The 14 Words

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The BBC's 'Green Propaganda' training for top executives covered up for 6 years


The BBC has spent tens of thousands of pounds over six years trying to keep secret an extraordinary ‘eco’ conference which has shaped its coverage of global warming, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The controversial seminar was run by a body set up by the BBC’s own environment analyst Roger Harrabin and funded via a £67,000 grant from the then Labour government, which hoped to see its ‘line’ on climate change and other Third World issues promoted in BBC reporting.

At the event, in 2006, green activists and scientists – one of whom believes climate change is a bigger danger than global nuclear war – lectured 28 of the Corporation’s most senior executives.

Then director of television Jana Bennett opened the seminar by telling the executives to ask themselves: ‘How do you plan and run a city that is going to be submerged?’ And she asked them to consider if climate change laboratories might offer material for a thriller.

A lobby group with close links to green campaigners, the International Broadcasting Trust (IBT), helped to arrange government funding for both the climate seminar and other BBC seminars run by Mr Harrabin – one of which was attended by then Labour Cabinet Minister Hilary Benn.


Applying for money from Mr Benn’s Department for International Development (DFID), the IBT promised Ministers the seminars would influence programme content for years to come.

The BBC began its long legal battle to keep details of the conference secret after an amateur climate blogger spotted a passing reference to it in an official report.


Tony Newbery, 69, from North Wales, asked for further disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The BBC’s resistance to revealing anything about its funding and the names of those present led to a protracted struggle in the Information Tribunal. The BBC has admitted it has spent more than £20,000 on barristers’ fees. However, the full cost of their legal battle is understood to be much higher.

In a written statement opposing disclosure in 2012, former BBC news chief and current director of BBC radio Helen Boaden, who attended the event, admitted: ‘In my view, the seminar had an impact on a broad range of BBC output.’




No comments:

Post a Comment