December 2017 Newsletter

robin 5th December 2017

Sophie Powell, Chief of UK Advocacy and Campaigns

Welcome to IBT’s December newsletter with an update on our work and relevant news from the media industry.

View the latest IBT_Newsletter in PDF format.

This month’s briefing with the Sunday papers

Last month we heard from four newspaper executives who gave a clear idea of the sort of stories they were looking for and the best way to pitch to them. The speakers were Kate Mansey from the Mail on Sunday, Dominic Herbert from The Sunday Mirror, Joe Shute from The Telegraph and Tracy McVeigh from The Observer. Tracy now runs Guardian Development and spoke about some of changes she is planning for the site. All encouraged the IBT members present to get in touch with their ideas. You can find a more detailed note on what was said with contact details of the speakers on the members’ page of the IBT website. We shot a short interview afterwards with Joe who gave some useful advice.

Joe recently wrote a story for Telegraph Magazine on WWF’s campaign to save the tiger.

Digital leadership workshop

Later this month we will be running our first digital leadership workshop, which will explore some of the challenges of achieving digital change across an organization. Zoe Amar, who specializes in digital leadership in the NGO sector, will lead the workshop, which will include a detailed case study from an international NGO. This session is suitable for heads of digital or others who wish to know more about how to achieve digital change. It will take place from 9am to 2pm on Thursday December 14th at the IBT offices. If you’d like to attend, please register now via the IBT website.

Social media refresher

In January, we’ll be back with our popular social media refresher. Martin Carter will take us through the latest trends across the main social media platforms – Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter – and he’ll show us examples of best practice from a range of NGOs. This event is designed for media officers and others who are regular users of one or more of these platforms. Last time we ran this session we received excellent feedback. The session will run from 9-2 on Thursday January 18 2018. Lunch will be included. This is a free event for IBT members. Do share the details with anyone in your organization who you think might be interested. If you’d like to attend, you can register now via the IBT website.

Help us select the outstanding international TV or radio programme of 2017

Later this month we will be launching a new award for the best international TV or radio programme broadcast in the UK, to be nominated by IBT members. We are running the award in conjunction with VLV (the Voice of the Listener and Viewer) the influential pressure group that represents the interests of audiences. Of course there are other awards that recognize outstanding media coverage of global issues but this is different as all the programmes that are shortlisted for the award will be nominated by IBT members. This is very much our own award which we hope you will support by nominating your favourite programmes. To do so, just get in touch with us via email, Twitter or Facebook. We will be announcing more details of the award later this month.

Changes at ITV News

ITV News is expanding its presence online with three new shows hosted by some of its top presenters. Robert Peston will host Now What? Julie Etchingham will interview leading women from all walks of life in Ask A Woman. And Rageh Omaar will host a discussion show called Young, British and Muslim.

ITV commits to strengthening its news offer

The changes at ITV News are part of a wider commitment by ITV to public service broadcasting. Sir Peter Bazalgette, ITV’s Executive Chairman, spoke about this at the recent VLV conference and in an article for The Guardian. He argued that there is a crisis of trust in the public sphere so news from trusted sources is more important than ever. Recent Ofcom research shows that audiences have a high level of trust in news from the public service broadcasters – the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Read more from Sir Peter here.

New research on children’s TV viewing habits

The media regulator, Ofcom, has published its annual survey of children’s media use. If you are targeting children and want an up to date picture of how they use media, then this is a useful resource. Interestingly, television remains an important source of news for children – and is more widely trusted than social media. Download the survey report (pdf).

The Ofcom research found that many children feel there is not enough content on television that reflects their lives. This concern was addressed recently by Alice Webb, the head of children’s at the BBC, in an interview with The Guardian. She said the BBC is investing extra money to produce British made children’s content.

New research on media coverage of refugees

The Refugee Reporting project has published new research that looks at media representation of refugees and migrants in Europe. The research was carried out in seven European countries including the UK. The project is run by WACC (the World Association for Christian Communication) and CCME (the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe). The researchers found that most stories focused on the issues and failed to give a voice to individual refugees or migrants. Where individuals did feature they were seen as refugees or migrants rather than as people who had a previous life and a job. Some groups, particularly women, were underrepresented. The report includes practical recommendations for media and civil society organisations. An executive summary can be seen here (pdf).

What do Daily Mail readers really think about UK aid?

The audience insight agency, Humankind Research, has been running focus groups with Daily Mail readers to find out what they really think about aid and to offer some suggestions for how NGOs can be more effective in reaching these audiences. It appears that they view NGOs as part of the establishment, and that those NGOs who can present themselves as being ‘on their side’ have a better chance of being viewed positively. They want to be sure that the money they give to charity is being well used and is genuinely making a difference. There is a feeling of distance, that the money is being spent far away in a way that gives them little control. Humankind’s conclusion is that emotion is the key way forward, by appealing to shared values.  This research will be discussed at the Bond conference in February.

What is the editorial agenda of RT?

If you’ve been wondering what the thinking behind RT, formerly Russia Today, is then it’s worth taking a look at this article by Guardian reporter Tim Dowling who watched the channel for a week.

IBT research on fake news and how to spot fake pictures

Many of you have helped us gather evidence for our new research on fake news, which we will be publishing in January. But if you know of any particular instances where your NGO or another one has been the victim of fake news then please do get in touch. An interesting example of fake news was highlighted recently by BBC online. It identified a fake picture that was appearing on social media purporting to be of the Sinai bombing of a mosque in which more than 200 people lost their lives. The photo was actually 3 years old. The BBC gave some useful advice on how to spot fake photos.

Global Health Film Festival, December 8 and 9

The Global Health Film Festival has just published its programme. The festival takes place at the Barbican on Friday and Saturday with extensive screenings and workshops. I’ll be chairing a discussion on Friday afternoon on two important films, The Heart of the Matter and The Life Equation. These films raise questions about the most effective way of spending scarce resources on global health. See the full programme here (pdf).

Best wishes


IBT’s mission is to use the media to further awareness and understanding of people’s lives in the developing world and the issues which affect them

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