Saving Syria’s Children: Self policing BBC rejects request for documents

BBC Information Policy & Compliance has rejected my 16-point request for documents pertaining to Saving Syria’s Children and related BBC News reports on the grounds 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. 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”.  The BBC is not required 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.

Media Lens observes that the exemption of BBC News editorial decision-making from the Freedom of Information Act “is a longstanding, fundamental barrier to making @BBCNews accountable.”

I presented a summary of my concerns regarding Saving Syria’s Children to Jeremy Corbyn MP on 16 December 2015.   

The BBC’s response in full is here.

Robert Stuart


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