Pack Journalism

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23 Feb 07



Pack Journalism

11 Feb 07 - News coverage on the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was some of the worst journalism I've seen in a long time.

It was due largely to a disease that inflicts journalists from time to time — an illness known as pack journalism. .

Like dogs, journalists sometimes behave differently in large packs, following each others behaviour with such wild abandon they forget some of the fundamentals of journalism.

We rely on reporters not only to give us the facts, but to also give us context, clarification and balance.

Sadly, this did not happen when the IPCC released its report earlier this month. Rather than question how the report was penned, what role government operatives — not scientists — played in writing the "consensus" document, reporters simply regurgitated the spin.

They reported as fact that humans were causing global warming and that if we don't drastically change our ways, we're headed for some type of global catastrophe.

In reality, the idea that humans are causing global warming is not a fact, it's a theory.

When I read or watch coverage of something like the release of the IPCC report, I want to know what the report says, what the proponents of it have to say and what it may mean for the world. But I also want to read what scientists with an opposing or different view have to say.

And from what I read and saw on the release of this report, the other side got no coverage.

I'm not a scientist. I have no idea if humans are responsible for some, most or all of global warming — or none at all.

But I do know there's a pretty healthy debate on it by scientists who actually study this stuff.

And I'm not talking about unqualified frog counters like David Suzuki, either.

I'm talking about scientists who are knowledgeable in the field.

I wanted to hear from them. I wanted the other side of the story and I didn't get it.

The mainstream media let me down.

See full article by Tom Brodbeck in the Winnipeg Sun
Thanks to John Z for this link




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