After giving it a free run, the BBC finally nailed the Institute for Economic Affairs

Emily Maitlis and Shanker Singham IEA
Support us and go ad-free

Viewers were surprised and delighted by Emily Maitlis’s brutal interview with a spokesperson from the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) on the 30 July edition of BBC Newsnight:

Scepticism

As the Guardian reported, a sting by an undercover reporter from Greenpeace revealed that the IEA:

has been offering potential US donors access to government ministers and civil servants as it raises cash for research to support the free-trade deals demanded by hardline Brexiters.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

But ahead of the IEA’s appearance on Newsnight, people were sceptical about the BBC‘s ability to hold the organisation to account:

U-turn

The BBC has previously been accused of giving IEA representatives a platform without making it clear whose interests they are representing. On one Newsnight episode, the IEA’s news editor Kate Andrews called for NHS privatisation. Yet the BBC‘s lack of acknowledgement of who funds the IEA led openDemocracy editor Adam Ramsay to accuse it of breaking its own conflict of interest rules:

Who funds you?

But Maitlis’s aggressive interview was poles apart from this previously tepid journalism. She expertly highlighted the difference between the IEA having charitable status compared to if it were to be classed as a consultant lobbyist. And Twitter users also picked up on this point:

She then attacked it on its lack of transparency over who funds its work:

Maitlis then concluded with a powerful description of the IEA’s murky behaviour:

I’m asking you to help me here, to stand back and look at the perception of this revolving door which spins you from American lobby donors to top UK government ministers… you’ve got to admit it tastes really funny.

Shocking

People were shocked and delighted by this change of approach from the BBC:

People singled out Maitlis in particular for praise:

Too little too late?

Yet for others, the BBC‘s newfound aggressive approach is too little, too late:

As The Canary previously reported, the IEA has a deeply worrying influence over some of the government’s biggest hitters. And some on social media blame the BBC for the organisation’s prominence:

Yet just as the BBC‘s past indiscretions deserve criticism, Maitlis’s excellent interview deserves praise.

Let’s hope that, rather than coming around once in a blue moon, it represents a new dawn for BBC Newsnight.

Get Involved

– Support The Canary so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via YouTube – BBC Newsnight / YouTube – BBC Newsnight

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed