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Release the Balen report

I thought readers might like to sign this petition, asking for the Balen report to be released.  This report into the BBC’s Middle East coverage was commissioned in 2004, and has never been published despite many requests.

We call upon the BBC to release the findings to the general public of the Balen report that looked into its Middle East coverage and allegations of bias against Israel by the BBC. The BBC has spent over a third of a million pounds on covering up these findings for eight years. We believe this is a misuse of BBC licence fee payers’ money. The BBC should be obligated to reveal to its licence fee payers all the findings of this report on its coverage of the Middle East.

One reason invoked to persist with this secrecy is the fact it can be described simply as a document designed to help the BBC monitor its own standards of journalism, and thus falls outside the remit of the 2000 Freedom of Information act.  Although technically the BBC’s position is correct, in so far as it has been able to resist legal challenges to release the findings, the fact it was willing to spend so very much money ensuring people couldn’t read it hardly inspires confidence.