The BBC have used a controversial exemption in the Freedom of Information Act to block the publication of the costs incurred during their wall-to-wall coverage of the Royal Wedding. Legislation provides that the broadcaster can refuse to release information held “for the purposes of journalism, art or literature”.
Records of appeals to the Information Commissioner show the loophole is used repeatedly by Auntie to rebuff awkward questions. While the corporation claimed it needs “a private space in which to produce our content”, campaign group Republic has criticised the BBC for sending more than 1,000 staff to cover the event — five times more than Sky:
“An exemption introduced to protect the independence of the BBC was not intended to shield the corporation from legitimate scrutiny.”
Do the BBC have something embarrassing to hide?