One third of Australia's newspapers still biased on climate change

Nov 01, 2013
602 articles in 10 Australian newspapers were analysed for the report.

Australian print media outlets produce a substantial amount of journalism that is sceptical about evidence of human-induced climate change, despite very high levels of scientific certainty, according to a new report published by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ) at UTS.

The report, "Sceptical Climate: Climate Science in Australian Newspapers," is the largest and most detailed report to date on how Australian journalists report science, and follows the ACIJ's first report on climate change reporting published in 2011.

"If you believe that the main obligation of journalists is to the public's right to know, the results of this study are truly alarming," said Tom Morton, Associate Professor of Journalism at UTS and ACIJ director.

"This report clearly demonstrates that important and influential sections of the Australian media are failing in their responsibility to provide their audience with information they need to make informed choices on a matter of vital public interest.

"Thus they are failing to fulfill one of the most important roles of a free press in a liberal democracy," Dr Morton said.

The 's author, investigative journalist and researcher Professor Wendy Bacon, said along with previous research the findings of this study suggest that Australia may have the highest concentration of scepticism in its media in the world.

"Our analyses of three months of coverage in ten major Australian newspapers revealed a decline of 20 per cent in coverage of climate science between February to April 2011 and the same period in 2012. More disturbing was the finding that the overall coverage became decidedly more sceptical in 2012," Professor Bacon said.

Nearly all of the scepticism is produced by News Corporation, which owns more than two-thirds of Australia's print media. Fairfax Media's Sydney Morning Herald and The Age accept the consensus position on anthropogenic climate change yet published only 9 and 6 articles respectively in the same period, which might suggest to readers that the consensus position was in doubt.

"Such high levels of scepticism should be a matter of concern to the Australian public, governments, the scientific community and journalists," Professor Bacon said.

Summary of key findings

  • Content analysis finds decline of 20% in coverage of climate science in three month period between February to April 2011 and the same period in 2012.
  • 32% of coverage (of 602 articles) did not accept the scientific consensus that human beings are major contributors to global warming; this figure was greater in 2012 (36% did not accept).
  • Nearly all of the scepticism is produced by News Corp, which owns 70% of Australia's print .
  • The most sceptical publications were The Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, and The Australian.
  • The Australian published the most articles (24% of 602 articles) followed by the Sydney Morning Herald (15%) and The Age (12%).
  • Of all news articles (41% or 244) that made significant mention of climate science, 25% (or 61) were less than 150 words long.
  • Only 11% of all words in articles about climate science were dedicated to articles that explicitly referenced peer-reviewed climate science.
  • 31% of articles were commentary about , most of which did not accept the consensus position. 
  • Findings highlight the significant role assigned by editors to opinion writers.
  • The biggest drop (50%) in articles between 2011 and 2012 was in the biggest circulation publication, the Herald Sun in Melbourne. 
  • The Herald Sun had the highest proportion of commentary (65% of articles and 81% of word count) and the lowest levels of news (27% of articles and 11% of words).
  • 97% of comment pieces in the Herald Sun either questioned or rejected the consensus position about anthropogenic .

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User comments : 45

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deatopmg
2.2 / 5 (30) Nov 01, 2013
As a scientist who has followed this global cooling alarm, now global warming alarm for over 30 yrs it is obvious that 2/3 of Australian newspapers still produce cult driven articles on global warming in spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence as opposed to the failed models that these newspapers stll cling to.
GuruShabu
2 / 5 (29) Nov 01, 2013
deatopmg, SPOT on mate!
And the unbelievable bad news is this Physorg articles are mostly biased towards the catastrophic play station science played on and on by news papers.
As stated by serious journalist science writer Ian Wishart (http://www.goodre...air-con) "Science made by press release".
So, the article above states the antithesis.
As you say, it is quite the opposite. Fortunately, Australian press is still well informed to produce 2/3 of down-to-earth educated news !
In spite of this infamous (one more!) article.
Onnya, mate!
Egleton
2.3 / 5 (18) Nov 01, 2013
We sell Coal.
Nothing more needs to be added, mate.
Humpty
Nov 01, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ScooterG
1.5 / 5 (22) Nov 01, 2013
Ummm no - Australia news papers specialise in copy paste churnalism, in cherry picking the most dramatic or least truthful stories, that are or can be sensationalised to do only one thing - sell more papers = sell more advertising = make more sales.

Australian newspapers are probably some of the most dishonest in the world and they are filled with arse licking, beer soaked fuckwits and bullshit artists.

The editors are mostly a pack of lying cunts.

Most people in Australia regard the national icon news papers as publishers of "The same old shit".

Fuck the lot of them.



...don't sugar-coat it - just tell us how you really feel!
GuruShabu
1.2 / 5 (18) Nov 01, 2013
Humpty, I tend to agree with you 100% about the "quality" of the Australian press.
However, this 1/3 is an "outlier" and does not "fit" in to the distribution of the the international media daily apocalyptic barrage.
So, some unknown "parameter" is preventing Australian press to follow the international trend with regard to AGW or ACG.
What is ti?
I don't know.
Sinister1811
3.2 / 5 (25) Nov 01, 2013
now global warming alarm for over 30 yrs it is obvious that 2/3 of Australian newspapers still produce cult driven articles on global warming in spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence as opposed


Maybe because this country has a lot more realists, and not just people who regard their own personal bullshit opinions as truth. Just ask the farmers or indigenous communities on remote land who've had to deal with a lot of drought and lack of rainfall in recent years.
Egleton
1.4 / 5 (20) Nov 02, 2013
"Realists" you say? Like the real increase of insurance premium costs?
Nothing more real than the actuaries.
They have to put their money where their mouths are.
Howhot
3.5 / 5 (11) Nov 02, 2013
There are a heck of a lot of people that think the insanely massive wild fires are caused by the wet global cooling that is supposedly impacting this world, making everything honey and roses. Yeap, that global cooling caused by *something* is doing a "Heck of a job!" fixing the issue that the mean AGW people keep lying about. I'm sure all of the reporters in the world love to report stories about how wonderful global cooling is for the land under.

The next post is not Sarcasm
Howhot
3.5 / 5 (11) Nov 02, 2013
There are a heck of a lot of people that think the insanely massive wild fires are caused by the wet global cooling that is supposedly impacting this world, making everything honey and roses. Yeap, that global cooling caused by *something* is doing a "Heck of a job!" fixing the issue that the mean AGW people keep lying about. I'm sure all of the reporters in the world love to report stories about how wonderful global cooling is for the land under.

One post was sarcasm.
Deadbolt
1.8 / 5 (15) Nov 02, 2013
Failing to fulfill one of the roles of a free press in a liberal democracy?

A free press means that differing interpretations of events and different commentary is going to appear in different publications, and some of it is going to be complete nonsense.

If you want the press to have one opinion on a subject, what you need to do is abandon the idea of a free press. You can't have your cake and eat it. If we want the press to get what scientists have determined to be the correct view distributed, then we need to cut through the bullcrap and regulate what can be printed.
GuruShabu
1 / 5 (18) Nov 02, 2013
Deadbolt, your argument is so clearcut that I think I will stop discussing all bull that is presented here on an everyday basis.
I am done!
You are absolutely right!
Freedom means the crap everywhere.
Interestingly, some halfwits will keep giving me 1!
LOL!
VendicarE
3.5 / 5 (11) Nov 02, 2013
"As a scientist who has followed this global cooling alarm" - DeaTard

Since there was no global cooling alarm 30 years ago as you assert, it is clear that you are not only ...

NOT A SCIENTIST

but it is self evident that...

YOU ARE A CONGENITAL LIAR.

VendicarE
3.4 / 5 (10) Nov 02, 2013
"I am done!" - GuruTardo

Good. It will be nice not to see you spreading your anti-science ignorance around here.
VendicarE
3.5 / 5 (11) Nov 02, 2013
"If you want the press to have one opinion on a subject" - DeadTard

Journalists should not be reporting opinion. Their job is to report facts.

You did know that didn't you?
GuruShabu
1 / 5 (17) Nov 02, 2013
VendicarE, you are as arrogant as usual tagging everybody as a "tard".
I've already told you the arrogance is directly proportional to ignorance and inversely proportional to the square of the culture. So, stop exposing yourself so bluntly and say something with substance instead of just piss and wind (don't jump the gun! These are actually Shakespeare words, mate!)
You say, that there was no global warming alarm 30 years ago. You are really ignorant on the subject you defend so heartily and so brainlessly!
In early 70s it was worldwide spread that in 2000 the global temperature would be 3.2 C warmer. Which, we all know DID not happen not even in 2013...
You may keep on barking...
MrKool
3.2 / 5 (9) Nov 02, 2013
"As stated by serious journalist science writer Ian Wishart"

I think you meant "Science Fiction" writer?
MrKool
2.6 / 5 (14) Nov 02, 2013
"Since there was no global cooling alarm 30 years ago"

I don't recall any such alarm either. There may have been some talk about cooling via smog perhaps, but that's about it.
MrKool
2.2 / 5 (18) Nov 02, 2013
"as usual tagging everybody as a "tard"."

Maybe you could pass a simple tard test? How do clothes keep you warm? If you put a jumper on over your shirt, how does it make you even warmer?

GuruShabu
1.2 / 5 (18) Nov 02, 2013
MrKool Tard you said nothing but aggression and offences and bullshit.
Go educate yourself.
Go read a bit and you will find millions of citations BEFORE the 70s already on the warning apocalyptical tone.
I will give you a link where you can read the history of this endless scam dating from 1800 on!
http://www.aip.or...line.htm
You are probably Venditard proxy.
Unkind, uneducated and rude pretending to defend science!
For god's sake, get a life mate.
runrig
4.6 / 5 (9) Nov 02, 2013
In early 70s it was worldwide spread that in 2000 the global temperature would be 3.2 C warmer. Which, we all know DID not happen not even in 2013....


Could you please provide evidence of this "assertion"?

And even supposing there is. Don't you think that climate science, aided immeasurably by satellites, has not moved on a tad during these last 40 odd years?

And that would invalidate what we say now?
Give me strength!
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.4 / 5 (8) Nov 02, 2013
Too bad, seeing how regional Australia is most sensitive to climate change. And it is marginally wrong to call it "skepticism", since organized skepticism is unanimously accepting science such as this.

The rest of the trolling of climate science is not noteworthy, but this is amazing buffoonery:

@deatopmg: "As a scientist who has followed this ... 2/3 of Australian newspapers ... the overwhelming scientific evidence as opposed to the failed models".

Obviously not as a climate scientist, and seeing how you lie about that science [ref: IPCC -13], not as a trustworthy scientist of any kind. Hence your nym instead of name, no doubt.

@runrig: I wouldn't bother. If the trolls don't even try looking informed or even mutually consistent (seeing how that would be well into the "global cooling alarm" period), why should we care about point out their most glaring lies? Nothing helps newcomers see the facts as the fundamentalist parade!
goracle
2 / 5 (16) Nov 02, 2013
"I am done!" - GuruTardo

Good. It will be nice not to see you spreading your anti-science ignorance around here.

Until the next session.
runrig
4.6 / 5 (9) Nov 02, 2013
@runrig: I wouldn't bother. If the trolls don't even try looking informed or even mutually consistent (seeing how that would be well into the "global cooling alarm" period), why should we care about point out their most glaring lies? Nothing helps newcomers see the facts as the fundamentalist parade!


Torbjorn:
I know what you're saying – but I have knowledge an a LOT of time on my hands, so…

One of the most annoying things in life is denial. Whether science or anything else.
It negates all that has been discovered up to that point with the human toil involved, and is mean and entirely negative to the endeavours of mankind. Scientists don't come out of the blue with stuff. Newton himself said "I have stood on the shoulders of giants" (and no I don't believe that was a snipe at Hooke).
GHG science is ~150 years old. It's not new.

I know I help Nik with his stated aim of numbers of posts rather than informed content of same – so be it, because of what I've just described.
VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (7) Nov 02, 2013
"VendicarE, you are as arrogant as usual tagging everybody as a "tard"." - GuruTardo

Yesterday you said that "i am done", and now you are back here posting idiocy again.

Are you mentally ill?

"I've already told you the arrogance is directly proportional to ignorance and inversely proportional to the square of the culture." - GuruTardo

In what units are you measureing arrogance, ignorance and culture.

Curious minds want to know, tardieboy.
OZGuy
2.7 / 5 (11) Nov 02, 2013
So most are owned by News Corporation, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch the man who brings you "quality information" via Fox News.
Enough said.
GuruShabu
1.4 / 5 (18) Nov 02, 2013
At Venditard,
The units for an average person are:
For ignorance - 1 Ignorantard
For arrogance - 1 Arrogantard
The magnitude of culture is determined by the first derivative of education over time.
In your case, though one as to use astronomical units.
Therefore for ignorance one has:
Normal person = 1 ignorantard **** Venditard = 1 Peta ignorantard or 1PiG
Normal person = 1 Arrogantard **** Venditard = 1 yotta Arrogantard or 1 YARG
To give you and idea in terms of size you could see Venditard from a distance of 1 G Parsec and he would still have an apparent size and brilliance of an average person!
You would be able to distinguish him only by measuring his huge redshift...:)
NOM
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2013
I wonder how long it will take the potty-mouthed troll Humpty (previously known as Lex Talonis) to return with a new account.
bluehigh
1.9 / 5 (17) Nov 04, 2013
Often I disagree with Vendi but if you are looking for deep insight and exceptional scientific capability, he's the man. Consider yourselves Tards if you can't respect informed views. Being in science is not about opinion or guesswork.

On topic, I want to remind all that someone quite profoundly said ...

"I may not agree with what you say but to the death I will defend your right to say it."

So, if you don't like what a newspaper is printing ... Don't read it.

You have no right to complain of the publication. Not you either Vendi.
goracle
1.9 / 5 (13) Nov 04, 2013
I wonder how long it will take the potty-mouthed troll Humpty (previously known as Lex Talonis) to return with a new account.

I'm wondering why you have a comment here, but your profile says "No comments yet". Interesting....
goracle
1.7 / 5 (12) Nov 04, 2013
I wonder how long it will take the potty-mouthed troll Humpty (previously known as Lex Talonis) to return with a new account.

You made a comment, but your profile says no comments yet.
ubavontuba
1.6 / 5 (20) Nov 04, 2013
One third of Australia's newspapers still biased on climate change
Aren't they really saying: "One third of Australia's newspapers aren't biased the way we want them to be"
ubavontuba
1.2 / 5 (17) Nov 04, 2013
You made a comment, but your profile says no comments yet.
I believe NOM is a phys.org moderator of some sort (albeit a biased one).
NOM
3.3 / 5 (7) Nov 06, 2013
Yeah, but you believed the LHC was going to destroy the Earth
ubavontuba
1.2 / 5 (17) Nov 07, 2013

I believe NOM is a phys.org moderator of some sort (albeit a biased one)...

Yeah, but you believed the LHC was going to destroy the Earth
...oh yeah, and a liar too.

Humpty
Nov 07, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
NOM
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 07, 2013
From Humpty today:
Fuck the lot of them.


From Humpty Oct 24, 2013:
...What is wrong with these people - like just how many goods and services can you afford and buy and make use of, in one fucking life time?
...
What part of "Fuck Off" don't these morons get?

Google are a pack of cunts.


From Humpty Sept 17, 2013:
90% of everything NASA does is war crime activities - Fuck NASA.

People go "Oh Nazi" - blah blah blah - it's NOT the uniform, it's the state of mind - and it's pretty fucking common...


From Humpty Jun 28, 2013:
..., then all I can say to "General Suxdix" is fuck you.


From Humpty Aug 08, 2013:
Anyway, what is this idiot father doing saying it's the sites fault? Where in the fuck was he? ...


From Humpty Oct 01, 2013:
obamasucks - is a fucking good bullshit artist, telling a wonderful tale... LOL
...
Shut the fuck up you arsehole.


Why is this troll still allowed to post?
Sinister1811
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 07, 2013
I used to think a lot of denialism was from the US. But it becomes more apparent everyday that there's a higher level of idiocy here in Australia.
https://www.faceb...34620969
Humpty
1.6 / 5 (14) Nov 07, 2013
Ummm no - Australia news papers specialise in copy paste churnalism, in cherry picking the most dramatic or least truthful stories, that are or can be sensationalised to do only one thing - sell more papers = sell more advertising = make more sales.
Australian newspapers are probably some of the most dishonest in the world and they are filled with arse licking, beer soaked fuckwits and bullshit artists.
The editors are mostly a pack of lying cunts.
Most people in Australia regard the national icon news papers as publishers of "The same old shit".
Fuck the lot of them.
Humpty
1.1 / 5 (15) Nov 07, 2013
NOM is not a good cock sucker - he hasn't get enough room in his head for an ego and to do something useful with himself for a change.
GuruShabu
1.1 / 5 (13) Nov 08, 2013
On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant's reactor No. 4 blew up after a cooling capability test, and the resulting nuclear fire lasted 10 days, spewing 400 times as much radiation as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. To date, it's the world's worst nuclear accident. The 2011 Fukushima meltdown, of course, is still playing out -- but actually, so is Chernobyl.
Nearly 28 years after the disaster, Reactor No. 4 simmers under its "sarcophagus," a concrete and metal cover hastily built after the accident. It's now cracked, rusted and leaking radiation. A partial roof collapse last February sent reverberations of fear throughout the world. As well it should have. With 200 tons of lava-like radioactive material still below the reactor, and the "New Safe Confinement" aimed at containing and protecting it not scheduled for completion till 2015 (already 15 years overdue) this story of nuclear disaster is in its early chapters.
ubavontuba
1.4 / 5 (14) Nov 08, 2013
Why is this troll still allowed to post?
So it turns out NOM isn't a moderator, but rather just another hateful troll with a slightly unique account.

...or more likely, he stumbled upon a glitch.
NOM
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 08, 2013
NOM is not a good cock sucker

I agree. You are far more experienced at this endeavour than I.
NOM
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 08, 2013


...oh yeah, and a liar too.
As usual ubertuber, anything you don't understand must be a lie.
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 08, 2013
I used to think a lot of denialism was from the US. But it becomes more apparent everyday that there's a higher level of idiocy here in Australia.

You have to look at what kind of industries are prevalent and how closely they are tied to politics.

Companies have discovered that ads don't cut it anymore to give them a whitewashed image. So they have started to coop the source of any legitimate criticism: journalism (via bought papers) and science (vie their own 'research' institutes).
DarkHorse66
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 08, 2013
So most are owned by News Corporation, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch the man who brings you "quality information" via Fox News.
Enough said.

Rupert Murdoch is not interested in unbiased news. Not really. He likes his papers(etc) to be a reflection of himself and his personal agenda. Talk about ego and powertripping!
http://en.wikiped..._Murdoch
http://www.thenat...murdoch#
http://www.desmog...y-author
http://www.thegua...s-denial
http://nuclear-ne...lessing/
And don't forget the recent phone hacking scandal with 'his' british empire not so long ago.
http://www.eurone...olitics/

Cheers, DH66
goracle
1.6 / 5 (13) Nov 08, 2013
Looking at all the rants, insults, foul language, breaking of rules and so on, for a moment there I wasn't sure if this was a science-related story or another story about Rob Ford....

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