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Richard Black: So what is he actually doing in Rio?

June 21, 2012

On 13/04/2011, 09:31:00, Emily Benson,  created a document titled “Earth Summit 2012: Media Brainstorm and Activities“. This document appears to have pulled together all the ideas for media coverage from Stakeholder Forum at the RIO+20 conference.

In it are a number of interesting entries.

“Earth Radio. RB to find out logistics”

“Rio Retrospective. EB to follow up with Richard Black”

More and more organisations are now producing their own audio content. These range from the UNFCCC Secretariat, to NGOs, to the BBC. Etc. They offer a diverse and often dynamic approach to a number of issues that are critical to the Earth Summit. We would like to collect many of these outputs into a single ‘Earth Radio’ channel where users can surf, pick and listen to a range of different programmes that tackle different areas of sustainability.

Action: RB looking into the feasibility of this.

Action: EB/RB/NW brainstorm on funding

Retrospective on Rio: Action: Discuss with Richard Black who was going to pitch it to the Beeb.


The above is unquestionable evidence of a close relationship between Richard Black and advocacy group Stakeholder Forum.  He has evidently been working closely with them and even ready to “pitch to the Beeb” on their behalf, thereby using our public money to help Stakeholder Forum with their propaganda aims for the RIO+20 conference.

Training The Mindbenders.

Another interesting entry in the document is this one:

Training: Develop a long term package to train up a team of young journalists from developing and developed countries around sustainable development/environmental reporting. This could complement some of the work already undertaken by the Media Partnership (IIED) who are focused exclusively on climate change and the UNFCCC process.

Action: EB to contact the BBC World Service Trust/TVE to test a project idea with them – perhaps something to approach the EU for funding for? Or some of the larger media foundations, i.e. Reuters/Thompson Foundation? Ted Turner Foundation?

Here is documented evidence that the BBC were to be contacted to help train journalists who would work on behalf of Stakeholder Forum.  Was that idea followed through?  Well, according to the budget document I unveiled here, there is a budget for this journalistic training:

Note how the BBC mentor is an environment correspondent, and how he will be paid the not unsubstantial sum of £4200.  Not also how he will receive 14 days accomodation at £200 per day.  Not a bad little earner is it?  Who do we think that “environment correspondent” was?  Join the dots between the brainstorming document and the budget document and you have your man: Richard Black. Clear evidence not only of Richard black working with Stakeholder Forum, but clear evidence of Richard Black working for Stakeholder Forum.

Let me again remind you of the BBC Trust’s impartiality statement from the Royal Charter:

The BBC must do all it can to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality in all relevant output.”

BBC Royal Charter Agreement 2006.

Again, I challenge the BBC to justify how Richard Black working for an advocacy group both before and during RIO+20 (surely he is mentoring those new journo’s while there?) can possibly allow him to remain impartial?


UPDATE: “Sources I demand sources”.  Here you go.


From → BBC Climate Bias

  1. MangoChutney permalink

    You reaaly need to backup links to these documents, just incase they “disappear”. Take a look at Donna’s website for an example


    Also, bring this to the attention of Montford and Dellingpole to reach a wider audience – perhaps contact your MP or Jeremy Hunt (is he still Secretary of State?).

    • Everything is backed up, although it is all in the public domain, seek and ye shall find 😉

      • MangoChutney permalink

        great, it’s very easy for websites to “lose” pages, but placing the page on webcitation means it can’t be lost easily

  2. When you raise these matters with the BBC, do you ever get any reply?

    • I am still waiting for an acknowledgement to my last full complaint based upon breach of impartiality. They have broken their own rules in not replying in the timescales. Hoping it will go away, but it won’t, I have much more.

      • MangoChutney permalink

        chase them – they have to respond

      • ilma630 permalink

        Don’t hold any hope of getting anything like a satisfactory reply. They’ll just fob you off with their standard line , something like “in examination of the issue, the weight of scientific consensus is such that there is no longer any need to provide equal coverage to the contrary view” (I forget the exact sentence, so please do correct me).

  3. There was a trailer on R4 this morning for a piece about Brian Johnston, of Test Match Special fame, a job he got after his official retirement from the Beeb. Previously, his file had been marked ‘SNF’ meaning ‘staff, no fee’ so additional jobs were meant to be covered by his salary.

    I wonder how many junkets would now be attended by the likes of Black and Harrabin if those rules still applied?

  4. eadwulf permalink

    Black must also be breaking this guideline.
    “The external activities of BBC editorial staff, reporters and presenters should not undermine the public’s perception of the impartiality, integrity or independence of BBC output. External activities should not bring the BBC into disrepute. It is also important that off-air activities do not undermine the on-air role of regular presenters.”
    But then BBC guidelines are there to be broken.

  5. ilma630 permalink

    Try raising these issues with Jeremy Hunt’s Dept (Culture, Media & Sport?), and they’ll just point you to the BBC Trust, who don’t give a toss! I’ve tried it already, as have many others I believe, and you just get whitewashed. The Steve Jones report gave them even more ‘permission’ to ignore you and continue on their path of blatant advocacy. Try and dislodge Richard Black means you’re trying to dislodge the higher management, and of course the BBC’s pension fund, something they’ll do everything they can to prevent. RB is effectively protected – for the time being anyway. Best hope is that either (i) the new DG sees things differently, or (ii) the weight of the growing movement within the backbencher ranks against the green mantra spills over into examination of the BBC’s biased position.

    It would take a concerted campaign, similar to the FairFuelUK campaign to get MPs overtly coming out to require an investigation into the BBC, perhaps even threatening to severely curtail the license fee and change the terms of their charter to take away any notion of the interpretation of journalistic freedom to force a restoration of their practice of impartiality.

  6. If you don’t get a reply in a reasonable timescale complain direct to the BBC trust, it worked for me.

  7. charlie permalink

    Emily Benson’s International Institute for Environment Development managed to bag £20.2 million in funding in 2011. The overwhelming majority of this came from governments, the EU, the UN, foundations and other NGOs, but it was nice to see that the BBC’s very own Comic Relief was listed as a donor.

    Just one NGO of a myriad of NGOs – £20.2 million. Remember that the next time some alarmist is whining about funding of something like the Heartland Institute.

  8. eadwulf permalink

    Funny how my post did not get through the moderation stage. I only cited a BBC guideline that may have been broken by Black nothing objectionable there I would suggest.

    • Nothing objectionable, I just aren’t around to approve the comments all the time 😉

  9. orkneylad permalink

    Richard Black’s been dumped over board:

    ocean conservation issues . . hmm. . euphemism for a set of concrete socks?

  10. OL – LOL!

    They’re going to dissolve him in the acid bath of the oceans. 🙂

  11. orkneylad permalink

    rofl looks that way tallbloke!

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