Not What You Know But Who You Know



BBC coming under political pressure to silence climate sceptics (as if it needs it):

From the Guardian:

The BBC has come under fire from the chairman of an influential committee of MPs for favouring climate change sceptics in its coverage – and, according to documents seen by the Guardian, replied by saying that putting forward opinions not backed by science is part of its role.

That has enraged MPs further. Andrew Miller, chair of the science and technology committee, told the Guardian: “At a time when poor editorial decisions have dented trust in the BBC, the organisation should be taking much greater care over the accuracy of its reporting – especially in the area of science where misreporting can cause disastrous results, as the MMR media scare has shown.”


Apparently this is the BBC’s reply and here are some interesting extracts:

The BBC remains committed to the principles, set out in its Charter and Agreement, of due accuracy and impartiality, and to applying them to coverage of all the issues around climate change.

BBC Editorial Guidelines
The Editorial Guidelines ( set out numerous considerations for content producers. To ensure our audience is clear about the background and expertise of interviewees on news programmes, content providers must abide by the following guidelines: We should normally identify on-air and online sources of information and significant contributors, and provide their credentials, so that our audiences can judge their status.
We should not automatically assume that contributors from other organisations (such as academics, journalists, researchers and representatives of charities) are unbiased and we may need to make it clear to the audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint, if it is not apparent from their contribution or from the context in which their contribution is made. (4.4.14)


In 2011 the BBC Trust published a report it had commissioned from Professor Steve Jones on the impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science. It covered a range of topics including climate change, his assessment was that the BBC had continued to give undue prominence to climate change sceptics and had not kept pace with the debate: “The real discussion has moved on to what should be done to mitigate climate change. Its coverage has been impeded by the constant emphasis on an exhausted subject whose main attraction is that it can be presented as a confrontation”.


The BBC’s Science Editor, David Shukman, was appointed following the Professor Steve Jones review of the impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s science coverage. David’s role is described in some detail in the BBC Executive’s follow up report (December 2012):


College of Journalism science training
As part of the BBC’s response to Professor Jones’ report, the BBC’s College of Journalism set up and runs a course called ‘Reporting Science’, which is open to all staff. During the course, delegates discuss issues raised by the Jones report, and work on ways to ensure that future BBC science coverage complies with our accuracy and impartiality requirements. BBC News has made the course
compulsory for assistant editors and above (i.e. all those with editorial responsibility for programmes and web pages), and highly recommended for other grades.


Extensive discussion with scientists and the scientific community took place during the preparation of the course material. Most notably, we spent an afternoon with the President of the Royal Society and Nobel Laureate, Sir Paul Nurse, and interviewed him about science reporting, how science works, pitfalls and opportunities and so on.


The BBC Editorial Guidelines set out our due impartiality and due accuracy requirements. In essence, interviews should be conducted on the basis of reasoned argument. However, so long as ministers have to face arguments based on misunderstandings, even ignorance, they will be given the opportunity to rebut them on the BBC. This is recognised in the Editorial Guidelines, which say “Accuracy is not simply a matter of getting facts right. If an issue is controversial, relevant opinions as well as facts may need to be considered. When necessary, all the relevant facts and information should also be weighed to get at the Truth” (Section 3: Accuracy).




If nothing else it shows just how influential Prof Steve Jones has been in corrupting the BBC’s reporting on climate change…as well as that other climate change fanatic Paul Nurse…who appointed Jones to the Royal Society ….undoubtedly for his good work at the BBC on climate change.



This might also be news to most of us:

But earlier this year in a select committee hearing David Jordan, head of editorial standards, told MPs that the broadcaster had decided not to follow Jones’ key recommendations on climate change: “[Jones] made one recommendation that we did not take on board. He said we should regard climate science as settled … we should not hear from dissenting voices on the science.”

….Thought they thought it was settled:

The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus [on anthropogenic climate change].

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28 Responses to Not What You Know But Who You Know

  1. Phil Ford says:

    So, first things first: Andrew Miller is, of course, a Labour Party goon. To discover he’s fermenting faux outrage at the BBC for allegedly promoting climate skeptical views is laughable beyond contempt. This is a another desperate false flag operation of the kind climate skeptics have sadly had to get used to from government and media in recent years.

    Miller’s common purpose chums at The Guardian are more than happy to generate such idiotic stories as their pro-CAGW narrative continues to go horribly wrong for them in the face of actual science (as opposed to politically bought-and-paid-for science of the kind pimped by the discredited IPCC).

    It’s a scandal that such publicly-funded buffoonery as that practiced by Mr Miller MP in the Science & Technology Select Committee is permitted to go unremarked by a critical press, but such is the complete indoctrination of the msm that, naturally, such self-serving morons feel unimpeded by the inconvenience of quaint concepts such as ‘the facts’, and are therefore free to invent and accuse as they see fit – until we arrive at a place where individuals like him can, in all serious (one assumes), publicly fake his ‘outrage’ that the BBC is ‘favoring the views’ of climate skeptics.

    Anyone acquainted with the actual truth will, at this point, struggle to maintain a calm demeanor.

    Such is the parlous state of any kind of grown-up discussion of the entire CAGW scandal.


    • Span Ows says:

      Good comment. Looking at Miller’s webpage he may like to fire the headline editor:

      “Andrew Miller MP shows support at Westminster for disease killing 37,000 people a year”


      • Guest Who says:

        Views, doubtless, not his own.
        While the requirement is standard, the phrasing of this also managed barge pole levels of avoidance:
        “The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.”
        Doubt a cookie will make much difference.


  2. Beeboidal says:

    Extensive discussion with scientists and the scientific community took place during the preparation of the course material. Most notably, we spent an afternoon with the President of the Royal Society and Nobel Laureate, Sir Paul Nurse, and interviewed him about science reporting, how science works, pitfalls and opportunities and so on.

    Ooh,I feel an FOI coming on.

    Dear BBC,

    In your discussions in preparation of the course material, were any of the scientists involved not in the ‘science is settled’ camp. If so, who were they.


    • Corran Horn says:

      I think you’ll get in reply the normal BS answer;

      Sorry your request is denied, as the information is held for the purpose of, ‘journalism, art or literature’.


  3. Paul Matthews says:

    Alan, you have your timeline slightly wrong. The Guardian article was written on Oct 28th. The BBC letter was posted on the HoC website on Oct 14th, so it isn’t a direct reply to the Guardian. It is the BBC’s written submission to the HoC inquiry on “Climate: public understanding and its policy implications”.


    • Mat says:

      Ok lost me where does Alan say it was ‘ a direct reply to the Guardian’ I can see ‘from the guardian ‘ !


      • Paul Matthews says:

        “Apparently this is the BBC’s reply”


        • Span Ows says:

          Paul, read carefully: I have removed words that seem to have blinkered you: in the paragraph immediately above the line you quote:

          “From the Guardian:

          The BBC has come under fire…[more words]… and, according to documents seen by the Guardian, [the BBC] replied by saying…”


    • SadButMadLad says:

      Alan hasn’t got his timeline wrong. The BBC reply is the one noted in the Guardian article so obviously the Guardian piece is after the BBC letter.


      • deegee says:

        Anyone who has approached the BBC and received a form letter that shows the responder hasn’t given five seconds thought to your actual question will sympathise with Alan.

        Still it could be worse. The BBC could have refused to answer under the “held for purposes of journalism, art or literature” escape clause.


  4. noggin says:

    Steve Jones 😀
    just check out Feedback R4,
    while its still available
    on the issue itself – rotten to the core.


  5. David Brims says:

    Test 123


  6. London Calling says:

    BBC FEEDBACK site: climate change sceptics: Fri, 18 Oct 13
    Duration: 28 mins “Should climate science be balanced with sceptical opinion? ”

    There’s no hope for these green dimwits. Science is on the side of the sceptics, not the other way around. Climate change is a flawed computer model found wanting and unable to explain real world measurement . Science says no warming in 17 years = science.

    The smearing of sceptics is essential to prevent anyone listening to what they have to say. Behind the false face of “climate science” (an oxymoron if ever) the true face is academic vanity, narcisism, greed, personal gain, and power to instruct people in good conscience “for their own good”

    Arrogance is a cover up, they are in too deep to admit anything wrong with their beloved theory that man is ruining the planet. Shame its not so. And science says that, if not the scientists.

    The desire to save is always the false face of the desire to rule.


  7. DJ says:

    Say, I can’t help but notice that a Labour MP attempting to dictate who should be allowed on the BBC seems to have generated far less wailing about independence than even mild criticism from the right generates.


  8. George R says:

    Shale gas exploration.

    Beeboid Mr Shukman, who for all I know, might be described by Mrs Marr of the ‘Guardian’as she described Mr Easton, as ‘studiously neutral.’

    In the following ‘studiously neutral’ article by Beeboid Shukman, who gets the last word?

    -Why, its political chums and enforcers at ‘Greenpeace’, of course.

    “‘Low health risk’ from fracking, says UK agency”


  9. johnnythefish says:

    ‘The real discussion has moved on to what should be done to mitigate climate change. ‘

    That will be Agenda 21 then, aka a world eco-socialist, totalitarian state dedicating itself to ‘sustainability’ and ‘social justice’. Nothing to do with science, in other words, but everything to do with politics. And they think they’re being so subtle.

    Cameron, hang your head in shame for going along with this, the biggest scientific and political scam in world history. You moron.


  10. George R says:

    Climate conferences: perks and propaganda at public expense –

    ‘Telegraph’ (£)-

    “UK to fly 45 delegates to climate conference despite no deal being expected.
    “Britain is to pay for a 45-strong team to travel to a climate change conference in Warsaw despite admissions that little progress is likely to be made on a deal to cut emissions.”

    No doubt Beeboids will be well represented by the usual suspects.


    • London Calling says:

      How do I withdraw my implied consent to funding this farcical travesty. Who signs the expense claims – and how do I sue them for complicity in commiting fraud in licence payers money? Why are the police commiting all their resources to pursuing the BBCs arch enemy Murdoch, while the BBC piss awa money on bullshit like this?


  11. John Joe says:

    Show you’ve been shown to be wrong all along. I guess comprehension’s not a strong point for you.


  12. Guest Who says:

    ‘Show you’ve been shown to be wrong all along. I guess comprehension’s not a strong point for you.’
    Just one simple line, but composition seems a wee struggle for you in turn, whoever it is you are having a pop at, and about what. Not a great start if staking out a drive-by sniping career on the basis of relative smarts.
    May have wasted a good name from the Borg box there, JJ.