May 2015 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 6th May 2015

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


Next briefing – with Radio 5 Live and Radio 1 Newsbeat

Our next briefing focuses on radio. Radio 5 Live has established a strong reputation for its coverage of breaking news and some of the best broadcast interviews. We’ll be hearing from Chris Hunter, assistant editor of the breakfast show. Radio 1 Newsbeat has successfully targeted young audiences and is reinventing itself as an online brand. We’ll hear from Anna Doble, assistant editor (and former digital editor of Channel 4 News where she won awards for her innovative approach to online news). The briefing is scheduled for 10am on Wednesday May 20th – subject to final confirmation from the speakers. Both have been heavily involved in election coverage. This is a free event open to all IBT members subject to availability. Book your place now via the IBT website.


Last month’s briefing – tips from travel law experts

Last month we heard from two lawyers specializing in accidents abroad. The overriding message was that UK based employers have a duty to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their staff at all times. This is an onerous duty and the courts expect an employer to check all the arrangements that are in place when employees undertake foreign travel. If a helicopter is being hired, for example, the employer will be expected to check the safety record of the company, verify its insurance cover, check the pilot’s licence etc. The employer’s duty is much less onerous with freelance staff. IBT will be working with the law firm Leigh Day to draw up a protocol for NGOs to incorporate into their risk assessments. A detailed note of this briefing is available now in the members’ area of the IBT website.


HIV stigma – the media challenge

Last month we also hosted a round table discussion to explore the opportunities for the media to play a bigger role in helping to tackle HIV related stigma. It was an impressive group, with representatives from the drugs companies and funders including the Global Fund, Comic Relief, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Rush. Victoria Macdonald, health correspondent on Channel 4 News, was in the chair. Special thanks to Solenn Honorine from MSF who travelled from South Africa to take part. There was general agreement that stigma does exist and remains a major barrier – but there was no appetite for a mass media campaign challenging stigma. The preferred route was more targeted use of media, particularly community media, with a focus on access to treatment – getting more people tested and onto medication. The funders said they would welcome funding applications with more of a focus on media which they felt was often lacking from the HIV proposals that they usually received. There was agreement that IBT could play a role in working in partnership with NGOs to improve the media element of their funding applications. Further details of the discussion can be obtained from Sophie Chalk



Reframing Climate Change

As part of our Reframing Climate Change project, we have a number of events planned for the next couple of months. Later this month we will be co-hosting a round table discussion with the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, inviting producers and commissioners to hear how a number of organisations which could be said to represent middle England – including the National Trust, Women’s Institute, RSPB and the Church of England – are responding to the challenge of climate change. In June we will be co-hosting a brainstorm with the BBC’s Natural History commissioning team, enabling producers to hear from a range of experts talking about key issues connected to two subject areas, oceans and weather. Also in June we will be at the Sheffield DocFest hosting a panel discussion on the morning of Tuesday June 9th when we will be challenging broadcasters from the BBC and Channel 4 to take a more creative approach to their coverage of climate change. In the afternoon we will hear the five shortlisted filmmakers, from our film competition, pitching their ideas to a panel of commissioners. More on Sheffield DocFest can be found here



Post-election media policy

After the election we will be preparing a briefing for IBT members on media policy. The future of the BBC Charter and the licence fee will be on the agenda for the next Government. The parties have very different policies, with Labour and the LibDems broadly committed to the status quo and the Conservatives and UKIP arguing for a smaller BBC with a narrower remit. The future of Channel 4 will also be an issue. There were fears that privatization might be back on the agenda but no party has officially committed itself to taking Channel 4 into the private sector.


One World Media Awards

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s One World Media Awards, which take place on the evening of Thursday June 18th at BAFTA in Piccadilly. IBT is supporter of the awards and we have always worked closely with One World Media. Hosted by Jon Snow, these are the only awards that celebrate outstanding media coverage of developing countries. Tickets can be booked online at


UK Green Film Festival

This annual film festival which promotes films about environmental issues has started in cinemas across the UK. Films to look out for include H2Omx which examines attempts to maintain drinking water supplies in Mexico City and Bikes vs Cars which looks at the clash between bikes and cars around the world. More on the festival can be found here



Best wishes


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