Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ABC's biased timeline

ABC sent us a copy of the "Independent" complaints review panel (ICRP) report into our complaints about ABC online feature "A journey through climate history". Remarkably the report found the presentation was indeed biased "Therefore, individual material and its links can lack impartiality in its presentation."
Sarc on - Yes our climate timeline is as biased and unbalanced as a Kerry O'Brien interview, but what are you going to do about it? Send a complaint to the "I"CRP? Sarc off
Due to FOI legislation we can't even request information used to produce the presentation. Remember this was put together using tax payers dollars.
Unbelievably ABC "I"CRP did not uphold the complaint as it claimed that the rest of ABC's climate coverage is balanced (even ABC's Chairman Maurice Newman  disputes this). ABC somehow even believes that its audience members will take the time to read and understand the implications of the presentation's fine print: "Whilst the ABC cannot guarentee the accuracy of information external to the timeline, we have endeavoured to provide accurate and relevant links wherever possible". With 7 errors already noted ABC can't even get its timeline right, let alone the links, none of which are critical of the IPCC's position.
We argued that the links for the feature page on the medieval warm period, that ABC initially placed in the wrong year, were biased. We did not request that the ABC remove these links, simply that they add one that provides an alternate viewpoint inline with ABC's commitment to impartiality. This was  CO2 science's Medieval Warm Period Project that has collated over 500 studies that demonstrate world wide effects of the MWP.  However Groupthinking ABC public servants have left its audience with three highly biased references-Real Climate, Wikipedia and a blog piece that features the debunked hockey stick graph. None of these now even support ABC's text that had to be amended following errors identified in our initial complaint.
We now invite readers to take a closer look at ABC's presentation and if they find further errors, please take the time to inform the ABC about them.

Update: ABC claimed its timeline didn't count as news so could not be assessed under section 5 of its editorial policies. If our complaint had been assessed under section 5 ABC would have been upheld the complaint as the ICRP agrees the timeline is biased. Here are a few more non news timelines recently posted by the ABC as news:
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