November 2015 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 3rd November 2015

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


Next briefing will be with Tulip Mazumdar

Our next briefing will take place later this month with Tulip Mazumdar, the BBC’s global health correspondent. Tulip reported extensively during the Ebola epidemic and she is currently back in Sierra Leone reporting again on Ebola. She will explain how she decides which stories and issues to cover and how she pitches to editors. This briefing is aimed at media officers and others who have an interest in how BBC News covers global health issues. It will take place from 10-11.30am on Tuesday November 24th at the IBT offices in Southwark. If you’d like to attend, please register via the members’ page of the IBT website.


Our last briefing was with MailOnline

Last week we heard from Marianna Partasides, deputy news editor at MailOnline. She explained how the site has grown in popularity to become the biggest newspaper website in the world. Although it carries the name of the newspaper, it is run as a separate entity, with its own editorial team and it does not promote the political agenda of the Daily Mail.  The site is best known for its coverage of celebrities, but news features often receive more hits. It has a wide range of stories, usually accompanied by pictures or video. The site is keen to receive story ideas from IBT members. If you missed the briefing, notes on what Marianna said can be downloaded from the members’ page of the IBT website.



Training session on Instagram and Snapchat

Our next training event will cover the use of images in social media, particularly Instagram and Snapchat. These two platforms are growing rapidly but many NGOs have failed to take advantage of the opportunities that they offer. The session is aimed at users who are familiar with social media but have limited experience of these two platforms. It will take place from 9.30-12.30 on Thursday December 10th at the IBT offices in Southwark. This is a free event – if you are receiving this newsletter, you are and your colleagues are eligible to attend. Places are limited and can be booked via the IBT website. This training session will cover:

  • An introduction to Instagram & Snapchat and their capabilities
  • Why to use Instagram & Snapchat and how to identify an audience
  • Case studies from the charity sector
  • Hands-on exercises including image editing and writing captions
  • Measuring and managing techniques


IBT gives evidence to peers

Last month we gave evidence to the House of Lords Communications Committee on its inquiry into the future of the BBC. In a special session looking at the BBC’s international coverage, Sophie Chalk, our Head of Advocacy, spoke about the important contribution that the BBC makes to our understanding of the wider world – through news and other genres including current affairs, documentaries, drama and entertainment. You can watch the evidence session here:


Launch of Public Voice

The future of the BBC and the possible privatization of Channel 4 are important issues for civil society, and we believe that it is vital that civil society organisations make their voices heard. We understand that this may not be a priority issue for many IBT members but we urge you to lend your support to Public Voice. This is a coalition which existed a decade ago to lobby on broadcasting issues and which we have relaunched to enable us to bring together a wide range of organisations, both IBT members and non-members. To find out more please take a look at the Public Voice website.



Public engagement 1 – how to change attitudes towards development

Bond has published a briefing on current attitudes towards development – it shows that the public is more concerned about poverty in the UK than about poverty globally, has a low tolerance for corruption and little awareness of the sustainable development goals. The briefing argues that it is useful to divide the public into segments so that NGO resources can be more targeted, to increase support for development. The aim of Bond’s work in this area is to learn something new about how to change public attitudes.



Public engagement 2 – how to reach young people

Livity, the youth marketing agency, has authored Engaging Generation Z, a report commissioned by Bond, which may be of interest to IBT members. It looks at ways of motivating young people to engage positively with international development and draws evidence from a number of successful initiatives that have come from a range of sectors. The report’s findings indicate that NGOs need to be more effective at collaborating with young people and taking the conversations to the digital spaces that they occupy.



Humanitarian News 1 – launch of research network 

The Humanitarian News Research Network has been launched – with the aim of bringing together researchers and practitioners interested in humanitarian media and communications. If you’d like to find out more about the network, contact Mel Bunce at City University or fill in this online form:



Humanitarian news 2 – new book on humanitarianism and communications

Last month saw the publication of Humanitarianism, Communications and Change, a series of essays by practitioners and academics. The book considers how communications is changing and the impact of these changes. Authors include Glenda Cooper, Richard Sambrook, Liz Scarff and Alice Klein.



Humanitarian news 3 – new research paper on broadcasting in emergencies

BBC Media Action has published a briefing paper on broadcasting in emergencies, drawing lessons from a number of case studies, including the Ebola epidemic. The briefing evaluates the research that has already been conducted in this field, looks at the challenges of carrying out effective research and makes recommendations for the future. It concludes that whilst mass media is effective in reaching large numbers of people with potentially life-saving information, it is less effective at providing more context specific localised information that people also need. Social media is particularly effective at giving audiences a voice and responding quickly to emerging issues.



Film Africa

Film Africa has now opened and over the course of the next week or so will show dozens of films and documentaries – and will feature panel debates on migration, democracy, LGBT issues and the ethics of making documentaries.



Best wishes



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