Many thanks to Clarence in the comments for steering us towards this fascinating article from Ian Burrell, media editor of the ‘Independent’:
“The BBC has owned up to a “nominal fee” programming scandal in which viewers of 15 editorial programmes were hoodwinked by “serious” conflicts of interest of programme makers and a failure to declare that documentaries had outside sponsors.

The programmes were made for “low or nominal cost” but many were heavyweight documentaries on controversial environmental issues and the BBC Trust, the corporation’s governing body, said today it was “deeply concerned” by the findings.”
Undeclared corporate sponsorship, serious breaches of the BBC guidelines, etc. Mark Thompson is aghast, the BBC Trust’s Richard Ayre is no less aghast, deals have been ‘terminated’ and Ofcom is investigating.
Well worth a read.
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Glen Slagg says:

    I’m always amused by the misnamed BBC Trust’s “deep concern” on any issue. Fact is that they are up to their nuts in the guts of the BBC and have rarely done anything to curtail the excesses of the BBC “management”. As with the “angry Queen” incident, independant producers will be blamed, lessons learnt and the BBC will get it all “just about right”.


  2. Grant says:

    Will it be resignations all round or  will  “lessons have been learned” and these were exceptional events.  “Procedures have now been tightened up “.
    Blah, blah, blah, bullshit, bullshit …… 
    And nothing will change.


  3. Glen Slagg says:

    “Richard Ayre, who chaired the meeting of the Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee said: “International audiences must be able to rely on the same integrity and independence in the BBC’s editorial decisions as audiences in the UK.”

    Surely, that’s exactly what they are getting?


  4. Glen Slagg says:

    A BBC World News spokesperson said: “We accept the BBC Trust’s findings. We are committed to the highest standards of broadcasting and our editorial independence must always remain protected. There were breaches of BBC guidelines though we note that the Trust report found no breaches of impartiality in any of the programmes. We are determined to learn any lessons from this process .That is why we have set out a robust action plan which has been endorsed by the Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee (ESC). We are now committed to bringing in a series of changes to tighten our systems and strengthen the protection of our editorial independence.”

    Not only have lessons already been learned something “Robust” is happening too! That’s a full house on Bullshit Bingo.


    • Grant says:

      Isn’t it funny how easy it is to predict the BBC response ?  Same old crap over and over again.  


      • ltwf1964 says:

        pre-prepared statements of Bullshit which fool the majority into thinking they’ve done a mea culpa

        utter bollox of course

        they will talk a bit of crap on “newswatch” with performing seal Snoddy,and it’ll be ok

        or something


    • Geyza says:

      That is why we have set out a robust action plan which has been endorsed by the Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee (ESC).

      That would be the same ESC which is full of liberal Guardianistas and who believe that a Guardian editorial is a politically neutral and independent view.


  5. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Top BBC bosses lost their jobs over Brand/SachsGate and QueenGate, both minor issues and not seriously damaging to the BBC’s integrity as a news broker.  This, on the other hand, calls into question a whole host of issues, but I bet because of the lack of celebrity element there will be far less consequences.

    Now if only someone would investigate all those encomia to China the BBC did in the six months leading up to the last Olympics.


  6. BBCwaste says:

    I am sure the arms-length excuse of it “wasn’t the BBC” but a third party will be used to insulate those morans at the BBC that commission people and programmes without the due dilligence…

    It’s like Limmy earlier this week… he’s ok because he’s not employed by the BBC, his work and opinions only appear on the BBC, the BBC only pays him and he only promotes his association with the BBC to add kudos to himself.

    Nothing to see here move along now.

    About time that the commissioning process was overhauled and Helen ‘impartiality in our genes’ Boaden retracts her statement.


    • Grant says:

      It raises the question, why do the BBC  “commission ” programmes in the first place. Are they incapable of doing it themselves ?  I smell corruption.


      • Roland Deschain says:

        Is there not some legal requirement for the BBC to outsource a certain proportion of programmes?  Which of course simply lets their favourites set up companies to coin in cash from the licence payer.


  7. Martin says:

    I look forward to Newsnight doing an in depth investigation…..or not.


  8. My Site (click to edit) says:

    ‘Well worth a read.’

    Just, don’t try commenting.

    I feel some watertight oversight coming over the horizon from the world’s most trusted, er….

    James_BG James Murray Is anyone else buying BBC defence of decision to cut Frozen Planet climate change episode for some foreign markets:…


  9. sue says:

    This is puzzling.The BBC also found that FBC had breached programme guidelines on a programme it made on the subject of Egypt this March during the Arab Spring uprisings. The Independent has established that FBC has worked for the regime of the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

    What? All the BBC programmes I saw about Egypt were highly supportive of the rebels, so if Hosni Mubarak sponsored any he didn’t really get value for money, did he?
    Anyway, the BBC has reported it themselves, and have smacked themselves on the bottom and promised not to do it again.

    The Indie *articel* has attracted some inane comments.  “Benkoestler” is very angry.

    “Why isn’t this story on the front page of every newspaper and news headline on the British tv? rhetorical question of course…”

    (He’s obviously one of those people who provide handy evidence that the BBC isn’t biased agaist Israel. “We get complaints from both sides so we must be getting it about right.” )
    He continues:

    “The email, sent by Lorna Fitzsimons, the director of the organisation, “dedicated to creating a more supportive environment for Israel in Britain”, stated: “Throughout the weekend, Bicom staff were in contact with a whole host of BBC and Sky news desks and journalists, ensuring that the most objectively favourable line was taken, and offering talking heads, relevant to the stories unfolding.”

    That must account for some of those terrifying Israeli phone calls that intimidate the newsdesk….

    “She added: “Bicom has one of BBC News’ key anchors on a bespoke delegation”
    “When planning her very first trip to the region, Sophie Long got in touch with Bicom to see if we could help her out with meeting in the region. Sophie is now spending three days of her trip with Bicom Israel, taking a tour around the Old City, meeting [Israeli government spokesman] Mark Regev…as well as visiting Ramallah and Sderot.”

    Search ‘totallyjewish Bicom ’embarrassed’ by misdirected email

    Oooh, how embarrassing, the BBC has spoken to an organisation that supports Israel! 

    “And I have always been called an ‘anti-Semite when I have said the Beeb is pro-Israel. This story should be dynamite and bring down the Zionist lackey Mark Thompson but like other such stories it has been suppressed.”

    An antisemite and an idiot. That comment has attracted several ‘likes’ and is gaining more as I speak. The next comment agrees with him, and ends:
    “PS you are nto an anti-semite ))”
    😀 So there you have it.
    Mark Thompson is a Zionist lackey, Sophie Long is a Zionist lackey, and Mark Regev is a Zionist lackey, and the BBC is a Zionist lackey.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      This kind of thing doesn’t look good. But then we need to hear about the balancing “bespoke delegations” the Beeboids go on when reporting from Gaza or about Hezbollah, or the West Bank, etc., etc.


    • Grant says:

      If Mark Thompson is a Zionist lackey, I am a Beeboid.


  10. LJ says:

    Just like Richard Bacon, a quick, flippant apology will be sufficient and all will be reset to zero. And they will not apologise for breaking the rules or cheapening the BBC or delivering advertorial instead of impartial commentary. No, they will apologise ‘if anyone was offended’, and that will be that.


  11. John Horne Tooke says:

    “Perhaps most damning is the fact that a BBC World documentary about climate change was sponsored by green crusaders Envirotrade.”

    Has this just been uncovered by the Independant? Or is this the same story from the Guardian?

    Carbon credit documentary should not have been shown, BBC admits

    “A BBC documentary about socialite Robin Birley and his carbon credits business venture in Africa should never have been broadcast, an internal inquiry by the corporation has found.

    Rockhopper TV, the production company that made the documentary, knew but did not disclose to BBC executives, of links between Envirotrade and the Africa Carbon Livelihood Trust, which funded the making of the documentary. Had it done so, Taking The Credit, the documentary, would never have been shown, the BBC ruled, although it also claimed the programme was balanced.

    Rockhopper, which is run by Richard Wilson, a former BBC environment correspondent, and ex-Sky News presenter Anya Sitaram, told the Observer that every indication suggested that the trust was independent.

    However, the inquiry found there was a “conflict of interest [that] risked bringing the BBC’s editorial reputation into disrepute” because the trust’s managing director, Charles Hall, is also chief executive of Envirotrade.

    The BBC’s own compliance failures have not been made known because the corporation refuses to release its report into the Rockhopper affair, adding to concern that a wider problem exists over commercial sponsorship arrangements on its international channel.”


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Yet the Beeboids would scream bloody murder if a skeptical feature was made with even a whiff of funding from “Big Oil”. 


      • Geyza says:

        Even though the sceptical (realist) side of the climate science research is starved of funding and the only big blogs are run on pocket change and donations.  The “Big Oil” funded scepticism is a myth.

        The alarmist side, on the other hand, is awash with money, extorted from tax-payers and energy customers and Marxist billioniare backers.  As the originators of Greenpeace have stated on the record.  What started as a reasonable environmental concern group, working hand-in-hand with industry to create agreeable responsible environmentally aware industry, degenerated into a Marxist pressure group intent on destroying Western Capitalism, soon after the Berlin wall fell and the USSR broke up.  Marxists found another avenue to attack the west, hiding within “environmentally freindly” disguises.  This is why the founders of Greenpeace left.  It is a front for hard-left Marxism


    • John Horne Tooke says:

      I note that Rockhopper TV is very cosy with the BBC.

      Could it be that the BBC look after their ex-employees so that the public money link is not broken?


  12. cjhartnett says:

    Clearly the BBC has long been sponsored by Levingtons Compost, given its output now ovewr many years.
    Newsnight tonight might have led on the lowest rate of borrowing for the British Government since the year dot…it might have told us that inflation figures suggest that it will be going down pretty far, pretty soon…for these are figures and are factual…they have been announced and therefore are “news” as I understand it.
    As if mate…youth unemployment figures look dicky for tomorrow so let`s lead on that then Jeremy…for this is speculation and tittle tattle..and might cause Thatch to choke on her Sanatogen!
    A Good Rebellion…and the other Rag Week Interns there at Bush House will be impressed…


  13. Geyza says:

    Undeclared corporate sponsorship, serious breaches of the BBC guidelines, etc. Mark Thompson is aghast, the BBC Trust’s Richard Ayre is no less aghast, deals have been ‘terminated’ and Ofcom is investigating.

    They are only aghast that they have been caught.


  14. matthew rowe says:

    Just found this on bishop hills site =
    Which manifestly is not a climate propoganda cheque. That biased BBC website you linked to is for maniacs. It calls David Cameron a fascist and Ted Heath vile in its opening paragraph.

    Nov 15, 2011 at 8:58 PM | <img style=”background: url("/universal/images/core-resources/icons/dark/user-unregistered.png"<img src=” src=”” title=”Unregistered Commenter” border=”0″ alt=”Unregistered Commenter”/>
      aww dez thinks we are “maniacs ” mind someone who spends their time trashing others blog sites all day shows a sane person ??!