May 2016 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 5th May 2016

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

Small Screen, Big World

Today we publish our new research report Small Screen, Big World which looks at the content of TV news in January 2016. This detailed analysis covers all the main UK TV and radio bulletins and online news websites during a two week period. We found that there has been an increase in the amount of international news coverage but much of this was devoted to Syria and the refugee crisis. The range of countries and stories covered, compared with the last time we conducted this research, has narrowed. We also looked at who was being interviewed by reporters and found that there is a strong emphasis on first person testimony and far fewer opportunities for NGO representatives to be interviewed. To put this analysis in context we interviewed news editors, NGOs and academics. See


Next briefing is with ITV News

We have a few places left for our briefing with Alok Jha, the Science correspondent of ITV News. Alok will talk about his own brief which includes science, weather, climate, water, medicine and technology. He’ll also talk about the best way to pitch ideas to ITV News, the sort of ideas that work best for them and the changes that have taken place including to the flagship News at Ten bulletin. This event will be at 10am on Wednesday May 25th and places can be booked via the IBT website.


Last month’s briefing with The World Tonight

Last month we heard from Roger Sawyer, the recently appointed editor of The World Tonight, Radio 4’s international news and current affairs show. Roger talked about how the tone and content of The World Tonight is changing and his emphasis on finding new angles to a running story, breaking new stories and featuring new voices. The merger with the World Service programme, Newshour, means that there are now more funds to send reporters abroad. Roger manages four hours a day of World Service content. Here the emphasis is on the main stories of the day. He is keen to identify potential studio guests with a strong emphasis on women and ethnic minorities – both groups are currently under represented. A detailed note of what was said at the briefing can be found on the members’ page of the IBT website.


Advanced Twitter training

We have a few places left at our advanced Twitter training session. This is aimed at those engaging regularly with Twitter and wanting to think more about defining and measuring success, as well as learning about new ways to use the platform. The session will cover: content, frequency, paid advertising capabilities, and using video content through interrogations with services like Periscope and Vine. With practical exercises and a chance to learn from the experiences of others in the sector, participants will leave with fresh ideas for how to make the most of Twitter and ensure it ties into overall organisational marketing strategy. The event is free to IBT members and takes place on Tuesday May 17th from 9.30am to 1pm at the IBT offices in Southwark. Places can be booked via the IBT website.


Call for more constructive news

Last month’s call by the UN for a more constructive approach to news received widespread media coverage including an interview on the Today programme with Michael Møller, Director General of the UN Office at Geneva. He gave an eloquent explanation of what he means by ‘constructive’ news and made it clear that he was not talking about more ‘good’ news and less ‘bad’ news. His argument was that there should be space for more nuanced coverage and a bigger emphasis on solutions-focused reporting. Interestingly, this was something that Roger Sawyer of The World Tonight spoke about in our briefing with him. Michael Moller felt there was a need to rethink international news coverage to combat potential apathy and indifference. NCVO, the charity umbrella group, has also announced the launch of its own Constructive Voices project. The aim of the NCVO project is to help charities to tell their story by linking them with journalists. See


Call for charities to adapt better to the digital age

There is a tension in the way many charities view digital technology according to new research by Eduserv in partnership with CharityComms. Although many in the charity sector are enthusiastic about social media in particular, the report’s authors argue that digital technology requires a fundamental shift in the way charities work – and this is not taking place. The charity sector has a lower level of digital skills amongst its workforce than other sectors. The lack of skills is also a governance issue with the report’s authors calling for Trustees to develop a better understanding of how audiences use social media.


BBC’s global audience grows

The global audience for BBC news continues to grow. The latest figures show that the BBC reaches 348 million people around the world – which puts it ahead of schedule to reach its target of 500 million by 2022. For the first time, TV news, with a global audience of 162m is ahead of radio with an audience at 147m. The top five markets for the BBC’s international news services are: USA, Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Iran.


Best wishes



Related Articles

View All

Keep up to date with IBT news

Non-members can sign up to our mailing list here