Friday, 18 June 2010

Conclusion of Stage 1

Here is the written response to my complaints. It is undated, recieved by post on 16th June. I have foned the BBC complaints department and spoke to Matthew and he said it was a response  not just to the original letter but to ALL the follow up emails. Which brings them all together, a manouver I am ok by. I am not okay about the lack of disclosure and I have to say that I have been misled by the email I recieved from Alec Mackenzie on 28th Feb.

Dear Hengist,

Reference 725605

Thanks for your letter regarding 'Analysis' as broadcast 25 January.

Firstly, please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We know our correspondents appreciate a quick response and we are sorry you have had to wait on this occasion.

We forwarded your complaints on this issue to Innes Bowen who explained in response that the reporter was not assuming that envronmentalism necessarily encompasses anti-capitalism. Indeed the reporter's main point was that environmentalism need not be anti-capitalist.

He was merely challenging the views of those environmentalists he has come across in his role as a BBC journalist specialising in green issues who assert that environmentalism and capitalism are incompatible.

We are sorry if the distinction the presenter was trying to make between environmentalism and the views of some prominent environmentalists was not sufficiently clear in the programme.

The title of the programme "Are Environmentalists Bad for the Planet?" was intended as a short and provocative hook to attract the attention of potential listeners. It was posing a question rather than asserting a point of view.

The programme itself was far more nuanced , exploring tensions between environmental campaigners. The title had to be submitted even before production of the programme was under way.

The original intention was to explore whether the assertion by some prominent environmentalists such as Jonathan Porrit (sic) that capitalist economic model and tackling climate change are (i) really justified and (ii) in danger of alienating some people who might be persuaded to take the issue of climate change more seriously.
She added that:
"I don't think we need , as Mr McStone suggests, a balancing programme about why environmentalists are good for the planet as that is the assumption, usually unchallenged, in most coverage of environmental groups. Justin Rowlatts's programme was a rare opportunity to explore whether that assumption is always true"
I realist that you may continue to have concerns with the impartiality of this broadcast . There let me assure you that I've recorded your comments onto our audience log.
This is an internal daily report of audience feedback that's circulated to many BBC staff including members of the BBC executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

All feedback we receive, whether positive or negative, is always appreciated.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us with your views.

Kind regards

Stefan Curran

[Trancribed by HMcS 18th June]

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