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Getting your argument straight

Some further thoughts have occurred to me after the recent posting on the Cambridge Environment and Media Programme. Joe Smith, you will recall, has argued that CEMP activities are not succeptible to Freedom of INformation requests because his activities on this front are private activities.

Meanwhile it is instructive to compare his position to that of his CEMP colleague, the BBC environment analyst, Roger Harrabin. The fine blogger, TonyN, over at Harmless Sky, has tried to get hold of the visitors of a CEMP get together, but was rebuffed, the BBC arguing firstly that these activities were not covered by the Environmental Information Regulations, and then stating that their exemption under the Freedom of Information Act, allowed them to withhold information relating to journalistic activities.

It seems to me that there is a contradiction here. Joe Smith says that CEMP is private activity, while the BBC says that it is BBC journalism and therefore exempt.

Which is it?

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Reader Comments (1)


I have two FOI / EIR inquiries relating to this which are still ongoing. One is the subject of an appeal to the Information Commissioner which has yet to be decided and I am still involved in correspondence with the University of Cambridge about the other.

In the meantime, this comment at Harmless Sky from Jon Robson sheds a little more light on what happened at the BBC's 2006 climate change seminar. In the link he has posted, skip the first section of the column by Rachel Johnson, which deals with abortion, and go to the second part. Then have a look at comment 25, here:
Dec 20, 2008 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterTonyN

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