Monday, May 21, 2012

ABC's flawed DT reporting Part 2

Australian Climate Madness has an update on ABC's flawed death threat reports.
It seems the story has been updated somewhat, with the following editorial comment added to one of its stories:
UPDATE (May 21st) The release of these emails under Freedom of Information followed reports last year that ANU scientists had received death threats. Climate change sceptics have claimed that the released emails contradict suggestions that any death threats were received, but a spokesperson for the ANU says the university is standing by its claims that death threats were received. Questions have also been raised about whether one of the released emails did, in fact, constitute a threat to use a gun, with a person involved in the kangaroo culling program claiming the comments were made by him, and were in no way intended as a threat.

We asked Alan Sunderland over the weekend (ABC's Head of News Policy) what happened to a similar story ABC posted on May 16 that also claimed:
that released emails " include an email describing a physical threat to use a gun against an academic because the conference participant reportedly disagreed with the climate change research."  (The released emails and subsequent reporting shows this is utter BS).

Here's Alan's response received this evening (Thanks Alan):
As far as I can tell, based on advice from Radio Australia, the story wasn't pulled, but it may have been affected by a technical glitch as there are currently some problems with elements of the Radio Australia redesigned site.

Certainly, the same story appears to have been posted to two different places on the Radio Australia site:-

The first one has been up continuously; the second one seems to have a broken link at the moment. But in one place or another, the story remained live on the RA site, as it did on our main site.

Furthermore, in the light of the ongoing controversy over elements of the details, and the contested views put forward about aspects of the story, it has now been updated to provide further information.

The fundamental point, however, remains the same: the ANU reported a year ago that it had received death threats and other abusive and/or threatening messages, and they have confirmed that they stand by this despite the release of the recent emails. 

As ACM point out it seems those "Sceptics" include privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim!

Score +1

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