Not Grounded in Reality

Common Law Jurisdiction made this Freedom of Information request to Channel Four Television Corporation

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Channel Four Television Corporation should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Common Law Jurisdiction

Dear Channel Four Television Corporation,

1. How many complaints have channel 4 had about Hollyoaks not been grounded in reality? (Such as the ridiculous amount of extreme events that happen in it on a frequent basis)

Yours faithfully,

Common Law Jurisdiction

Tim Turner left an annotation ()

I'd say this is the stupidest FOI request I have ever seen, but I have seen some of your other ones.

# FOI Admin, Channel Four Television Corporation

Our Ref: FOI/2017/08

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Thank you for your request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, which we received on 16^th January 2017. Your
request was set out as follows:

 

“How many complaints have channel 4 had about Hollyoaks not been grounded
in reality? (Such as the ridiculous amount of extreme events that happen
in it on a frequent basis)”

 

As you may be aware, the Act gives the public a right of access to certain
types of recorded information held by public authorities. However the Act
does not apply to Channel 4 in the same way as most other public
authorities because Channel 4 is not required to make available
information held for purposes of journalism, art or literature (known as
the journalistic “designation”). This means that the Act does not apply to
information concerning, relating to, or closely associated with Channel
4’s creative output (e.g. TV, film, online etc.).

 

For the avoidance of doubt, programme-related information is covered by
the journalistic “designation” (set out in Schedule I, Part VI of the Act)
and we are not required to disclose such information to the general
public.

 

For more information about how the Act applies to Channel 4, you may find
it helpful to visit our Freedom of Information website at
[1]http://www.channel4.com/info/corporate/l...

Finally, we take this opportunity to point you to the Information
Commissioners Guidance Recognising a Request Made Under the Freedom of
Information Act (Section 8), specifically the advice contained in
paragraphs 14-20:
[2]https://ico.org.uk/media/1164/recognisin....

 

Many thanks for your interest in Channel 4.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Admin Team

 

Channel 4

[3][Channel 4 request email]

Tel + 44 (0) 20 7306 8777

 

[4]www.channel4.com

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.channel4.com/info/corporate/l...
2. https://ico.org.uk/media/1164/recognisin...
3. mailto:[Channel 4 request email]
4. http://www.channel4.com/

Common Law Jurisdiction

Dear # FOI Admin,

I presume your rejection relates to below quote at the bottom of this email.

Forgive me to if I haven't grasped this properly, but my request about Hollyoaks as far as I can see is not related to journalism. If I had queried "Why is Channel 4 so biased against Donald Trump?" that would come under journalism. Of course if you can elaborate how a soap comes under journalism I will be glad to listen. I also don't feel you can class Hollyoaks as art or literature.

The act also states information held for the purposes of journalism. Complaint information isn't really held for journalist purposes, I wouldn't say.

I feel that this hinges on how the act defines "journalism". Now you and I know in reality Hollyoaks isn't journalism, but I do not know how the act defines it so if you can either give me the acts definition of journalism to prove the request invalid or valid or fulfil the request it would be appreciated.

[F113The Certification Officer.]
The Channel Four Television Corporation, in respect of information held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature
-----
In relation to the guidance you sent Common Law Jurisdiction can be a name under both Common Law and Statute Law, but if you don't like it you could put "Bart Joseph"
Yours sincerely,

Common Law Jurisdiction

# FOI Admin, Channel Four Television Corporation

Our Ref: FOI/2017/08

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Thank you for your email, of 31^st January 2017, requesting an internal
review of our response to your request for information under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’) regarding complaints about Hollyoaks.

 

We can confirm that Channel 4 retains viewer complaints about our
programmes for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, the
purposes of reviewing and maintaining editorial standards. For the
avoidance of doubt, we are not required to disclose the information you
have requested as it is programme-related information covered by the
journalistic “designation” (set out in Schedule I, Part VI of the Act).

 

What’s more, please note that Channel 4 is not required to undertake an
internal review for requests that are excluded under Schedule 1, Part VI
of the Act.

 

We believe that the case law is absolutely clear that information in
relation to our creative output falls outside the scope of the Act under
Schedule 1, Part VI of the Act.

 

The Supreme Court confirmed the application of the journalistic
designation in the case of British Broadcasting Corporation v Sugar and
another [2012]. The court held:

 

“Although, one might have an interesting debate whether nowadays the word
“journalism” encompasses more than news and current affairs, the debate in
this context is likely to be sterile. For any output which did not
obviously qualify as journalism would be likely to qualify as literature
or – in particular, in that its meaning has a striking elasticity – as
art.”

 

And

 

“The disclosable material is defined in terms (“held for the purposes
other than those of journalism, art or literature”) which are positive in
form but negative in substance. The real emphasis is on what is not
disclosable – that is material held for the purposes of the BBC’s
broadcasting output”.

 

We believe this clear authority on the matter confirms that, under the
terms of the Act, there is no requirement to provide this sort of
programme related information to the general public. Furthermore, it
confirms that there is no requirement to consider the public interest or
carry out any further balancing exercise in regards to requests for
programme related information.

 

Accordingly, we maintain our position as set out in our original response.

 

Please note that if you have any further issues regarding Channel 4’s
handling of this matter under the Act, we would invite you to take this up
directly with the Information Commissioner who can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Admin Team

 

Channel 4

[1][Channel 4 request email]

Tel + 44 (0) 20 7306 8777

 

[2]www.channel4.com

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Channel 4 request email]
2. http://www.channel4.com/

Common Law Jurisdiction

Dear # FOI Admin,

Thank you for your detailed response.

With no offence meant, I will take it up with the ICO as I don't see how Holloyoaks is art or literature and you have not defined the terms "art" and "literature"

Yours sincerely,

Common Law Jurisdiction

Common Law Jurisdiction left an annotation ()

Referred to ICO:
Hello ICO
For the purpose of this FOI (below) please could you clarify how the act defines "jouranalism", "art" and "literature" and if the Channel 4 programme Hollyoaks falls under any of these 3 terms within the act. This is to adjudicate as to whether Channel 4 need to answer this request or not.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...
Thanks
Bart Joseph