"Shock Jocks" is the phrase of the week.
Shock jocks helped organise, and broadcast their shows live from, the anti-carbon tax rally on Tuesday.
Julia Gillard wrote in her piece for the Australian press on Thursday, "I'll be taking my science from the CSIRO, not the radio shock jocks."
And on Monday March 21st, ABC's Media Watch devoted an entire program to those conservative talkback radio hosts who reject the science on climate change.
The full transcript of the segment entitled "Balancing a hot debate" is available on the ABC website.
In presents disturbing statistics on the proportion of sceptics hosting the nation's highest-rating commercial talk stations - Sydney's 2UE for example has three out of four - Jason Morrison, David Oldfield, and Michael Smith.
The focus of the piece is on the dreadful imbalance. Refuting the scientific evidence from a raft of reputable agencies that human-induced global warming is actually happening, they instead defer only that handful of climate change questioners Ian Plimer, Professor Bob Carter and Dr David Evans - whose works have been panned by their scientific peers.
"Now," said Jonathon Homes, the presenter, "I'm not suggesting that the good professors shouldn't be interviewed on the radio." But it's one sided. His point was that qualified scientists who disagree with them should be interviewed too.
Commercial radio is supposedly governed by Codes of Practice enforceable by the regulator, ACMA.
Code No 2 aims to
"promote accuracy and fairness in news and current affairs programs
and licensees must ensure that
"reasonable efforts are made ...
to present significant viewpoints when dealing with controversial issues of public importance..."
— Commercial Radio Australia, Codes of Practice and Guidelines, 19 Fe...
However, the regulator is not enforcing the code because
“The ACMA does not have any current code 2.2 or 2.3 complaints or investigations into these programs on their coverage of global warming science...
— Response from ACMA, 18th March, 2011"
So here's what we can do.
Write to ACMA, and make a complaint into these programs' imbalanced coverage of global warming science. There are excellent tips on what to say in oxfam's post "We need to get smart on climate change".
And you can attend the peaceful Rally for Climate Action on April 2nd.
This ABC Media Watch transcript has received 265 comments to date. Compare this to others which receive around 10. It's great that the climate change issue is being discussed and argued so energetically - this has to be better than apathy.
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