It seems that we were not the only ones to be alarmed by the serious errors on the front page of The Australian last week. ABC Media Watch explores journalist Jamie Walker’s illogical and fact-free rampage, identifying severe shortcomings in his story and any support for the conclusion that, “Report undercuts PM’s reef wipeout”.
As we blogged last week, there was no such report or conclusion by AIMS scientists. In a continuation of The Australian’s war on science, it appears that the truth again has been the first casualty.
Media Watch does an excellent job of checking sources and exposing the poor reporting by the Australian. And the conclusion is pretty clear. In the words of AIMS Director Dr Ian Poiner,
“Based on… rigorous peer-reviewed research, AIMS has found that the science is pointing to potentially severe consequences for the Great Barrier Reef from climate change. Current observations of the state of the Reef this year do not contradict this.”
Media Watch seem to hit the nail squarely on the head:
Yes Jamie, but your views – which aren’t shared by the scientists you’re quoting – don’t belong in a news story.
The Australian’s opinion pages have openly favoured climate change sceptics for years. That’s the paper’s right.
But this sort of reporting – and it’s by no means the first example – entrenches scepticism, shall we say, about The Australian’s ability to separate its news coverage from its editorial views.
Click here for the full transcript. I wonder if Andrew Bolt will have anything to say on the matter?