THE asked me to write about self-censorship by journalists and their editors following the leak of e-mails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic research unit.  You can read my column here  


I really enjoyed the piece, Tim, and the parallels with WWI are illuminating.

Don't you think self-censorship, or at least the deliberate selection of news that reinforce your world view (and the one you wish to instill in your readers) is inevitable and widespread, though?

Hence the Independent's front page splashes and the endless asylum-seeker bashing in the Sun et al...

Don't attitudes of that kind result in the deliberate selection and presentation of news, and thus self-censorship of a sort, by ignoring/downplaying things that don't fit in with your agenda? At least in newspapers, anyway...

Widespread, yes. Inevitable, no. Of course newspapers are entitled to adopt an ideological stance. They do so, and the diversity of opinion available in the public sphere is enhanced as a result. But they should not ignore uncomfortable facts when reporting news, and the best do not. But I would believe that. I was trained by the BBC, John and I remain an impassioned idealist, convinced that fair, fact-based journalism, though never perfectly objective, is nevertheless a powerful force for good. I also think that interraction with our audiences via the internet can make it better.   

Self-censorship and climate change