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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ah, The Irony...

The BBC today successfully fended off a Court of Appeal bid to force it to make public the Balen report, an internal review of its reporting in the Middle East.

Commercial solicitor Steven Sugar, of Putney, London, has waged a two-year battle arguing that the report should be available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.

He claimed it should be published in the light of allegations that the BBC has shown bias against Israel. His claim was backed by the Information Tribunal, but the High Court allowed an appeal by the BBC and ruled that the case fell outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act.

My favorite line:

The BBC maintains that it is vital for independent journalism that internal staff debates on news coverage should not be open to public scrutiny.

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