19 Jul '12, 6pm

'False Balance' in Some Coverage of Carolina Sea-Level Controversy

When lawmakers considered a bill to effectively outlaw sea-level science, some news outlets adopted the ‘he said, she said’ model of reporting on scientific controversy. North Carolina legislators became a subject of national mockery in June when they considered a bill that would have outlawed preparations for projected — and accelerated — sea-level rise. Stephen Colbert lampooned the bill in a five-minute segment on his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report. Bloggers excoriated the proposal in Scientific American and the Huffington Post , and at Grist , Jess Zimmerman called the bill “crazeballs.” But as commentators snickered at the state’s expense, many local and national news reporters studiously presented “both sides” of the controversial bill. In some cases, their reporting positioned dubious scientific claims alongside the work of career scientists, without provid...

Full article: http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2012/07/false-balanc...

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