July 2016 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 4th July 2016

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



Our AGM takes place later this month – at 5pm on Tuesday July 12th at the IBT offices in Southwark. It is open to all and is the one occasion in our calendar when IBT members can hear about what we have achieved in the past year and our future plans. It’s also the occasion when we elect our Trustees. This year we have a number of old Trustees stepping down and new ones taking over. Please get in touch if you’d like to attend or see the meeting papers.


Strengthening the BBC’s global purpose

Many thanks to the thirteen CEOs from IBT member organisations who signed letters last month to the Secretary of State at DCMS, the BBC Director General and the Chair of the BBC Trust. These letters have helped to support our case. We have been told that the Government is now actively considering ways of strengthening the global purpose in the new Charter. They are looking into changing the wording of purpose 1 which covers news and current affairs but could now be extended to include factual programmes. They are also investigating whether international content could be one of the criteria used to measure distinctiveness – if this happens, it will be a major step forward and will almost certainly result in the BBC commissioning more international content. We will know more when the new Charter is published in September. In the meantime if you would like more information on this please contact Sophie Chalk, our Head of Advocacy:  sophie.chalk@btinternet.com


 Last month’s briefing with Al Jazeera English

Last month we heard from Al Jazeera English’s Head of News, Ben Rayner. Ben talked about Al Jazeera’s continuing commitment to set a different news agenda from western broadcasters and its affinity with NGOs and the stories that they seek to tell. He gave us useful, practical information on how to pitch ideas to the different planning editors and how to suggest studio guests. Al Jazeera English now broadcasts from only two locations, Doha and London. London is currently on air daily from 5 -11.30pm. A more detailed note on the briefing is available on the IBT website.


Climate change on television

Last month we held a panel discussion at the Sheffield Documentary Festival entitled How to pitch your climate change idea. The session featured independent producers and broadcasters talking about the challenges of pitching climate change related ideas. It also identified opportunities in the schedule for mainstream content that tackles climate change. We also organized a film competition at Sheffield for the best climate change project. The quality of entries was high. Congratulations to filmmaker Jared Scott on winning the pitch for his Windfall project.


Can documentaries help us tell a different story about global development?

Last month we co-hosted a debate with the Institute of Development Studies, looking at the potential for documentaries to engage mainstream audiences with development. The speakers included the multi award winning filmmaker Jezza Neumann who spoke eloquently about both the opportunities and challenges of such films. There was an animated audience discussion which highlighted the need for NGOs and academics to ask more questions when they collaborate with filmmakers. It also made clear the importance of greater differentiation and a better understanding of how different types of documentary are able to reach different audiences. See my blog for IDS:



One World Media Awards

Last month’s One World Media Awards was hosted for the first time by Alex Crawford from Sky News and showcased the best of international journalism. The television documentary prize went to The Truth About Ebola, a This World film for BBC2 made by Quicksilver, producers of Channel 4’s Unreported World strand. The journalist of the year was Erika Solomon from the Financial Times, with Patrick Kingsley of The Guardian and Gabriel Gatehouse of Newsnight, the runners up. It was good to see ITV’s On Assignment strand winning the Women’s Rights in Africa award. We will be hosting a briefing with the editors of On Assignment in the Autumn. A full list of winners is here: http://www.oneworldmedia.org.uk/2016-winners


Public trust in charities falls

New research from the Charity Commission has found that people are increasingly concerned about how charities spend their money and perceived aggressive fundraising techniques. The main reason given for trusting charities less was media coverage. Overall trust has declined from from 67% in 2014 to 57% in 2016. The research is based on a representative sample of 1,000 people and a number of focus groups. 74% of people surveyed said they were uncomfortable with some fundraising methods, up from 66% in 2014.



Best wishes


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