Alan Jones.SHOCK-jock Alan Jones has taken to the radiowaves today to defend himself against the media regulator’s ruling that he breached the broadcast code and must submit to ”factual accuracy” training.
Yesterday, the Australian Communications and Media Authority released a damning report on Jones’s show, finding he breached broadcast rules by falsely claiming in March last year that Australians contributed just ”1 per cent of .001 per cent of carbon dioxide in the air”.
The authority accepted an offer by 2GB that it provide training to all its news and current affairs staff, including Jones, and use fact-checkers for Jones’s show.
Jones told his listeners this morning that ”much clapping has been heard from the apologists for climate change”, and questioned whether the episode was ”another chapter in the campaign of punishment for anyone who dares challenge the prevailing Government ideology of global warming”.
Nevertheless, Jones said, he had apologised for the error as soon as he had become aware of it, and had corrected the record.
”I was wrong and found to be wrong when I said, ‘Remembering all this when the percentage of man-made carbon dioxide Australia produces is 1% of .001% of carbon dioxide in the air. Nature produces nearly all of the carbon dioxide in the air. Human beings produce .001% of the carbon dioxide in the air and Australians produce 1% of that – that’s one percent of .001 is .00001% of the air. 1/100,000th’,” Jones said.
”Now this is an obvious error, because human beings produce 3 per cent of the carbon dioxide in the air, not .001 per cent.
”And I can’t recall the number of times I have said, and it is uncontested, that human beings produce 3 per cent of the carbon dioxide in the air.
”So how did .001 per cent get into my head? It might have been a late night or a very busy morning. We cover a lot of territory here in this programme.”
Later, Jones said: ”We are fastidious on this program about getting it right, if my staff think I’ve got it wrong they’ll immediately come in to correct me, but I have offered the simple proposition on many occasions that if there is warming, how can the human beings be doing it when 97 per cent of carbon dioxide is produced by nature, 3 per cent by human beings.
”I’m not seeking to excuse the error. But I tell you honestly, because I’ve done an awful lot of reading and work on this as you know, I’m not in the business of throwing stuff out off the top of my head.”
ACMA has ordered all 2GB news and current affairs staff to undergo training in factual accuracy by next month.
External trainers will conduct training sessions for Jones and other news and current affairs staff at 2GB.
But finding trainers could be a challenging task, with many leading journalism academics having been involved in the online ”Destroy the Joint” campaign against Jones. That campaign led to droves of advertisers abandoning the show in the wake of Jones’ offensive comments about the Prime Minister in relation to her late father.
Under the agreement struck between 2GB and ACMA, the external trainers will report back to ACMA at the conclusion of the training sessions.
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