September 2017 Newsletter

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 4th September 2017

The panel: (left to right) Simon Murphy, Tracy McVeigh, Tim Singleton, Sara Pantuliano, Patrick Gathara, Halima Begum and Mark Galloway.

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

This month’s briefing with Vice News

We have a few places left at this month’s briefing with Neil Breakwell, London Bureau Chief of Vice News. Vice News has established a well-deserved reputation for reinventing foreign news reporting, with a strong focus on the Middle East and on reaching younger audiences. Neil will talk us through the recent changes at Vice and the best way to pitch stories to him and his colleagues. The briefing will take place at 10am on Wednesday September 27th. If you’d like to attend, please register via the IBT website. If you’re planning to come, you may like to watch the report by Elle Reeve, Charlottesville – Race and Terror, which has been widely praised.


Television – who is watching and what are they watching?

Last month Ofcom published its annual communications market report. Media coverage was dominated by headlines such as ‘binge viewing spells end of family TV time.’ The full report makes for interesting reading. It does show a growing gap between the viewing habits of older and younger audiences but the main finding is that live broadcast TV is still the first choice for most people – and video on demand viewing is dominated by the public service broadcasters (BBC iPlayer, All4, The ITV Hub and My 5).


IBT advocacy

Over the summer we made submissions to Ofcom and the DCMS, over the future regulation of the BBC and the possible move of Channel 4 to a new location outside London. We expect Ofcom and the DCMS to announce their plans in the next month or so. You can find copies of all our submissions on the members’ page of the IBT website where we also post detailed notes on all our briefings.


International content on television

One of our key demands to Ofcom was that international factual content on the BBC should be tagged. Channel 4 has been doing this for a number of years and this has enabled us to have constructive conversations with the channel about ways of increasing its commitment to international content. I’m pleased to say that our efforts are paying off. Channel 4 has just published its annual report for 2016 which shows an increase in international content to the highest level since 2011. The programmes shown include Unreported World, Walking in the Himalayas and China – Between Clouds and Dreams. For more detail on this, see page 68 of the annual report.


Summer television highlights

It’s been a good summer for international content on television. The BBC season, 70 Years On: Partition Stories, has been outstanding. Most of the programmes are still available on iPlayer. Look out for Anita Rani’s My Family, Partition and Me and Dangerous Border: A Journey Across India and Pakistan, which has shown parts of the sub-continent which don’t normally feature on mainstream television. ITV’s Joanna Lumley’s India, in a completely different vein, has attracted big audiences. Channel 4 did not cover the anniversary of partition. Its international drama, The State, attracted praise and criticism. This four parter documented the life of British volunteers recruited by ISIS in graphic detail. It’s great to see Channel 4 renew its commitment to international drama. Let’s hope some of the money it makes from The Great British Bake Off is used to fund more international drama.


International development – drivers of public engagement

The DevCommsLab website has some useful new blogs on public engagement. Will Tucker outlines three key steps to delivering engaging comms: understand your audience and what engages them; think about how you can increase their propensity to engage; put the right stimulus in front of them so that they can do something. He cites Coca Cola’s Share a Coke campaign as perfectly illustrating these three steps:

It’s also worth taking a look at the blog by Jennifer vanHeerde- Hudson and David Hudson, who have been involved with the Aid Attitudes Tracker. They look at the key positive drivers of engagement with global poverty: social norms; the moral case and personal efficacy.


Two events to look out for

DFID at 20 – what have we learned and where next? On Monday September 11th, ODI looks at DFID, twenty years on. Speakers include three former Ministers, Andrew Mitchell, Lynne Featherstone and Douglas Alexander:

Islam in the media – are we getting it right? On Thursday September 21st, One World Media looks at Islam in the media, with an excellent panel of speakers, including the BBC’s Fatima Salaria and Miqdaad Versi from the Muslim Council of Britain:


Best wishes



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