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The Forum > Article Comments > Time to investigate 'Green' media spin > Comments

Time to investigate 'Green' media spin : Comments

By Mark Poynter, published 26/3/2012

The ABC's Media Watch is selective in what it investigates as 'spin', being partial to Green ideology.

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Good article, Mark; many thanks.

Another example of poor journalism is the attitude shown by one of The Australia's environmental reporters Leigh Dayton who has seriously misinterpreted an ANU research article. In an email I sent to Dayton on March 22, I said:

"In your February 17 article headed 'Fatal flaws in 'stay or go bushfire strategy', you stated that the findings of the ANU report written by Philip Gibbons and his team were that 'prescribed backburning would not protect against intense fires such as Black Saturday's'.

I attach the Gibbons report to this email as the finding that you claim was made in the report is simply not correct. On page 4, it states: "Our results therefore indicated that prescribed burning when executed at the scale observed in this study was most effective when undertaken close to houses and at least every 5 years." On page 3, the report states: "an average of 15% fewer houses were destroyed when prescribed burning was undertaken 0.5 km from houses (the minimum distance we observed), compared with 8.5 km from houses (the mean distance we observed)."

Clearly, the report found that prescribed burns (but not backburns - I'm unsure where you found reference to backburning in the article, especially since backburning is a specific fire protection action not normally related to prescribed burning) are effective if carried out close to houses and at intervals of five years or less.

Unfortunately, the environmental movement is deliberately misinterpreting the Gibbons report in their ongoing campaign against science-based management of our forests. While I strongly agree that current prescribed burning practices need to be improved, prescribed burning remains an extremely important forest management tool that must be used in our forests to better manage forest values and protect human life and property."

In her reply to me, Dayton said she'd spoken to Gibbons but she made no response to my claim that she had seriously misinterpreted the Gibbon's written report. This strikes me as an example of bias, with the reporter putting personal views that have no scientific validity into a newspaper article.
Posted by Bernie Masters, Monday, 26 March 2012 10:34:01 AM
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While the ABC supports mindless environmental activism without considering the consequences, so does the Federal Govt. What good does it do to have a whole lot more snails, frogs and grass, if humans are suffering?

This is part of a UN endeavour to suppress human development under the guise of the environmental protection. Gillard is such a patsy for these groups it is quite alarming.
Posted by Atman, Monday, 26 March 2012 10:51:18 AM
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Yes Mark, definitely time to defund the ABC. Perhaps it should be sold to Gina Rinehart, she appears to have an interest in the media. That would really be a laugh. Fun to watch the fireworks. She knows haw to run a business, so could perhaps even make the ABC work.

Sorry Atman, you've got that totally wrong. In fact we need a massive breeding program on frogs & snails, & damn soon.

With this government, run by the greens, it won't be long before most agricultural production will be outlawed.

We are going to need those frogs & snails to replace a whole range of our current foodstuff. That or starve, probably Bobs preference.
Posted by Hasbeen, Monday, 26 March 2012 11:29:50 AM
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That Media Watch program was about sloppy journalism and the take home I got from it was that whoever did the reporting did no checking of who they were writing about. What Media Watch found was what they found by doing a bit of diligent searching and tracking. Make of that what you will.

We live in a world of mistrust and if I am working on stories where I see potential trojan horses I am very wary.
Posted by renew, Monday, 26 March 2012 12:07:37 PM
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I asked ABC media watch to investigate "something in the water" the day after it first aired.

I recieved no response.

Nothing was done.

Bias in relations to Forestry was one of the issues with "something in the water', but the scare mongering in relation to cancer was appauling and far worse than just bias.

Another good article Mark.
Posted by Dean K, Monday, 26 March 2012 1:11:55 PM
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Renew,

While the Media Watch segment may have come across as muddled and sloppy journalism, it is not because they didn't know who they were doing the hatchet job on, and not because they didn't put time into the segment.

They had two researchers working for two weeks on that story.

There difficulty was that the story wouldn't come together as they anticipated. They kept trying and trying and in the end they just made fools of themselves.

Here is a link to my answers to their original questions to me...

http://jennifermarohasy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/JenniferMarohasy_ReplytoMediaWatch_Amended12March.pdf

In fact they had a tremendous amount of information, but they choose to ignore it.
Posted by Jennifer, Monday, 26 March 2012 9:12:57 PM
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