When I was a trainee journalist at BBC news, I was taught – rightly – that there is an inevitable hierarchy when it comes to reporting national and world events.
Yet today, as the world finds itself in the throes of the biggest emergency ever faced by humankind, the corporation I once respected and admired is consistently failing its viewers and listeners.
The current chain of events is already leading to catastrophic sea level rise, burning forests, and ecocide. To trivialise or downplay this – ignoring the warnings of 98% of climate scientists – is to do a criminal disservice to the people of Britain and the world.
Your viewers and listeners are not stupid, and they deserve full coverage of the truth in order to prepare for the future.
Please do not miss this opportunity to be fully and wholeheartedly on the right side of history, and to save human lives, wildlife and ecosystems.
What the world needs now is clear vision. As the world’s greatest broadcasting organisation, the BBC can and must pick up this challenge – or lose its reputation as a responsible broadcaster.
I urge you to pay heed to Extinction Rebellion’s call to reform your coverage and re-balance the news agenda to reflect the reality of the crisis. But most of all, I call on you to rise to the occasion of our rapidly-changing times.
SOME EXAMPLES OF THE BBC IGNORING/NOT COVERING THE SEVERITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE
- The BBC refused to cover reports on the UN Security Council special conference on climate change in July 2018. Dire warnings were given about the security implications of mass migration caused by climate change.
- In September, the UN Secretary General appealed to news outlets to cover his upcoming speech on climate change and on 10 September he then delivered it, warning that we now face “a direct existential threat” and warned of “runaway climate change”. The BBC refused to cover that on TV or radio news.
- Following a string of stinging complaints, the BBC has given ground and promised to improve its coverage of news but it still refuses to allow the public to hear the really frightening material in connection with the various climate feedbacks and tipping points.
- Many campaigners fear the BBC has a policy of not frightening the public but we need to stop the censorship if people are to realise the seriousness of the situation and call for dynamic action to prevent catastrophe