On October 31, someone by the name of Tony Jones (I presume the host of Lateline) is appearing as a paid moderator at Carbon Expo '08 on the Gold Coast.
This event is sponsored by various government departments and prominent proponents of anthropogenic global warming. This may be in contravention of the conflict of interest section of ABC editorial policies.
Of most concern, last night Mr Jones interviewed three proponents of global warming, none of whom provided different points of view. In a question, Mr Jones suggested those who disagreed with them were like "flat earthers".
This was clearly in contravention of Mr Mark Scott's Preamble in the editorial policies which states:
"The Board requires the ABC to demonstrate impartiality in two ways:
• As a creator, broadcaster and publisher of news and current affairs content, the Board requires impartiality at the content or program level. This means that each program or item of news and current affairs content must be impartial...
This means that while individual items of content can take a particular perspective on an issue, the ABC must be able to demonstrate at the platform level that it has provided its audiences with a range of different perspectives on the subject under consideration."
By itself, last night's item about global warming failed to meet these guidelines, and in the context of Mr Jones being paid to work for global warming proponents, it is a serious matter.
* If Mr Jones takes money from Carbon Expo '08 he is at risk of being tainted by accusations of financially induced bias.
* Last night's story on global warming did not provide the different perspectives in ABC editorial policies as outlined by Mr Scott.