Sunday 10 February 2019

Accountability, BBC-style

Computer says no. **COUGH**

Talking about John Sweeney...

From DB:
With BBC Panorama in the spotlight here's an interesting Freedom of Information request from 2012.  A BBC Panorama producer got hold of someone's mobile number. That person wanted to know how. The BBC refused to say, playing the "journalism" clause. 
That very long 'no' from the BBC begins:
Dear Mr Kerrigan,   
Freedom of Information request – RFI20120732  
Thank you for your request to the BBC of 09 July 2012, seeking the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’): 

“My name is Chris Kerrigan and I was called by Andrew Head of the BBC programme Panorama. Can you tell me how my private mobile number was acquired.”  
We can advise you that 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…
In the circumstances, the job title of the BBC lady who wrote that long refusal made me laugh:
Stephanie Harris 
Head of Accountability, BBC News 
Ah yes. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. And continually refusing FoI requests is accountability at the BBC. 


  1. In other words, we have no sense of obligation to you, no sense of wrongness, of morality or of ordinary decent behaviour that would entail treating you with fairness and consideration for your privacy because we have a piece of paper in our back office which says we don't have to.
    Nice set of principles there, publicly funded BBC.

  2. Actually that is a case of journalism, so the BBC was right.
    .. Normally the BBC pulls that excuse when it isn't journalism.


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