More Harrabin
Dec 16, 2008
Bishop Hill in BBC

I've previously blogged about the Cambridge Environment and Media Programme (which might be the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme; nobody seems sure). CEMP, as I'll call it, is run by the BBC's Roger Harrabin and Dr Joe Smith of the Open University, apparently to improve coverage of green issues in the media. As far as I can tell this involves using the BBC to promote environmentalism, but I recognise that my views may be prejudiced, so let me lay down the evidence I have recently uncovered.

CEMP's activities seem mainly to involve putting together BBC journalists and bigwigs and NGOs to discuss green issues. These meetings have lead to among other things the abortive Planet Relief day of BBC greenery.

CEMP is funded from a mixture of public and private sources - the BBC and the Tyndall Centre at the University of East Anglia both say they have contributed. What the private sources are, or indeed what the legal status of CEMP is remain unclear, but it is not a great stretch of the imagination to believe that these are in fact the self-same NGOs who get to meet the BBC bigwigs.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, Dr Smith indicated that in his view, his work with Roger Harrabin is private activity.

Put these factors together and you have a disturbing situation which raises some uncomfortable questions for the corporation. For example:

Lots of questions, but precious few answers at the moment. I'll keep digging, but any suggestions as to ways of attacking the problem will be gratefully received.

Update on Jan 15, 2012 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The full story of Roger Harrabin and the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme is now available as a download here.

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