The BBC has altered its editorial guidelines after persistent calls for the organisation to improve transparency around the commentators to which it gives a platform.
The broadcaster has now added “think tanks” to a list of groups that it says presenters and producers should “not automatically assume … are unbiased”. “Appropriate information about their affiliations, funding and particular viewpoints should be made available to the audience, when relevant to the context,” the guidelines say.
The change could have significant ramifications for representatives of anti-regulation, pro-Brexit think tanks and campaign groups based in and around offices at 55 Tufton Street, including the UK's principal climate science denial campaign group the Global Warming Policy Foundation, on which DeSmog has extensively reported.
This follows pressure from journalists including the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr. She has long fought for the funding and ideology of groups including Vote Leave, Leave.EU, the Institute of Economic Affairs, Taxpayers’ Alliance, and other Tufton Street groups to be made clear when they appear on the BBC’s programmes.
BBC's guidelines concerning impartiality, including those related to think tanks, can be found here.