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ABC Chairman Criticises Media Coverage Of Climate Change

ABC chairman Maurice Newman has attacked the media for being too willing to accept the conventional wisdom on climate change. In a speech to senior ABC staff on Wednesday morning, Mr Newman said climate change was an example of “group think”. He says contrary views on climate change have not been tolerated and those who express them have been labelled and mocked.

“It’s really been the question of what is wisdom and consensus rather than listening perhaps to other points of view that may be sceptical,” he said.

But he believes the ABC has been more balanced than other media organisations when it comes to reporting on climate change.

“I think that we’ve listened to the words of sceptics as well as those who are scientists in the field,” he said.

“Climate change is at the moment an emotional issue.

“But it really is the fundamental issue about the need to bring voices that have authority and are relevant to the particular issue to the attention of our audiences, so that they themselves can make decisions.”

Mr Newman has doubts about climate change himself and says he is waiting for proof either way.

“My view on any of these topics is to keep an open mind, and I still have an open mind on climate change,” he said.

“Many of the people who have a different point of view on the climate science are respectable and credentialed scientists themselves.

“So as I said, I’m not a scientist and I’m like anybody else in the public, I have to listen to all points of view and then make judgments when we’re asked to vote on particular policies.”

ABC News, 10 March 2010