June 2014 newsletter
Welcome to IBT’s June newsletter with a brief update on our work and relevant news from the media industry. (Print this Newsletter)
IBT training events
We have a few places left at our two training events which will take place later this month. Both are aimed at media officers and others who want to enhance their skills. The introduction to stills photography with Crispin Hughes takes place on Tuesday June 24th. The Twitter training with Mary Mitchell takes place on Friday June 27th. Further details are on our website. Please share them with any colleagues in your organization who may be interested. These events are free to IBT members but numbers are limited. To register, use the member login button on the home page http://www.ibt.org.uk/
HIV and stigma – the media challenge
Many thanks to all who attended our round table event last month to discuss the initial findings of our report on global media coverage of HIV. The report is now being drafted and will be launched on the evening of Tuesday September 2nd at the House of Commons, in a joint event with the All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS. Invitations will go out nearer the time.
Our annual general meeting will take place at 5pm on Thursday July 3rd at the IBT offices in Southwark. This event is open to all members and is the one opportunity that members have each year to hear more about IBT, its activities over the past year and plans for the future. If you’d like to attend please let me know. This will be the last AGM for our Chair John Whitaker who will be standing down. We owe John a huge debt for presiding over a period of great change for IBT. Our new Chair will be Marie Staunton, the former Chief Executive of Plan International UK.
Climate change a priority for Channel 4
Channel 4 has announced, in its annual report, that climate change will be a priority area for factual content over the next year. A number of new programmes are in development. Following the publication of IBT’s report The Environment on TV – are broadcasters meeting the challenge? we have had several meetings with Channel 4 commissioners and they have accepted that the channel has neglected this issue in recent years. The annual report also stated that Channel 4 needs to ‘find the space for more international content.’ This is something that we have raised in meetings with the Channel 4 Chief Executive, David Abraham. David will be the guest speaker at IBT’s annual dinner for CEOs in the Autumn.http://annualreport.channel4.
New series of Unreported World
The producers of the Channel 4 international affairs show are now looking for stories for the next series. These will be filmed from mid-July until the end of September. The team at Quicksilver are keen to hear from any IBT members with suggestions for what they should cover. There is no specific agenda for the new series but they would particularly like to hear about stories in Egypt or those which focus on the environment or human rights. If you have suggestions, then get in touch with the joint series editor, Monica Garnsey. Monica.firstname.lastname@example.org Monica briefed IBT members last year – notes on her briefing can be found on the members’ page of the IBT website.
BBC News to adopt a ‘digital first’ strategy
A review of BBC News has recommended that a ‘digital first’ strategy should be adopted and has been surprisingly critical of the BBC’s online news content, saying that it is ‘punching well below its weight.’ The review was conducted by Sir Howard Stringer, one of the BBC’s independent executive directors. Stringer called for a ‘shift in mindset’ and a more proactive approach to sharing content with other organisations. http://www.theguardian.com/
New series for Simon Reeve
Following the success of Australia with Simon Reeve, there will be a new six part series on the Carribean. This will be filmed in the Autumn – if you have any suggestions for stories, please contact me or the executive email@example.com As with Simon’s previous series, this will be a travel show but with a strong focus on environmental stories.
New Panorama editor
Tom Giles has been replaced as editor of Panorama. He will conduct a review of the BBC’s current affairs output to see how it can win bigger audiences especially among young people, and then he will take up a management job. This is a big loss for Panorama as he has been an outstanding editor. Ceri Thomas has been appointed acting editor. A new editor will take over later this year.
Policy briefing on impact of climate change
BBC Media Action has published a new briefing, From the ground up – changing the conversation about climate change. The paper draws on data from the organisation’s Climate Asia project and documents the impact of climate change on the lives of people throughout the continent. It identifies a number of major obstacles to adaptation, one of which is lack of knowledge and information. The report says the media has an important role to play as a potential tool in the fight against climate change but calls for a change in the nature of coverage, so that it moves away from technical language and narratives of victimhood, towards an emphasis on resilience.
Below the Line on Twitter
There was a huge amount of activity on Twitter related to the Live Below the Line campaign but how effective was it? In an online piece for The Guardian, Caspar van Vark analyses the most effective way to use Twitter and other platforms for social media campaigns that tackle food, hunger and malnutrition. One of his conclusions is that celebrity content gets a lot of ‘likes’ but relatively little action or amplification. YouTube videos featuring calls for people to share the video are more successful, but the average viewer stops watching after one and a half minutes. http://www.theguardian.com/
Workshop on media representation of international development
The Development Studies Association, a group of academics involved in research on media and development, are organizing a half day event looking at how the media reports international development. It will take place at the London offices of the Open University on Thursday June 19th. Sessions will look at the role of celebrities and the Africa rising narrative. The organisers are keen to encourage representatives from the NGO sector to attend. http://www.open.ac.uk/ikd/
New books on media and development
Two new books have come out recently which may be of interest. Martin Scott, a lecturer from the University of East Anglia and the author of several previous IBT reports has written Media and Development, an accessible and critical primer looking at some of the key academic debates around these issues. Dan Brockington, from the University of Manchester, has published Celebrity Advocacy and International Development. Both books will be launched on Thursday June 19th at the Open University event mentioned above.
Access to media after the MDGs
The University of Westminster is hosting a debate later this week which looks at access to media and information after the MDGs. There will be speakers from BBC Media Action, The Guardian, Internews Euorpe and Article 19. The session will look at how to take the issues of media freedom, access to information, data transparency and open government forward after the MDGs. This is a free event which will take place from 6.30 – 8pm on Thursday June 5th.https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/
What’s been on tv recently…
There have been some outstanding programmes on tv in the last few weeks.
I Bought a Rainforest, an impressive BBC2 series from Keo Films looks at the harsh reality of trying to promote conservation in the Amazon: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/
Welcome to Rio – also from Keo Films, and the successor to Welcome to Lagos/India. It shows what life is really like for people living in the favelas: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/
There have been several standout episodes of Unreported World on Channel 4, including Jamaica’s Underground Gays:http://www.channel4.com/
And The World’s Dirtiest River: http://www.channel4.com/
There was also an outstanding Channel 4 News report from Paraic O’Brien, Beneath the streets of Romania’s capital, a living hell: http://www.channel4.com/news/