September 2014 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 10th September 2014

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


HIV and stigma – the media challenge

Earlier this week we launched our new research report to a packed meeting at the House of Commons – held jointly with the All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS. The meeting was chaired by Lord Collins on behalf of the APPG and the panel included speakers who had travelled from Kenya, South Africa and the US to attend. The report examines the role of the media in tackling stigma and includes recommendations as to how it can play a more effective role – and how NGOs can work with the media to achieve this. The report has been warmly welcomed by those working in this field. Hard copies will be sent to all IBT members, and it can also be downloaded from our website.


Next IBT briefing later this month

Our series of briefings with commissioners and editors resumes this month. On September 23rd we’ll be hearing from Daniel Pearl, Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for News and Current Affairs. Daniel will be talking about how to pitch ideas for Dispatches, the Channel’s principal current affairs strand, which he edits. He also has responsibility for Channel 4 News. We are lucky that on this occasion Daniel will be joined by Karen Edwards, Executive Producer with Blakeway Productions, a leading factual producer. Karen regularly makes films forDispatches. This is a great opportunity to find out more about the best way to achieve coverage of global issues on current affairs TV. If you’d like to attend, please register via the members’ area of the IBT website, as this event is for IBT members only.


Climate change brainstorms

Last year we published The Environment on TV – are broadcasters meeting the challenge? As a result of that report we are now working with all the main public service broadcasters – and Sky – on a series of brainstorms, to encourage them to broaden the range of programming about climate change. We want to encourage producers and broadcasters to reframe climate change so that it is no longer seen as just a green issue – but seen as one that affects all aspects of life. Our first brainstorm takes place next month and will be hosted by Channel 4. Attendees include many of the main independent production companies working in factual tv. We are also working with Love Productions, producers of The Great British Bake Off and Benefits Street, to develop a slate of programmes that feature climate change.


Search for green champions

Entries are now open for the PEA awards, which celebrate green champions from all walks of life. The closing date for entries is October 17th.


NGOs and the media

IBT is currently preparing a briefing paper which investigates what journalists really think about the aid industry. Many thanks to those IBT members who spoke to Helen Magee, who has been writing the report. We will be circulating the final report to IBT members later this Autumn. In the meantime, congratulations to Mark Goldring, CEO of Oxfam, for braving the Channel 4 cameras and appearing in Undercover Boss. The programme has been generally well received. If you missed it, it’s well worth watching.


Celebrities and the media

New research by two leading academics has indicated that the role of celebrities in media coverage of development may not be achieving the desired results. They say that such coverage is ‘generally ineffective’ at engaging the public with global issues – and may benefit the celebrities more than the issues featured.


Annual dinner for CEOs

Channel 4 Chief Executive David Abraham is the guest speaker at our annual dinner for CEOs later this month. The dinner will also be attended by the Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear.


Twitter session for CEOs

We are about to fix a date for the Twitter training session for CEOs, now that we have a few names of those who have said they would like to attend. If your CEO is interested in coming along, and you haven’t already let me know, please get in touch now.


Blog Action Day

IBT has joined Blog Action Day as one of its partner organisations. The massive blogging event takes place on October 16th and the theme this year will be inequality. We’ll be encouraging bloggers to write about HIV and stigma and the way in which certain groups – such as sex workers, men who have sex with men and people who use drugs – are discriminated against and, as a result, have far less access to testing and treatment than the wider population. If you’re interested in taking part, you can register your blog here.


Media trends

Ofcom, the media regulator, has published its annual market report which identifies trends in media consumption. This always makes for interesting reading. For the first time in many years the average amount of tv watched by viewers in the UK has dropped slightly – by 9 minutes a day. Ofcom could not say whether this is due to warmer weather or is indicative of a long term trend. Three quarters of tv viewing is live; one quarter is time shifted.

Best wishes



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