[Vision2020] Realclimate.org 5-24-16 "Scientists... help readers sort fact from fiction in climate change... coverage"

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Wed May 25 20:29:30 PDT 2016

Scientists getting organized to help readers sort fact from fiction in
climate change media coverage
Filed under:

   - Communicating Climate
   - Reporting on climate

— rasmus @ 24 May 2016

*Guest post by Emmanuel Vincent*

While 2016 is on track to easily surpass 2015 as the warmest year on
record, some headlines, in otherwise prestigious news outlets, are still
claiming that “*2015 Was Not Even Close To Hottest Year On Record*
(Forbes, Jan 2016) or that the “Planet is not overheating…” (The Times of
London, Feb 2016). Media misrepresentation confuses the public and prevents
our policy makers from developing a well-informed perspective, and making
evidence-based decisions.

Professor Lord Krebs recently argued in an *opinion piece*
in *The Conversation* that “accurate reporting of science matters” and that
it is part of scientists’ professional duty to “challenge poor media
reporting on climate change”. He concluded that “if enough [scientists] do
so regularly, [science reporting] will improve – to the benefit of
scientists, the public and indeed journalism itself.”

This is precisely what a new project called Climate Feedback
<http://climatefeedback.org/> is doing: giving hundreds of scientists
around the world the opportunity to not only challenge unscientific
reporting of climate change, but also to highlight and support accurate
science journalism.

The project uses a new online annotation platform, called Hypothesis
<http://hypothes.is/>, which allows scientists to apply “peer
review”-inspired analyses to influential climate change stories in the
media. The annotation tool allows scientists to analyze each piece
collectively; scientists’ fact-check are layered directly onto the original
texts so that readers can see the scientists’ sentence by sentence critique
right next to the article (see figure below).

Scientists contributing to these “feedbacks” are also invited to provide an
overall credibility assessment of the article in the form of a “5-star”
rating (ranging from -2 for ‘Very low’ to +2 for ‘Very high’). The rating
measures <http://climatefeedback.org/process/#tit4> the accuracy of facts,
the logic of the reasoning and the objectivity of the piece, and enables
readers to know right away whether what they are reading is consistent with
current science.


Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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