November 27th, 2009
Dear Ms Miller
Freedom of Information request – RFI20091520
Thank you for your request to the BBC of November 3rd, seeking the following information under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 about the edition of Question Time broadcast on October
1. Did David Dimbleby have a seating chart in regards to who was in the audience? What
information did this chart have about each member?
2. Were any meetings held to discuss the production of the show including any between Mentorn
and the BBC? Please provide copies of these minutes of any meetings to discuss production of the
3. Was a decision made to focus the show on Nick Griffin? When was this decision made and by
whom? Please provide notes of any meetings discussing this.
4. What consideration was given or what steps were taken to ensure there was no bias or
unfairness to any one particular panel member given the controversial nature of the show?
Please note that your request is outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the
Act”) but you may be interested in this entry on the Editors’ Blog written by the Executive Editor of
Question Time http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2009/10/nick_griffin_on_question_time.html
Please note that the information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for
the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that
information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is only covered by the Act if it
is held for ‘purposes other
than those of journalism, art or literature” 1. The BBC is not required by
the Act to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that
supports and is closely associated with these creative activities; however, on this occasion we’re happy
to provide the above information in response to your request.
The BBC does not offer an internal review when the information requested is not covered by the
Act. If you disagree with our decision you can appeal to the Information Commissioner. Contact
details are: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire,
SK9 5AF telephone 01625 545 700. http://www.ico.gov.uk
Head of Accountability, BBC News
1 For more information about how the Act applies to the BBC please see the enclosure at the end of this letter. Please
note that this guidance is not intended to be a comprehensive legal interpretation of how the Act applies to the BBC.