Climate activist and researcher Naomi Oreskes suggested in a recent interview that journalists shouldn’t speak to energy producers, and that energy companies’ speech should be regulated on social media, because she considers what they have to say to be propaganda. Thankfully, Oreskes isn’t in charge of making those decisions, but her influence with the press and activist community makes this proclamation all the more troubling.
In her interview with the New Zealand Listener, Oreskes came out against journalistic balance and objectivity:
“The fossil-fuel industry exploited the journalistic ideals of fairness, objectivity and particularly the idea of balance to manipulate journalists into presenting what was essentially propaganda, what we would now call fake news, as the other side of a science story – not as a political story or an economic story but as the other side of a science story, when, in fact, it wasn’t a science story at all.”
Of course, speaking to representatives of the energy industry can provide readers with broader context and subject matter expertise, but Oreskes would prefer that point of view be left out of coverage. And she is ready to use the force of law to ensure agreement, telling the Listener that she supports regulation of social media to stop the spread of “disinformation.
Read more at EID Climate.
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