…the BBC has habitually undervalued expert input from scientists and academics. In an essay to be published next month, Professor Lewis of Cardiff University notes that the BBC relies heavily on sources from politics and business like Nigel Lawson, and relatively infrequently on academics and scientists.
“A 2007 study, for example, found that around half of those sources used on BBC news were from just four professions: the worlds of politics, business, law and order and the news media. By contrast, the main knowledge-based professions and civic voices (from the academy, medicine, science and technology, thinks tanks, government/public agencies and NGOs) made up, between them, only 10 per cent of all sources.
Likewise the independent Review of impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science written by Professor Steve Jones in 2011 concluded,
“For at least three years, the climate change deniers have been marginal to the scientific debate but somehow they continued to find a place on the airwaves. Their ability so to do suggests that an over‐diligent search for due impartiality – or for a controversy – continue to hinder the objective reporting of a scientific story … There is a contrast between the clear demands for due impartiality in the BBC’s written guidelines and what sometimes emerges on air.”
However, David Jordan, head of BBC editorial standards, told Members of Parliament that the network rejected Jones’ recommendation that they avoid false balance in their climate reporting.
So the Beeb cleaves obstinately to the myth that there are still two sides to the climate debate and allows pompous fools like Lawson to spout flagrant untruths on prime time radio. Like this, for example:
Justin Webb: So [the warming is] there somewhere?
Sir Brian Hoskins: Oh yes, it’s there in the oceans.
Lord Lawson: That is pure speculation.
Sir Brian Hoskins: No, it’s a measurement.
Lord Lawson: No, it’s not. It’s speculation.
Justin Webb: Well, it’s a combination of the two isn’t it? As this whole discussion is. Lord Lawson and Sir Brian Hoskins, thank you very much.
That sort of crap, as Nuccitelli points out, misinforms listeners and does them a disservice. And he concludes:
We’re in the midst of an epidemic of false balance on climate change in the mainstream media, with the BBC as one of its main victims.
But there I disagree with him. The BBC is not a victim, it’s one of the main culprits. Aunty Beeb has abandoned her virtue — now she opens her legs for the bad guys.