Email 0306 is another killer for the BBC. It is correspondence between the Tyndall Centre's PR guy, Asher Minns, and Joe Smith, the co-organiser of the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme along with Roger Harrabin.
Minns is inviting Smith to the Tyndall Assembly, a meeting of Tyndall folk with their wider network of colleagues. We learn that the other speakers include Pachauri, Jim Skea (director of a UK energy research centre), and somebody from the Potsdam Institute.
My thinking for your part is that you give an overview of your BBC-Cambridge series and its objectives and outcomes and challenges. I would also quite like to hear what you see as the challenges in the relationship between the media and climate change research, and the role you see Tyndall playing. These are just my ideas for now - we can chat on Tuesday.
Smith replies, copying Hulme. The first thing on his mind is money:
first wanted to test the ground about whether Tyndall is in a position to support the seminar programme next year (am approaching 3/4 of the current club of sponsors now so that we've got time to make other arrangements if need be.) The only change I anticipate is that we won't be asking WWF to support the seminars: Roger particularly feels the association could be compromising to the 'neutral' reputation should anyone look at it closely. We'll be asking BG Group to make up the difference and would continue to ask Tyndall and DEFRA for £5K p.a.
Wouldn't want anyone looking at it too closely, would we? Smith moves on to future plans.
Our target next year is to get complex long term sustainability issues under the net of Westminster election coverage before the next election with a residential seminar in Feb and something at White CIty for output level people closer to the election. Already got some snr people within BBC excited abt the residential. But your thoughts welcome about other specific things we should pick off.
Then he discussed plans for the speech to the Tyndall people (emphasis added):
Second: query abt how I should using my slot at the Assembly:
I imagine that the ten mins might split into the following: a summary of the seminar progm Tyndall has supported: its aims, method and impact (inc my view of its failings...), with specific refn to climate change (6 mins) outline of future work (getting global environmental change and sustainability issues into mainstream stories 'by stealth') (2 mins) needs the CME programme doesn't meet? Media awareness for specialists; issues awareness for early career media people (1 minute) provocation about the role of climate change research and policy community in delivering improved coverage (2 mins) Is that the sort of thing you had in mind? Given that its so short I'd probably not use powerpoint/OHP but would prepare a one page background description of what we do for those interested in taking something home. But do advise me otherwise if you think that people will need something other than me to rest their eyes on at at the end of the day.
If this wasn't interesting enough, his third topic of converstion is a plan:
Third to outline thoughts on research project I mentioned to you:
THings have moved on quite quickly in the wake of a series of conversations in the last few days. In the same week as the Tyndall workshop I was at meetings on sustainable consumption and development issues in media. All of these helped to form in my mind an extended piece of work requiring a well designed team effort.
THere's an urgent need to explore the source-media-audience relationship in the round (Jacquie's 'circuit of culture') on a number of issues: climate change; biodiversity loss; poverty; polln risk, in a major project with a bundle of partners over a period of eg three years (though it would at the same time develop a body of material that could represent a qualitative time series that could be worked with over the longer term). Its very important in my view that this is resaerch feeds directly back into decision-makr conversations (policy and above all media). I hope and think that the seminars have laid the ground for this within hte BBC, and would design the research to work closely with the design of the seminars (though I'll continue to construct a chinese wall between the two).
So what do people upstairs in the BBC make of this? (emphasis added)
There is senior BBC buy in for the approach i want to pursue on both News and TV side, and I'm confident after some informal convrsations govt depts and NGOs would also want to play. I'd really like to work with Jacquie on it and have emailed her about that yestrday.
Would be good to talk to you and/or mike on the research project - I appreciate that as OU based I'm not in a position to bid for Tyndall funds etc, but in my mind it would be important to have the network involved in any case, and although I've not needed to source major research funding before ('pen, paper and train ticket please') I think there are resources out there for this kind of work. The publics / group work that I'd like to get Jacquie interested in would be resource intensive and ideally I want to either buy myself out (ideal if OU politics allow) or get research assoc on board to work with the 'source communities' and media lot.