March 2015 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 3rd March 2015


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


IBT dinner with Tony Hall

The BBC Director General, Tony Hall, has been speaking this week about his plans for the future of the BBC in the run up to Charter renewal. We are delighted that he has agreed to be the guest speaker at our annual dinner for CEOs, which will take place on Thursday September 24th. This dinner is open to all CEOs of IBT member organisations – if your CEO would like to attend, please let me know. Places are limited. If you have already been in touch regarding this, there is no need to make contact again.


IBT annual review

Last month we published our annual review for 2014 – it was a busy and productive year for us. The review describes the full range of activities that IBT undertakes, including briefings and training events for members, lobbying of media organisations, regulators and parliamentarians and the publication of research. Once you’ve read the review, please feel free to give us feedback so that we can be more effective in  responding to our members’ needs.


Last month’s briefing with BBC News Online

Last month we heard from Steve Herrmann, the editor of BBC News Online, and Jon Zilkha recently appointed to the senior management team at BBC News where he is responsible for 24/7 and Digital News. It was a very useful session as both speakers explained how online content differs from traditional news reporting. The BBC News website is the most popular news website in the UK and it has a strong public service ethos. The editors make their own choices about which stories to prioritise – they don’t just replicate the content of other BBC News outlets. According to Steve and Jon, there is a particular appetite amongst online audiences for immersive features about global issues and for stories that cover science, health, technology, innovation, lifestyles etc rather than the traditional geopolitical news agenda.


This month’s briefing with Sky News

Later this month we will hear from Tami Hoffman, Interviews editor at Sky News. Tami and her team are responsible for recruiting all the studio guests that appear on Sky – and they have been making serious efforts to recruit more women in response to the criticism of broadcasters for the under- representation of female experts. Tami will talk about how they decide who to have in the studio or to interview remotely and she will also talk about how to pitch stories to Sky. This event is free and open to IBT members only – please register via the IBT website.


 Reframing Climate Change

We are working with Blakeway, a leading factual independent production company, to develop some ideas for future tv programmes that feature issues related to climate change, as part of our Reframing Climate Changeproject. They are particularly keen to investigate instances of corporate misbehavior or rule breaking and to expose poor business practices. If you are aware of any issues related to climate change that you feel would merit further investigation please let me know. More about Blakeway can be found here:


 Submitting evidence to media regulators

We have been busy in recent weeks submitting evidence to the two principal media regulators, Ofcom and the BBC Trust. The Trust has been looking at the future of BBC3 in response to a management proposal to turn it into an online only channel; it has also been reviewing all the BBC’s speech radio output including Radio 4 and 5 Live; Ofcom has been examining the future of public service broadcasting and investigating whether Channel 4 has been fulfilling its remit. The fact that all our public service broadcasters cover global issues is in strong part due to regulation so it’s important that IBT responds to these inquiries on behalf of our membership.  If you’d like to take a look at our submissions they can be found on our website.


 The Aid Industry – what journalists really think

Our report on the aid industry and how journalists feel about the work that development agencies do, has received widespread publicity in recent weeks. It was mentioned at a Frontline Club event which debated whether journalists and NGOs have become too close – and it was also the subject of an article and online Q and A on the Guardian’s development website. The Frontline Club debate is worth listening to if you missed it.



Best wishes




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