Monday, May 3, 2010

Oz Yellow cake in Antarctic!

Update reply recievced 6 June 2010: see below
Score +1

ABC HEADLINE: "Australian uranium dust found in Antarctic ice" Online 3 May 2010
ABC REPORTED: ABC covered claims by a Chilean researcher that uranium dust was found in ice core from the Antarctic Peninsula. The report states: "An ice core from the Antarctic bears traces of uranium that may have been carried by the wind from Australian mines in 1995, a glacier expert has told a Chilean newspaper.
The minuscule amounts of the radioactive element "correspond to a year (1995) when Australia increased its uranium production," Ricardo Jana, who participates in an international research effort in the frozen continent, told El Mercurio daily."
THE COMPLAINT: The headline overstates the certainty of the proposition made by the researcher. It also fails to take into account alternate sources of the uranium such as Uranium mines in South America including new Uranium discoveries in Chile (HERE) and Argentina (HERE) . As such the report lacks balance and contains factual errors. The result is shallow sensationalism.
Received 6 June 2010
Thank you for your email regarding ABC News Online.
Yours concerns of inaccuracy and a lack of balance have been referred to Audience and Consumer Affairs for review.  The unit is separate to and independent from ABC program areas.
On review, ABC News accepts that the headline to the report in question overstated the certainty that uranium dust found in Antarctica came from Australia. The headline has been changed to ‘Uranium in Antarctic ice may be from Australia’,  and an editor’s note has been appended to the story:  The headline did not meet the ABC’s standards for accuracy in news and current affairs content.
However, we are satisfied that the story was in keeping with the ABC’s standards for balance.  It was a brief news story reporting the findings of  scientists from the Chilean Antarctic Institute that uranium found in Antarctic dust may be from Australia; as such it reported the views from Dr Ricardo Jana.    We do not believe that further perspectives were required to be included in order to meet the requirements of the ABC’s Editorial Policies; Dr Jana was the principal relevant viewpoint on the subject to hand.    
For your reference, the ABC’s Code of Practice is available at:

Yours sincerely
Audience & Consumer Affairs

COMMENT: Another example of poor journalism.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep to the topic. Abusive comments and bad language are simply not tolerated. Note that your comment may take a little while to appear.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.