Saturday, 31 March 2012

Why did the BBC ignore the NHS bill?

It seems that the BBC's reporting on the Health and Social Care Bill (now the Health and Social Care Act) was inadequate. Why? Naturally, the BBC likes to be uncontroversial. Perhaps they wanted to appease Conservative ministers who, if they had their way, would undoubtedly privatise the BBC as well. Or maybe it's because the Chairman of the BBC Trust is a Conservative Lord? But a little investigation reveals that there could be more to it than that.

The BBC is governed by two management boards, the BBC Trust and the Executive Board. The Executive Boards manages the BBC, the Trust ensures that standards are kept to. In theory, either of these boards could censor reporting on the NHS, and either of these boards could demand an increase in reporting. So if the BBC's reporting was inadequate, one of these boards is (at least partially) to blame.

Monday, 5 March 2012

A response to "The career advice scandal"

At Felix Online, one of my articles is preceded by a 3-paragraph disclaimer from the editor. It states three times that my article "The Career Advice Scandal" contains "factual inaccuracies", once referencing "several factual inaccuracies". It also claims that Felix was never threatened with legal action. These claims are all false, but since I am evidently unable to challenge these points in Felix, I had better do so here.

I am in possession of an email sent by Imperial College to Felix explaining their problems with my article "The Career Advice Scandal". I would love to publish the email, but I it would be illegal. Instead, I will paraphrase the College's problems with my article, and respond to them.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Keep the Cat free!

The importance of independent student journalism

In this week's Felix, I had intended to publish an article which exposed what I believe are serious problems with Imperial's Careers Advisory Service. It detailed how the service has been susceptible to privatisation, it explained why so much of our career advice is just advertising for the financial sector and it criticised the College for allowing such an important service to become biased towards wealthy corporations.

Before the article could be printed, however, a member of College staff emailed the Felix editor asking him not to publish it. She said that it contained accusations “which could be considered defamatory” in its “serious claims about a College service and its staff”. The email implicitly threatened Felix with legal action if it printed the article. Understandably, it was not published.