Thursday, 17 November 2011

TeleVision for the Environment - information

Biased BBC are looking at tve - Television for the Environment - which has removed its website.

This looks iffy, as if it or the BBC is trying to hide something but may be due to the fact that tve says in its annual report that it was looking for a new website provider as it wasn't satisfied with the old one. It could just be a coincidence. The issue is live due to it becoming apparent that some BBC output was produced free by the interest group and handed direct to the Corporation.

There is much to be said for the arguments put forward by Television for the Environment but if these are going out under the BBC brand name we need to know that the programmes have been produced by a campaigning film-maker, not presented as if it were neutrally investigated. Looking at the programme output - some of which I've seen in passing - the standards are high and the programmes were interesting.

I don't mind partisan features - I just want it shown clearly in both the opening and closing credits that the BBC is getting the material at negligible cost and that it has a particular viewpoint. After all, tobacco companies might want air-time on an equal basis if they pay for their own material.
tve is a collective name for:
Television for the Environment
Television Trust for the Environment.

Television for the Environment is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, registered office:
21 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9RP,
company number 1811236
and a registered charity number 326585.

Television Trust for the Environment is a registered charity number 326539.
(My formatting).

There are three key pieces of information available now:

The company number, 1811236 can be used via the WebCHeck service at Companies House to get basic information and an index of the filings available for £1 each.

Because the search is dynamic, copy the company number 1811236 and go to the front page, then click on WebCHeck and put it in to the search box. (Can't be linked direct as it will time-out). This will bring up the basic information.

Clicking on the 'order information' box will take you to an index of the filings which can be ordered for £1 per document. Since the tve project began in 1984 there are many records to be bought but helpfully, some of the names involved are available on the order screen. I haven't looked at the commercial accounts.

The purpose of the registered charity number 326585, Television for the Environment lists in its summary of 20 September 2011 :
4. To enhance and develop the capacity to make an impact via the WorldWide Web
Which is going to be difficult without a website. It's a modest outfit with 10 employees and funding of £1.4, which doesn't go far these days. They've managed to produce a great deal of broadcast material for that, which makes you wonder why the BBC is so expensive. (OK, hanging around for months to get the fabulous footage for The Frozen Planet is worth it - I don't mind spending my licence fee on that).

The overview page for the charity Television for the Environment is here and if you click on the options on the left side-bar you can go through the information - including the accounts - in both summary and detail. This is a free search. The annual report summarizes the material it has produced in the year.

Turning then to the second charity, The Television Trust for the Environment, 326539, it is more or less the same again but potentially its costs outstrip its income, which can't go on for very long if there is no new source of income.

These sets of accounts are small compared to many international special interest groups, but it isn't clear why one film maker can describe themselves as a charity when others may not be allowed to. That's a secondary issue.

The primary issue here is that the BBC gave air-time to its favoured groups without warning the audience and without extending that possibility to organizations whose views the BBC does not endorse.


JuliaM said...

"The primary issue here is that the BBC gave air-time to its favoured groups without warning the audience and without extending that possibility to organizations whose views the BBC does not endorse."

Which, I have to say, is merely the Beeb slipping up and making obvious their agenda for once...

Woman on a Raft said...

Yes indeed. It will be interesting to see if anybody ploughs through the names at tve to do one of those spidergrams.

Finding out how who is connected to whom is the icebergy part but takes months and may be impossible when the connections don't show up e.g. those formed by relationships such as being a college together or via marriage networks.