Media in the Time of Extinction and Climate Breakdown

It’s a New Year and it’s time for a New You. That’s certainly what Kevin Keane, Scotland’s erstwhile ‘Environment Correspondent’  must have thought.

On the 10 January he was still BBC Scotland’s ‘Environment Correspondent’.

On the 11 January he was still BBC Scotland’s ‘Environment Correspondent’. (click on the image to enlarge)

But by the 22 January he’d become BBC Scotland’s ‘Energy Correspondent’ 9 (click on the image to enlarge).

This may have something to do with Bella’s complaint that in light of catastrophic climate breakdown it was inappropriate to have a ‘Environment Correspondent’ talk about the “biggest potential” for oil companies in the North Sea.

Our story (10 January) seems to have triggered some changes at BBC Scotland News.

This is good – although what seems to have happened is they’ve just ditched the ‘Environment’ bit altogether and we can now expect more churnalism for the “oil sector”.

Kevin Keane’s News Editor Howard Simpson told Bella that “As Kevin covers all three briefs his byline is occasionally adapted in relation to the story.”

But this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Looking back over the past year he is always referred to as “BBC Scotland’s ‘Environment Correspondent” – no matter whether he is reporting on exciting new oil finds, vehicle tracks or derelict land.

Here’s some examples going back over many months: 

“Oil exploration in North Sea ‘to bounce back’ in coming year”

“UK’s first carbon capture and storage project ‘operational by mid 2020s” 

“Inquiry finds ‘insufficient evidence’ for salmon farming moratorium” 

Here (another enthusiastic oil report): “Oil flows from BP Clair Ridge development off Shetland”.

“Will the UK and EU reach a Brexit deal on fishing?”

“Stricter rules could close salmon farms”

“Campaigners urge ministers to ‘up their game’ on climate change”

“Oil and gas releases continue despite North Sea safety improvements”

“Calls to speed up climate change action in agriculture”

“Task force to develop derelict land in Scotland launched”

“Vehicle tracks ‘damaging’ landscapes”

“Orkney gets new flood warning system”

“Orkney tidal turbine generating ‘phenomenal result’

As you will see in every single one of those stories Kevin Keane is the Environment Correspondent.

It’s an impossible to task to cover Energy and Environment as if they are just neutral things in the news.

We are in the middle of a man made extinction event.

Public broadcasters and the media have a duty to respond with better than this.

In other news the New York Times reports that:

“Greenland’s enormous ice sheet is melting at such an accelerated rate that it may have reached a “tipping point,” and could become a major factor in sea-level rise around the world within two decades, scientists said in a study published on Monday.”

 

Comments (5)

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  1. john burrows says:

    Confusion is simply the name of the game.

    The BBC is no more than an advertising medium these days. Nothing but “sponsored” content. Usually with a little hand wringing thrown in to deflect the blame onto others, or to cast doubt on the evidence of human links in this chain of destruction.

    Forcing the BBC to alter the title of one employee does little to address the central issue that this public broadcaster, financed with public money, views its audience as nothing more than a commodity. Sold to the highest bidder. The BBC charter is not worth the paper it is written on. Bloomberg is probably a better source of the news that is peddled by the BBC. At least Bloomberg don’t pretend they are a public broadcaster. Payment for their service is voluntary. The “cultural” output of the BBC is just not worth the price of the future.

    The current generation of Public School/Oxbridge dimwits running the UK these days have more than demonstrated, for all the world to see, their utter hopelessness in everything they do. The BBC is riddled with them. I don’t really believe they are malicious. Just surprisingly consistent in their astonishing incompetence.

    The only solution to the growing chaos in the UK is to radically reduce these influences currently infesting our public services. The view point of the alumni of these anachronistic imperial institutions is now so toxic, they are destroying the host. Since education in England was privatised, placement in these institutions is now based solely on class and money. So, congenital idiots and mediocrities.

    By their negligence, they have reduced the UK to an insane asylum. A self harming community in desperate need of therapy. A kind of national Jonestown on the verge of drinking the cool aid.

    Getting the BBC to change the title of one of their PR functionaries is treating a symptom. It does nothing to effect a cure for the systemic disease. In Scotland’s case, the only readily available cure is amputation. We should help our brothers and sisters in the UK. Waiting for England to recover its wits is a forlorn hope, without the shock therapy of radical surgery.

    1. Thanks John – I agree – it wasn’t meant to be claimed as some great victory, simply pointing out the confusion and editorial incompetence at play.

    2. Josef Ó Luain says:

      You’re probably right about the Oxbridge mob. To be consciously “malicious” requires a certain amount of consideration and forethought.

  2. Mathew says:

    Apparently the betwatted beeb are making a documentary on climate breakdown due to be aired in the Spring. It’s been ten years since their last one. TEN!!

    1. Alistair Taylor says:

      Too little, too late, eh?
      But maybe there will be a bumper edition of the Great British Bake-Off,
      Or suchlike.
      I don’t watch TV, and haven’t in decades.
      But there used to be some good stuff, once upon a time. Documentaries by investigative reporters like John Pilger.
      It wouldn’t do nowadays, to be telling it like it is. Might make us ask questions.

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