July 2013 Newsletter
Welcome to IBT’s July newsletter with a brief update on our work and relevant news from the media industry. (Print this Newsletter)
Twitter training session
Our next event will be an informal training session on how to get the best out of Twitter. Mary Mitchell, an experienced social media trainer, will be providing tips and suggestions on how to maximise the value of Twitter. This event is aimed at media officers and others who are familiar with the basics of Twitter, and Tweet in their own name or using a corporate account, but would like to know how to make better use of Twitter. It will take place from 10-12 on Friday July 19th at the IBT offices in Southwark. There are a few places left – if you’d like to attend, and have not already booked a place, please email me with your name and a sentence or two saying how you use Twitter, and what you’d like to get out of the event – this will help Mary to target the training so that it addresses the needs of the participants. This event is free for IBT members. Places cost £65 for non members.
Sky News briefing
Unfortunately, last month’s briefing with Tim Miller from Sky News had to be cancelled as Tim was sent to South Africa to manage Sky’s Mandela coverage. The event will now take place later this month. All those who booked places will be guaranteed a place, once a new date has been fixed, on Tim’s return to the UK.
Last month we held our annual general meeting. The consensus of the meeting was that it has been a good year for IBT, but securing our funding base remains a major challenge for the future. Next month we’ll be announcing details of our new membership scheme which will be introduced in January 2014. The aim of the scheme is to make membership fees more transparent and equitable, with the new fee structure based on income. It will involve an increase for some members and a decrease for others. This is the first time that we have increased the membership fee. The AGM also elected three new Trustees to IBT’s Board and we are delighted to welcome them: Margaret Batty from WaterAid, Jane Cooper from UNICEF and Harriet Tolputt from Oxfam.
The future of the World Service
The BBC Trust has published a new service licence for the World Service. This will come into effect in April 2014, when the World Service moves from Foreign Office to licence fee funding. There will be a public consultation to which IBT will be submitting evidence. The new licence gives a clear description of the goals of the World Service and notes that the service needs to be distinctive and innovative, drive a ‘global conversation’ and encourage ‘a shared sense of global citizenship.’ It also outlines how the BBC’s domestic news output will be enhanced by a closer relationship with the World Service. The draft operating licence can be found here: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/consult/wsol/wsol_operating_licence.pdf
Whilst the Foreign Office has yet again cut the World Service’s budget, the BBC has said that next year there will be a budget increase.
The World Service has also released its latest audience figures. Despite significant cuts, the network has increased its global audience. Although the global radio audience has fallen, there has been an increase in online audiences and those watching Persian and Arabic TV.
Media news in brief
– Channel 5 plans to revamp its early evening news bulletin into a forum for discussion about the big stories of the day. The revamped 6.30pm bulletin, produced by ITN and titled NewsTalkLive will launch later this month. The 5pm bulletin will remain a traditional news bulletin.
– African news channel TVC News, run by the former head of Al Jazeera English, has launched on Sky channel 572. The 24 hour news channel is based in Lagos and aims to tell stories ‘through African eyes.’ It will also attempt to highlight some more positive African stories.
– ITN chief executive, John Hardie, says that its new online 24 hour rolling news stream Livestream has been a big hit with audiences. He says that correspondents are increasingly breaking stories online rather than on air, and audiences are turning to the internet for their news updates rather than rolling tv news channels like Sky News.
– Digital users are more willing to pay for news on their smartphones and tablets according to new research from the Reuters Institute http://www.digitalnewsreport.org/
– BBC3 Controller Zai Bennett has confirmed his commitment to placing international current affairs at the heart of the channel’s schedule. BBC3 will continue with its distinctive approach, using young presenters to reflect life in other countries. The latest example of this genre, India – a Dangerous Place to be a Woman, was broadcast last week to widespread acclaim, and is still available to watch on iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03696fw/India_A_Dangerous_Place_to_Be_a_Woman/
– Al Jazeera, which already has a strong track record in airing more international documentaries than any other broadcaster, plans to boost its documentary output. The aim is to broadcast two original 60 minute documentaries every week – they’ll be commissioned by Diarmuid Jeffreys and Flora Gregory.
– Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s Head of Documentaries has been appointed Controller of BBC1, taking over from Danny Cohen who was promoted to Director of Television. Charlotte is the final appointment to Tony Hall’s new leadership team. There has been speculation that she will make major changes at BBC1. She’s been responsible for innovation across documentaries and it’s likely that under her tenure BBC1’s documentary output will expand.
– The Act of Killing, described as ‘this year’s most talked about documentary’, has been a big hit with festival audiences in the UK and elsewhere. It has also had more than 500 screenings across Indonesia where it has reignited a debate about the massacres of Communists and others that took place in the 1960s. What makes this film different from any other is that the massacres are re-enacted with the perpetrators playing themselves. It’s an extraordinary film and well worth seeing if you’ve missed it.