New study finds fringe global warming contrarians get disproportionate media attention


Posted on 12 August 2014 by dana1981


“How frequently have you featured in the media regarding your views on climate change?


The answers to this question reflect whether the media is really fair and balanced on the subject of global warming. A truly balanced media would give equally proportional attention and coverage to climate scientists in the mainstream and on the fringes. For example, if 20% of contrarian climate scientists reported frequent media attention, a fair and balanced media would also give frequent coverage to 20% of mainstream climate scientists.


Instead, fringe contrarian climate scientists reported that they receive frequent media coverage twice as often as mainstream climate scientists.”

Specifically, 30% of those few who said that greenhouse gases have caused an insignificant amount of global warming (or even cooling) reported frequent media coverage, compared to just 15% of climate scientists who said greenhouse gases have caused strong global warming.

This disproportionate media coverage of fringe climate contrarians is a problem known as “false balance,” and has plagued not only politically conservative media outlets, but also purportedly neutral news organizations like the BBC. It stems from journalists believing it’s “balanced” to give “both sides” of every issue equal coverage, even if one of those sides represents the views of a small fringe of qualified experts.

The practice is no different than giving equal time to evolutionary biologists and Creationists, or to medical doctors and those who claim smoking doesn’t cause cancer. This new study confirms that according to the scientists themselves, fringe climatecontrarians who hold views well outside the mainstream are receiving disproportionate media coverage.”