The BBC has been caught once again peddling Hamas propaganda.  If they cannot be certain of the origin of a photo then should they be so ready to use it…especially of such an emotive subject?

The BBC knows, just as Hamas does, that the ‘tears of a child say more than words ever can’.  A picture of an injured or dead child is ‘currency’ in the world of Hamas propaganda and will be ruthlessly exploited.

The first time was as shown here:

We’ve had Hollywood, Bollywood and now Pallywood….and the BBC Loves All Of Them.

and here’s Hamas at it themselves:


and now (thanks to George R in the comments for pointing this out) here’s the BBC’s Jon Donnison:

via ‘Harry’s Place

BBC’s Jon Donnison Tweets malicious fauxtography


Donnison admits mistake later:

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One of the themes for the defence of the BBC and its management is that the BBC is ‘accountable’, that no other organisation would investigate itself so thoroughly and that top management took responsibility for the recent crisis.

Entwistle only went because he was ‘pushed’, and ‘pushed’ by his own side in the shape of John Humphrys.  In that interview he tried to evade all responsibility just as he did with the Savile affair……just as Mark Thompson did also, claiming he had no knowledge of the Newsnight programme about Savile.

Mark Thompson is struggling to maintain that story (Via Guido):

Questions Pile Up for Thompson, But Not From Everyone

“During my time as director general of the BBC, I never heard any allegations or received any complaints about Jimmy Savile.”

The other main claim is that the BBC is a victim of a plot against it, a political and commercially driven witch hunt.

This was the BBC’s latest defence that it deployed with an eager anticipation that just a mention of Murdoch and sleazy politicians would immediately engender feelings of loathing for the ‘enemy’ and sympathy for the BBC.


The BBC’s friends on the Left rallied to its support:

Here is the New Stateman dedicating one issue to defending the BBC’s honour (More in the print addition):

We must defend the BBC from Murdoch and death by a thousand Tory cuts

and here claiming that it was the Hutton inquiry which made the BBC too cautious and reliant on an overwhelming management structure to enforce that.

Each BBC crisis sows the seed for the next

After the Newsnight debacle, it is excessive caution – not recklessness – that threatens the BBC.


However the most vicious critics were from within the BBC itself from the likes of Humphrys and Paxman and not from politicians or the Murdoch’s.

One interesting line that is very telling is this from Mehdi Hasan:

‘The BBC, despite its many faults, must be protected from its right-wing enemies. In the battle to preserve high-quality, non-partisan public-service broadcasting, Auntie is our last line of defence.’


Auntie is OUR last line of defence.’

‘OUR’ being ‘US’ on the Left.

As for high quality, well in a few cases maybe but for innovative, interesting and eyecatching TV the BBC is probably the last place to look, there is very little on it that you would bother to set the video for….and ‘non-partisan’…well no one believes that.

It is however a repository for all progressive and left wing economic,  social and cultural values that it relentlessly champions not only ‘openly’ in documentaries but inserted into the narrative of most of its programming quietly subverting our views with subliminal propaganda posing as drama or comedy.

The BBC is indeed the Left’s best and last line of defence….who’d a thunk?

No wonder they prop it up so vigorously.

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The Today programme bring on a ‘ringer’ (Last 5 minutes) in the form of Abd Al Bari Atwan, editor of Al Quds Al Arabi  newspaper…from Gaza and who is pretty much an extremist where Israel is concerned….but the BBC don’t mention that when they usher him in to give us his take on the Israeli response to being bombarded by Palestinian rockets…….

He claims there is no military solution….in other words the Israelis must stop their ‘useless’ military measures….very convenient conclusion.

He said that the conclusion is that the only solution is a political settlement.   He claims the Israelis are the only barrier to this having ‘derailed’ the peace talks and have besieged a starving population in Gaza.

He finishes by saying that the Palestinians are right to attack Israel as they were kicked out of their land by the Israelis….which, if you read that correctly, means that there can be no peace until the Israelis are ‘gone’, one way or another.


Atwan is famous for saying this…..
Speaking about Iran’s nuclear capability in an interview on Lebanese television in June 2007, Atwan stated:

“If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.”

He further stated in the case of war, Iran would retaliate against its Arab neighbors, American bases in the Gulf and “Allah willing, it will attack Israel, as well.”


What do others have to say about his trustworthiness…..

‘ Yemenite journalist and columnist for the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Munir Al-Mawari, stated: “The Abd Al Bari Atwan [appearing] on CNN is completely different from the Abdel Bari Atwan on the Al Jazeera network or in his Al Quds Al Arabi daily. On CNN, Atwan speaks solemnly and with total composure, presenting rational and balanced views. This is in complete contrast with his fuming appearances on Al Jazeera and in Al Quds Al Arabi, in which he whips up the emotions of multitudes of viewers and readers.”

‘Lior Ben-Dor, a spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in London, said: “The problem is that when addressing the British public, he tends to hide his true opinions and ideology – his support for terror and the murder of civilians. This article reveals Atwan’s real colors, a supporter of fundamentalism and terror, and hence he should be treated accordingly.”

Maybe it is legitimate to have a multitude of voices and opinions in any discussion (save climate change naturally)…but it is only fit and proper that the BBC informs us exactly the nature of those people giving us their ‘honest’ opinion.

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The BBC’s coverage is getting ever more disgraceful when you consider the ultimate consequences of the effect such coverage begets for Jews around the world.

This was a sequence of reports from the BBC on 5Live:

1. Multiple News bulletins….. ‘Israel continues its bombardment of Gaza which has been hit with 80 Israeli strikes….only one rocket was fired from Gaza.’

2.  Single report……Jon Donnison reports that Israel has made 80 strikes into Gaza but that the Israeli army reports that 76 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza on Sunday…
(Confirmed here…’Seventy-six rockets exploded during the course of the day in southern Israel, with Ashdod coming under its heaviest barrage yet by seven Grad rockets. Six were intercepted and one smashed into a residential building, wounding two residents lightly. The Iron Dome intercepted 38 rockets heading for built-up areas on Sunday.‘)…..and over 60 have been fired since midnight up to early afternoon.

3. Multiple News bulletins…..‘Israel continues its bombardment of Gaza which has been hit with 80 Israeli strikes….Hamas say they have fired a number of rockets.’

So the BBC know that 76 rockets were fired from Gaza on Sunday but, other than Donnison’s quick reference in his report the BBC don’t make further mention of it in their news bulletins….no  mention in the bulletins of over 60 rockets launched today either…just ‘a number’.

Guess someone at the BBC isn’t too keen for you to hear that Israel is continuing to be ‘bombarded’ or ‘pounded’ by rockets.

The bias is becoming so noticeable that many more have started to comment:

For once, there is no ambiguity: the Today programme’s report on Gaza this morning was totally and utterly biased

Finally, the BBC’s pro-Palestinian propaganda machine has swung into action

On Saturday on the Today programme Justin Webb said . (1 hr 10 secs in )…

‘The ancient hatreds are winning the day.’

What does that mean?  He is putting Israel on a par with Hamas and declaring that their actions in Gaza are a result of their ‘ancient hatreds’…presumably of Palestinians….rather than the result of tens of thousands of rockets fired into Israel since 2002.


Later the BBC’s Richard Galpin helpfully informs us that….‘Something like 1,400 Palestinians were killed in operation cast lead in 2009 and the vast majority of them…or I should say a significant number of them were civilians and 13 Israelis were killed.’

1,400 is Hamas’s own figure…the Israeli figure is 1,116.…300 of them civilians.

The BBC are always keen to repeat those figures of Palestinian casualties in 2009.…but refuse to mention that  over 1000 Israelis had been killed by Palestinians and over 8000 injured in the previous 10 years.


Galpin is somewhat embarrassed apparently to be reporting from Israel……

Richard Galpin @Richardgalpin 54s
Please note I am only reporting #Israel side cos that is where I am. We also hv full team in #gaza reporting what’s happening there.


What can be the consequences of the BBC’s misleading, one sided broadcasts on public perceptions of the conflict and who is ‘right’?   The BBC Governors spelt  out the consequences of getting it wrong and how powerful the Media is….

The report quotes from another study…..
“Bad News from Israel” (Pluto Press 2004): ‘Greg Philo and Mike Berry of the Glasgow Media Group at Glasgow University co-authored this book reporting on a study of TV news coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This found, among other things……that audience identification with the protagonists in violent events in the conflict was influenced by the perceived legitimacy of the violence used, and that this was influenced by TV news presentation.

The report goes on to say that the BBC’s narrative is an ‘important prize’….ie if you can shape the BBC’s narrative it is your story that gets the favourable coverage…

Since the conflict is not only local but engages also widespread international support and sponsorship, the BBC, which is highly regarded and influential internationally as well as in the UK, and the nature of its coverage, are important prizes.

The report goes on to say that the Jewish community in the UK felt that  negative reporting will have serious consequences for them…..

‘It is important that the BBC as an institution, and all those within it with responsibilities for producing relevant programmes, should be fully conscious both that an account of events and issues – a human construct – is being created, and that they have a crucial interpretative role in that process.
Accordingly, in common with other international conflicts, there may be a domestic effect and the BBC must be aware of anxiety that its coverage may impact on the personal safety of members of communities within the UK. Some of the most troubling evidence put to the Panel was the fear expressed by members of the Jewish community that inaccurate, tendentious or unfair reporting of the conflict could be reflected in increased anti-Semitic attitudes or behaviour in the UK.
But the concern in the Jewish community, which is plainly and understandably deeply felt, is a salutary reminder that failing to observe the impartiality requirements could have serious practical consequences.

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Why Pakistan?

Some of you have questioned what Pakistan had to do with a post about Israel.

The fact you have to ask that answers your own question in a way….the BBC is nowhere near as concerned with the ‘illegal creation’ of Pakistan as it is with Israel.

Just why is the BBC so concerned about Palestinians but so relatively unconcerned about Indians in Kashmir or Bangladeshi history?
Muslims and their supporters claim Israel is an illegal ‘creation’  that shouldn’t  exist, or be allowed to continue.

Israel was created in 1948 and recognised by the UN as a homeland for the Jews…and has ever since been forced to defend itself from Muslim attempts to destroy it which continue to this very day.

The BBC has made it a prime focus of its attention with a forensic dissection of any Israeli action and instant condemnation if, as it usually does, it meets with the BBC’s disapproval.
So important is the Palestinian’s plight that Mark Thompson believed they deserve special treatment from the BBC saying in a radio interview:

‘We provide a bridge to the world, a bridge to freedom, it is very important that the story of Gaza is told around the world.’

…..From that it would seen apparent that Gaza is not ‘free’ and must be freed….with help from the BBC building a ‘bridge to freedom’.

The BBC’s John Simpson said about the kidnap of BBC journo Alan Johnson in Gaza ‘…a savage blow aimed directly at people bringing news to you…stopping the flow of news from somewhere like Gaza is like tying a blindfold around the world’s eyes.’

What they don’t seem to have equal concern about is what is happening in Pakistan.

Why is Pakistan in any way comparable to Israel?  Pakistan was ‘created’ in 1947 ….it was created as a homeland for Muslims…an ’Islamic Zion’ if you like.   During its ‘creation’ over one million people died in fighting…and millions more fled, Sikhs & Hindus forced out whilst Muslims poured in.   And note…inside India there are still millions of Muslims….whilst other religions are not made welcome in Pakistan.
Now the Jews were utterly homeless…with no land or country to call their own and so it was reasonable that somehow, somewhere they might found a Homeland.  Conversely there is no justification for the creation of a Muslim homeland carved out of Indian territory….There are after all numerous Muslim countries around the world should anyone be in need of a Muslim society.

Curiously it is only Israel that is called an ’illegal creation’ that shouldn’t exist and not Pakistan.

Pakistan invaded the Indian region called Kashmir and has illegally occupied half that land since 1949, Pakistan has, as well as fighting several wars against India, sent numerous terrorist groups into India attacking important targets, Pakistan has over 200 terrorist training camps inside its borders, Pakistan created the Taliban in order to control Afghanistan and ensure India did not get a foothold there. The same Taliban that Pakistan still supports as it kills British troops.

And yet the BBC look the other way…towards the Jewish homeland for ‘newsworthy’ stories…..have you ever heard the BBC make a comparison between Israel and Pakistan when supporters of the Palestinians are being interviewed?….are they asked if they also think Pakistan is an ‘illegal state’?

The Muslim attitude might be summed up in this example…..Here is  Inayat Bunglawala, once the media secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain.  He has been criticised by the PCC and accused of being racist and anti-Semitic; he rails against ‘Zionist tactics’ and ‘Israeli oppression of the Palestinians’…..and yet he is someone who has absolutely no concern about the plight of fellow Muslims in Pakistan/Bangladesh: (in the comments at 0821…search ‘Inayat‘)
Inayat Bunglawala says it all with regards to conflict in Bangladesh: 

‘I was born in the UK and am not Bangladeshi, so to be honest, I very rarely think about the 1971 war. I reckon it is of much more import to those of Pakistani/Bengali backgrounds than to me.
I do nothing whatsoever to bring justice to Muslims in East Pakistan. I have enough on my plate here in the UK.’

And yet here is his blog…..(Graphic photos)
Which says it all really about his priorities.

Spittoon suggests….
‘His statement is liberating and should be celebrated. It now frees British Muslims of their obligation to loyalty to the Hamas or Hesbollah or the Islamic Republic of Iran etc, in exactly the same manner as Bunglawala does, by saying these words:
I was born in the UK and am not Palestinian/Syrian/Iranian/Kashmiri, so to be honest, I very rarely think about Palestine/Syria/Iran/Kashmir.
By using this simple ethical argument, British Muslims who choose to, can now detach themselves from the insidious emotional blackmail and moral upbraiding which is used to force them to side with this or that national/territorial cause of other Muslims, simply because they were their  co-religionists’

Now why does not the BBC ask such questions?

Bunglawala demonstrates an attitude all too prevalent amongst Muslims…one that the BBC doesn’t question…..when bombs go off in London and  a Muslim suggests that this is because of the presence of British troops in a Muslim country the BBC interviewer never once questions that attitude….this gives a credibility to such a claim, a ‘received wisdom’ that it is hence ‘confirmed’ as correct and of course just leads to more bombs or Jihadists being recruited as they are persuaded of the justness of their cause…because the ‘Establishment’, in this case the BBC, fails to challenge them.

By coincidence Peter Hitchens makes reference to this in his latest  Mail on Sunday column:
‘All I’m sure of is that the rentacrowd anti-Israeli protests are selective and disproportionate (Have the same people protested against Arab killing of Arabs on much larger scale, in several places? No. Why not? You work it out) .
Significantly, the refugees from the 1948 war were not allowed to settle freely where they chose in Egypt (or in any other Arab neighbour country), but were kept in cramped and squalid conditions in so called ‘camps’ (actually grimly permanent slums ), where their descendants remain. This seems to me slightly to contradict Arab propaganda in solidarity with, and in support of the displaced Arabs of the Palestine Mandate.  As I have pointed out before, the other victims of mass ethnic cleansing of the 1940s – the millions of non-Muslims who fled Pakistan for India or the millions of Muslims who hurried the other way, and the millions of Germans driven (with British connivance) out of central Europe –were long ago resettled and given citizenship of their new states. The curious will have to wonder why it is in the Holy Land and nowhere else that the descendants of refugees still live in cramped penury and misery as citizens of nowhere. I have my own theory, but I won’t force it on anyone.’

The BBC’s supine acceptance of Muslim claims and justifications leads to more terrorism, grievance politics and division in society.

As George Entwistle has found out a lack of curiosity, a lack of the will to question and challenge, has consequences.

Mark Thompson told us that: ‘The BBC’s motto is ‘Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation’ – the idea being that access to news, information and debate about different countries and cultures can ultimately help foster mutual understanding and tolerance.’

If only the BBC walked the walk as well as talked the talk.

Burying your head in the sand hoping not to cause a stir only ends up with more trouble later on… this case the ‘payoff’ is a radicalised generation of Muslim youth.

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BBC Pro-Israeli Bias


Always providing a balanced approach to BBC bias I offer you this:

As bombs rain down on the people of Gaza the BBC has once again transformed itself into a platform for Israeli government spokespeople and apologists


And an example of their reasoning:

‘Discussing Operation Cast Lead, another recent report on the BBC website tells us that in 2008 ‘hundreds of Palestinians were killed on the first day of Israel’s operation’.  Note again that this was an ‘operation’, not an ‘attack’. Hamas rocket fire into Israel, in contrast, is never referred to merely as an ‘operation’.

In another example, in the same vein as Jonathan Marcus’s reporting, Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East Editor, writes that ‘the danger of the kind of operation Israel has started is that rising casualties on both sides cause a violent escalation that neither side can control’.

Once again, what Israel has started is an ‘operation’, and the depiction of the circumstance as a ‘violent escalation that neither side can control’ leads a reader away from any assumption of there being a clear instigator to this violence.’

Make a complaint to the BBC about it’s Gaza coverage…



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A Slap In The Face For Paul Mason, Occupy And The Simplistic BBC


Via Bishop Hill

The New Statesman reminds us of the BBC’s values:

‘The intrinsic value of the BBC embodies an unfashionable, anti-market ethos.’

….whilst paying themselves hefty salaries of course….and all at the same time as denouncing Capitalism, Consumerism and ‘The Market’.

This simple video demonstrates what ‘The market’ does for you…providing jobs, money, necessities of life at prices you can afford, and not a few luxuries, as well as paying for schools, the NHS and the welfare system…….all that from a pencil…

Such a simple concept…and yet so difficult for the dyed in the wool, ideological dogmatists at the BBC to accept.


I, Pencil

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The Muslim ‘Zionist’ State Of Pakistan Under The BBC Microscope Yet Again….Or Not.



Funny old world you might think as the Jews, having suffered at the hands of the Nazis, turn into Nazis themselves and aim to wipe out the Palestinians.

Did I just say that?  Must have been listening to the BBC for far too long.

The BBC were a bit nonplussed for a while when Hague blamed Hamas for starting the ‘aggression’.  But the BBC has a plan…just like the Egyptian PM, they are going to ignore Hague and blame Israel.

Nicky Campbell set the tone this morning when his first caller came on to tell us that the Jews, just as the Nazis had wiped out 6 million Jews, were aiming to kill all the Palestinians.

Campbell said absolutely nothing….until later…after a torrent of  listener messages complaining, forced him to raise the subject, well at least for a brief moment anyway.

Campbell then got told off  when a caller said Saudi Arabia was the spiritual leader for Muslims….Campbell said it wasn’t…..caller said it was and he should know, as he’s a Muslim.  Campbell says well, only for Sunnis, caller says there is only one Islam……which is technically true if you understand the reasons God gave for the ‘creation’ of Islam.

Campbell demonstrated all too well the BBC arrogance in preaching about Islam whilst applying its own beliefs to ‘modify’ Islam in order that it fits in with their own ideas of what it should be so that non-Muslims don’t get any ideas about the reality of Islamic beliefs and practises.

The BBC has been pretty creative in finding ways to subtly make the Palestinians the ‘victims’…..they send a reporter to Israel….and then describe the nice modern homes….and the ‘safe’ bomb shelters the Israelis have built inside the homes and the ‘Iron Dome’ anti-rocket system…all of which means the Israelis don’t have to bother about rockets coming from Gaza…what’s the problem?

It’s different in Gaza of course where Wyre Davies  links in with the comment that sadly the Palestinians don’t have bomb shelters or Iron Dome….presumably to save them from what he described as the ‘brutal’ Israeli offensive.

Wyre Davies [email protected]
#Israel says this assassination is part of a ‘limited’ operation against Hamas. That’s not how many in Gaza would describe such an op.

The Palestinians do have  one option…that’s not to fire hundreds of rockets into Israel…..a bomb shelter and Iron Dome are defensive measures…they ‘protect’ Israelis against something…wonder what that could be?

Davies is rather sceptical about the reasons for Israel’s military strikes….never mind the 1000 rockets fired into Israel in 2012 this is the real reason that Israel is ‘defending itself’:
Wyre Davies [email protected]
No coincidence there’s soon an election in #Israel. #Netanyahu talks up threats in the North and South, #Lieberman threatens the #PA (1/2)

Jonathan Freedland [email protected]_freedland
Lots asking my view of Steve Bell’s cartoon. I’m afraid Guardian colleagues tend to discuss such things internally rather than on Twitter


That’s right BBC (and Guardian)….Israeli politician starts a war  to win an election…..just as Maggie started the Falkland War?  Never mind the images of body bags etc!  What a vote winner.


Jeremy Bowen adds to the mix on Sheila Fogarty’s show with his usual slippery  evasiveness…managing never to say anything good about Israel but not shy about saying something bad.

Can’t help thinking after ‘Balen’ he was promoted to keep him, and the BBC, out of trouble by sidelining him into management with limited time on air.

Today reinforces that impression.

Asked about the history of the conflict he began by telling us that it all began in 1897 when a group of Jews, Zionists, decided they were going to take over part of Palestine and make it the Jewish homeland…the thing is, he says, there were people living there already… Jews then Jeremy?
As to the Arab attitude towards the creation of Israel…well…they struggled’ to accept it.  ‘Struggle’ as in ‘Jihad’ presumably.

As to the present fighting Bowen had his own unique take on that…..there was a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel…but there was a bit of a ‘flare up’…but this was dying down …until Israel escalated the conflict by killing Jabari… other words it’s Israel’s fault.  They’re the aggressors.

Bowen rather fortuitously has the same notion about who started the war as the Al Qassam Brigade:

Alqassam Brigades [email protected]
Al Qassam: Assassination of the great leader Ahmed al Jabari is the beginning of liberation war and ominous harbinger on sons of Zion #Gaza

Alqassam Brigades [email protected]
“Tel Aviv” has its original Arabic name which is (Tel El Rabee), so it would be returned back soon ( war of liberation started) #Gaza #Hamas

However even Twitter can give the lie to the little porkies from the BBC’s Middle East Editor.

How would you describe that ‘flare up’ ?

Amir Mizroch [email protected]
Let me see if I get this: Gaza terrorists fire 150 rockets at us since Saturday (Nov 10) and today we open the border and send in goods and food??

Tim Marshall [email protected]
Rocket fired into Israel fm Gaza, no injuries. IDF says it holds Hamas accountable. Over 1000 missiles fired into Israel in 2012

Amir Mizroch [email protected]
Without Iron Dome this would be an entirely different reality show



So what really kicked off this latest fracas?

Was it the killing of Jabari as Bowen claimed or this rocket attack on an Israeli Army jeep which injured 4 troops…the Israelis fired back…and the Palestinians launched well over 100 rockets and mortars in response…….Jabari was only then targeted…..

November 10
Neil Lazarus [email protected]
#breaking news IDF solider hurt in jeep attack likely to lose sight: Solider who was critically wounded …  #israel

This video clearly shows the missile hitting the jeep. (On Sat 10th Nov) An IDF inquiry indicated that during a routine Givati force patrol along the border fence, an anti-tank missile was fired from the Sajaiya neighborhood.
The missile penetrated the jeep and exited from the other side. The IDF responded by with tank fire killing four Palestinians and wounding 20.
The event set in motion a round of violence that saw more than 110 rockets being fired at Israel. One of the soldiers wounded in the attack was discharged from the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon on Monday.

Amir Mizroch [email protected]
Hamas not taking on Iron Dome. Firing shorter rockets, mortars also targeting almost all IDF activities along Gaza fence. Per @galey_zahal  (10th Nov)

Finally, we had a little chat on the BBC about the Palestinians intentions for Israel….do they really want to wipe it out …or do they just want a peaceable agreement and a two state solution?

Seems not:

Alqassam Brigades [email protected]
#Palestinian #Resistance strikes on Tel Aviv caused of pampers crisis in the occupied city.

Alqassam Brigades [email protected]
“Tel Aviv” has its original Arabic name which is (Tel El Rabee), so it would be returned back soon ( war of liberation started) #Gaza #Hamas

Tel Aviv….an Israeli city is ‘occupied’…but soon to be ‘liberated’ in this war of ‘liberation’.

Pretty clear….even if you hadn’t listened to Palestinian politicians of all loyalties talking of freeing ‘Palestine’…. ‘All Palestine’ from the Occupiers.


Shame the BBC tend to ignore or de-emphasise such revealing talk.




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Razan Saffour@RazanSpeaks

.@AlqassamBrigade I can’t believe I’m saying but this picture is from #Syria, not Gaza. Thank you @Huxley10 for pointing it out.


Photo has been removed once ‘mistake’ spotted by many but page Cached at:


‘Don’t miss any updates from Alqassam Brigades’



Wonder if the BBC will show any interest in this story and example of ‘Pallywood’ PR….wonder which Palestinian picture editor thought that one up?

To be fair I imagine the BBC would show no interest what so ever had it been the IDF doing something similar.


William Daroff [email protected]
#Hamas Recycles Pictures of Syrian Dead and Claims Them as Palestinian Dead  (@TabletMag) #IsraelUnderFire
We’ll have more on the PR war being waged on both Twitter and Facebook later, but for now, a disturbing update about Hamas, which is using pictures of children that have been injured or killed in Syria and sending them out through social media to show them as Palestinian dead.
Hamas, Hezbollah, and their ilk have long used images of children as a cudgel to portray Israelis as a wanton murderers of children, even as the IDF remains the only force that doesn’t target civilians. I doubt this is the last we’ll see of it.

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The BBC has been  making strenuous and concerted efforts in a campaign to overthrow the elected government and undermine its economic policy in this country.

It has been broadcasting repeated claims that ‘Austerity’ will lead only to the revival of Fascism and it scaremongers relentlessly with film and opinion pieces that are meant to frighten us with the spectre of jack booted storm troopers marching down the Mall.

As the Political Party Conference season began the BBC also began its political game broadcasting ‘The Nazis:  A Warning From History’ …..making the link between government imposed economic misery and Fascist dictatorship.  Stephanie Flanders began her ‘Masters of Money’ series that also plugged that message….Austerity will see blood on the streets and revolution.

Now we have their latest effort….’The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler ’……here the BBC warns us that having George Osborne as Chancellor will only lead to another sort of Chancellor…. Adolf Hitler arising from the ashes of the  scorched earth policies of George Osborne and Frau Merkel:

‘Adolf Hitler was an unlikely leader but he still formed a connection with millions of German people, generating a level of charismatic attraction that was almost without parallel. It is a stark warning for the modern day, says historian Laurence Rees (ex BBC man).

In the good economic times, during the mid-to-late twenties in Germany, Hitler was thought charismatic by only a bunch of fanatics. So much so that in the 1928 election the Nazis polled only 2.6% of the vote.
Yet less than five years later Hitler was chancellor of Germany and leader of the most popular political party in the country.

What changed was the economic situation. In the wake of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 there was mass unemployment in Germany and banks crashed.
“The people were really hungry,” says Jutta Ruediger, who started to support the Nazis around this time. “It was very, very hard. And in that context, Hitler with his statements seemed to be the bringer of salvation.”
This history matters to us today. Not because history offers “lessons” – how can it since the past can never repeat itself exactly? But because history can contain warnings.
In an economic crisis millions of people suddenly decided to turn to an unconventional leader they thought had “charisma” because he connected with their fears, hopes and latent desire to blame others for their predicament. And the end result was disastrous for tens of millions of people.
It is in Greece itself – amid terrible economic crisis – that we see the sudden rise of a political movement like the Golden Dawn that glories in its intolerance and desire to persecute minorities.
And it is led by a man who has claimed there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz. Can there be a bigger warning than that?
Laurence Rees is a former creative director of history programmes for the BBC

Kind of a curious view…..when you consider who is provoking revolution and anarchy on the streets of Europe……..

Trade Union barons are whipping up  anti government rhetoric and protest, Marxist anarchist groups occupy cathedrals and public spaces, students and left wing activists riot and threaten to bring down governments, even the BBC broadcasts calls for violent revolution on their programmes… on Flander’s Masters of Money…….but what does the BBC see the problem as?

Apparently the imposition of Austerity has led to the activation of Nazi sleeper cells around Europe…The Boys From Brazil are here  just waiting to over turn democracy and goose step across Europe just as they did in the 30’s.

Of course, remember what the BBC won’t tell you….the Nazis, the ‘National Socialists’….were, em, Socialists.

When the BBC calls them ‘Fascists’ or ‘Far Right’ they do so in the hope you, the viewer, will make the connection to any political party on the Right….preferably the Conservatives….thereby associating all ‘that nastiness’ with them and not their true brethren on the Left.

Nazis have more in common with Labour socialists than Tories….Black Shirted Fascist Oswald Mosley was a Labour Party MP…..Communism is merely the other side of the same coin that is Fascism….just as you have Shi’ites and Sunni Muslims.

The BBC hates austerity with a vengeance and never misses a chance to damn it….Evan Davis often saying that Austerity is the ‘medicine that is killing the patient’, whilst Flanders has had a free hand to produce programme after programme supporting Labour’s economic view and ‘Plan B’.

Comments by BBC presenters have no basis in reality….Victoria Derbyshire stating that ‘people are losing their jobs left right and centre’ when unemployment is going down.  The strange little programme ‘Wake Up To Money’ is always good for a laugh….yesterday claiming that the rich haven’t paid anything towards reducing the deficit…when of course they have been hit with the largest tax rises overall, and today they came up with the comment that the Governor of the Bank of England had suggested that we are heading for another triple dip recession in his ‘zig zag’ speech, when he said nothing of the sort.

Nothing like not letting the facts get in the way of a bad news story.


However even those old lefties at the Guardian have begun to wake up to reality….

‘Austerity is Here To Stay’

Welcome to 21st-century Europe.

Today’s quarterly inflation review by the Bank of England is merely the latest in a series of indicators that remind governments and peoples across Europe and beyond that the old days are simply over, done, finished.

The message is hard to miss. Times have changed. The only thing that is certain is further uncertainty. We may have come out of recession again, but the idea that Britain, let alone the countries of the eurozone, can expect to see any resumption of the kind of growth rates to which we have all been accustomed since the second world war, is increasingly fanciful. We are living through not a downturn but an epochal change, and we need to make a more consistent effort to understand what this implies.
During the next 50 years, according to a newly published OECD growth report, the world economy is expected to grow at about 3% a year. Most of that growth, however, will be in Asia and the developing nations. Growth in Europe, including the UK, will be much less robust – and will often actually decline.

Got that? Growth in Britain will often decline over the coming half-century. It will not resume. We can talk all we like about stimulus and investment, as Labour did today in its latest denunciation of George Osborne, quite rightly in its way. But, during the next 50 years, growth is going to be halting and uneven and will sometimes be negative. Just like now, in fact.

 The OECD said something else, too. As the world economy grows, it reported, our European share of it will decline. Economic power is shifting to China.

For most of us, relative decline is something we read about but don’t think about until it hits us on the head. Most of us have barely started to grasp what it may mean for our living standards and our politics.

And not just in 50 years’ time, either. These large shifts are already under way. Their impact is now, as well as later.

Smart leaders should recognise that austerity in some form is the context for most of the foreseeable political options in countries like Britain.

But it does mean that political parties in economically developed countries no longer have the same breadth of spending options as they did……. the left cannot simply shout the old mantras.

This is not a defeatist but a realistic assessment.

Clearly, though, the right is more comfortable in such times.

He is right about that. Osborne’s touch may have deserted him recently, but he has the huge advantage of being alive to the context and politics of these new times in ways that the left across Europe is still struggling to match.’


Osborne is right…and ‘in touch’ with the context and politics?   How refreshig to see the dawning of reality and the realisation that we have priced ourselves out of the market.

If only the BBC would, if not accept that ‘radical’ view, but at least allow the light of discussion and informed debate to illuminate the viewers and listeners instead of  the BBC itself casting the dark and forebidding shadow of fascism across the airwaves.

Time for the BBC to start accepting the case for Austerity and for not briefing against it in terms designed to frighten everyone to death.

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In Denial

In a previous post the idea that the BBC are now engaged in a ‘black propaganda’ campaign to persuade us that the BBC is itself the victim of a ‘political and media witch hunt’  was laid out.

There was plenty of evidence to back that up, but here’s just one more recent piece that demonstrates the BBC’s complete unwillingness to just take the hit and accept they were wrong…….

BBC crisis: Entwistle deserves £450,000 pay-off, colleagues say
The former director-general of the BBC deserved his £450,000 pay-off after becoming the victim of a “political and media witch hunt”, one of his colleagues has claimed.

The BBC began with claims that the Lord McAlpine debacle proved that their shelving of the Savile investigation was the right thing to do….well, apart from the fact that Savile was guilty and there were plenty of witnesses to that fact.

The BBC then went on to claim that the cause of the Newsnight fiasco was budget cuts…, it was shoddy journalism and incompetence.


Now we have the ‘political and media witch hunt’ plea……what’s wrong with that?

Perhaps the fact that it was the BBC’s own attack dog, John Humphrys, that forced Entwistle out….not Murdoch or the Daily Mail.

Newsnight’s been caught out, twice, Panorama’s been caught out faking evidence, the climate change CMEP 2006 seminar has been proved to be a highly politicised event, and who knows what the Balen Report will reveal.

None of that is due to budget or outside political pressure…..what is the overarching theme, what was the cause of their ‘mistakes’?  The BBC’s own political view of the world and its attempts to play politics through using its broadcasts to persuade the world to adopt those same views.

And it has got its fingers burnt.




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We’ve had Hollywood, Bollywood and now Pallywood….and the BBC Loves All Of Them.

Via Guido….BBC don’t seem to check the film they broadcast for authenticity…..

Pallywood…Lazarus is alive and well.

Pallywood has a long history, the most famous probably being the Al Dura footage. filmed by a Palestinian cameraman, Abu Rahma, which led to many consequences….

‘The footage of the father and son acquired what one writer called the power of a battle flag. For many Palestinians, it confirmed their view of Israel’s brutality toward them, while for sections of the Israeli and Jewish communities the allegations were a modern blood libel, the ancient antisemitic association of Jews with child sacrifice.[9] The scene was evoked in other deaths. It was blamed for the October 2000 lynching of two Israeli army reservists in Ramallah, and was seen in the background when Daniel Pearl, a Jewish-American journalist, was beheaded by al-Qaeda in 2002.[10] James Fallows writes that no version of the truth about the footage will ever emerge that all sides consider believable.’


But here’s a selection to choose from.




Guido has this from the BBC:

To the best of our knowledge the pictures do not show any kind of ‘staged’ event – and were run in good faith. The footage shown by BBC News was edited from a longer sequence provided by the Reuters news agency in which the man in question is shown being lifted from the ground. He is then given attention at the roadside, before appearing later having recovered.


Who could doubt that.



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Short of time but here’s something to digest raw…….

Guido has a document from Prof Joe Smith, Harrabin’s co-founder of the CMEP climate change advocacy programme.
The document is from 2005 so not from the 2006 seminar but gives a good idea of what might have been discussed….and it looks like it wasn’t climate science but how to report climate science…they had long ago, well before 2006, decided the science was ‘settled’ and are merely deciding how to ‘fix’ the ‘debate’, how information about climate change is transmitted to the public so that they accept it is a danger and then accept the need for behavioural changes and policies….even just skimming the doc you get a good idea that the seminars might not be considered ‘above board’ by a neutral observer.

Haven’t had time to look at it properly….no doubt someone will leap in…..but here’s some emails and other info in the raw relating to the relationships between the BBC, the CMEP and the climate scientists, especially from the UEA CRU just so we don’t forget just what a close lot they really are:

Email 2496 explains why the Tyndall Centre funded the Harrabin/Smith seminars – the Real World seminars of the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme
Mike Hulme:
Did anyone hear Stott vs. Houghton on Today, radio 4 this morning? Woeful stuff really. This is one reason why Tyndall is sponsoring the Cambridge Media/Environment Programme to starve this type of reporting at source

“The seminars have been publicly credited with catalysing significant changes in the tone and content of BBC outputs across platforms and with leading directly to specific and major innovations in programming,”Dr Joe Smith
“It has had a major impact on the willingness of the BBC to raise these issues for discussion. Joe Smith and I are now wondering whether we can help other journalists to perform a similar role in countries round the world”Roger Harrabin

From Daily Mail:
BBC insiders say the close links between the Corporation and the UEA’s two climate science departments, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, have had a significant impact on its coverage.
‘Following their lead has meant the whole thrust and tone of BBC reporting has been that the science is settled, and that there is no need for debate,’ one journalist said. ‘If you disagree, you’re branded a loony.’
In 2007, the BBC issued a formal editorial policy document, stating that ‘the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus’ – the view that the world faces catastrophe because of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.
The same year, BBC1 broadcast a series on the British countryside presented by Alan Titchmarsh. The last programme presented a deeply pessimistic view of future global warming and before it was transmitted its producer, Dan Tapster, asked Prof Hulme to vet the script.
‘I’d be grateful if you could send me your hourly/daily rate as a script consultant so that I can budget your time,’ he wrote. Prof Hulme said he remembered going through the script, adding that he was not being paid, and was ‘certainly not an official adviser’.

In July 2004, in an email to Prof Hulme that asked him to continue funding CMEP seminars, Prof Smith explained: ‘The only change I anticipate is that we won’t be asking WWF to support the seminars: Roger particularly feels the association could be compromising to the “neutral” reputation should anyone look at it closely.’
Prof Smith told Prof Hulme that the seminars’ purpose was to influence BBC output.
He spoke of finding ways of getting environmental issues into ‘mainstream’ stories ‘by stealth’, adding: ‘It’s very important in my view that research feeds directly back into decision-maker conversations (policy and above all media). I hope and think that the seminars have laid the ground for this within the BBC… There is senior BBC buy in-for the approach I want to pursue.’

Dear Mike

We are writing to some alumni of the University of Cambridge Media and
Environment seminars gathering ideas for the BBC’s coverage of the Rio+1 ???
Earth Summit in a year’s time. Before the Rio summit, the BBC held the One
World festival, which included some memorable broadcasting – particularly a
feature drama on refugees. Some broadcasting is already in the pipeline that
will relate to the themes of Rio+ 10, but this is an open opportunity for
you to put forward ideas that will be collated and circulated amongst
relevant BBC decision-makers.

* What should the BBC be doing this time in terms of news, current
affairs, drama, documentaries, game shows, music etc?
* How can the BBC convey the theme of sustainable development to
viewers and listeners who have probably seen all the issues raised before?
* Is there any scope for a global broadcasting initiative?
* What are the strongest themes and specific issues that should appear
in the media in the months and years following the conference?

If you have thoughts, please send your reply both to this email and copy to
[email protected] We will also draw on the information gathered in planning
a new three year programme of media seminars.

Best wishes

Joe and Roger
Joe Smith and Roger Harrabin
University of Cambridge Media and Environment Programme
Tel Joe: ???
Tel. Roger: ???

Dear Dr. Hulme

I’m writing to ask if you would be willing to contribute to a briefing
meeting for BBC news and current affairs in advance of the forthcoming UN
climate talks.

This forms part of the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme of seminars
that I run jointly with Roger Harrabin of the BBC R4 Today Programme (see:
for more information on these). You will be aware that the Programme forms
part of the Cambridge contribution to the work of the Tyndall Centre…..this is an important (and difficult) audience to reach with these issues, and the seminars on various environment and sustainability topics have in the past enabled increased and improved coverage.
joe smith

I had an interesting lunch with Roger Harrabin last week about developing
the comms strategy
Mr Asher Minns
Public Affairs Officer
Environmental Change Institute
University of Oxford

From: “Vicki Barker” <[email protected]>
To: “Mike Hulme” <[email protected]>
Dear Dr. Hulme,
My colleague Roger Harrabin suggested I contact you.
I am about to spend several months attempting to answer the following question for
senior BBC managers:
If we were to reinvent economics coverage from scratch, TODAY, incorporating what we now know (or think we know) about global environmental and economic trends… what would it look like?
In recent years, I have watched an environmental undertow beginning to tug at economies around the world, even as the world’s peoples have been awakening to the realities of an increasingly-globalized economy; and I have wondered if current newsgathering practices and priorities are conveying these phenomena as effectively as they could be.
Is this a question you and some of your colleagues feel like pondering? I’d be
delighted to come out to the Tyndall Centre, either during the first two weeks of
November or in early January, when I return from an extended trip abroad. The report
will be delivered in March or April.
I will ring your office in a day or two to see whether or when it would be convenient
for us to meet. Alternatively, you can reach me at this address.
Vicki Barker
BBCi at [1]

Guido’s document:

Risk Analysis, Vol. 25, No. 6, 2005

DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2005.00693.x

Dangerous News: Media Decision Making about Climate Change Risk
Joe Smith∗

This article explores the role of broadcast news media decision makers in shaping public understanding and debate of climate change risks. It locates the media within a “tangled web” of communication and debate between sources, media, and publics. The article draws on new qualitative research in the British context. The main body of it focuses on media source strategies, on climate change storytelling in news, and the “myth of detachment” sustained by many news decision makers. The empirical evidence, gathered between 1997 and 2004, is derived primarily from recordings and notes drawn from a series of seminars that has brought together equal numbers of BBC news and television decision makers and environment/development specialists. The seminars have created a rare space for extended dialogue between media and specialist perspectives on the communication of complex climate change science and policy. While the article acknowledges the distinctive nature of the BBC as a public sector broadcaster, the evidence confirms and extends current understanding of the career of climate change within the media more broadly. The working group discussions have explored issues arising out of how stories are sourced and, in the context of competitive and time-pressured newsrooms, shaped and presented in short news pieces. Particularly significant is the disjuncture between ways of talking about uncertainty within science and policy discourse and media constructions of objectivity, truth, and balance. The article concludes with a summary of developments in media culture, technology, and practice that are creating opportunities for enhanced public understanding and debate of climate change risks. It also indicates the need for science and policy communities to be more active critics and sources of news.
KEY WORDS: Climate change; news media; public understanding; sustainability; uncertainty

1. INTRODUCTION Any exploration of the sources and significance of the gulf between lay and expert understandings of climate change risk is likely to settle on the media as one of its central subjects. Publics depend on news media to expand their knowledge about the world beyond the immediate horizons of lived experience; hence notions of dangers associated with climate change are to a significant degree mediated by news and other broadcast and published sources. This article is
∗ Geography Discipline, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK; tel: +44 (0)1908 659232; [email protected]

based on qualitative material drawn from a series of seminars that represent an extended body of interactions between media decision makers and environment and development specialists. As such it takes on a different task to the discourse analysis that is at the core of Burgess and Carvalho’s (2004) intervention and audience research (e.g., Glasgow University Media Unit, 2000; VSO, 2002; Opinion Leader Research, 2002) in this area. It throws light on media decision making by concentrating on key moments in the process of mediation wherein the science, policy, and politics of climate change are transformed into the broadcast stories that do so much work in public discourses of environmental risk. 1471

2005 Society for Risk Analysis

1472 After locating the work within the critical social science literature on media and society, the main body of the article explores media practices of sourcing and telling climate change stories, and the “myth of detachment” associated with media editors. It concludes with a discussion of some ways of enhancing public understanding and debate that have been assessed within the seminars. There is evidence that wider changes in media culture and practice can open up new ways of exploring both “factual” and affective dimensions of risk in tandem. However, one of the most easily addressed and significant conclusions lies in the hands of readers of this article: editors acknowledge that the climate change science and policy communities need to be more accessible to help in the telling of stories and more insistent and audible in the review of media performance. 2. METHODOLOGICAL NOTE The argument in the article is drawn from a body of qualitative empirical evidence gathered between 1997 and 2004. Recordings and notes were drawn from the plenary sessions and working groups within a series of annual two-day seminars. These have brought together senior media decision makers, primarily from the BBC, and equal numbers of academic and policy specialists for two-day meetings. These have addressed media performance on a range of environment and development issues. It is important to note that the BBC and other media participants have been drawn almost exclusively from senior editorial staffs that do not have specialist expertise or experience in environment and development issues. They have in almost all cases been invited to attend by the BBC Director of News and are hence not self-selecting as “supportive” or “committed to” the issues under discussion. Indeed, media participants have on a number of occasions expressed scepticism about the need to consider their performance on these issues in advance of the meetings. With roughly 35 people attending each seminar, half media and half specialists, the total number of media participants in the seminars is just over 100. Only on rare occasions have media participants been invited to attend more than one seminar. These seminars were organized by the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme, co-directed by the author and Roger Harrabin of the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme. The seminars have addressed media performance on a range of subjects. The references in the text to workshop and plenary discussions

Smith specify which seminar the material was drawn from, using shortened titles, given here in parentheses, and dates: Sustainable Development: The Challenge to the Media (Sustainability) 1998, 1999, 2001; World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) 2002; Risk: The Challenge to the Media (Risk) 2003; and two meetings addressing British broadcasting’s representations of the developing world: the Real World Brainstorms (Real World 1 and Real World 2, 2004). The media participation at all but the last two seminars has been drawn from news and current affairs. The Real World Brainstorms were attended by a wider group of BBC TV decision makers. The seminars were held under Chatham House rules; hence none of the reported comments or quotations in the text are attributable. In the case of quotations from workshops and plenaries, informants are distinguished as either media participant (MP) or specialist participant (SP), and where necessary distinguished by number (e.g., MP1). Some quotations are included from supplementary interviews. These quotes are again not directly attributable, but where there is more than one respondent with the same job description they are coded (i.e., journalist 1 = J1). The author has worked to draft the participant list, design, and implement the seminars with other colleagues. While this fact allows for a depth of familiarity with the materials generated, it has demanded a degree of careful self-reflection in the handling of them. Another important contextual note regards the particular nature of the institution that has provided the vast majority of the media participants. The BBC has distinctive governance and funding structures, combining funding from an almost universally levied license fee within the United Kingdom and an independent board of governors, all working within a charter framework granted by the U.K. government. It is recognized as an important reservoir of journalistic talent; it is both a training ground for the early stages in many media careers and a destination for top journalists and editors. These conditions have led to the BBC being widely seen as an international leader in terms of balance, independence, and clarity. But it has also been criticized as complacent or inattentive in its coverage of complex issues, and as driven by narrow priorities (Nason & Redding, 2002; Dover & Barnett, 2004; Peck et al., 2004). It is viewed as hegemonic within British broadcasting, helping to dictate the limits of what might be considered “news” in mainstream reporting (see, e.g., Philo & McLaughlin, 1995). The support of the seminars

Media Decision Making about Climate Change Risk by the BBC, in the form of their contribution of substantial senior management time and other resources reflects a recognition of the responsibilities implied by these strengths and a need to consider and respond to the criticisms on the part of senior news management. The social definition and deliberation of risk and danger, and the broadcast media’s role within this, have been persistent themes throughout the series, with one seminar focusing solely on the subject of the reporting of risk. Climate change has been a persistent theme throughout the series. 3. FROM HYPODERMIC MODELS TO TANGLED WEBS The self-perception of news media is that they cast, direct, and stage-manage the public’s notion of life beyond immediate lived experience. Certainly, there is little arguing that the mass media are a key location for the social production—including the definition and evaluation—of risks. Hence the broadcast media’s treatment of climate change becomes central to any attempt to unpick risk communication surrounding the issue. This article contributes to the growing body of literature that seeks to explain the links between news media and public understanding and debate of climate change (see, e.g., Wilkins, 1993; Trumbo, 1996; Weingart et al., 2000). The climate change science and policy community participants at the seminars have consistently charged the media with having failed in what they view to be a duty to inform. They suggest the media are responsible for public ignorance of both causes and consequences of climate change. These participants have tended to display what has variously been termed a “hypodermic,” “transmission,” or “information deficit” model of mediation of knowledge. In other words, they imagine an uncomplicated flow of data from experts, packaged by the media, to an under-informed, receptacle-like society. They feel that the news media simply need to recognize their responsibilities as a mediating channel on the subject of climate change. This model of the role of the media has long been picked apart by media researchers, including in the field of representations of environment (Burgess, 1990; Hansen, 1993) and in calls for more sophisticated approaches to understanding science communication (see, e.g., Bucchi, 1998; Friedman et al., 1986; Nelkin, 1987). Such work has demanded that researchers engage with the messy realities of the interactions between media, politics, and society that produce knowledge, debate, and decisions.

1473 In his weaving together of theoretical and empirical work on media, space, and democracy, Barnett (2003, p. 178) finds that “news is . . . constructed out of the complex mediation of knowledge, meanings, and performances produced and distributed by a variety of different actors with different interests.” Krimsky and Plough’s (1988, p. 298) analysis of sources of risk messages finds that “risk communications in their social context resemble tangled webs, in contrast to a parallel series of sender-receiver interactions.” The material drawn from the seminars inform this attempt to throw light on the tangled web of interactions that shape media treatments of “dangerous” climate change. 4. SOURCING CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE Allan et al. (2000, p. 13) argue that the “capacity to define potential risks and hazards is broadly aligned with the distribution of power among ‘credible,’ ‘authoritative,’ and ‘legitimate’ definers of ‘reality’ across the media field.” The role of environmental NGOs as sources developed in the British context in part as a consequence of a vacuum in terms of the profile of environmental issues within representative politics, but also as a result of their entrepreneurialism. Their role as issue entrepreneurs has been particularly evident in their generation of media events (Smith, 2000b, pp. 168–185). Whether through photogenic direct actions, or the timing of the publication of a report, adept NGO media handlers have designed actions with a close and trained eye on winning victories in the discursive struggle played out in the media over an issue such as climate change. Campaigners have acknowledged that danger is a driving plot device, in the narratives they put to news professionals (working groups, WSSD, 2002; Risk, 2003). However, the NGOs do not work with rigid metrics of risk; their claims are fluid across time and space, allowing them to be opportunistic and innovative in ways that satisfy news needs and practices. In the small group workshops, where the specialist contingent usually combines senior NGO figures (in a minority) with scientists and policy actors rooted in evidence-based practices, the latter have frequently bemoaned the media’s tendency to rely on NGOs as sources and voices in environmental news stories. Yet the same discussions showed that these specialists generally had very limited understanding of news practices. However, the workshop discussions have shown that as scientists and policy specialists have gained a better grasp of what might be

1474 required in presenting their concerns in news contexts they become, if anything, even less willing to act as sources. Their concerns include losing scientific credibility with colleagues through simplification; giving up control of their statements to editors uninformed about their specialism; and the fear that “the two minutes you’ll give to an issue I’ve given ten years to trying to figure out will only make the public more confused— not less” (SP, working group, Risk, 2003). Several had extensive experience of contributing both off-air advice and on-air contributions to broadcasts. Among these there was a consistent sense that they felt obligated to assist public understanding in this way, but that the chances of the edited broadcast giving any reasonable level of depth or sophistication were very limited. At the same time, working group discussions consistently showed that editors and journalists have a tendency to be less probing and reflective about the status of scientists as sources. Journalists have demanded to know what facts there are—or to demand “when are we going to get to the truth on climate change” (working group, Risk, 2003), and do not carry with them a sense that science is primarily a process of contestation. The journalists acknowledged that the dramatic device of presenting two contrasting opinions within a piece where disagreement exists as to facts is followed less consistently in the scientific realm (working groups, Risk, 2003). Nevertheless, the balanced presentation of “pro” and sceptical climate change scientists was a persistent feature of climate change coverage into the late 1990s in Britain, and is still intermittently applied in the casting of broadcast news. Boykoff and Boykoff’s (2004, p. 125) research shows it to persist in the U.S. prestige press, arguing that “[t]he continuous juggling act journalists engage in often militates against meaningful, accurate, and urgent coverage of the issue of global warming.” This has been explained in workshop discussions by the fact that journalistic decision makers can look at the spread of seats for different political parties, or the size of a business sector or union membership to gauge whether their coverage is “balanced” and “appropriate,” but rarely have the levels of scientific literacy required similar judgments about stories founded in scientific discourses. Specialist journalists from both broadcast and print media who may have the relevant experience and contacts to make fuller judgments complain of how implicit newsroom priorities are reflected in investments of time and human resources (Brown & McDonald,

Smith 2000, pp. 67–73; Harrabin, 2000, pp. 59–61). This problem is mirrored in the related field of health coverage, explored in Harrabin et al. (2003) and Seale (2002). Hence the machinery that supports strong coverage of mainstream politics and economics can work to squeeze out science, environment, and developing world coverage in the earliest hours of a news production cycle at the planning meetings. Even when such stories get through to get a slot on a program, they are some of the most exposed items when breaking news emerges demanding space. Editors have consistently defended themselves within the workshops and plenary discussions by suggesting that they have a responsibility in their decisions to represent public expectations and priorities about the most relevant news of the day: “an issue may be important as you say. . . but that doesn’t make it news” (MP, working group, Risk, 2003). The resulting treatments of climate change have made the climate science community, which might act as a critical resource of depth and understanding for news producers, less rather than more likely to work with the media in their interpretation and representation of climate change dangers across time and space. They acknowledge that this reluctance to act as sources carried costs. One NGO media specialist noted that, on account of the weak understanding of science, there are now instances of coverage that exaggerate the risk of climate change, for example, associating specific flood incidents with climate change in circumstances where no such association is justified (interview, NGO press officer, Oct. 2004). The respondent’s point supports a line of argument put by one specialist environment journalist that such editorial inflections, based on misunderstanding and overstatement of climate change dangers, could prove as costly in terms of public engagement with these issues as the previous insistence upon giving balanced coverage to sceptics and climate change scientists (personal communication J2, Feb. 2005). This limited understanding of science compared with other fields of contemporary discourse among media professionals has frequently been acknowledged in discussions within the workshops—an admission that would be unthinkable for these media professionals in spheres such as economics or politics. This is reflected in ignorance of even the most fundamental aspects of science practice such as peer review. In the words of one experienced news and current affairs journalist, referring to their colleagues:

Media Decision Making about Climate Change Risk
the number of times people (i.e., journalist colleagues) come to me . . . and to be absolutely honest perhaps myself 10 or 12 years ago . . . and I say, “is it peer reviewed?” and faces crumple because people don’t necessarily understand the concept . . . . (MP, Risk workshop, 2003)

1475 an important angle on a risk story but are rarely used—whether as background opinion in preparing a story or as broadcast voices. This is because editors recognize that “we’re not very well plugged-in” (MPa) (to social science) but in the same group a news manager was happy to admit to having little respect for social science: “[It’s] seriously dodgy, they just add the word science on the end to seem more legitimate” (MPb) (working group, Risk, 2003). Social scientists and policy specialists attending the seminars have consistently pointed to this as a significant weak point at a time when the communication and debate of climate change dangers will demand narratives that splice together uncertainty, social risks, and choices (Sustainability, 1999, 2001; Risk, 2003). The degree to which action on climate change will necessarily involve collective social choices is regularly raised by specialists, but meets a revealing and important obstacle related to the media decision makers’ figuring of “the public.” Editors acknowledge that climate change risks and responses demand public understanding and debate, and that they are inherently political. Where discussion has charged them with underperforming on the issue one persistent reply has been that representative politics has not taken climate change “to the public” in ways that would allow these issues to be aired as choices in news contexts (Sustainability, 1999, 2001; WSSD, 2002; Risk, 2003).2 Despite the absence of a lively politics of climate change that could be reported much as tax, health, or defence issues through the voices of competing elected representatives, editors do seek to represent public voices, albeit through a narrow repertoire of more or less staged televisual forms. “Ordinary people” are not completely excluded as sources in the telling of environmental risks in the media, but there are some fairly rigid, if unstated, conventions that limit and shape their role. Cottle’s (2000, pp. 29–44) empirical analysis of the use of lay voices in the visualization of environmental risks in TV news demonstrates the point. His study uncovers the cultural politics of environmental news production, showing that although lay voices are often presented within a report as making a particular threat tangible, through it being vividly experienced by a human subject, they are rarely given a chance to put forward their own

Compounding the generally limited direct experience of contemporary science among journalists is the fact that media decision makers work at least one, and often two, steps removed from sources. Material and story ideas will not only be drawn directly from primary sources; the cue for a story will often come from other media outlets. The workshop discussions support U.S. research showing that even in technically difficult fields journalists turn to other journalistic sources in working up stories (Wilson, 2000). Editors—sitting at the pinnacle of hierarchical news decision-making systems—spend almost all of their professional lives in the company of their journalistic colleagues, and rely on their correspondents/reporters to go out and bring back stories. The intense competition among specialists within news organizations can compound narrow and repetitive patterns of reporting:
SP1: How much do your specialist journalists talk together, to encourage cross-fertilization? MP1: (laughter) (several voices speaking at once): never—they are all far too competitive MP2: too busy MP1:. . . is a sort of naive hope that you get in these ı units, a sort of scholastic community . . . the truth is that there is a very real fighting for turf. (working group, Risk, 2003)

The same discussion went on to point to some of the benefits of this feature of news production: “[OK] there’s nothing more conservative—in a very conservative bit of society that’s the media—than the structure of the portfolios but also it’s legitimate, to get one bit of the story from one specialist and another from another” (MP3, working group, Risk, 2003). However, the fact remains that key news decision makers rely on their correspondents to work with sources in such a way as to bring back a fair and balanced representation of “the news,” but they themselves rarely if ever gain direct contact themselves with diverse informed voices on an issue such as climate change.1 A separate working group at the same seminar recognized that social scientists would often provide

Indeed, creating such opportunities was a principal goal of the seminar series from its inception.

Commentators on the U.K. May 2005 election noted how environmental issues received almost no attention from the main political parties (New Statesman, April 25, 2005, pp. 14–17; The Independent Newspaper, April 18, 2005, pp. 1–5).

1476 claims (whether “social” or “scientific”; “subjective” or “objective”). Hence in the case of stories about climate change danger in the United Kingdom a persistent pictorial representation is of buildings being lost to an eroding coastline, with the former inhabitant facing the camera on the cliff top. The maker of one such documentary accepted shots might be set up this way, with the member of the public “saying something like ‘global warming—its no theory—its here and now, and I’m suffering’” even if the causal link cannot be directly drawn (TV producer, interview, Nov. 2001). The TV producer, questioned about this practice, quickly acknowledged the problems with this cliche, but also ´ the reason for it: “yeah—I know—it’s not necessarily all [happening] because of climate change, but it gives the viewer a human side to it all . . . they can identify” (TV producer, interview, Nov. 2001). The media decision makers participating in the seminars are aware of the limitations of their representations of public voices, and insist that they do look for means of making space for them within news and factual outputs. They have received what they view to be scant or impractical suggestions when they challenge the specialist participants as to how they might respond given the limitations inherent in “one-to-many” broadcast media (WSSD, 2002; Real World 2, 2004). News media rely on a limited cast list in their telling of climate change stories. The reasons for this are based in craft, time, and budget limits and the nature of journalistic training. The seminars have discussed how these factors contribute to distorted and cramped representations of climate change risks and how they may stand in the way of editors accepting more regular and in-depth treatment of the myriad dimensions of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Working group discussions have shown that editors are often aware of the tensions and ambiguities inherent in the way they think about and represent publics in relation to global environmental change issues, but cannot see immediate means of addressing these. Hence particular patterns of representation, or framings, of climate change are rarely disturbed. The next section looks more closely at these representations.

Smith The media shape complex science, policy, and political debate into narratives. These processes have been traced by a number of researchers in relation to science and environmental storytelling (see, e.g., Silverstone’s (1985) account of the making of a TV documentary or Wilkins and Patterson (1990) on media amplification). This is a dynamic process of mediation wherein media discourses do not simply reflect the reality of environmental risk; rather, they provide, in the words of Allan et al. (2000, p. 14), “contingently codified (rule-bound) definitions of what should count as the reality of environmental risks.” While it is important to recognize the diversity of news forms, even within the one news organization within one country that provides the core of the empirical material presented here (i.e., the BBC’s primetime bulletins; 24-hour rolling news, radio, and TV; web; Nations and Regions broadcasts and World Service), there are some common approaches to the way stories are told, and some more or less hidden but significant causes and consequences of this. Respected news craft lies in the choreography of words and images, where pictures make the script both memorable and legitimate. Editorial decision makers manage the kind of stories and the rate of flow around a particular topic. This section discusses some narratives of dangerous climate change in broadcast news. Climate change can no longer be dealt with purely as a story about the reliability or otherwise of scientific data. Specialists have argued throughout the series of seminars since 1997 that it reaches into international affairs, food, mainstream politics, farming, transport, health, energy, taxation issues, and more. To represent this complexity requires an awareness of this body of scientific, policy, and political debate surrounding climate change across a very wide range of news specialisms and categories. Furthermore, not only program editors (the senior editor), but also their colleagues who are responsible for “out of hours” and minute-by-minute decisions, such as duty and news editors, need to be able to appreciate climate-change relevant strands within these categories. This makes for several steps in a media decision-making process where lack of knowledge by editors or journalists, or reluctance among, or absence of, suitable sources might halt the progress of a relevant news item toward a slot in a broadcast. Even when a particular story has passed these personnel-related hurdles, “craft” challenges remain. In most areas of reporting journalists refuse to tell stories in the abstract, and the climate change dimensions of a story can be cut out, having been considered

5. CLIMATE CHANGE STORYTELLING “Journalists never talk about ‘issues’—they always talk about stories, because that’s what interests people” (Radford, 2004).
Media Decision Making about Climate Change Risk too complicated, or too uncertain.3 Alternatively, the scope of climate-change-related issues may be narrowed by journalistic practices. Commonly, the force of the specific story might be very visual, including perhaps a flood, storm, landslide, or drought, or politically immediate, such as a fuel tax protest or new jobs/job loss story, and the cross-cutting and long-term nature of the wider issues will be obscured. Discussion in the workshops (Sustainability, 2001) of the case of the Mozambican woman, Sofia Pedro, who gave birth to a baby daughter in a tree during a period of serious flooding in March 2000, was particularly revealing for the opportunity it gave editors to explain their decision making. They talked about why the “human fortitude in the face of cruel nature” story was an easier and better story to tell than the connections that might have been drawn between the devastated communities and possible impacts of processes of climate change. It was an emotionally engaging narrative, and a good “picture story.” When challenged by climate change scientists and campaigners editors turned the charge around. They asked for ways that their understanding of global environmental change processes that link in uncertain and unpredictable ways to dangers such as flooding could be told engagingly in a 2 1 -minute broadcast story. The 2 response from specialists was muted (working groups, Sustainability, 2001). The interconnections across scales implicit in current understanding of climate change are particularly difficult to express given the news media’s ways of thinking about scale. News stories are ordered via lurching shifts from local to national to global scales. They are also ordered by subject categories (also referred to above as specialist “silos” by editors and journalists). Editors have great difficulty placing climate change; an issue that not only spans these scales and categories but also is constituted by interactions between them.4 Hence references to climate change have most commonly been placed at a global scale, for example, with Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair represented as international leaders on an international threat or via UN conferences and political wrangling, such as U.S. stances on the Kyoto Protocol. They
One anonymous reviewer of the article noted helpfully that economics reporting is an exception, and is frequently reported in the abstract, without directly relevant images. 4 Climate change is not the only “issue” to suffer in this way: media decision makers recognize that globalization, trade, some aspects of new technologies, and migration all present news production with similar challenges (workshops, Real World 1 and Real World 2, 2004).

1477 might also arise through an ideally visual localized threat. Environment correspondents have acknowledged that they regularly work to get climate change stories on air or into articles via the narrative device of located flood damage, coastal erosion, or the arrival of “exotic” diseases/species (personal communications, J1, June, 2002, and J2, July, 2002; see also, e.g., Brown & McDonald, 2000, p. 75). These devices allow journalists to give editors a place on a map with a name, a dramatic image—almost a personality—and a clearly figured denouement such as “when will it fall into the sea?” (personal communication, J2, July, 2002). In this way they are turned into “situation morality plays whose plot and denouement depend to a considerable degree on the nature of the community in which the drama unfolds” (Dunwoody & Griffin, 1993, p. 49). So flooding and storms in Britain and continental Europe in recent years that might have previously been presented solely in terms of awe at the unpredictable force of natural hazards have frequently become associated in the opening or concluding sentences of stories with processes of human induced global environmental change. In the case of the U.K. floods of autumn 2000, working group media participants explained how the climate change dimension of the story can be set within established domestic news frames, the patterns of decisions about media content that organize, shape, (and limit) interpretations (see, e.g., Entman, 1991, 1993) that are known to register with audiences. These might include: government competence, security of homes and insurance risks, and vulnerable social groups (working groups, Sustainability, 2001). The negotiation between correspondents and editors is a critical point in the mediation of climate change knowledge. It often centres on the degree to which the proposed stories fit with dominant news frames. These negotiations take place in the context of immense time pressures and acute surveillance of the performance of individual editors. While this can sometimes lead editors to commission pieces that will really stand out in their news programs (such as a piece from Antarctica or other exotic locales), the more general effect is to veer toward a conservative assessment of what senior colleagues and peers in other journalism outlets will also consider to be that day’s news. The result is very likely to be stories that satisfy editorial standards much more satisfactorily than they communicate the social or scientific reality or significance of an issue as understood by specialists. Media seminar participants have frequently acknowledged that there is the danger that the audience might be

1478 entertained without being informed (confirming Wilkins and Patterson’s (1990) account of the construction of unrepresentative and conflict-centred “debates” in the North American context of logging disputes). In the case of domestic flood stories and threats to Antarctic ice shelves climate change hazards have to meet editors’ expectations. One of the most prominent features of these is the influential but elusive principle of “news value.” News values are the fine-gauged sieve through which ideas must pass to have a chance of making it onto the running order of stories on a broadcast TV news bulletin. They are the organizing principle by which stories competing to win “slots” within the savage time and space constraints of news production are judged. News values are a long-established focus of the communications literature (e.g., Galtung & Ruge, 1965; Gans, 1979), and a recognized source of tension between good editorial practice and the communication of complexity. But the discussion of news values has also been an important focus of working group debate. Several specialists have reflected in the wake of seminars they have attended that the insights they have gained into news values have helped them understand the very uneven career of global environmental change, development, and sustainability issues in the media. News values are a blend of an editor’s intuition about audiences’ tastes and expectations, intelligence about what the competition (internal and external; print and broadcast) have rated as news that day, and of course, an assessment of the current of new events garnered from journalists in the field and the news wire services. For reasons already touched upon, climate change science and policy only infrequently satisfy them. The working group discussions relating to Mozambique and U.K. floods and the Antarctic ice shelf all triggered reflection on the intangibility, but also the centrality, of news values in shaping public understanding and debate. Dramatization of climate change through narratives of danger has allowed the issue to be represented in the context of disasters. Nevertheless, it has often been presented in terms that specialists would not have chosen, and that publics may not be able to work with. When trying to summarize in news stories the meaning of climate change for human societies the threat is expressed in dramatic terms that can be difficult for people to connect with the decisions about lifestyle and resource use that they make every day.5

Smith 6. FACTS AND BALANCE: THE MYTH OF DETACHMENT Editors have little chance or cause to pause to reflect on their practice, indeed the desire to create space for such assessment has been one of the driving principles of the seminar series, and is one reason for the BBC’s continuing support of it. Against a backdrop of intense time pressures and competition they gain promotion and keep top editorial jobs on the basis of largely informal peer review of their judgments about what is news and how it should be presented (Brown & McDonald, 2000, p. 67; Harrabin, 2000, p. 54; personal communications, J2, J3). News media professionals have often been charged with suffering from a “myth of detachment.” Specialist participants have challenged editors’ tendencies toward simplistic deployments of terms such as objectivity, neutrality, impartiality, and truth on several occasions (Sustainability, 1998, 2002; Risk, 2003). In these discussions the daily practice of news production was often described as the pursuit of truths: “it’s our job to find the facts and to present them to the public” (working groups, Risk, 2003). The confident assumption that there are facts to be found and communicated leaves editors poorly equipped to understand and negotiate the character of uncertainty within climate change science and policy, let alone facilitate exploration of the “postnormal” model of science and public participation that is increasingly emerging as an orthodoxy in science communication and that is proposed in Lorenzoni and Pidgeon’s (2004) review of the literature on climate change and danger. Disagreement about facts does not bar a story from getting on air. Far from it: but it will have to then conform to a rigid formula of presenting claim and counterclaim that is unsuited to the slowly unfolding exploration of narrowing bands of distribution of opinion that the science and policy of climate change implies (May, 2000, p. 18). This is in pursuit of another professional obligation: a commitment to balance and impartiality. As one experienced news decision maker puts it:
the trick with the BBC . . . is that we can say “here are the facts—unadulterated.” Where there is a political argument then we’ll try to make clear what the political arguments are. (working group, Risk, 2003)

This is a central conclusion of a recent review of climate change communications for the U.K. government (Futerra, 2005).

The BBC is not unusual in insisting on its journalistic impartiality, but Schlesinger’s (1987) study of the organization showed how the claim is deeply founded in its culture and history. Recent statements of purpose by the corporation emphasize this impartiality

Media Decision Making about Climate Change Risk (BBC, undated, 2005). In the context of an issue with any degree of uncertainty, there are particular rituals of journalistic balance that are repeated again and again. Boykoff and Boykoff (2004, pp. 125, 134) showed how reporting practices result in “balance as bias.” Their work concluded that “[t]he failed discursive translation between the scientific community and popular, mass-mediatized discourse is not random; rather the mis-translation is systematic and occurs for perfectly logical reasons rooted in journalistic norms, and values.” Yet Boykoff and Boykoff (2004) and others that have pinpointed the origin of the disproportionate representation of climate change sceptics/contrarians need to go further than the rituals of balance to understand editors’ reactions to climate change. When challenged about the limited nature of their climate change coverage editors are quick to see that the kind of purposeful social action demanded by the science and policy community carries them quickly out of questions about “good science” and into messy and editorially hazardous ethical-political terrain. In this terrain “facts,” claims, public interests, and values merge into one another. This was a persistent theme in working groups during seminars that explored the nature of the reporting challenge implied by the concept of sustainable development (Sustainability, 1998, 1999, 2001; WSSD, 2002). The symbiotic relationship between the career of climate change and the concept of sustainable development presents obstacles in the minds of editors. Discussions have shown a fear of being captured by the normative agenda implicit in sustainability discourses via, e.g., ethical commitments to future and distant generations, and the nonhuman natural world. As one journalist put it, to nods of assent from media colleagues: “you’ve got to understand this—we’re not here to tell the public how to behave—we’re there to tell them what’s happening” (MP, working group, WSSD, 2002). Following climate change and sustainable development debates demands patience from observers and commentators. These issues are run through with uncertainties across time and space, and interconnections between science, policy, and public and political reactions. Many of these characteristics are at odds with the daily practices of news journalism. This provokes those editors who accept they need to cover these issues more fully into a degree of frustrated resignation: “I see all this is important—but you’ve got to see where I’m coming from . . . I mean—where are

1479 the stories in all this?” (MP, working group, WSSD, 2002). There are signs from within the working groups at the seminars that those editorial decision makers who are sufficiently informed about climate change to appreciate the policy consequences of most mitigation and adaptation responses fear that to “buy-in” to climate change is to accept a predetermined set of value positions. Taking such a series of steps threatens not only the professional reputation of an editor but, in a highly fluid and insecure profession, his or her hard won position. Kasperson and Kasperson’s (1991, p. 10) observation that climate change is value threatening and an ideological hazard is as true of news editors as it is of anyone. Editors are very wary of values-based agendas, and insist that they are careful to avoid a close association between their outputs and a particular philosophical perspective on the world. Non-media participants have questioned this stance persistently. Comparisons have been drawn with the evident normative stance in editorial lines on terrorism, human rights, and child labour (Sustainability, 1999; WSSD, 2002; Real World 2, 2004). Participants, particularly, though not exclusively, those from NGOs, have gone further, charging the U.K. news media with uncritically promoting the globalization of a narrow Western model of democracy, neo-liberal commitments to free trade, or the right to unlimited fossil-fuelled personal mobility (plenary, Real World 1, 2004; working group, Real World 2, 2004). While there are signs that editors view “the facts about climate change” as something they should communicate to publics (e.g., Risk, plenary, 2003; working groups, Real World 1, 2004), they are, to the frustration of many of the specialist participants, much more cautious about their role in signalling societal/policy paths in response to them. The program of seminars was founded with the purpose of shared learning between the media and specialist participants. To this point the article has tended to emphasize the diagnosis of problems within media culture and practice in the handling of climate change. However, this distinctive body of dialogues has forced specialists to acknowledge their own ignorance of media practice, and accept the very real constraints and pressures facing media decision makers. The seminars have pointed to a number of ways of working within these that might result in more effective public understanding and debate of climate change and other pressing risks, and these are the subjects of the concluding section.

1480 7. CONCLUSION: “TELLING THE 360 DEGREES OF A STORY” The media are indispensable to any attempt to answer a key challenge put by Lorenzoni and Pidgeon (2004), that is, what might it mean for people to hear about and discuss climate in such a way that they decide to behave “dutifully”? Climate change is perhaps the most dramatic illustration of a radically reviewed model of human environment interactions that assumes the interconnectedness of humans and their environments. Specialists from the social sciences have argued in the working groups (Sustainability, 1999; WSSD, 2002; Risk, 2003) that climate change reporting can contribute to a progressive loosening of the stark division between nature and society that has dominated contemporary representations. These participants have emphasized how anthropogenic climate change is a very potent illustration of the principle of co-production of nature and culture. Climate change science and policy confirms the inextricable interconnectedness of natural and social worlds at precisely the point when, in Beck’s (2000) words, politics “escapes” from the categories of the nation-state. Media participants have acknowledged that new thinking and approaches are needed. The seminars have worked to appraise methodological, organizational, and technological developments within the broadcast media that might overcome some of the substantial obstacles that this body of conversations has revealed. While the particularities of the case of the BBC need to be acknowledged, these discussions are of wide relevance for any consideration of media performance on complex and urgent but “difficult to report” issues. The new politics of environmental change needs new resources to base stories around. Discussion of new metrics of environmental risk and responsibility, such as ecological footprinting and sustainability indicators, has succeeded in catching the attention of news decision makers when they have been presented at seminars (Sustainability, 1999, 2001; WSSD, 2002).6 In the case of climate change attempts to contextually define “danger” in space and time, for example,

Smith via the mapping/tracking of impact hotspots as Lorenzoni and Pidgeon (2004) suggest, and insurance risks (Hoeppe, 2004), might satisfy news values on a regular basis. In such cases the climate change science and policy community would be taking more control of the representation of, for example, floods and storms to ensure that exaggeration or ignorance of possible climate change links is reduced. But at the same time such materials promise to give a consistent frame of reference for understanding the interconnections between individual actions and global environmental consequences that might at first sight seem incomprehensible, dis-empowering, or improbable to the public. There are also technological developments that promise to contribute to richer storytelling and more prominent and fuller expression of diverse public voices. One of these is an increased interest in finding a new depth in storytelling about everyday lives, for example, through diary styles and “360 degree storytelling” (Richard Sambrook, plenary intervention, Real World 1, 2004). These new televisual forms (or reinvigorations of old ones) are made more affordable and more direct and engaging through advances in production and broadcast technologies, including multichannel and interactive digital TV, and linked web initiatives, and increasingly cheap and unobtrusive filming and editing technologies. These are able to offer varying depths of coverage to diverse audiences, and enable greater interactivity—including the possibility for a campaigning voice such as the BBC’s iCan webpages (BBC, iCan) or, in the case of their Springwatch programming and webpages, an opportunity to participate in scientific practice (BBC, Springwatch). While changes in the media landscape are fragmenting audiences, and diluting the influence of flagship news programs as a collective experience, a wider range of opportunities are opening up for different kinds of news tailored to a range of audiences and platforms. Instances of programming that blurs the boundaries between news/current affairs and other broadcast categories, in the form of drama documentaries and programs based around expert and/or citizen deliberation, offer further opportunities for engaging publics in understanding and debate of climate change risks. The capacity to build future scenarios and to represent affective dimensions as well as “the facts” has been recognized in working group discussion as holding the potential to more fully represent “the dance between affect and reason” (Finucane et al., 2003) that runs through the perception and deliberation of risks (Slovic et al., 2004).

However, it is worth noting that their curiosity has not translated into substantial or prominent coverage when sustainable development indicators figures have later been released. TV and radio news coverage of the publication of the U.K. government’s sustainable development indicators has at least twice been knocked out of prominent slots, or off programs altogether, by late-breaking news (personal communications, J1).

Media Decision Making about Climate Change Risk One vital area in which progress can be made lies not in the hands of the media but rather with the science and policy community. Editors and specialist journalists have consistently proposed that one of the most important roles science and policy sources can play is as a persistent source of ideas, advice, and critical feedback relating to climate change storytelling. Editors acknowledged in several seminars that they receive little exposure to external feedback and are sensitive to it. Over seven years they have frequently pointed out that specialists have a capacity to shift the centre of gravity of reporting of an issue through emails, letters, and calls that is rarely used. Hence one of the most important conclusions of this extended dialogue may be one of the most straightforward to act upon: specialists need to be more available and more assertive in relation to what may come to be seen as the century’s biggest story. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The full and careful comments of the anonymous referees greatly improved the article. Peter Hoeppe, Jacquie Burgess, Anabela Carvalho, Irene Lorenzoni, and Nick Pidgeon, and other participants’ thoughtful comments on the article at, or after, the International Workshop on Dangerous Climate Change are also gratefully acknowledged. The seminars that have provided the bulk of the empirical material that this article was based on have been funded by the BBC, BG group, DEFRA, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and WWF U.K. Workshop and interview transcription has been funded by the Open University’s Geography Discipline. REFERENCES
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The BBC’s Black Propaganda Offensive


The BBC, under Chris Patten’s leadership, in defiance of its promises and all expectations of it living up to its ideals, has developed a new strategy to defend its unique political and ‘commercial’ dominance….and in doing so has abandoned all pretence of working in the public interest and encouraging the public’s trust.


‘Kevin Marsh, Editor of the BBC College of journalism (not since 2011) stood before a class of around 40 students at the LSE Summer School and shared his experiences at the BBC – an organisation that stands as an inspiration for journalists around the world for the ethics and qualitative reporting it supports.

Finally, Marsh argued the case for the BBC, emphasizing the aspect of the public purpose of journalism.

“Truth and Accuracy, Impartiality, Independence, public interest and accountability” – stand as the founding principles of journalism at the BBC”.
He reinforced the fact that the BBC continues to religiously follow these principles of journalism. For me the most pertinent aspect of the talk revolved around the existence, the exploration and the persistent fight for the discipline of journalism.’


How times have changed at the BBC.

This morning listening to 5Live I heard the usual news and a balanced piece on the Newsnight fiasco by Torin Douglas…..the BBC then wheeled on a man named Tim Crook…..Senior Lecturer in Media Law & Ethics, Goldsmiths, University of London….who also happens to be a visiting lecturer on media law to BBC Training and College of Journalism since 1982.

His parting words were these:

‘They need to have a leadership that when mistakes happen they are managed not just on journalistic terms but on political and propaganda terms.’

It would seem the BBC have rapidly assimilated his ideas, put them into practise and are presently engaged in a highly political and commercial black propaganda campaign, if not ‘war’ with politicians and with, in particular, News Corporation.

Let’s see just how impartial Crook is…a man who actually lectures BBC staff at its own college, on media law and ethics……..

Tim Crook [email protected]
I have been trying to analyse and defend the BBC position on BBC Five Live Morning Report 9 mins 43 secs in …

Pretty clear where he stands.


The BBC Trust under the chairmanship of Chris Patten has announced that it will ‘get a grip’ of the BBC and work to rekindle public trust in the organisation.

What has it done to further that ambition?  It has admitted its journalism was seriously at fault, it has paid off George Entwistle, removed a few senior managers from the frontline and engaged in some inquiries.
That is the ‘mea culpa’ public face of the BBC which Patten is using to try and claim he is turning the organisation around.

Is that all that the BBC is doing?  Having heard Crook this morning a few other things started clicking into place and a pattern emerged from the smokescreen that was being laid by the BBC Trust.

That pattern indicated something that tells us that nothing has changed at the BBC and that far from accepting any ‘guilt’ they are playing the ‘victim card’ and claiming the BBC is the victim of political and commercial attacks……essentially a rerun of Hutton.

This was reinforced when I heard the Today programme where they wheeled on Phil Harding, the BBC’s former director of editorial policy, who said:

“Mistakes have been made in journalism everywhere, but we have to keep a sense of proportion…..There are some people in the press who love to give the BBC a good kicking because they don’t believe in its existence in the first place.”











This is from the BBC who engaged, in collusion with the Labour Party, in particular Tom Watson, and the Guardian, in an all out assault on one of their commercial and ideological rivals, News International, in an attempt to destroy it…. And which cost over 300 jobs and has seen 100 NI employees in the dock.

In response to The Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh saying, quite reasonably, that the BBC was an organisation that presented a left wing view of the world and that the Newsnight programme was an attempt to smear the Tories whilst it wouldn’t have done the same to a Labour Peer, the BBC’s Harding claimed that was an ‘outrageous slur’.

He had just said he wanted to engage in discussion about the BBC….but as usual the BBC want to fix the terms of any debate and limit what can be said.

Talking about Leveson and ‘Press freedom’ Kavanagh said that Newsnight showed that Broadcasters were as capable of getting it wrong as newspapers were….and should come therefore under the same scrutiny as newspapers.

Harding replied that:  ‘Yes the BBC had made mistakes but we must keep a sense of proportion.  If we keep giving the BBC a kicking it will undermine  confidence in the BBC’s journalism and in journalism as a whole.’

Jim Naughtie added that: ‘There’s a danger of us all being pulled down if there’s too much mud slinging.’

I don’t remember such a reaction when News International was in the dock.

Kavanagh went on to say that the BBC had an institutional bias towards the liberal left and the BBC was unable to recognise this in itself…it had an ‘inbuilt lip curl directed with contempt towards anyone it disagreed with.’ and that the BBC would not have broadcast Newsnight had it of been a Labour peer instead of a Tory one…it was ‘wishful thinking rather than bad journalism’ that led to this disaster for the BBC.

Harding jumped in and claimed that was an ‘outrageous slur’…and that we are ‘maybe getting to the real agenda…not what mistakes in its journalism the BBC makes but whether it is too big and bloated, whether the BBC has institutional bias and whether it is too left wing…..if we’re going to have that debate let’s have it but don’t dress it up as looking at BBC mistakes.’

Harding and Naughtie provided a united front defending the BBC and adopting the BBC’s new stance in its defence….that it has made one mistake and that this is being used by politicians and its Press rivals to attack it.

This approach has obviously been ‘agreed’ at the highest level.  The BBC has held an emergency summit in which a new strategy has been thrashed out and put into operation.  This must have been signed off by Patten.

Not only have various ‘talking heads’ been brought in by the BBC to bolster their defence but as we can see Patten himself has taken up the cudgel in the BBC’s defence adopting that very strategy…of blaming politicians and other media organisations…or rather just  Murdoch…..

I don’t think Lord Patten helped himself by repeatedly attacking Rupert Murdoch during his round of media interviews this morning (see Spectator report).

Chris Patten has just appeared on the Andrew Marr Show to discuss the resignation of George Entwistle and to evaluate its fallout. Patten conceded that the BBC is mired in a mess of its own making and that it was inevitably under pressure as a result. He opened a media war while defending the BBC’s independence, saying that the corporation was ‘bound to be under fire from Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers’ and sceptical (Tory) MPs, adding later in the interview that Murdoch’s papers would be happy to see the BBC diminished.
And he renewed his assault on the Murdoch press, saying: ‘I’m not going to take my marching orders from Mr Murdoch’s newspaper.’ ‘

The warm up to this has been going on a few days…on the Daily Politics the BBC held a debate between ex Murdoch man Neil Wallis and Lawyer Charlotte Harris who have been sparring over the future of press regulation.
They both made an authored film for the Daily Politics, and have appeared in two TV debates together, which can all be seen on this page.
Charlotte Harris represents victims of phone hacking and has called for more regulation, while Neil Wallis argues that illegal actions of journalists are already covered by existing rules.’
I would suggest that the BBC’s favoured position is that proposed by Neil Wallis….I believe that they had absolutely no interest in ‘press regulation’ and are just as worried about Leveson’s rulings as Murdoch might be.  I think the BBC have the fullest intention of sidelining the victims of the hacking scandal and used that purely as a means to attack Murdoch….which it succeeded in doing.

Murdoch himself of course does have an interest in seeing the BBC brought under control…as he has tweeted recently:

Rupert Murdoch [email protected]
BBC mess gives Cameron golden opportunity properly reorganize great public broadcaster. Fast inquiry to Include both critics and supporters.

Neil Wallis said this….which is pretty much what seems to be the new BBC line….no press regulation as it is the thin end of the wedge….
Neil Wallis [email protected]
My blog on press freedom, based on the script of my BBC2 Daily Politics film today, is on front page of the Huff Post!

Make no mistake,  statutory regulation means state regulation and is the thin end of the wedge. Ignore the apologists who protest the changes they seek are inconsequential. Who brings in, draws up, and enacts the statutes they seek? Politicians, of course.
And once in place, those self-same politicians will be free in years to come to amend, adjust, tweak, ratify, clarify, fix, CENSOR those press laws to silence all those questions and inquiries they don’t want to answer.
A free press does make mistakes, gets things – including its behaviour – wrong. That can hurt – but the alternative is worse. To paraphrase, democracy is the worst kind of government… until you consider all the others. It is the same with a free press and self-regulation.
Let them steal it at your peril.

The above is a longer version of an authored TV film by Neil Wallis broadcast on the Daily Politics programme on BBC2 on Thursday 8 November 2012.

8 November 2012 Last updated at 12:51 Help
Former newspaper editor Neil Wallis, said “an unsavoury alliance” of celebrities, lawyers and politicians were getting together to limit press regulation for their own interests.
But he said new press laws would give MPs a press they could control, and allow politicians to silence questions they did not want to answer.

But let’s remember who Neil Wallis is….apart from an ex Murdoch man what else has he done since?….he ran the PR spin campaign for the University of East Anglia’s CRU after ‘ClimateGate’…….suddenly stories of Prof Phil Jones getting death threats appeared in the papers and similar tales of woe intended to generate public sympathy were manufactured to support the CRU’s climate change ideology.

The BBC have even dragged in their old sparring partner Labour’s Alistair Campbell to support them…in news bulletins he is quoted saying:  ‘the BBC must be defended and not reduced in size or effectiveness….other media which are attacking the BBC have vested interests in doing so.’

So again we have that same posturing…a BBC under threat from ‘dark forces’….as Harding said : “Mistakes have been made in journalism everywhere, but we have to keep a sense of proportion….There are some people in the press who love to give the BBC a good kicking because they don’t believe in its existence in the first place.”

I think it might be wise to remember that Campbell is practically employed by the BBC which relentlessly plugged his book as well as using him to front many of their programmes.

This all comes together to point to a coherent and deliberate plan to spike any attempt to force the BBC to change other than on its own terms.  It has no intention of being held to account by anyone and believes in its own sanctity…it believes it is beyond the reach of the temporal world almost….practically a religion…indeed the journalists there I think, see themselves as the new priesthood issuing forth guidelines to the lesser mortals who otherwise wouldn’t be capable of living their lives in a moral and ethical manner, as defined by the BBC….and as such the BBC are themselves beyond reproach and unaccountable to anyone.

The BBC Trust is acting in a way that is directly in opposition to the rationale for its existence and the rules it is supposed to enforce.
It is, far from admitting any mistakes or innate, wilfully partial tendencies at the BBC,  reinforcing and defending such an attitude on behalf of the journalists and is failing utterly in its role as defender of the Public interest.

The Trust has deliberately engaged in a campaign of black propaganda not just against other media organisations but against politicians, government and the judiciary.

The BBC has tried to set itself up as untouchable and so precious to the nation that to attempt to control it or rein it in in any way will lead to the end of democracy as we know it.

What this demonstrates is that the BBC is betraying the trust placed in it by the Public and are solely concerned with defending their own political, commercial social, cultural and ideological positions.

The BBC is all about trust, openness and accountability, if it no longer operates to such standards and works in a way that is solely in its own interest, pushing a political message rather than acting to inform debate then it has lost its reason to be ‘special’ and uniquely funded….as it does nothing that a commercial station couldn’t do and probably do better and cheaper……

This existential crisis exists because there’s no longer any ideological reason to keep the BBC around, so every argument about its power has to focus on its practical ability to do good. If the BBC can’t keep to the extraordinarily high standards the British public has for it, it may be beginning a slow and painful journey to privatization like other nationalized British industries before it.’

It might also be worthwhile challenging the definition of what exactly  ‘for purposes of journalism, art or entertainment’ means exactly.…for everything the BBC does is aimed to those ends…and therefore subject to that qualification in the FOI Act.  How can it be open and transparent if it can so easily hide away its dirty secrets?

Back to BBC supporter Tim Crook (at 9 mins 45 secs in )….here is the full transcript of his broadcast on behalf of the BBC this morning… that ticks most boxes in the BBC box of tricks….Austerity, Hutton, Murdoch.

First some tweets to add some colour to the picture:

Tim Crook [email protected]
It would be awful if Helen Boaden turned out to be the best Director General the BBC never had

Tim Crook [email protected]
Seems to me politicians think they own the BBC & decide what happens next there & elsewhere in journalism. That’s not democracy surely?

Tim Crook [email protected]
I’d make Helen Boaden DG- and Kevin Marsh as Director of Journalism- Journalism needs ascendency, independence & investment at BBC

The transcript:

‘George Entwistle was pulled down by not being able to marshal the BBC to cope with this new aggressive political tactic which is to take one mistake made by a media organisation and expand it out as if it is a general issue and an extremely important problem.

It started in a big way with ‘HackGate’ and that’s how Leveson came about.  I think politicians in recent years have learned how to deflect, to throw up smoke screens and attack journalism and the media.
Particularly at a time when journalism and the media are particularly vulnerable.…vulnerable because of Austerity because multi media organisations are struggling to find an economic model for digitisation and there is an evacuation of key advertising to the Internet.

The BBC has been substantially vulnerable since Hutton when a New labour government employed classic propaganda techniques to humble it.
that was combined with judicial public enquiry where the terms of reference were politically and narrowly defined.
So I think we’re seeing an ongoing repetition of a growth of political power on the part of politicians against the Media.

Recently the BBC has been a casualty of that.
The problem for the BBC is that it is owned by the Public but is more harshly shackled to the political world than It has been in the past.  The Chairman is a Conservative politician at a time when we have a Conservative/Lib/Dem Coalition and I think that’s a key issue.

I think the BBC is in a process of necessity but it is learning a desperately hard lesson.  Not only the BBC but any newspaper organisation now has learned that they are under attack and are vulnerable to the Legislature, the Executive and Judiciary.
They need to be much more disciplined, they need to be more politically savvy.
They need to have a full understanding of the political ground as well as the journalistic infrastructure and culture of their own organisation.
They need to have a leadership that when mistakes happen they are managed not just on journalistic terms but on political and propaganda terms.’


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OOOOOPs! Out Of Africa


Bad Timing or what!!!   The BBC’s Martin Plaut  opens up…..Guido has the low down

Who or what do you hate and why?
Tories. As Aneurin Bevan said: ‘No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.’


Ich Bin Kentishtowner: Martin Plaut, BBC Journalist & Author

Martin Plaut was born and raised in Cape Town. He left South Africa after the Soweto uprising of 1976, planning to return. But he met and married a British girl and has lived in the UK ever since. He has worked on Africa for the Labour Party and the BBC, writing widely on the subject. His latest book is ‘Who Rules South Africa?’ with Paul Holden. He is also the proud author of the Hamster of Hampstead Heath – available from Daunt books, Hampstead.

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