As Andrew Montford has said at Bishop Hill, Andrew Orlowski’s long and very thorough appraisal of the context of the BBC seminar scandal posted at The Register is a must-read. In the end he comes down more on the side of cock-up than conspiracy so far as editorial policy is concerned, suggesting that oversimplification and over reliance on the authority of experts led to distortion in the BBC’s reporting of AGW.
Be that as it may, cock-up is unlikely to be the explanation for a decision to cover up the conflict of evidence between the claim in the Bridcut Report that Climate Change - the Challenge to Broadcasting was ‘a seminar with the best scientific experts’ and the actual participants list found on the WayBack Machine. That is a matter, which the BBC must, sooner or later, be made to come clean about.
In the meantime, here is another quote from Jana Bennett, Director of Vision and joint host of the climate seminar, this time speaking about climate change at a seminar on impartiality held sometime afterwards.
As journalists, we have the duty to understand where the weight of the evidence has got to. And that is an incredibly important thing in terms of public understanding – equipping citizens, informing the public as to what’s going to happen or not happen possibly over the next couple of hundred years.