Freedom of Information Action Items?
Normally Five Minutes for Israel ignores the BBC. Their history as a neutral, professional media outfit with an outstanding record of fearless journalistic professionalism; failure to be intimidated by power or political correctness and consistent balance when reporting on Israel, Arabs and Islam makes our attention unnecessary†. For more on the virtues of BBC Middle East reporting check out this In-depth Media Analysis of the BBC from Honest Reporting.
We normally ignore the BBC because other Israel advocates, such as CAMERA and Honest Reporting and blogs, such as our favourite Biased BBC don’t. Court cases; questions in Parliament; the occasional kidnapped, beaten or shot journalist and hundreds of complaints can’t budge this tax supported, advertising supported, Commonwealth and Foreign Office supported monster. Targeting the smaller media who take their material directly from the BBC seemed a better value strategy for a new group.
So what changed? I discovered that the BBC is obliged to answer questions under the Freedom of Information Act (U.K.) 2000, you don’t have to be a British citizen, and WhatDoTheyKnow will put the responses online.
There are limitations, of course. The failure to make the Balen Report public shows that. The BBC says that under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you have the right to ask for information from the BBC except for information the BBC holds for the purposes of journalism, art or literature. We believe that these two requests about legal advice and policy and the BBC is obliged to answer.
We’ll be discussing what makes reporting on Maoist rebels relevant to Israel advocates and why we made these requests, now, in an upcoming 5MFI Blog post.
In the meantime check the FOI requests here.
- Legal advice given to Alpa Shah re: Maoist rebels
- Was permission given to James Stephenson to ignore Israeli Military censorship?
† That’s a joke, if you haven’t twigged. 😉