BBC won't give climate skeptics equal time

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Journalists at the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) are being trained to book fewer climate change skeptics on the network’s programs amid criticism that BBC is giving them too much attention.

A report released last week by the BBC Trust said 200 journalists have already attended the training to stop giving “undue attention to marginal opinion” on scientific issues, including climate change.

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The report found the network tended toward an “over-rigid application of editorial guidelines on impartiality,” resulting in “undue attention to marginal opinion.”

The study’s authors said human-caused climate change undoubtedly exists, and the BBC’s efforts to give skeptics equal time does not adequately convey that fact.

The sessions emphasized the need to judge how much attention should be given to those who disagree, without presenting a false balance, the Telegraph reported.

The BBC Trust’s report said that journalists should not completely exclude skeptics, but should convey their views appropriately.

News networks in the United States have also been criticized recently for giving equal weight to climate change skeptics.

In May, HBO’s John Oliver called attention to the phenomenon on his show “Last Week Tonight” by hosting a climate change debate with three skeptics against 97 scientists who agree that humans cause climate change.

The exercise was meant to illustrate the actual balance among scientists.

But the BBC's decision is likely to inflame those who doubt the science behind climate change.

The BBC report follows a similar one from the UK Parliament in April that criticized the BBC for not ensuring its programs and presenters “reflect the actual state of climate science in its output.”