BBC Uses ECHR to Block Release of Spin Bill

Last month the BBC produced a cinematic advert to “celebrate the unique role that the BBC plays in all of our lives”. Taking advantage of their massive media monopoly to beam Auntie’s spin into the nation’s front rooms, ahead of the coming battle for its future…

Ever the optimist, Guido fired off a Freedom of Information request to the notoriously opaque Beeb, asking how much licence fee payers stumped up for the very expensive looking advert. To our complete lack of surprise, the BBC are refusing to reveal the cost:

“The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you and will not be doing so on this occasion.”

Obviously the advert was not for the “purposes of journalism, art or literature”, so how can they get away with giving such a patently shoddy response? Their email explains:

“The limited application of the Act to public service broadcasters was to protect freedom of expression and the rights of the media under Article 10 European Convention on Human Rights.”

So the BBC are hiding behind laws made in Strasbourg to prevent the licence fee payer from knowing how much it spent on what is essentially a piece of propaganda. Guido is all for legislation protecting the rights of journalists, this is a clear abuse of that legislation. They just don’t get it…


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