Age editor-in-chief confirms John Howard’s view of climate change coverage
ABC 774’s Jon Faine
and Age editor-in-chief
5 August 2009.
In his Melbourne University speech last week, former prime minister John Howard said the media in general, but the ABC in particular, has been one-sided in the coverage of climate change.
Mr Howard said the ABC was completely unwilling to accept “that there could be some doubt or some scepticism about climate change”.
As AC reported last week, Mr Howard also criticised the media reporting of former governor-general Peter Hollingworth and said the media had misunderstood Pauline Hanson and had done “a disservice to our longer term national interest” by suggesting that she was all about racism and nothing else.
Of those three issues, which issue is live today?
Which aspect of Mr Howard’s speech do you think the media largely ignored?
ABC Radio’s AM covered Mr Howard’s comments about Peter Hollingworth and Pauline Hanson at some length, but dismissed his criticism of the ABC with the briefest reference:
The former prime minister singled out the ABC for what he says was a complete unwillingness to accept sceptical views on climate change.
The 7.30 Report and Lateline didn’t go near it.
And, on Sunday, Insiders took up the former prime minister’s comments about the coverage of Peter Hollingworth and Pauline Hanson, but completely ignored his comments about the reporting of climate change.
Media Watch, also ignored the speech.
Newspapers that did cover Mr Howard’s speech also omitted his remarks on climate change coverage.
However, on 774 ABC Melbourne, morning presenter Jon Faine, who was at the university for the speech, did take up the issue in his Wednesday media segment.
Faine asked his guest, Paul Ramadge, editor-in-chief of the Age, whether he thought the media had made up its mind on climate change.
Ramadge credited Faine for raising the issue on air, “given that it wasn’t reported in the press this morning” and acknowledged that there has been “a huge groundswell of support for politicians willing to articulate a climate change vision in Australia”.
Paul Ramadge then said:
It’s important to hear all sides of the debate. I certainly hear them. I meet industry leaders. I meet politicians and I meet kind of stakeholders across different sectors of our economy and I do have a sense of the arguments. And the overall thing here is you get a sense that we are moving in a direction towards a way to protect our environment and it’s a matter of hearing the voices towards that goal. So, you know, like John Howard’s view, yeah, look, possibly, because it’s a sort of an issue of the moment, but I don’t think the media kind of knowingly twists it to a favourable disposition on climate change.