Thursday, March 11, 2010

ABC Blinded By "GroupThink" Claims Chairman

ABC chairman Maurice Newman on why he believes the Australia media in general, and to a less defined degree ABC news and current affairs, has been intolerant of climate change doubters. Newman blamed "GroupThink".

Excerpts from an interview on ABC's PM :
"The media hasn't been good at picking these things up and it's really been the question of what is conventional wisdom and consensus rather than listening perhaps to other points of view that may be sceptical.

"And I brought in as well in that vain what's been going on in climate change where there's been clearly a point of view which has been prevailing in the mainstream media, and the fact that again perhaps consensus and conventional wisdom may not always stand us in good stead.

"I think the ABC has probably been more balanced than most in the mainstream media. I think that we've listened to the words of sceptics as well as those who are scientists in the field.

"But climate change is at the moment an emotional issue but it really is the fundamental issue about the need to bring voices that have authority and are relevant to the particular issue to the attention of our audiences so that they themselves can make decisions. So that we are seen to trust and respect them sufficiently that they can make up their own minds about the various points of view that are being expressed through the medium of the ABC.

"....I still have an open mind on climate change, I have an open mind on a whole range of issues because I think that to have a closed mind leaves you in a position where if you take a strong stance you are likely to be wrong-footed.

"I think that what seems fairly clear to me is that the climate science is still being developed. There are a lot question marks about some of the fundamental data which has been used to build models that requires caution."
The Full Interview Is Here

Crikey publisher Eric Beecher :
With just one speech, the ABC’s chairman has returned the national broadcaster to the days of having a politically interventionist board running a culture wars agenda — and he has done it by trashing the editorial independence of some of this country’s finest journalists.