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BBC Accused of Biased Climate Reporting

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BBC Building | Image by William Barton/Shutterstock

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Climate policy watchdog group Net Zero Watch recently published a report that accuses the British Broadcasting Corporation of biased reporting on climate change.

The report claims that “it has become common practice for BBC reporters to publicise exaggerated and often misleading weather-and climate-related stories in order to hype up the potential risks from global warming,” according to a press release issued by Net Zero Watch on June 9.

Paul Homewood, the author of the report, wrote that the BBC had to correct numerous false claims made by its reporters in climate-related coverage because of complaints from the public.

In 2020, the BBC upheld a complaint lodged against it by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) citing one of its documentaries, titled Meat: A Threat to Our Planet? Upon review, the BBC agreed it had made unsubstantiated claims about meat production in the documentary.

“It was clear when the programme was broadcast that it fell short of the BBC’s guidelines concerning impartiality. We believed at the time that the programme was created to push a specific viewpoint,” said Fran Barnes, NFU director of communications.

While the BBC did uphold a dozen or so complaints, Homewood claims it deflected many more, either by ignoring them or claiming its coverage was “merely relating what others [were] saying,” which he refers to as “the ‘science says’ defence.”

“We are not expecting much from the BBC, but we are expecting the government to deal with bias,” said Benny Peiser, director of Net Zero Watch, speaking with The Epoch Times. “We would expect taxpayer-funded institutions to represent the public with a balanced and accurate way of reporting things.”

The BBC offered its staff editorial guidance on covering climate change in 2018. It cautioned against the notion of “false balance,” writing:

“To achieve impartiality, you do not need to include outright deniers of climate change in BBC coverage, in the same way you would not have someone denying that Manchester United won 2-0 last Saturday.”

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