June 2015 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 3rd June 2015

Risk education sessions have been held in Rafah. teaching children how to protect themselves in the event of bombing or armed violence. © S. Hejji - HQ / HI

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


Our next briefing – with BuzzFeed and New Statesman online

We have a few places left at our next briefing, which will focus on two online platforms that have both achieved considerable success – in different ways. BuzzFeed is one of the fastest growing and most influential news and entertainment sites, known for its shareable content and now committed to spending more money on original journalism. NewStatesman.com is the online site of the weekly political and current affairs magazine – its stories and features are also widely shared online. The speakers will be Paul Hamilos, World Features editor at BuzzFeed UK and Caroline Crampton, Web editor at the New Statesman. The briefing will take place from 10-11.30am on Thursday June 25th at the IBT offices in Southwark. You can book your place now, in the usual way, via the members’ area of the IBT website.


Last month’s briefing – with Radio 5 Live and Radio 1 Newsbeat

Our last briefing was with Radio 5 Live and Radio 1 Newsbeat. It was a very useful session with the speakers giving lots of tips on the best way to pitch ideas to the two radio stations. It was also clear that it is no longer feasible to send generic press releases to news editors and expect them to respond. Both Chris Hunter, assistant editor of the Radio 5 Live Drive show and Anna Doble, online editor at Radio 1 Newsbeat, made it clear that each pitch should indicate the angle that makes the story relevant to their audience. Both stations have very different audiences of course, with Radio 5 appealing to an older mainstream audience that does not consume much news and Radio 1 appealing to a much younger audience.  Both speakers also emphasized how quickly the news cycle moves on nowadays and the need for NGOs to be more opportunistic by seizing the moment when a relevant issue is in the news. A more detailed briefing note on this event is available via the members’ area of the IBT website.


New contacts for BBC News Online

Earlier this year, at our briefing with BBC News Online, Steve Hermann, the Editor of the BBC News website, promised to give us contact details and phone numbers for all the section editors, in response to criticism that finding the right person to pitch to was very challenging. Steve has now supplied these names and contact details. I have updated the notes for this briefing to include this information. The notes can be found in the members’ area of the IBT website.


The future of the BBC

Over the next few months, IBT will be lobbying over the future of the BBC whose Charter expires at the end of 2016. The current licence fee settlement expires early in 2017.We will be arguing that the BBC needs to be properly funded in order to continue to contribute effectively to UK society. Its budget has been reduced considerably in recent years whilst it has been asked to deliver more services. The BBC’s critics will be arguing for further cuts which could have major consequences for all of us. The BBC’s international coverage plays an important role, on tv, radio and online, in informing people in the UK about global issues. We are concerned that some of this coverage is under threat. We will be preparing a briefing for IBT members. If you’d like to support this strand of work, please get in touch with Sophie, our head of campaigns sophie.chalk@btinternet.com  Broadcast magazine, which covers the television industry, has launched an online campaign to support the BBC, asking everyone to sign a statement of support. You can sign the pledge here: http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/SPIN2.aspx?navCode=5535 You can follow the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #BackingTheBBC


Reframing Climate Change at Sheffield DocFest

If you are planning to go to the Sheffield Documentary Festival, please look out for our two session which both take place on Tuesday June 9th. The first is a panel debate on the theme of Reframing Climate Change with speakers from the BBC, Channel 4, the British Antarctic Survey and the Open University. More details here:https://sheffdocfest.com/events/4173

The second session will feature 5 filmmakers pitching their documentary proposal to a panel of commissioning editors from Sky, Discovery and Channel 4. The best idea will win development funding. More here: https://sheffdocfest.com/events/4179



Our AGM is coming up soon and all IBT members are welcome to come along and make their views heard. It will take place at 5pm on Thursday July 2nd at the IBT offices. Please let me know if you would like to attend.


Coming soon…

In addition to Sheffield, there are several documentary festivals coming up:


Open City Docs takes place from June 16-21:



Seret 2015, the Israel/Palestine Film Festival runs from June 11-21:http://www.seret.org.uk/


Bertha DocHouse is currently running a series of international documentaries:http://www.dochouse.org/


This month also sees the release of The Look of Silence, Director Joshua Oppenheimer’s sequel to his multi award winning film, The Act of Killing, about the Indonesian genocide:



Best wishes





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