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March 26, 2007

BBC Spends 200,000 Pounds Fighting To Keep Report On Anti-Israel Bias Secret

More and more, news organizations' true mission is to suppress, not report, the news. Or at least suppress any news that interferes with its "storytelling" metanarrative.

As the BBC is almost entirely funded by state-compelled TV "licenses" and direct subsidy, it's spending taxpayer money to keep a taxpayer-funded report away from the eyes of actual taxpayers.

Nice work if you can get it.

The BBC has been accused of "shameful hypocrisy" over its decision to spend 200,000 blocking a freedom of information request about its reporting in the Middle East.

The corporation, which has itself made extensive use of FOI requests in its journalism, is refusing to release papers about an internal inquiry into whether its reporting has been biased towards Palestine.

BBC chiefs have been accused of wasting thousands of pounds of licence fee payers money trying to cover-up the findings of the so called Balen Report into its journalism in the region, despite the fact that the corporation is funded by the British public.

The corporation is fighting a landmark High Court action, which starts next week, in a bid to prevent the public finding out what is in the review, which is believed to be critical of the BBC's coverage in the region.

BBC bosses have faced repeated claims that is coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict has been skewed by a pro-Palestianian bias.

...

The BBC's decision to carry on pursuing the case, despite the fact than the Information Tribunal said it should make the report public, has sparked fury as it flies in the face of claims by BBC chiefs that it is trying to make the corporation more open and transparent.

Politicians have branded the BBC's decision to carry on spending money, hiring the one of the country's top public law barrister in the process, as "absolutely indefensible".

They claim its publication is clearly in the public interest.

The BBC's determination to bury the report has led to speculation that the report was damning in its assessment of the BBC's coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict that the BBC wants to keep it under wraps at all costs.
...

The BBC's own website boasts of 69 stories that it says it has broken with the help of the Freedom of Information Act.

If the BBC loses the High Court case next week it could appeal again and again until the case reaches the European Court in Strasbourg.

...

Steven Sugar, who said he was prepared to take the case all the way to European court, said: "What I would like to see is the disclosure of an important document which will give us an insight into what the BBC itself thinks of its own performance.

"I would like to see the BBC facing up to its professed interest in transparency and openness."

And I'd like to see a pill that really can improve male "performance," but I think I'm going to just have to wait.


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posted by Ace at 03:12 PM

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