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GWPF Criticises Report On BBC Coverage Of Science

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has criticised the BBC Trust review of impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science.

Although the report does not say so, reading it carefully, it is actually a disaster for BBC News.

It goes over old subjects, debated often in the past two decades, and comes up with the same solutions;

That the BBC needs an overarching science editor based in news – suggested in the 90’s.

That the BBC should set up a pan-bbc group. The BBC had one in the 90’s and abolished it.

The report says that BBC News science coverage is:

• Too narrow.
• 75% based on press releases.
• Only 1 in 8 reports based on press releases had an ‘independent’ quote.
• Mostly from the South East.
• Needs better contacts with scientists.
• Is far too often reactive and not original.
• Rarely searches for stories of its own.
• Does not use the internet as well as it should.
• Has an over reliance on a narrow base of sources of scientific information.
• Mostly relies on a handful of journals.
• Uses the same experts for quotes too often.
• Is not representing the wider world of science.

This is a damning indictment of the BBC’s narrow and limited science journalism.

In its explicit attack on the Global Warming Policy Foundation, it is quite apparent that the report is using the ‘science-is-settled’ mantra as a smokescreen to silence critics of climate taxes and green policies.

Instead of using the crisis of British journalism to position the BBC as a fair and impartial news outlet, the report undermines the attempt by Lord Patten, the BBC Chairman, to restore credibility on one of the most contentious public policy issues.

The report by Professor Jones makes statements about the GWPF that are evidently inaccurate on at least two counts. He claims that

i) the Global Warming Policy Foundation is “active in casting doubt on the truth of man-made climate change”

ii) the GWPF made a submission to his report.

Both of these claims are false.

The GWPF does not have an official or shared view about the science of global warming – although we are of course aware that this issue is not yet settled. However, we have publicly and repeatedly made clear in no uncertain terms that the GWPF does not question the basics of climate science.

Contrary to Professor Jones’s claims, we did not make a submission to his review.

The GWPF has written to Lord Patten and has requested that the BBC Trust put out a statement acknowledging that Professor Jones’ review contains statements about the GWPF that are wholly without foundation.