ABC rejects report 7:30 falls short on climate change

7.30 did not cover climate change adequately according to research by former Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes.

Guardian Australia reports the Australian Conservation Foundation commissioned Holmes to study ABC output from October 2017 to December 2018, following criticism of the ABC’s coverage.

He reportedly found the coverage lacking but said there was no evidence reporters were under political pressure from management.

The survey found 7.30 broadcast only eight segments out of more than 1,000 that were focused specifically on climate change and its effects.

The report concluded that “7.30’s coverage was inadequate, bearing in mind the program’s role as the ABC’s flagship daily television current affairs program and the crucial importance of the issue for all Australians”.

But ABC rejected the report saying ABC does more than any other Australian media organisation on issues around climate change.

It notes the report’s author “did not conduct interviews with ABC personnel, or other relevant parties” and says the views in the report “are (the author’s) alone, and do not represent the position of ACF”.

“The ABC has also been acknowledged for its exhaustive coverage of last summer’s bushfires and the aftermath, including the debate over the contribution of climate change,” ABC said in a statement.

“We are proud of the coverage we provide to audiences in this key area.”


  1. “including the debate over the contribution of climate change”

    This is part of the problem. Framing it as a debate implies that we don’t already know all the facts, when the opposite is true. The scientific community as a whole has already linked climate change to the Australian bushfires of 2019/20, why is this still a debate? Why are some facts less ‘fact’ than others? The more time we spend debating with the scientific illiterate, the less time we have to make meaningful change.

    The ABC should not be spending airtmie (and, dare I say, taxpayer dollars) by indulging in the fantasies of white male dinosaurs that are too busy navel-gazing to see the planet-ending meteor heading right towards us. Stop debating and start reporting.

    • I find that in science there are a range of issues, such as how the data was obtained and researched, data accuracy, scientific misconduct and research replication failure incidents that had rendered scientific facts to be invalid after the usage of false scientific information in news articles, reports, television documentaries and other presentations. By the time the program has aired, it’s too late by the time many of the cases are found to be false and retracted. It’s not as simple as blindly trusting the science. I am also not a climate change sceptic.

    • Part of the beauty of “science” is that it is a an ever-evolving process of knowledge gathering. Imagine if the scientific beliefs of the past had never been further researched – no round earth, no penicilin, no vaccines etc. So to say that “science” has made a definite pronouncement on any issue, and should never be questioned again is to deny the dynamism of the scientific process. Climate change is such a recent issue, and yet some early research is already under scrutiny.

      That said, I find the ABC usually does present climate issues as certainties, which is a problem in the opposite direction to your observations.

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