Media behaviour – not always good

A lesson I must take on board too as I am playing cub reporter again today – writing up a 400-worder for The South Sydney Herald on Greening Woolloomooloo and their problems with city and state bureaucracy. I do like their motto: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors – we borrow it from our children.”

1. Media and climate science

The prestigious National Academy of Sciences in the USA, a peak scientific body, has just published Expert credibility in climate change by William R. L. Anderegg (Department of Biology, Stanford University), James W. Prall (Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto), Jacob Harold (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Palo Alto, CA), and Stephen H. Schneider (Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University).

Although preliminary estimates from published literature and expert surveys suggest striking agreement among climate scientists on the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC), the American public expresses substantial doubt about both the anthropogenic cause and the level of scientific agreement underpinning ACC. A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future ACC discussions.

Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers…

We provide a large-scale quantitative assessment of the relative level of agreement, expertise, and prominence in the climate researcher community. We show that the expertise and prominence, two integral components of overall expert credibility, of climate researchers convinced by the evidence of ACC vastly overshadows that of the climate change skeptics and contrarians. This divide is even starker when considering the top researchers in each group.

Despite media tendencies to present both sides in ACC debates, which can contribute to continued public misunderstanding regarding ACC, not all climate researchers are equal in scientific credibility and expertise in the climate system. This extensive analysis of the mainstream versus skeptical/contrarian researchers suggests a strong role for considering expert credibility in the relative weight of and attention to these groups of researchers in future discussions in media, policy, and public forums regarding anthropogenic climate change…

See also New study finds striking level of agreement among climate experts on anthropogenic climate change.

2. F*cking terrorist!

What you see isn’t always what really occurred, especially on tabloid current affairs TV. Frame and context, frame and context! Pip Wilson highlighted these items from Media Watch posted on YouTube by Trudy and George.

3. Comparison of tabloid TV current affairs shows

See Current affairs taste test: ACA vs TT vs 7PM.

… Some stories on A Current Affair and Today Tonight were almost identical, even airing at the same time.

On Monday TT had a story on "grey army" vigilantes in Tweed Heads taking action against street gangs while ACA profiled a man who had been assaulted in Coolongatta. Both featured stories on the power of big supermarkets on Wednesday. On Thursday there were stories on McDonald’s burgers shrinking in size being broadcast at exactly the same time. Both used video footage by irate customer Leo Henry, who was interviewed only by Today Tonight.

On Friday both led with the breaking story of the David Jones CEO, a seemingly tailor-made topic. Both had Stephen Mayne from the Australian Shareholders Association giving quotes, making it difficult to determine a point of difference. Similarly, Steve Price was a panellist onThe 7PM Project and also interviewed for comment by Today Tonight.

Neither Tracy Grimshaw nor Matt White conducted any studio interviews last week (although Grimshaw featured in a story on anti-terror training on Monday night). Just one politician was interviewed by any of the three shows all week: Bob Katter on The 7PM Project.

Today Tonight featured two cross-promo stories on Australia’s Got Talent plus Breaking the Magician’s Code, while The 7PM Project had two on Hamish & Andy (also produced by Roving Enterprises), one story with the Barefoot Investor (which also features on the network), a ONE commentator and several references to its own successful bid of Kevin Rudd at the Canberra Press Gallery’s Mid-Winter Ball charity auction. There were several guests from ABC, SBS and Foxtel…

Quality time, eh!


2 thoughts on “Media behaviour – not always good

  1. Woolloomooloo. Hah! I don’t want to say that the word is as awesome a name as ‘billabong’, but it’s pretty close. Anyone up for a woolahilla bolla tanga tsingo pu (aka cupa tea)?

    Seriously, Australians are awesome, but you also crack the rest of the world up. WTF is up with your English? You guys still worship the Queen of England, and you don’t even speak English as well as Americans. And we don’t speak it well at all. I reckon. As they say in Australia, “walla walla bing bong” (aborigine translation: WTF?)

    I haven’t even gotten to #2, where you try to make a scuzzball look like a good guy. That’s for another time.

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