A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Friday, June 25, 2004

L'affaire Lomborg and The Guardian.....

Over the last year, The Guardian's treatment of Dr. Bjørn Lomborg has been notorious, and it has been justly castigated on many blogs (this one included - please use our Google 'EnviroSpin' search facility at the foot of the page for all previous comment).

One incident this week, however, has beggared belief. Today, I am pleased to be able to report, the newspaper has been forced to to issue a public apology:

The sorry tale goes as follows:-

On Wednesday (June 23), The Guardian published an outrageously unbalanced news report (not a comment, note) about Dr. Lomborg: 'Critic of Kyoto pledge quits as green adviser'.

Immediately, on the same day (June 23), a scathing denunciation of this utterly unfair piece of reporting was provided at the famous 'The Daily Ablution' Web Site: 'Guardian still in denial on Lomborg's vindication'.

Today (June 25), the newspaper has had to issue the following apology to Dr. Lomborg: 'Corrections and clarifications', ending with the (some might still feel rather mealy-mouthed) sentence: "We wish to apologise to Mr Lomborg for our unintended misrepresentation."

'The Daily Ablution' has now added its own further comments, here (June 25, scroll down a little), concerning the possible triggers for the apology and on the original news report itself.

What is interesting about the whole nasty little affair is that it illustrates to perfection a brief 'Letter to the Editor' (second letter down) I sent to The Guardian (published June 24) on the day before (June 22) the latest l'affaire Lomborg erupted. This letter was in response to a rather thoughtful 'Comment' (June 22) by the normally reliable Martin Kettle, in which, nevertheless, Kettle naively claimed that The Guardian is rather above the common sin of 'journalism-with-attitude': "The grim truth, though, is that this is increasingly how it is done on a wide scale. If all you read is the Guardian, and if the only people you talk to are fellow Guardian readers, then you may have little idea of how relentless and widespread this kind of journalism-with-attitude has become."

Some hope where the environment is concerned, Martin. Just ask one Bjørn Lomborg!

And then today, of course, yet again, we have who else but that Guardian GM staple, Michael Meacher.


Philip, back in blogland after a busy week! Apologies for my absence. Work, football and frolics! Tea?

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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