Censorship

Mr C Pollard made this Freedom of Information request to British Broadcasting Corporation

The request was partially successful.

From: Mr C Pollard

9 July 2012

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I request the following
information:

1. Please state which, if any, laws, statutes or governmental
guidance you adhere to in regards to what news you broadcast.

2. Please provide a list of which government ministers or advisers
you have held meetings or discussions with to discuss news which
should not be broadcast by the BBC between 2010 and now.

3. Please state whether anything was reported regarding the recent
arrest of Roger Hayes (head of the British Constitution
Group)through any BBC channel.

4. Please state which authority or individual advised you to not
report the case given in point 3.

5. The case of Roger Hayes is in the public interest. Please state
why the BBC (publicly funded corporation) did not report it.

6. Please provide a full and complete list of any news items that
have been withheld either on request or by legal order since 2010.

7. Please provide your current policy on censorship.

Yours faithfully,

Mr C Pollard

Link to this

From: FOI Enquiries
British Broadcasting Corporation

10 July 2012

Dear Mr Pollard,

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was received on 9th July 2012. We will deal with your request as promptly as possible, and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any queries about your request, please contact us at the address below.

The reference number for your request is RFI20120738.

Kind regards,

The Information Policy & Compliance Team
BBC Freedom of Information
Room 2252, BBC White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS
www.bbc.co.uk/foi <outbind://18/www.bbc.co.uk/foi>
Email: [BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2882
Fax: 020 8008 2398

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: FOI Enquiries
British Broadcasting Corporation

23 July 2012


Attachment RFI20120738 Final Response.pdf
135K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Pollard,

 

Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI20120738

 

 

Yours sincerely

Nicolette Myrie

 

BBC Information Policy and Compliance

Room 2252, White City

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TS, UK

 

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi

Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2883

Fax: 020 8008 2398

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/foi
2. mailto:[BBC request email]
3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Link to this

From: Mr C Pollard

24 July 2012

Dear FOI Enquiries,

Thank you for your timely reply, it is appreciated.

I do however wish to clarify a couple of points.

1. "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”

In my original request my questions 3, 4, 5 and 6 were answered
partly with the above quote. However, as none of the information to
which the questions correspond has been broadcast or written about
by the BBC, any information held is obvoiusly not for the purposes
of journalism, art or literature. It is still in the public intrest
and as such is covered by FOI Act 2009.

Please could you provide the information as requested.

Kind Regards,

Chris

Yours sincerely,

Mr C Pollard

Link to this

From: FOI Enquiries
British Broadcasting Corporation

24 July 2012

Dear Mr Pollard,

Thank you for your email, in relation to your FOI request regarding 'censorship' (Reference: RFI20120738). The information requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC considers that the derogation protects the journalistic, artistic and literary integrity of the BBC by securing a creative and journalistic space for programme makers to produce material for broadcast free from interference by those who would seek to influence our output. A recent Supreme Court judgement has given a clear definition of what the phrase ‘journalism, art or literature’ means in the Act and what types of information it will cover; the Supreme Court found that, “…the composite expression “journalism, art or literature” seems to be intended to cover the whole of the BBC’s output in its mission (under article 5 of its Royal Charter) to inform, educate and entertain the public. On that comprehensive approach the purposes of journalism, art or literature would be, quite simply, the purposes of the BBC’s entire output to the public.” [70]

This means that, in cases where the requested information is directly related to the creation of the BBC’s broadcasting output, it will fall outside the scope of the Act. In this case, you have requested information that related to editorial decisions. Editorial decisions are key element of programme making, in this way the decision of whether or not a particular news story should be reported is an important part of the BBC's process of creating and improving programmes.

The BBC's understanding of the scope of the derogation has been informed by numerous cases, including the Supreme Court, in the case of Sugar (deceased) v British Broadcasting Corporation and another [2012] UKSC 4, of the Schedule 1 'derogation' for the public service broadcasters in relation to journalism. Lord Phillips noted the BBC’s ‘important right to freedom of expression’ and the link between Schedule 1 of the Act and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Additionally, as also recognised by the Supreme Court, it recognises that public service broadcasters caught by the Act (BBC, Channel 4, S4C, MG Alba) should not be placed at a disadvantage to their commercial competitors.

In practical terms, the BBC has interpreted this to mean that we are not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC's output or information that supports or is closely associated with these activities.

You might find it useful to review the Decision Notices from the Information Commissioner, regarding the application of the derogation to information held by the BBC. These Decision Notices can be found at the following URL: http://www.ico.gov.uk/tools_and_resource... - using the search function, if you select the BBC as the 'Authority' and FOI 1 as the 'Section' you will find a number of relevant Decision Notices.

Kind Regards,

Nicolette Myrie
BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room 2252, White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS, UK

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: mailto:[BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

show quoted sections

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
British Broadcasting Corporation only:

Follow this request

There is 1 person following this request

Offensive? Unsuitable?

Requests for personal information and vexatious requests are not considered valid for FOI purposes (read more).

If you believe this request is not suitable, you can report it for attention by the site administrators

Report this request

Act on what you've learnt

Similar requests

More similar requests

Event history details

Are you the owner of any commercial copyright on this page?