The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, arguably one of the leading national compulsory pay media networks in Australia, has responded to a query from the ShadowLands.
Thank you for your email. Tony Jones, like all ABC employees, must abide by the ABC Editorial Policies and Code of Conduct. Any outside work he may seek to engage inis subject to approval by the ABC, to ensure that it does not create any conflicts of interest. In relation to the matter to which you refer, I am advised by ABC News management that Mr Jones will be acting as moderator for a panel discussion at the Carbon Expo conference.
This matter was referred to ABC management for approval. The conference is a broad industry conference supported and sponsored by a wide range of Government, industry and academic organisations, and the ABC believes Mr Jones' role as a moderator of discussions in no way compromises or undermines his independence and impartiality as a journalist with the ABC.
In relation to the Lateline program you refer to, Mr Jones interviewed only one scientist - the Chairman of the Nobel Prize winning IPCC, Dr Rajendra Pachauri...While it is true that some scientists continue to question the causes and impact of global warming, the role of the IPCC, representative as it is of science groups from all nations, is to identify the emerging consensus and to provide broadly-sourced data and analysis. The ABC understands there is overwhelming support among reputable scientists that global warming is occurring ...[blah, blah blah]
Prior to the Lateline interview with Dr Pachauri, the program ran a story which featured the views of three scientists, all of who made contributions to the processes of the IPCC. One of those scientists in particular put forward views which were at odds with the IPCC, and it was this difference of opinion which was explored, in part, in the interview with Dr Pachauri. The ABC is satisfied that balance was achieved, in keeping with the provisions of the ABC Editorial Policies.
At no stage did Mr Jones, as you claim, suggest that those who disagreed with global warming were like flat earthers. The precise wording of his exchange with Dr Pachauri was:
SNOW CONE: But you've said the number of climate change sceptics in the world is actually rapidly dwindling, you've actually compared them to flat-earthers. Do you say that is correct? RAJENDRA PACHUARI: That's a personal observation. I mean, I have no numbers by which I can make that assertion. SNOW CONE: Do you think they are flat-earthers, or akin to flat-earthers, people who believe the earth is flat? ...
The ABC believes the broadcast in question is in keeping with its Editorial Policies.
MM notes: While it was no surprise that the ABC have seen fit to absolve themselves, last night Ian Plimer featured (all too briefly) on Lateline Business. This is the first time I recall a heretic being given any air time on this show.