November 2013 Newsletter
Welcome to IBT’s November newsletter with a brief update on our work and relevant news from the media industry. (Print this Newsletter)
The Environment on TV – are broadcasters meeting the challenge?
Last month we launched our new research report at a packed meeting at the House of Commons with a panel which included broadcasters, NGOs and scientists. The report was widely praised for its analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of tv coverage of the environment but the broadcasters disputed exactly what their responsibility was to make programmes that looked at contentious issues such as climate change. However, it was agreed that there was a creative gap and a need for some fresh thinking. Our hope is that the report will act as a catalyst for innovation so we’ll be bringing together a group of broadcasters and independent producers later this month for a round table discussion to see how the recommendations of the report can be taken further. Copies of the research report can be downloaded from our website.
Our next briefing, on Tuesday, the 10th of December from 1000 to 1200, will be with Nevine Mabro, Foreign Editor of Channel 4 News and Job Rabkin who runs the C4 News indie fund. Invitations will be sent out shortly.
Future briefings are planned with Sam Bagnall, Executive producer of BBC2’s This World strand – Wednesday, the 22nd of January 2014 from 1000 – 1200.
Later we hope to have a briefing with Andrew Roy, Foreign Editor of BBC News.
New website – members’ area
We have now launched our new website which we hope will make it easier to access IBT reports and news. The website includes a members’ area where IBT members can register for briefings, training sessions and other events. To access the members’ area, you will need a username and password. IBT has 40 member organisations. Each one has its own user name and password which is available to all members of staff. You’ll be able to obtain this from our key contact at your organisation or direct from me. The members’ area also includes notes from previous briefings.
Changes at the BBC
Tony Hall, the BBC Director General has been talking about changes which he’ll be introducing at the BBC. These include a host of new services and a much improved iPlayer where programmes can be accessed before they are broadcast and for 30 days after broadcast (as opposed to the present 7 day window). He said the BBC needs to be much more responsive to the ways in which audiences are changing. The BBC wants audiences to be more involved in programmes. The full speech can be found here .
The BBC has also come under attack from Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party Chairman, who has indicated that the BBC will have a fight on its hands to hold onto the licence fee when a new Charter comes into place in 2016. DCMS and the BBC have already started work on the new Charter and the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has announced its own inquiry into the future of the BBC to which IBT will be submitting evidence.
We’ll also be submitting evidence to the first BBC Trust review of all its news services. There’s been a lot of change in the news division including major cuts and the merger with the World Service. We would welcome any thoughts from IBT members on how well BBC News is doing in terms of its international coverage. If you’d like to contribute to our submission or make one of your own, please contact IBT’s Head of Campaigns, Sophie Chalk.
Changes at the FT
The Financial Times editor, Lionel Barber, has announced his plans for the next stage in his ‘digital first’ strategy. In future the FT will prioritise its website ft.com and there will be just one global edition of the printed newspaper which will complement the website. Breaking news, exclusives and analysis will all go on the website. The FT has transformed its business model, with online subsciptions now surpassing print circulation.
Creating Global Conversations
The first One World Media Festival called Creating Global Conversations takes place this Friday and Saturday. Highlights include a panel discussion on Putting the ‘foreign’ back into foreign correspondent and a live comedy show by the controversial comedian Jane Bussman which takes a look at what she calls ‘the poverty industry.’ Tickets for all events are free but need to be booked online. The Jane Bussman event is by invite only – if you’d like to attend, email One World Media and mention IBT in your email. Full details of the festival can be found here.
Does your CEO tweet?
An interesting blog from Media First looks at how different CEOs use Twitter, including an amusing account of why Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary did so well and the Customer Service Director of British Gas did so badly. You don’t need to follow their advice but it’s worth taking a look at.
What’s on television
If you’re staying in, there are some great documentaries on tv at the moment. Last night, in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference, Channel 4 broadcast the tv version of No Fire Zone, its investigation into human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. On Wednesday, Channel 4 will be showing The Cruel Cut which explores what it calls ‘the complex world of female genital mutilation.’ Look out for a scene where members of the public are asked to sign a spoof petition in support of FGM. On Thursday, BBC2’s This World strand will be showing Don’t Panic – the Truth About Population, which looks at the falling birth rate around the world and how people in the UK have huge misconceptions about what life is like in developing countries. On Friday, Channel 4’s Unreported World continues its current run with a report by Aidan Hartley on Egypt’s declining tourist industry.
We’re delighted that IBT has two new Trustees who will be joining the Board in January. Jessica Harris is currently Director of Investment and Partnerships at Restless Development and will bring invaluable fundraising skills to the Board, and Karina Brisby is a freelance digital content creator and former Head of Interactive Campaigns at Oxfam whose track record of digital innovation will prove equally valuable.