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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

FOI requests, and another complaint

To my dear blog readers:

It appears that I am wasting my time by sending Freedom of Information requests to the BBC. I had another email from them this morning, and the first paragraph says it all:

Thank you for your email below. Information related to programmes is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ We therefore consider that any information relating to the Jeremy Vine Show is likely to be out of scope and we are therefore unable to provide examples of information that could be supplied under the Act. Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is only covered by the Act if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature”.  The BBC is not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.

So, we can ask about anything we like PROVIDED that it does not relate to anything to do with the BBC's programmes. Grrrr....

I've just filed another complaint on the BBC web site about blatant advertising on the Chris Evans and JV programmes:

There have been a number of broadcasts on Radio 2 recently that have turned in to advertising promotions for various products, viz:

Jeremy Vine Show, 6th October: Following the unfortunate death of Steve Jobs, Mr Vine chose to devote 30 minutes of his programme to his death and his technical innovations. It was described thus on his web page: "How did Apple change your world? Can you remember the first time you marvelled at an Apple product?". I feel that the death of Mr Jobs was only of secondary importance in a segment that turned in to a promotion for Apple products of all kinds, and without mention of "other products are available from other manufacturers".

Chris Evans Show, 10th and 11th October: On both occasions just after the 8am news I lost count of the number of times that "Red Bull" was mentioned and feel that undue prominence was given to this brand. Although Mr Evans was using the reference in relation to Red Bull's motor racing prowess, I cannot help but think that the Red Bull energy drink brand manager must have been very pleased with free advertising that the brand was receiving.

My complaint is that such blatant advertising of products has no place on Radio 2, especially when it is not balanced by mention of other manufacturers' products.

I'll post the response when it arrives. Anybody want to bet that my complaint has been recorded in the Audience Log?

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