Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Climate documentary 'broke rules' or Not ?

The BBC says :

The Great Global Warming Swindle, a controversial Channel 4 film, broke Ofcom rules, the media regulator says. In a long-awaited judgement, Ofcom says Channel 4 did not fulfil obligations to be impartial and to reflect a range of views on controversial issues. The film also treated interviewees unfairly, but did not mislead audiences “so as to cause harm or offence”. Plaintiffs say the Ofcom judgement is “inconsistent” and “lets Channel 4 off the hook on a technicality.”

But as McIntyre points out :

Ofcom, the U.K. television regulator, has rendered a remarkable decision. People interested in what was actually decided will, unfortunately, have to consult the original judgment at Ofcom, rather than the BBC accounts (here, here) of the judgment.


Ofcom summarized their judgement as follows:

In summary, in relation to the manner in which facts in the programme were presented, Ofcom is of the view that the audience of this programme was not materially misled in a manner that would have led to actual or potential harm. The audience would have been in no doubt that the programme’s focus was on scientific and other arguments which challenged the orthodox theory of man-made global warming. Regardless of whether viewers were in fact persuaded by the arguments contained in the programme, Ofcom does not believe that they could have been materially misled as to the existence and substance of these alternative theories and opinions, or misled as to the weight which is given to these opinions in the scientific

Ofcom considers that, although the programme may have caused viewers to challenge the consensus view that human activity is the main cause of global warming, there is no evidence that the programme in itself did, or would, cause appreciable potential harm to members of the public …

Channel 4, however, had the right to show this programme provided it remained within the Code and – despite certain reservations – Ofcom has determined that it did not breach Rule 2.2. On balance it did not materially mislead the audience so as to cause harm or offence.

Not in breach of Rule 2.2.

Ofcom Decision: A Humiliating Defeat for Bob Ward and the Myles Allen 37

So who's right? both?

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