Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

1. Complaint Summary

Page 11



Presenting Contentious Opinions as if they Were Undisputed Facts

The narration on many occasions put forward interviewee opinions as if they were facts, without any qualification or context to make it clear that they were opinions and that they were highly controversial amongst those professionals whose expertise qualifies them to judge their veracity.

Moreover, on numerous occasions, the narrative of the programme also appeared to express the highly contentious views of the film-maker (either directly, or through repeated consecutive interviewee statements that appeared to the viewer to corroborate each other and therefore constituted narration) – despite that fact that it was not made clear to the viewer that this was a personal view programme; that it was not part of a series of programmes (see section 1.10, below); and that it concerned matters relating to current public policy – in clear breach of the impartiality sections of the Broadcasting Code ( 35xfpz).

While each individual transgression might be considered a relatively minor breach, taken together they constitute a systematic breach of both the accuracy and impartiality sections of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

A total of 11 breaches fell into this category: see Appendix A.3,page 121 for details: although for the purposes of this complaint we consider them to collectively constitute one serious breach.


Total Number of Serious Breaches

Given the grouped breaches in sections 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8 above, for the purposes of your investigation and your ruling we consider that this complaint has documented 67 serious breaches as opposed to the total number of 137 individual transgressions of the Codes and Act that this complaint documents.


There was no Series of Programmes

Several clauses in Section 5 of the Broadcasting Code refer to the need for impartiality either within a programme or over a series of programmes taken as a whole and if part of a series of programmes, Section 5 states that should normally be made clear to the audience on air. However, it was not announced on Channel 4 at any time that it was part of any series of related programmes. Furthermore, when challenged by George Monbiot (see, Hamish Mykura (Head of History, Science and Religion, Channel 4), claimed that it was part of a series with two other films that were not science programmes. In fact, we are not aware of any recent Channel 4 programmes that have explained in any detail the science of global warming; and certainly nothing that would counter the arguments put forth in The Great Global Warming Swindle.

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Section 1.8.3 / Section 1.9 / Section 1.10]


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Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007