June 2016 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 3rd June 2016



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


BBC global purpose letter from CEOs

The Government has published its plans for the future of the BBC, which include a change to the overall purposes of the BBC. The global purpose has been split into two – one aspect focuses on the World Service and the other covers international content for UK audiences. We are concerned that this second aspect has been diluted as it now includes only news and current affairs. We have been organizing a joint letter from IBT members to the DCMS, BBC Executive and BBC Trust, urging them to agree to new wording which includes all factual programmes. I’d like to thank the CEOs who have agreed to sign this letter. We are up to nine CEOs now. If you haven’t signed and would like to, please get in touch today. Our deadline for signatures is Monday at noon. We are optimistic that we will achieve the change that we are lobbying for but this letter from CEOs will strengthen our case considerably. Contact Sophie Chalk, IBT’s Head of Advocacy if you’d like to sign the letter: sophie.chalk@btinternet.com


This month’s briefing will be with Al Jazeera

Later this month we will be hearing from Al Jazeera’s Head of News, Ben Rayner. This will be our last briefing before the summer, so do come along if you can. Ben will talk about how to pitch ideas to Al Jazeera and the sort of stories and studio guests they are looking for. In our recent report Small Screen, Big World, Al Jazeera was the broadcaster with the highest percentage of international stories (more than the BBC World Service) and its coverage had a strong Middle East focus. Ben will be talking to us at 2pm on Tuesday June 21st. Please note the 2pm start as opposed to our usual morning slot. If you’d like to come, book your place via the IBT website.


Last month’s briefing with ITV News

Last month we heard from Alok Jha, Science correspondent for ITV News. He gave us a lot of useful tips on how to pitch stories to him and his colleagues and drew our attention to On Assignment, ITV’s monthly international current affairs show. He is a regular contributor and there is demand from the show for strong international stories. A briefing note on Alok’s talk can be found on the members’ page of the IBT website.


The Syrian refugee crisis – are we getting it right?

Last month we co-hosted a parliamentary briefing on the Syrian refugee crisis with Channel 4 and Amnesty. We played clips from the recent Channel 4 film Children on the Frontline: the Escape and two of the family featured in the film spoke movingly at the event. Other speakers included Rae McGrath from Mercy Corps, Yvette Cooper for Labour and Andrew Mitchell for the Conservatives. Our thanks to all who attended the event and contributed to a very lively discussion.


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

Later this month we will be co-hosting an event with the Institute of Development Studies, exploring the role that documentaries play in telling stories about development. The speakers include Jezza Neumann, from True Vision. Jezza is a multi-award winning director whose credits include Children of Gaza and Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children. Other speakers will be James Georgalakis and Keetie Roelen from IDS. The event will take place at 1pm on Wednesday June 22nd at the University of Sussex campus near Brighton. Please share details of the event with friends and colleagues who live or work in the area. http://www.ids.ac.uk/events/can-documentaries-help-us-tell-a-different-story-about-global-development


Climate change at Sheffield DocFest     

If you’re going to the Sheffield Documentary Festival, look out for our two sessions. How to pitch your climate change idea takes place on Tuesday June 14th at 10am. We’ll be hearing from the heads of development from three leading independent production companies about their experience of researching, developing and pitching a range of ideas linked to climate change. Tom McDonald, the BBC’s lead commissioner for natural history and factual formats will respond. Later that day we will be holding our climate change pitch in which five filmmakers pitch their ideas to a panel of  commissioners from Channel 4, Discovery and the BBC. Both sessions will be chaired by Tom Heap, the Countryfile and Panorama presenter. https://sheffdocfest.com/events/4845https://sheffdocfest.com/sessions/4855?day=4


The Community Channel – for just £50 you can become a co-owner

The Community Channel has launched a radical initiative to secure its future. It plans to sell shares to the general public so that it will become the first people-owned TV channel for social impact anywhere in the world. The money raised will help cover costs while the channel builds its team, develops new digital platforms and grows its audiences, income and impact across TV, digital and social platforms. It will enable the channel to boost existing income and launch new income streams to sustain itself in the long-term. http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/community-channel?utm_source=Media%20Trust&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7171710_Community%20Shares%20Launch&dm_i=46N,49PQ6,BNIKCF,FLRCL,1



Best wishes



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