Monday, December 01, 2014

BBC says bye-bye to 'false balance' on science stories like climate change

Staff told to stop inviting cranks onto science programmes

BBC Trust says 200 senior managers trained not to insert 'false balance' into stories when issues were non-contentious

By Sarah Knapton, Science Correspondent, The Telegraph
7:46AM BST 04 Jul 2014

BBC journalists are being sent on courses to stop them inviting so many cranks onto programmes to air ‘marginal views’

The BBC Trust on Thursday published a progress report into the corporation’s science coverage which was criticised in 2012 for giving too much air-time to critics who oppose non-contentious issues.

The report found that there was still an ‘over-rigid application of editorial guidelines on impartiality’ which sought to give the ‘other side’ of the argument, even if that viewpoint was widely dismissed.

Some 200 staff have already attended seminars and workshops and more will be invited on courses in the coming months to stop them giving ‘undue attention to marginal opinion.’

“The Trust wishes to emphasise the importance of attempting to establish where the weight of scientific agreement may be found and make that clear to audiences,” wrote the report authors.

(More here.)

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