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.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The BBC 10, The Independent 0.....

Richard Black, the new Environment Correspondent at the BBC's Online News, is proving to be an outstanding addition to the BBC team, and he is clearly in a totally different league from most 'environment correspondents' (campaigners?) in the press. Here is his latest piece, which merits the most careful attention. It is a first class journalistic analysis: 'Hurricanes and global warming - a link?' (BBC Online Science/Nature News, September 23). Do read it all.

In this piece, there are many firsts for British journalism. Quite amazingly, Black bravely castigates The Independent newspaper for its disgraceful and truly dire tabloid-style headline:
"The latest to succumb was the British newspaper The Independent, which screamed on its front page: 'This is global warming', above an alarmingly portentous graphic of Hurricane Rita's projected path."

But is it global warming?"

And where else have you read this from a journalist?
"... but it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that we would all benefit from people on both wings of the issue looking rather more to research, however laboured its progress, and rather less to screaming headlines and easy quotes."

Bravo. And there is so much more to commend. I congratulate the BBC. It was to try to promote such reporting on environmental issues that this blog was first established.

By contrast, my contempt for the reporting in newspapers like The Independent grows colder by the day.

Philip, proud of the Beeb at its best. Time for a coffee in the golden September sunshine?

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

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