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Green Campaigns & The BBC’s Conflicts Of Interest

It does seem to me that the BBC is just up to its eyeballs in inappropriate relationships with environmentalists.

In the last post, we noted that the odd coincidence that one of the BBC TV shows that was illicitly funded by green groups was fronted by a journalist who later on illicitly accepted a story from the Outside Organisation, thus helping out the University of East Anglia over its Climategate problem.

Here’s another odd coincidence.

In the update to yesterday’s post, I embedded a video called Earth Reporters: Sea Change, and linked to the full video at the UNESCO website. If you look carefully at the credits at the end of the programme, you will notice that the show was also co-produced by the Open University.

Now, longer term readers here will remember the shenanigans over the BBC’s Cambridge Media and Environment Programme, a series of seminars put together by Roger Harrabin and the Open University’s Joe Smith and sponsored by (among others) green groups. The idea of the seminars was to put senior BBC decision makers together with senior environmentalists. The conclusion of the seminar about climate change was that global warming sceptics needed to be kept off the airwaves. This seems to have started a process that culminated in the Jones report the other week, which, in another extraordinary coincidence, concluded exactly the same thing as the environmentalists at the BBC seminar.

Anyway, you’ll never guess who was the scientific adviser on Earth Reporters: Sea Change….

Dr Joe Smith.

It really is a small world. It does seem to me that the BBC is just up to its eyeballs in inappropriate relationships with environmentalists.

A little further digging turns up this Joe Smith powerpoint, which discusses the Open University’s Creative Climate project, under the banner of which the Earth Reporters series was commissioned. The BBC shows involved were:

  • BBC World Service Radio documentaries ‘The Climate Connection’ looking
    at: imaginative responses to pressing questions (5 x 30 mins in both
    December 2009 and 2010)
  • BBC World Television documentaries ‘Hope in a Changing Climate’ (1x 30
    mins 2009) ‘Earth Reporters’ (5 x 30 mins 2011) focusing on novel research
    and problem solving
  • Short film competition – best young UK filmmakers make 2 min shorts for
    the web on environmental research issues

Hope in a Changing Climate can be seen here and it appears to also have been a sponsored show. The involvement of environmentalists is well flagged on the Open University page, but there is nothing in the credits of the programme itself. I guess this was not part of the BBC Trust’s audit sample.

I wonder about the World Service Radio documentaries. Were these sponsored too? If so, were listeners told? Could it be that all of the programmes on the Open University Creative Climate strand were funded by green groups? Interesting implications for the integrity of the course if so.