October 2014 newsletter
Welcome to IBT’s October newsletter with a brief update on our work and relevant news from the media industry. (Print this Newsletter)
Next IBT briefing with Focus on Africa editors
Later this month we’ll be holding our next briefing for IBT members. Our speakers will be Stephane Mayoux and Rachael Akidi. Stephane edits the tv version of Focus on Africa and Rachael edits the radio show. They will talk about the commissioning and pitching process, how they recruit studio guests and who their audience is. BBC Africa is one of the most dynamic sections of the BBC World Service and it has grown its audience in recent years, despite cutbacks across the BBC. It’s also unusual because it is London based, sharing offices with BBC radio shows like Today, The World Tonight etc. It will be interesting to hear about any cross fertilization which occurs between these shows. The briefing will take place at 10am on Thursday October 30th at the IBT offices in Southwark. Registration is open now via the members’ area of the IBT website. Any problems registering, let me know. Invitations will go out by email next week.
Last month’s briefing with Dispatches
Our briefing with Dispatches was well attended – Daniel Pearl from Channel 4 said he was always short of good ideas for the strand and encouraged IBT members to send their ideas to him. Karen Edwards from Blakeway Productions also welcomed ideas, saying that she is in regular touch with Channel 4, the BBC, ITV, CCTV etc and in a position to pitch to any broadcaster. Notes on the event can be found in the members’ area of the IBT website.
The new series of Unreported World started last week with a powerful film on Ebola. The production team is now working on ideas for the next series. If you are interesting in pitching to them let me know and I’ll pass on their contact details. The RSA will be hosting a screening of an upcoming Unreported World film Syria’s Invisible Refugees. The film looks at the plight of disabled refugees from Syria currently living in temporary camps in Lebanon. The screening will take place at 6.30pm on Wednesday October 8th and will be followed by a Q and A with the reporter, Giles Duley, and representatives from Handicap International and UNHCR.
IBT annual dinner
Last month we held our annual dinner for CEOs. David Abraham, the Chief Executive of Channel 4, spoke about the channel’s commitment to international coverage and Nevine Mabro, the Foreign Editor of Channel 4 News, spoke about the programme’s recent coverage of Ukraine, Gaza, Syria and ISIS. Next year we hope to have Tony Hall, the Director General of the BBC, as our main speaker.
Current affairs on the BBC
The BBC Trust has taken a bold step to strengthen its commitment to current affairs on BBC1, by ring fencing output for the first time, requiring the channel to air at least 40 hours a year in peak time. The Trust has long been concerned about current affairs on BBC1. This new quota is one of the main outcomes of the Trust service review of BBC News and Current Affairs to which IBT submitted evidence. The Trust has also instructed the BBC Director of News to come up with concrete proposals to strengthen the range of international stories covered across BBC News. This is an issue that has concerned IBT and which featured prominently in our submission.
Changes at Today
Jamie Angus, the editor of the Today programme has said that he wants to recruit more black staff to his production team and feature more diverse voices on air. He has also acknowledged that the programme has suffered a small drop in its audience. He puts this down to a run of ‘bad foreign news’ and says the show needs to find new ways to refresh its approach to international coverage. Angus said that Today would not stop doing foreign stories, since ‘that would be a betrayal of our audience, we are not going to do it. What we are going to do is think about how we do the storytelling.’ We have invited Jamie Angus to speak at one of our briefings later this year.
Twitter session for CEOs
Our first Twitter session for CEOs will take place next month, on Friday November 21st. As we have not been able to accommodate all the CEOs who expressed an interest, we’ll be running another session early next year.
It’s been reported that FireChat, a new messaging app, is playing a key role in the Hong Kong protests as it is enabling protestors to communicate via Bluetooth when phone and internet lines are down.
The civil society response to AIDS
The LSE is holding a public event later this month to debate the global state of the civil society response to AIDS. The event marks the publication of a report which has examined the civil society response and in particular the role of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in building agency amongst some of the most marginalized groups. The event will take place at the LSE at 6.30pm on Tuesday October 14th. http://www.lse.ac.uk/
The power of storytelling
This year’s Transformational Media Summit takes place at the end of the month in Washington DC. The summit brings together change makers, storytellers and media professionals who are keen to collaborate to promote change. A discount is available for IBT members who wish to attend. http://tmsummit.org/
Film Africa 2014
This year’s African film festival takes place at the end of this month with some events happening sooner. Details of the programme have not yet been released.
Media reporting of conflict and disaster
The ODI is hosting an event later this month at the Frontline Club which examines the way the media reports today’s conflicts and disasters. The event entitled, Conflict and Disaster Reporting – Does the Public Still Care? will consider how effective reporting is in engaging the public. It will also consider how humanitarian organisations are working with media outlets to generate interest and understanding of the crises affecting millions of civilians around the world. The event will take place at 8.30pm on Thursday October 23rd. It is currently fully booked but available to be viewed online.
Amnesty Media Awards 2014
This year’s Amnesty Media Awards will be hosted by Lindsey Hilsum and will take place on the evening of Tuesday November 11th at the BFI Southbank. The awards recognise the vital role that journalists play and the serious risks they face in highlighting injustice around the world.
IBT’s mission is to use the media to further awareness and understanding of people’s lives in the developing world and the issues which affect them