Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In America, promoting global warming fears is a charitable enterprise

Internews is an organization devoted to helping out people in areas not served by an independent media: Internews is an international media development organization whose mission is to empower local media worldwide to give people the news and information they need, the ability to connect, and the means to make their voices heard.
This sounds like a laudable goal, but like many roads paved with good intentions...well, you know where that goes. In particular, this group has a curious idea of what "balanced" reporting means when it comes to global warming alarmism:
Climate change could be the biggest story of the twenty first century, affecting societies, economies and individuals on a grand scale. Equally enormous are the adjustments that will have to be made to our energy and transportation systems, economies and societies, if we are to mitigate climate change.
All journalists should understand the science of climate change - its causes, its controversies and its current and projected impacts. Start by doing your own research from established sources, such as reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or from local scientific experts you trust.
Read and report on the latest research from peer-reviewed scientific journals, or at the very least from reputable popular science publications.
OK, so it seems to be a given to these people that global warming is a proven fact. I suppose that doesn't make them all that different from much of the rest of the media, but then there is this bit of advice for aspiring journalists:
Avoid false balance. Some journalists, trying to be fair and balanced, report the views of climate change sceptics as a counterweight to climate change stories. But this can be a false balance if minority views are given equal prominence to well-accepted science. For example, an overwhelming majority of climatologists believe that average global temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800s levels and that human activity is a significant factor in this.
Of course it's good to air all sorts of views if they are placed into context. So if you report climate change sceptics' views, also describe their credentials and whether theirs is a minority opinion.
Oh, so balance is not balance when it is "false" balance, that being when skeptics are given anything approaching equal time without caveats and qualifications designed to make their statements suspect.
Read more.

No comments:

Post a Comment