Global Warming

Environmental Journalists: Prosecutor, Judge & Jury?

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In “Global Warming Propaganda Factory” American Thinker, (Aug. 03, 2007) Christopher J. Alleva describes how the “Society for Environmental Journalists” provides Climate change: A guide to the information and disinformation. Alleva observes:

“Except for the seventh chapter titled with the freighted descriptive: “Deniers, Dissenters and Skeptics“, the guide is a one sided presentation that resoundingly affirms global warming and puts down anyone with a different point of view. The site is a virtual digest of the global warming industry. If you’re looking for a road map to the special interest groups behind the hysteria, this is the place to go. The journalist members of this association have obviously abandoned all pretense of objectivity.”

The Society of Professional Journalists provides a major emphasis on ethics, and publishes its code of ethics including: “Journalists should:

— Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
— Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
— Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
— Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
— Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context. . . .
— Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
— Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.. . .
— Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
— Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
— Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context. . . .”

The SEJ commendably states its Mission:

“The mission of the Society of Environmental Journalists is to advance public understanding of environmental issues by improving the quality, accuracy, and visibility of environmental reporting.   Towards that end, SEJ provides critical support to journalists of all media in their efforts to cover complex issues of the environment responsibly.”

Does SEJ uphold the SPJ’s code of ethics? (SEJ apparently has no published “code of ethics”. )

Would SPJ consider SEJ’s Climate change guide to meet SPJ’s code of ethics?

Will SEJ acknowledge that Alleva’s review is accurate and revise its guide, or lump Alleva in with the Deniers?

5 Replies to “Environmental Journalists: Prosecutor, Judge & Jury?

  1. 1
    russ says:

    It would seem that the Society of Professional Journalists either has few members, or a lot of members who disregard their code of ethics.

  2. 2
    tribune7 says:

    It appears the SPJ and the SEJ are entirely different organization w/ no relationship between their governing bodies.

    From the SEJ website:

    The Society of Environmental Journalists was founded in 1990 by a small group of award-winning journalists, including reporters, editors, and producers working for The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, Turner Broadcasting, Minnesota Public Radio, and National Geographic. Today, SEJ’s membership includes more than 1,300 journalists and academics working in every type of news media in the United States, Canada and at least 30 other countries.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Hi Trib:

    SPJ claims: The Society of Professional Journalists is the [USA’s] most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 10,000 members; works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts.

    –> Since SEJ is in turn a circle of professional journalists, one would reasonably expect that they should be bound by a similar code of ethics.

    –> Unfortunately, it seems from the “Plato’s Cave projectionists and actors” – cf. here — state of the media all over the world, that professional ethics in journalism is in a poor state, a dangerously poor state.

    –> But then what do you expect in a civilisation where the leading members of the intelligentsia in their secularist, evolutionary materialist progressivist ultra-modernism [AKA pomo], reject truth and right as objective and binding principles?

    –> And, given say Rom 1 – 2, the history of Athens 430 – 400 BC, and Rome etc — not to mention the worries of even the proportionately few semi-Deistic founding Fathers of the USA like Franklin and Jefferson — what is the sadly predictable result? [Unless someone can somehow manage to stop the runaway train . . .]

    GEM of TKI

  4. 4
    tribune7 says:

    Since SEJ is in turn a circle of professional journalists, one would reasonably expect that they should be bound by a similar code of ethics.

    You have to remember that in the U.S. anybody can be a journalist and the professional associations have no licensing or significant sanctioning authority.

    Which actually is a good thing for some of the other reasons you cited.

  5. 5

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20...../newsweek/

    Yes, some journalists have much to answer for and jury rig the stories about science and environment.

    Let’s do some homework on the Petrol Industry telling us that melting icecaps and record heat waves and drought are nothing to fret about and/or not causing anthropogenically. The painfully obvious and “inconvenient” truth (without being a fan of Al Gore, for all who know me to be generally conservative) is that this is impossible. The link above is a handy place to start, as the more gentle but firm approach of a recent Scientific American article on the topic of the “evidence” for global warming, for which there is a-plenty. See page 64 of the current issue.

    –SWT

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