Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

2. Complete Transcript and Rebuttal

Page 17




The deficit, or hyperdermic model of media-public interaction has long been dismissed by researchers working to understand the impacts of broadcast media on public understanding of complex issues. Researchers tend to refer instead to more complex cultural circuits (Carvalho and Burgess 2005, His statement that everyone else in the public [listens] to what the media [has] to say offers a caricatured and hence deceptive account of media effects.


The statement presents a monolithic and entirely false view of media coverage of climate change, implying that all of it has in recent years attributed climate change to CO2 emissions. This fails to acknowledge or identify the many different and contested opinions about climate change that have been aired across these media forms (see: Harrabin, and Brown and McDonald in Smith 2000,; Carvalho 2005, and Carvalho and Burgess 2005, For example, in her analysis of climate change coverage in UK broadsheets, Carvalho has shown that from the early to late 1990s, The Times often emphasized uncertainties and cast doubt on climate change while The Independent swung between the creation of a sense of risk and sceptical pronouncements (Carvalho 2005,


The statement gives the impression that the media have consistently over time reported climate change as anthropogenically caused. This is misleading because it does not acknowledge the consistently uneven, and generally very low media coverage of climate change over the nearly twenty years since Margaret Thatcher first sought to bring the issue to political and public attention (Smith in Smith 2000,, Farrow in Smith 2000,, Carvalho 2005,

This inattentiveness on the part of the media was not due to the lack of reasonable scientific confidence about the contribution of CO2 to climate change, but rather to the fact that the issue fails to deliver the combination of event, conflict and personality that so much news production relies upon. The difficulties faced by the climate change science and policy communities in gaining what they felt to be appropriate levels of public, hence media, attention to an issue they felt to be of enormous long term significance has been well documented (Gummer, and May and Pitts in Smith 2005,

The events-based news cycles of the media have impeded effective coverage of all long-term environmental issues (Adam 1998, and Allan et al 2000,, but the demands of the news cycle have been particularly detrimental to advancing public understanding and debate of climate change (Smith 2005,


See also Comment 96, page 80.]

(In breach of the 2003 Communications Act Section 265, Ofcom 5.4, 5.5, 5.7, 5.11, 5.12)


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Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007