Owned by the public, hidden from the public

A bid to force publication of a review by the BBC of its Middle East coverage has been rejected in the High Court.

London lawyer Steven Sugar wanted the Balen report, which was drawn up in 2004, to be revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.

But Mr Justice Irwin ruled that, as the material was held "for the purposes of journalism, art or literature", the corporation had no duty to disclose it.

He also ruled the BBC did not have to disclose information about expenditure.

The judgement followed requests for budget details of the BBC's news and sport coverage as well as programmes including EastEnders and Top Gear.

BBC report to stay confidential (BBC News, 2 October 2009)

See also: BBC wins legal battle over report on Middle East coverage (The Guardian, 2 October 2009)