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Global Warming: The Melting of Media Credibility?

Climate change. I have also known about it and occasionally will hear about it, but that is where my knowledge ends. I had never knew that the issue was also heavily influenced by the media itself. For some of us, our opinions on such issues as climate change are ultimately shaped by the media’s coverage, often influenced heavily by politics and finances. So if the media says it is nothing to worry about, should we really worry?

Currently, 97% of research and climate scientists, as well as every major institute of science agree that indeed global warming is happening and is continuing to increase due to human activity (Farrant, Holmes and Edwards, 2013). Media giants such as the New York Times and Al Jazeera however, do often provide great insights and research into the issue, with their ideas and arguments further being supported by interviews with elites in specialise fields and statistics. The UK Telegraph however seems to be more wary when reporting on climate change, publishing controversial and skeptical articles. They ultimately present man queries to the reality of the global warming itself, but also portray strong evidence that the issue is indeed occurring, thus proving the journalist imbalance that concerns Ward in this weeks reading.

So here is my question. Should journalists have a responsibility to report only on the issues and facts that are supported by critics and scientific studies, or should they be able to report and promote the minorities and ‘unheard voices’. Audiences will ultimately have varying thoughts and opinions on this matter, and the answer will remain subjective for what they personally believe to be the best way for journalists to present balanced and unbiased news.

– BJS

References:

Dreher, T, 2014, ‘Week 10: Global Crises and Global News (Pacific Calling Partnership)’ Recorded Lecture, BCM 111, University of Wollongong, viewed via Echo360,10 October 2014, <https://esplay.uow.edu.au/ess/echo/presentation/f951295d-40eb-4a49-8964-60e914216cd5?ec=true>

Ward, B, 2009, ‘Journalism ethics and climate change reporting in a period of intense media uncertainty’, Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, vol. 9, p.13-15.

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