Sunday, October 15, 2006

BBC articles

A couple of stories about the BBC in today's Telegraph.

What do you do if a report you paid for with public funds comes up with conclusions you don't like? You use more public funds to prevent its release (hat tip USS Neverdock again):
The BBC has spent thousands of pounds of licence payers' money trying to block the release of a report which is believed to be highly critical of its Middle East coverage.

The corporation is mounting a landmark High Court action to prevent the release of The Balen Report under the Freedom of Information Act, despite the fact that BBC reporters often use the Act to pursue their journalism.

The action will increase suspicions that the report, which is believed to run to 20,000 words, includes evidence of anti-Israeli bias in news programming.The High Court action is the latest stage of a lengthy and expensive battle by Steven Sugar, a lawyer, to get access to the document, which was compiled by Malcolm Balen, a senior editorial adviser, in 2004.
And from Christopher Booker:
Imagine that a very experienced, knowledgeable and brave whistleblower sets out to expose a commercial racket that is ripping off businesses and members of the public to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds a year, and which a government agency, despite being supplied with factual evidence, does nothing to stop. If a leading BBC "consumer affairs" programme learned about this story, might one not expect it to throw all its resources into exposing the racket?

It might seem odd that, using evidence supplied by the very people who are behind the scam, the BBC would instead pull out all the stops to discredit the whistleblower.

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