Catalyst - 16 August 2007
A viewer complained about a Catalyst story which dealt with the discovery of the Tiktaalik fossil on Ellesmere Island. The report made references to "a time [400 million years ago] when all living creatures lived and breathed in water", and references to the air above water being "poison" and "toxic" at the time. The complainant pointed out that there were living creatures on land in the Early Devonian period and also noted that the air was not “toxic” at the time.
The ABC acknowledged that the two aspects of the story noted by the complainant were inaccurate. Catalyst should have referred to "all limbed vertebrates" rather than "all creatures" and references to “toxic” air should not have been included in the program. A correction was added to the transcript of the story on the Catalyst website. A complaint handling breach was also recorded as the complainant did not receive a response within the statutory 60 day period.