Stuff is not a free speech site

You may have noticed that Stuff  is writing a number of articles at the moment about climate change.

On this blog, we also have a large number of posts on the subject, and a lot of our readers with scientific backgrounds question the issues around climate change, particularly as it is fed to the public by the media.

The overwhelming attitude on this blog is that the science is far from settled, and also that, to date, no one has ever been able to predict future events. For some reason, however, climate change believers think that they can predict the future, and that they know how things will pan out.

Here is the footnote to the Stuff articles, for the attention of commenters.

In other words, Stuff has come out and said that they are not interested in hearing from anyone who disagrees with them, no matter how convincing or well researched their responses might be.

For a mainstream media outlet in New Zealand, this attitude is a total disgrace.

One of our readers decided to contact Stuff and express their concern, firstly over the inaccuracy of their articles, and secondly over their draconian attitude towards comments from sceptics. Here is an extract from the letter sent to the Stuff editor by our reader. quote. 

Yesterday Stuff published an article on Climate Change. 

I could not believe my eyes when I read this!!! – that any journalist would be so one sided as to only print one side of an argument that is not settled.   What happened to free speech?  What happened to questioning?  If you do not understand why this argument is not settled, then you obviously did not read the IPCC report in detail and do not understand the scientific method and scientific approach. My husband attempted to draw relevant facts from the IPCC report which he quoted in response to your columnist, but this was conveniently ignored and not published in the comments.  So, you not only censor your journalistic approach, but you also censor your responses – this is a new low in journalism.

Journalism in NZ used to stand for questioning and scepticism of everything, no matter what your political persuasion was.  Journalism used to stand for printing both sides of an argument whether you agreed with it or not because as a journalist you were not afraid to print all views, you knew your readers had the intelligence to make up their own minds. end quote.

This was a reasonable and well thought out approach from our reader.

Here is an extract from the response from Stuff editor, Patrick Crewdson. quote.

Our position on the points you’ve raised is simple:

1. We accept the overwhelming scientific consensus – as represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – that climate change is real and caused by human activity. In that light, providing ‘balance’ from denialists is not a poor service to our audience – it is actively dangerous. This is not a true debate with two equivalent sides, where the views of the scientific consensus and denialists are of equal weight.

2. Regarding comments in particular, Stuff is a moderated platform, not a free speech arena. We have the right to set terms and conditions for comments: https://www.stuff.co.nz/about-stuff/87006221/terms-and-conditions-user-submitted-content-and-comments The Media Council has previously ruled on this point: “We reiterate that the Terms and Conditions for online comment are a matter between the online publisher and its readership. It is not a matter for the Council, nor do we have any jurisdiction to interfere in it.” end quote.

So, leaving aside the questions around climate change itself for the moment, Stuff has shown its true colours in that it is not interested in opinions that disagree with its own, and furthermore, it will delete any comments that indicate any level of dissent at all.

We all know exactly where this type of behaviour leads, and it is important that you are all aware that one of our major media outlets – Website of the Year no less – has openly stated that it opposes free speech and freedom of expression.

We would like to encourage everyone at Whaleoil to contact the editor, Patrick Crewdson to express their outrage over this new development in journalistic jihad. Here are the final comments of his response: quote.

You can rest assured that Quick! Save the Planet will include robust, critical reporting about the range of responses to climate change (in particular around mitigation and adaptation). If new information arises or the scientific consensus shifts, we will reflect that.
If you are not satisfied with my response, you are welcome to contact the Media Council: [email protected]

Ngā mihi,

 

Patrick Crewdson

Stuff Editor in Chief

For the sake of free speech and freedom of expression, this needs to be stopped now. Free speech is a fundamental right of western society. We all know how things end when free speech is denied.

 


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