Fox News has the slogan “Fair & Balanced.” Even though that is full of shit, that is the mantra for journalists everywhere. But should everyone’s voice get fair and balanced treatment?
No, and BBC News agrees.
Recently, the BBC announced that they will reduce air time for idiots, i.e. stop giving people with anti-science views a platform. Essentially, they are trying to silence those who deny climate change. Does this contradict ethics in journalism?
This is hard for people (especially Millennials) to understand, but some people’s opinions and beliefs are…well…wrong. In some cases, just straight up ignorant. In many cases it is hard to determine how valid one’s beliefs are. Who are we to say that you are right or wrong? History has proven that often times we are wrong about people being wrong (or right). Therefore, silencing an opinion opens the floodgates to censoring a minority opinion that over time will prove to be correct.
This is not one of those cases.
Climate change is very real. The cause of global warming is up for discussion (kind of), but almost 100 percent of scientists studying climate change will tell you that it certainly does exist. When scientists are debunking a claim with science, that’s a good starting point when deciding to tell the naysayers to shut the fuck up. The slippery slope argument does not hold up when it is this glaringly obvious.
In fact, I’ll use the slippery slope argument the other way around. If climate change deniers deserve air time, then the opposition for ANY topic deserves fair treatment. KKK members need to be interviewed when talking about race issues, fundamentalist Christians need to speak up before discussing anything that occurred more than 4,000 years ago and the Westboro Baptist Church needs to chime in whenever a celebrity dies to warn us that the death was God’s way of punishing a “Fag Nation.”
Yes, climate change deniers belong in the same category as KKK members, fundamentalist Christians and the WBC.
It’s the media’s responsibility to inform. However, when the masses lack the intelligence to form an educated conclusion from the information, the media should hold the added burden of being educator as well as informer. People are stupid. If they get exposed to crackpot theories on a regular basis, they’ll believe anything. Example: see image on your right.
When it comes to social and political issues, opposing theories (within reason) should always be welcome since those topics are subjective. However, science is objective. It either is or is not. Most Americans fall behind in math and science. Since our education system is failing us, it is good to see that the media is stepping up to the plate…in Europe. The United States is still fucked.