Wednesday, 13 October 2010

World Service only half biased

With comparative lightning speed the World Service's One Planet have responded to the point I made last week. It seems we have to follow the whole series to see impartiality. I was expecting an answer like that. This episode shows up how awkward it is to monitor the question of impartiality. Perhap's the Editor's response could be paraphrased as "this was only half biased."  More thoughts to follow. Here's what he has to say:

Many thanks for your email, I always appreciate it when people take the time to write into the One Planet team.

I was aware that the interview with Professor Lindzen would open up the show to criticism from many people. But I do think it was right to speak with him. It's not often that we interview a climate change denier on the show (reflecting the fact that it remains a minority view among scientists), but it would be wrong of us to simply ignore the issue or pretend it doesn't exist. That does no one any favours as it fuels talk of conspiracies and cover ups. I believe it's much better to reveal the arguments being made on both sides, and allow listeners to make their
own choice. As you clearly have done.

I don't think anyone could accuse One Planet of giving equal time to those who do not believe in man-made climate change. And during the interview, Mike made a number of references to the fact that Professor Lindzen's view is in the minority. If - over the course of the One Planet series - you balance this show against the many other programmes which involve interviews with scientists, academics and politicians who strongly believe in the dangers posed by climate change, I believe One Planet offers a fair and impartial examination of the subject.

All the very best,
Steven Duke
Editor, One Planet

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