Being interviewed by Aljazeera English about media coverage of the judge’s decision on the Al Gore film Inconvenient Truth made me do some research. I came across this excellent bit of digging by Spinwatch. They point out that the man who took out the case to stop Gore’s film being shown in British schools was ‘supported’ by some dubious right wing mini-groups. It doesn’t mean that Gore didn’t make those nine errors in the film.( And I have to say, I am not sure about the wisdom of sending the movie out to all schools.) But it shows how some conspiracy theories can be right. This was not the story of a simple parent concerned for his children’s educational purity.
However, I don’t think Spinwatch should be so sanctimonoius about the way that the BBC’s coverage failed to stress the right-wing lobbying involved. The real story was that errors were highlighted in a movie which won Gore the Nobel Prize. That IS the main story. It doesn’t disprove Global Warming, but it shows how everything has to be tested. And part of the testing can now be done by ‘citizen journalists’ like Spinwatch who may have political motives themselves, but still make the media raise their game. I wouldnt be surprised if the experts at Spinwatch had more time to do their research then the BBC’s overstretched hacks. It was another example of Networked Journalism in action.