Last Sunday the BBC Radio 4 programme “the Westminster Hour” had a ‘discussion’ about climate change. The presenter casually said words to the effect “of course, there’s a lot of debate/uncertainty about this”. This, of course, is nonsense, but sadly typical of arts graduates (I speak as one).
I complained – here’s the screengrab. Below it find the “response” from them. Condescending* drivel and clearly nonsense, and (deliberately?) missing the point – I wasn’t complaining about the UKIP guy who was on. I was complaining about the BBC anchordroid and her factual inaccuracy. How do they sleep? What will they tell their children?
Dear Mr Hudson
Thank you for contacting us regarding ‘The Westminster Hour’ broadcast on 16 February.
I understand that you were left angered at remarks made by Carolyn Quinn regarding the issue of climate change.
Although I recognise your concerns, I can assure you that we are committed to impartial and balanced coverage when it comes to this issue.
There is broad scientific agreement on the issue of climate change and we reflect this accordingly; however, we do aim to ensure that we also offer time to the dissenting voices. [This of course (deliberately?} misses the point. I was NOT objecting to the presence of the UKIP guy, but the factually incorrect statement by the presenter!]
Flagship BBC programmes such as Newsnight, Today and our network news bulletins on BBC One have all included contributions from those who challenge the general scientific consensus recently and we will continue to offer time to such views on occasion
You might be interested in the views of former Newsnight editor, Peter Barron, who explored this issue in an online posting at our Editors’ Blog and explained some of the editorial issues it throws up:
Again I appreciate that this is something you feel strongly about and to that end I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your concerns on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that’s made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, programme makers, channel controllers and other senior managers.
The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.
Thank you once again for taking the trouble to share your views with us.
* True, they are repaying like with like.