The BBC similarly enjoys an exemption from the UK FOI Act in respect of information held for the purposes of “journalism, art or literature” but has just lost a battle in the House of Lords, arguing that this extended to an internal report on a possible anti-Israel bias in its coverage of the Middle East.Now it's back to the High Court to argue the substantive issues in the case.Public broadcasters are easy pickings for criticism in these circumstances..The Times Online says it's pure " Yes Minister"-you couldn't make it up- and concludes:
"The BBC's website contains a section called Open Secrets - A Blog About Freedom of Information. Very good it is, too. It makes freedom of information requests and reports on those made by others. And yet here is the BBC itself spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of licence-payers' money in the courts resisting the very Act it uses every day. It is one thing testing the law. But it has tested it now and lost. Enough."The Brits can sort that one out. But when Minister Faulkner gets around here to those second phase of FOI reforms, we should look again at what protection the ABC really needs to cover information concerning its commercial and competitive interests.