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On Wednesday, the BBC Trust issued a press release explaining that it was going to carry out a review to assess the accuracy and impartiality of the BBC’s coverage of science.
It went on to explain that it is a key priority for the Trust that the BBC covers potentially controversial subjects with due impartiality, as required by the Royal Charter and Agreement.
Richard Tait, BBC Trustee and Chair of the Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee (ESC) explained:
“Science is an area of great importance to licence fee payers, which provokes strong reaction and covers some of the most sensitive editorial issues the BBC faces.
“Heated debate in recent years around topics like climate change, GM crops and the MMR vaccine reflects this, and BBC reporting has to steer a course through these controversial issues while remaining impartial.
“The BBC has a well-earned reputation for the quality of its science reporting, but it is also important that we look at it afresh to ensure that it is adhering to the very high standards that licence fee payers expect.”
I can’t believe Tait kept a straight face when he wrote that. When it comes to climate change the BBC is not impartial. It admitted so itself in a BBC Trust report called “From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel: Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century” when it included this:
The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus.
It went on to claim that “dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard” but the output on television and radio has clearly shown that such occasions are very few and far between. Even when they do make it to the airwaves, those people from outside the cosy, man made global warming (MMGW) consensus who are invited to speak are always opposed by another guest. Guests from the MMGW consensus are almost always able to speak without someone being allowed to offer a counter view.
So just what does the BBC Trust think there is to assess? We can expect one of two things; either a report that is hushed up in the same way the Balen Report was, or a self congratulatory publication declaring a clean bill of health and stating that the BBC is a bastion of impartiality. The institutional bias of the corporation and its activist editors will remain untouched, funded by and to the detriment of the licence fee payers.