it was time for media coverage of Africa to move beyond what he called its traditional 3D approach –focusing on death, disease and destruction. A detailed note on the briefing can be found in the members’ area of the IBT website.


Next briefing with Today

Our next briefing will focus on Today, without doubt the most influential UK news programme. The show has undergone a series of changes under its news editor, Jamie Angus. Jamie has also attracted attention for his recent remarks, in which he said that audiences were turned off by a bleak diet of international stories, and that new ways needed to be found to engage audiences with global issues. The briefing will take place at 10am on Wednesday November 26th. Representing the Today editorial team will be senior producer Adam Cumiskey. Adam will also take us through the best way to pitch ideas to the show. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come basis. They must be booked via the members’ area of the IBT website.


iPhone and iPad training session

In December we will be running a training session on how to shoot, record sound and edit using an iPhone or iPad. As Stephane told us at the Focus on Africa briefing, broadcasters are increasingly willing to screen material shot on mobile devices but there is a huge variation in the quality of the material depending on how well the device and associated apps and accessories are used. Recording good quality sound is especially important. We have asked Mark Egan, an experienced trainer, to run a half day training session for IBT members. It will take place from 9.30-2 on Thursday December 18th. This is a free event but places are limited as the training can only be effective with a small group. Places can be booked now via the members’ area of the IBT website.


Reframing climate change

Last month we held our Reframing climate change event at Channel 4. It was attended by a dozen independent producers and half a dozen Channel 4 commissioners. We brought them together with a group of experts which included climate scientists but also many from other fields who were thinking about climate change – business, economics, architecture, fashion, transport etc. The aim was to brainstorm new ways for Channel 4 to cover climate change. We will be following this up with similar events with other broadcasters.


Wild Screen Festival discusses IBT report

IBT’s report The Environment on TV- are broadcasters meeting the challenge? was discussed at a special session at the Wild Screen Festival in Bristol last month. The festival brings together producers from around the world who make natural history programmes. These programmes have traditionally avoided mentioning climate change but that approach is changing and there was wide recognition at the festival that this area of programming needs to look more closely at the way the environment is changing and the impact of these changes.


Africa Investigates – Living with Ebola

The Frontline Club is to screen an episode of the Al Jazeera series Africa Investigates. The episode entitledLiberia – Living with Ebola will reportedly bring an African perspective to coverage of the issue. The screening, on Monday November 10th, will be followed by a Q and A with reporter Sorious Samura and director Clive Patterson, chaired by Tom Clarke, Science editor of Channel 4 News

An episode of Panorama, the BBC1 current affairs strand, will also track the impact of Ebola in west Africa. Filmed in association with MSF, the programme is due to air on Monday November 10th


Russia Today to launch UK channel

Russia Today (RT) is launching a UK news channel to bring what it calls ‘new perspectives to our viewers; to show them the side of the story they won’t see on the mainstream channels’ according to Margarita Simonyan, RT’s editor in chief. The international version of RT is already available in the UK but the new channel will have 5 hours of original programming every day, specifically targeted at UK audiences. This will include news, documentaries made by UK producers and chat shows, supplemented by programming from its main international channel. RT UK will be shown on Freeview channel 135 and Sky channel 512.



Best wishes


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