Time to Investigate ‘Green’ Media Spin: Mark Poynter

BIASED media coverage of natural resource use issues should be fertile ground for the ABC’s Media Watch, but despite efforts to draw their attention to this have displayed little or no inclination to cover it in the past. Then again, as some of the worst examples of biased coverage of environmental issues have emanated from the ABC, this is perhaps not so surprising.

Most notably, the double-episode of the ABC’s Australian Story – ‘Something in the Water’ in February 2010 – springs to mind. It claimed that eucalypt plantations occupying just 4% of a Tasmanian town’s water catchment were toxic to humans, animals, and marine life. Screened just 3-weeks before the Tasmanian state election, the program sparked a controversy that was not backed by credible science yet resulted in the unseating of the government’s Health Minister and quite likely contributed to the formation of the current Labor-Greens minority government which has a distinctly anti-forestry agenda.

If the ABC is to ever rid itself of the perception that it caters to a primarily Green-Left audience, its supposedly independent investigative journalists need to start examining the excesses of mainstream environmentalism and the damage it is doing both to the wider environment and regional and rural communities. A good start would be for Media Watch to investigate arguably the most prominent form of media spin which is seen on an almost daily basis – that is the coverage of natural resource usage promulgated at the behest of mainstream environmental groups.

Read more here: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13417

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14 Responses to Time to Investigate ‘Green’ Media Spin: Mark Poynter

  1. Neville March 27, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    Why doesn’t Media watch expose the greatest con and fraud in Aussie history? I mean this isn’t rocket science and only requires simple kindy maths, so what’s the problem?


  2. Robert March 27, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Looks like we need to de-industrialise a bit, Nev. The Third World was able to keep industry and living standards down till very recently. They’re losing the plot, but we can revive the cause. We can go from First to Third if we set our minds to it.

    We can lead the way for the rest of the developed world, who can hardly wait to follow. There’s a fortune in Green Jobs, eco-tourism and…and, you know, stuff like that.

    If the money runs low, we can always, I dunno, rip up the Darling Downs east of the Condamine for some quick CSG, maybe? Up our already massive coal exports? To achieve the dream of a low carbon economy one must develop a…

    …a high carbon economy?

    Stupid George Orwell. Stupid Conservation.

  3. Neville March 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    More absurd idiocy from their ABC.


  4. bazza March 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Neville , you got me in. But all I could find was a spin free interview with the author of an article in Nature Geoscience on likely temperature range increase of up to 3C by 2050. You wont find that in The Australian unless it can be spun a bit and then you can easily forecast which one of the 3 amigos will have a letter to the editor printed to cast a bit more doubt about. Makes any green bias look like chicken feed.

  5. Robert March 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    “World to warm up to three degrees”

    That’s the stand-alone, spin-free headline. If you’re dead or otherwise engaged in 2050, you probably won’t remember to take them up on their prediction. It’s so much more sensible than Arctic death spirals etc within five years. How those five years have flown since ’07! No, push it out past Eleanor Hall’s retirement age. Responsible, moderate reportage: that’s what our ABC’s preachy-teachy journos stand for. (Anyone notice how many insufferable convent girls get gigs on the ABC?)

    Then you get told there’s a “study” by scientists who are “international” who “ran 10,000 computer simulations of climate models”.

    Now I don’t know if a simulation of a model is the same as a model, but all it took was 10,000 of these geek cartoons to cook up the required message:


  6. bazza March 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I’m out of here. You and Nev deserve each other.

  7. Robert March 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Good move, Bazza. Regular ABC viewers really need to stay away from independent minded websites. When you live on an intellectual diet of artificially flavoured pap, the solid food is bound to shock.

    By the way, why are the snobbiest ABC advocates so inarticulate? Getting through their comments is like swimming in molasses.

  8. Robert March 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Okay, Bazza, I have this hot Irish temper with strong tendencies to sarcasm. I shouldn’t discourage other commenters and I apologise for my last snarl. Please come on back when you feel inclined.

    This doesn’t mean I’ll lighten up on the ABC. It deserves all the mockery we can heap on it. But my last comment was personally directed at you. Not good.

    We need an opposition view or we become sounding-boards. Good on you for stepping into a hostile arena.

  9. Robert March 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    “That found 2011 was a year of climate extremes and the eleventh warmest year on record.”

    Getting back on subject. Look at the two claims contained in that sentence at Nev’s ABC link.

    The first claim means nothing, because every year is a year of climate extremes. Since a certain event during the reign of Emperor Tiberius, there have been 2,011 years. Which year was not extreme? Which year was more extreme than which other year? How? Where? Why no interest in definitions and methods of comparison? Obviously, one can’t define something so nebulous for purposes of comparison. The claim was made by a person who may be intelligent and may have scientific qualifications, but the person is clearly not a scientist, or anyone interested in the basis of science.

    Look at claim number two. Why would any serious-minded person talk about a “record” without defining the very short time period and other limitations of the “record”? I am not a scientist, but I would be embarrassed to make such a loose and all but meaningless comment, even in casual conversation.

    In short, our problem is not with science, but with a blatant lack of it. Our problem is not with scientists, but with slobs. Our problem is not with science education but with the lazy, sensationalist tripe pushed by Big Smug. Because the ABC has a gloss or overlay of culture and intellectualism, it gets away with being far lazier and trashier than the tabloid press it claims to abhor. And I’m not forced to fund the tabloid press.

  10. bazza March 28, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Nev, the context for your comments is relevant. You related only to the middle para in the following extract from the ABC story. And yet you state: “Our problem is not with scientists, but with slobs”. Does that kinda devalue your apology and you?
    “The paper, published today in Nature Geoscience, comes just three days after the World Meteorological Organisation published its latest Status of the Global Climate Report.

    That found 2011 was a year of climate extremes and the eleventh warmest year on record.

    Also today Nature has published a paper which states that extreme weather events over the past decade have increased and were “very likely” caused by manmade global warming”.

    Would the last person to leave turn out the lights pls.

  11. bazza March 28, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Not Nev, Rob.

  12. Robert March 28, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    No bazza, my apology was to you. My reason for the apology is that, in the interests of free discourse, one should not discourage other commenters by biting them in the scrums. One should, however, feel free to tackle them very hard.

    Here’s the tackle.

    The people I referred to are clearly slobs, not scientists. The context does nothing to improve the slobbishness of the middle para.

    Furthermore, that Nature would NOT spend ALL available space and time trying to get a handle on near-impossible definitions of such nebulous concepts as “extreme” shows it has a terminally slobbish attitude. The subsequent problem of trying to establish standards for comparisons not just over time but over geography is something they hope won’t cross our minds. As to that “very likely”…well, past failures like the “Arctic Death Spiral” have at least taught them to leave a back door open.

    To sum up, the lame and slobbish attempts to abolish the past have been a hallmark of the CAGW fraud.

    The reason that a Freeman Dyson won’t participate in a mass imposture like CAGW is that he is, in fact, an instinctive scientist.

    As to your comment about last to leave etc, I have no response, because I have no idea why you said it. My great hope is that you were being light hearted, not dismissive and patronising.

    All the best


  13. RWFOH March 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Yes Bazza, tinfoil hatoids don’t want to hear from book learnin’ types like the majority of climate scientists, give us your vested interests, your malcontents, your morons, your halfwits, your loons, sundry paranoid freaks and your sci-mercenaries any day. We can’t hear you Bazza la la la la la la la la …see? we’ve got our fingers in our ears. And don’t believe what you read in the papers either, even though a vast majority of scientists (with relevant expertise) and the general population accept the science, we’ll keep telling you a growing majority are on to the TRUTH. Yeah, another day, another flurry of lunacy from tin foil hat wearing freaks….YAWN. Oooh look, it’s Xenu, come to save us from the GREENIES!!!! Boy, that sock drawer is needs a tidy up….

  14. Robert March 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    RWFOH, you’re right about my sock drawer. As for the rest, let’s just say you remind me of somebody. It isn’t good.

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