Sunday, 01 Oct 2023

Sky News Australias Outsiders breached industry code for accuracy on climate science, media watchdog finds

Sky News Australias Outsiders breached industry code for accuracy on climate science, media watchdog finds


Sky News Australias Outsiders breached industry code for accuracy on climate science, media watchdog finds

Four segments on a Sky News Australia show that tried to undermine climate science and play down the threat of global heating on the Great Barrier Reef breached industry codes, an investigation by Australia's media watchdog has found.

Segments fronted by presenter Rowan Dean - who has described climate change as a "fraudulent and dangerous cult" - breached codes for fairness and for failing to distinguish opinion from fact.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority investigated the complaints from campaign group Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission which, at the time of the complaints, was chaired by former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

Current co-chair, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, said Acma's finding was "significant" and that Sky News Australia, together with Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, had been "systematically spreading lies and disinformation" that was damaging democracies and "in this case, the climate".

"At long last they are being held to account," he said.

Foxtel, the licensee that broadcasts Sky News Australia, will have to report back to Acma within four months on steps it is taking to avoid further breaches, including carrying out staff training.

Three of the four Outsiders segments were part of a running series called Weather and the Sceptics Ice-Age Watch presented by Dean, the editor of the Australian edition of conservative magazine the Spectator, between October and December 2021.

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