March 2017 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 2nd March 2017

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

This month’s briefing will be with Sky News

Sky News has been through significant change in recent times but it remains an influential broadcaster with a strong commitment to international content. Later this month, we will hear from Dan Williams, Sky’s Head of International News. Dan will talk us through the changes and the best way to pitch ideas for television and online. The briefing will take place at 10am on Wednesday March 29th at the IBT offices in Southwark. You can register in the usual way via the IBT website.


Last month’s briefing with Unreported World

Our last briefing was with Monica Garnsey, the series editor of Channel 4’s international current affairs strand, Unreported World. She told us that she is keen to hear from IBT members who have potential ideas that might work for the strand – she is looking for stories that have not been covered by mainstream media, with strong characters and a narrative. Ideas can be pitched in a couple of paragraphs by phone or email – they do not need to be fully developed. Monica and her colleagues will start working on the next series in the summer so ideas should be pitched in June for filming in July-September. More detailed notes on the briefing can be found in the members’ area of the IBT website.


IBT at the Bond conference

For the first time, we will have a stand at the Bond conference. Do come and say hello and let us have your feedback on our work and particularly on the briefings and training events. All suggestions for future events will be very welcome. We are keen to recruit new members to IBT so if you have colleagues or friends from other organisations who are attending the conference do point them in our direction or send them a copy of our membership leaflet.


Training in media skills

We are keen to hear about your training needs. We run regular training sessions aimed at media officers and CEOs. In the past these have covered virtual reality filmmaking, stills photography, shooting with an iPhone, online slideshows, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. We are currently planning some training events for the spring. It’s likely that the first one will be a refresher covering the latest trends on social media and giving some useful tips for how to make the best use of a range of platforms. Let me know if you’d be interested in attending or have other training needs that we can help address.


Talking about climate change

Climate Outreach has published a practical guide to accompany the #showthelove campaign. It looks at how best to communicate with the public, particularly right of centre audiences. The guide contains useful tips on the language that is most effective with these audiences. Some of the key messages include: stress continuity not change; beware of the post Brexit landscape where people are distrusting of elites and top-down messaging; promote the simplicity of sustainability; make climate messages tangible; and be humble with claims about renewables.


DFID’s new direction

In case you missed it, DFID has published its first ever Economic Development Strategy, which gives a clear indication of its priorities under a new Secretary of State. The main focus of the report is on trade as an engine for poverty reduction. It also highlights the challenge of empowering poor and marginalized people so that they can benefit from economic growth.


Media criticism of aid

DFID, under its Director of Comms, Tim Singleton, has introduced a new section on its website where it responds to media criticism, called ‘DFID in the News’ – its aim is to highlight ‘the facts behind media stories about DFID’s work.’

Tim will be meeting with the Bond media group on Monday March 6th to talk about a more joined up approach to media criticism by NGOs and DFID. In the meantime, Bond has asked its members to pledge additional funds to support a more strategic and collaborative response to the current media criticism of UK aid.


Decline in trust in NGOs

The results of the 2017 Edelman Trust barometer were published last month and they point to a decline in trust in NGOs across 28 countries, down from 66% in 2014 to 53% in 2017 (with actual distrust registered in the UK, Sweden and Japan). The figures for NGOs reflect a decline in trust for all our main institutions including business, government and media. At the bottom of the trust pile is government – and the most trustworthy of the four are NGOs.


Charities promote the positive work that they do

A new report, Charity Today 2017, was published last month as part of a public facing campaign to draw attention to the positive contribution that NGOs make in the UK. The report is the result of a collaboration between ACEVO, the Charities Aid Foundation, the Institute of Fundraising and CharityComms. Its aim is to give people a better understanding of what charities do and how they operate.

It’s also worth taking a look at the NCVO’s Constructive Voices project which links journalists with charities in the hope of securing more positive media coverage.


The echo chamber effect of social media

Demos has published a new piece of research, Talking to Ourselves, which investigates the echo chamber effect of social media, whereby the breadth of information that we are shown online is being technologically narrowed, filtered by algorithms, and tailored by our increasing power to shape the news that we see. There’s some evidence to suggest that this is resulting in the strengthening of existing biases and political prejudices, and a narrowing of political, cultural and social awareness. This is a serious challenge for NGOs particularly those involved in campaigns that seek to reach mainstream audiences. The Demos paper shows that there is a strong connection between a user’s ideology and the users and news they interact with online. The paper makes no recommendations but it does underline the importance of mainstream news as a place where social media users with different political viewpoints are likely to encounter one another.


New research on public attitudes in sub Saharan Africa

A study by the Pew Research Center has investigated public attitudes in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. The report reveals that large segments of the public in all three countries feel that the political and economic system is stacked against them with a major concern being the lack of employment prospects.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the survey, the researchers will be presenting their findings at a Bond event tomorrow afternoon, Thursday March 2nd. If you’d like to attend, contact Luke Stewart


Conference on refugees – call for papers from NGOs

CAMRI, the Communications and Media Research Institute at the University of Westminster is calling for papers on the theme of counter narratives of the migrant and refugee experience. They are keen to hear from NGOs, academics and filmmakers who have documented the ‘hidden opportunities and unspoken challenges faced by migrants and refugees.’ The deadline is March 15th


Best wishes


Related Articles

View All

Keep up to date with IBT news

Non-members can sign up to our mailing list here