Friday 6 September 2002

Secret political vetting at the BBC

Don't know about this one, I tend towards trusting their correspondants (not necessarily Auntie herself though). But in the interests of Free Information I thought I'd share it with you because you probably won't ever see this story in the mainstream news.

If ever there was an example of ‘security' factors being used as a pretext for political vetting, it is at the BBC. When their security procedures were revealed in 1985, the corporation said that vetting was restricted to a relatively small number of people who had access to ‘sensitive information’. But in reality a large number of BBC employees – ranging from Graduate Trainees and journalists to arts producers and drama directors – were vetted by MI5 via the Personnel Department.

Perhaps the most graphic illustration of this was the attempt to blacklist Roland Joffe, probably Britain’s most distinguished film and television director. His track record includes The Killing Fields, for which Joffe received an Academy Award nomination, and The Mission which won the top prize at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.

Read on...