leg 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.

3 Responses to “Orlowski of ‘El Reg’ takes a very cool look at 28gate”

  1. Not sure if anyone’s mentioned this, but Autonomous Mind reports on an exchange he had with Bridcut about the source of the “best scientific experts” quote at
    It’s always possible that the authors of the report (it was a group effort) simply assumed that that was the case – a not unreasonable assumption, in the circumstances.

  2. The hubris of Jana Bennett is astounding. If I interpret what she said correctly, it’s that journalists should “equip citizens” (how Leninist) on climate trends for 200 years, when the scientists never reach out to that extent, and at even half that their best guesses are full of provisos and get-out clauses. So, chaps and chapesses, don’t worry if you can’t believe what’s in any paper (peer- or pal-reviewed) the journos will tell you what to think.

  3. It’s interesting that several BBC people involved in the CMEP affair have also been very prominent in the news, lately. Helen Boaden and George Entwhistle, of course, but now Tony Hall is announced as the new Director General, and of course Tony Hall was the one who, when Head of News, approached Roger Harrabin originally, to “create seminars for editors and managers to discuss global environmental change and development.” It’s a small (and very interconnected) world!

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