September 2013 Newsletter
Welcome to IBT’s September newsletter with a brief update on our work and relevant news from the media industry. (Print this Newsletter)
Sky News and Unreported World briefings
Our next briefing will be Adrian Wells from Sky News. Adrian will be filling in for Tim Miller who has just (this afternoon) been sent to Syria. It will take place, as planned, at 10am on Wednesday September 11th at the IBT offices. We have a few places left so if you’d like to attend please let me know.
We have also scheduled a briefing with Monica Garnsey, series editor of Channel 4’s all important international current affairs strand, Unreported World. The show has gone through a radical overhaul which Monica will explain. She’ll also talk through the best way of pitching ideas for the strand. This will take place at the IBT offices from 10-12 on Wednesday October 2nd . Let me know if you’d like to attend.
Our briefings are aimed at media officers and others who want to improve their contacts and understanding of the best way to pitch ideas to commissioners and news editors. These are free events, open to all IBT members, but places must be booked in advance.
We have been involved in talks with Channel 4 about its international coverage. Despite the strength of Channel 4 News, there has been some disquiet expressed about the lack of international programmes outside of news and current affairs. At our recent meeting with David Abraham, the Chief Executive of Channel 4, he reiterated the channel’s commitment to internationalism and particularly to featuring voices from around the world, as a key part of the channel’s output. This is explicitly stated in the Channel 4 remit – as a result of lobbying by IBT. Encouragingly, David mentioned several peak time series in the pipeline which will have international themes and he also spoke about a major new drama, Indian Summers, which will look at the plight of Anglo-Indians at the time of Indian independence. This follows the success of The Promise, a historical drama set in Israel/Palestine.
New IBT research looks at coverage of the environment on tv
In October, we’ll be launching our latest research report which looks in detail at television coverage of the environment. The focus is mainstream tv coverage outside news, and the report asks if broadcasters are meeting the challenge of communicating key environmental issues to mainstream audiences. It will be launched with a panel discussion on the evening of Monday October 28th at a joint event at the House of Commons with the Climate Change APPG. Invitations will go out shortly. We’ll be then taking the findings of this research and organising a round table with broadcasters to explore what concrete steps could be taken to improve coverage.
Other news in brief
Broadcasters have been speaking about the growing influence of Twitter. At a recent #TweetsFromTheTop event, Daren Childs, the Chief Executive of UKTV, spoke about how his organisation uses instant viewer feedback on Twitter to gauge reaction to shows. This is a useful reminder that it’s always worth tweeting about or commenting on a tv show or news item which you like.
A new piece of research from the Office of National Statistics has found that 55% of adults are now accessing news content online. This is up from 47% last year. The equivalent figure five years ago was 20%. TV news is still the main source of information for most people in the UK but many are checking headlines online during the day or reading stories they are particularly interested in.
If you’re responsible for briefing colleagues in advance of tv interviews, this is a great blog which offers 10 top tips for engaging with the media.