Sunday, April 14, 2024
HomeBBC WatchDavid Keighley: BBC sting in the reindeers' tale

David Keighley: BBC sting in the reindeers’ tale


Hold the front page! The BBC has accepted it has made a mistake – over sensationalist claims about climate change.

But don’t faint: as always with the BBC and complaints, there is a sting in the tail.

Simon Reeve, the BBC ‘travel’ presenter (qualifications include working in a supermarket and being an advocate for the World Wide Fund for Nature), claimed in a recent programme about Russia that reindeer populations across the north of the country were ‘in steep decline’ because of climate change.
Lord Lawson of the Global Warming Policy Foundation submitted a complaint pointing out that according to a large-scale 2016 study, despite massive reductions in state support for husbandry 17 out of 19 sub-populations of Eurasian reindeer were either increasing or were stable. The survey specifically warned against linking numbers to climate change.

So did this monumental economical-with-reality statement by Mr Reeve warrant a full apology to Lord Lawson? Of course not. The Corporation simply stated: ‘This programme suggested that many reindeer populations are in steep decline because of climate change. It would have been more accurate to say that many reindeer populations are threatened by it.’

So in other words, even when BBC presenters are wrong, they are right. And on matters of climate change Lord Lawson is always wrong, as the BBC trumpets as loudly as it can.

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David Keighley
David Keighley
Former BBC news producer, BBC PR executive and head of corporate relations for TV-am. Director of News-watch.

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