The awkward scales of false balance

The icecaps are melting, the habitat of native animals is being degraded and the ozone is not the chunky layer of protective blubber it once was. Are we to blame? Let’s delve into the highly contentious arguments that surround this question.


Instead, lets take a look at how ‘balanced’ reporting on such issues validates particular stances which have been largely discredited by significant scientific or academic evidence.

The ‘balance’ in media recognition attributed to both sufficiently proven theories and unfounded or disproved perspectives is not always a malicious attack on science or an attempt to have a good chuckle at the gullibility of audiences. Generally, the kind of reporting that results in this ‘false balance’ is a misguided attempt to uphold the impartiality that is championed by the public service media model. These good intentions, however, do not justify the fact that what the public is left with is the notion that scientists and sceptics base their positions on equally researched and supported evidence. This is bad for obvious, anarchy-inducing reasons.

With that in mind, lets look at some false balance closer to home (if you live near Wollongong, Australia).

Thanks, Jonathan Holmes, you sassy minx. You boot that baloney.

Refer to the references:

2014, ‘Global Crisis and Global News: Pacific Calling Partnership’, lecture, BCM111, University of Wollongong, delivered 8 October 2014.


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