Auntie’s principles

If you like to push a certain agenda, what better than to get someone like minded to pay for it.  The Independent reports a BBC ‘cheap programming’ scandal exposed [h/t to  David Sinfield via WUWT on Facebook who linked to Guido Fawkes’ comment on it.]

An audit of BBC World programmes uncovered a series of current affairs programmes that – in breach of guidelines – had been funded by corporate sponsorship, which was often not declared.

This includes ‘funding’ for environment-related programming.

The BBC was also found to have made programmes with “inappropriate” sponsorship funding from international organisations including UNESCO, UNEP, UNDP and UNFAO, in breach of the corporation’s guidelines.

And specifically:

One of the programmes in breach of guidelines was “Taking the Credit” made by for BBC World on the subject of Africa and climate change by the award-winning British production company Rockhopper television. The Trust found that the programme had effectively been sponsored by the Envirotrade organisation, despite the fact that current affairs programmes are prohibited from using sponsorship. Envirotrade was featured in a positive light in the programme but “viewers were unaware that there was a funding arrangement in place,” said the Trust report.

Well of course Auntie shouldn’t really have an opinion, neutral broadcasting and all that. Wouldn’t it be better to abolish the licence fee and let the BBC advertise, then at least it would be clear whose agenda they are pushing?

However if others don’t quite see eye-to-eye with you do you stick to your principles or drop them if there’s loss of money involved?  Deliciously, the Telegraph reports BBC drops Frozen Planet’s climate change episode to sell show better abroad.

The last programme in the big budget series from the BBC’s Natural History Unit, reputedly costing £16 million, deals with global warming and man’s threat to the natural world, however the episode has been relegated for sale in other countries by the BBC to an “optional extra” alongside a behind-the-scenes documentary.

Over 30 networks across the world have bought the series but a third of them have rejected the choice of [the] additional two episodes, including the one on climate change.

But the BBC rationalises:

“On Thin Ice (Programme Seven) features David Attenborough in vision as it is his authored show.

“It would be impossible to do a presenter-less version. Only those countries that accept David as a presenter (and there are many where he is well-known – such as Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia) could be expected to take episode seven as it stands.

“In the case of Discovery in the USA, they had a scheduling issue so only had slots for six episodes and have decided to combine elements of episode seven, On Thin Ice, with episode six, The Last Frontier. The BBC has been consulted on editorial decisions on this.”

Environmental groups are not happy.

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2 Responses to Auntie’s principles

  1. Pascvaks says:

    The taproot of all our Environmental Problems is money. Money! Money! Money!

    Indeed, like a flash it came to me… The Taproot Of All Our Problems Is Money!

    Shazaaam! Shazaaam! Shazaaaaam!

    PS: A Guru in India told me once, “Auntie’s in need of money have no principles; not many.”

  2. Chuckles says:

    It does seem that these principles, such as they may be, are soluble in cash?

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