WGBA NBC 26  | 12-29-2016
In its December 29, 2016, 10pm newscast, NBC 26 (WGBA) addressed a “dramatic change” to the Wisconsin DNR’s website. Watch the story:
The “dramatic change” hyperbole aside, in its reporting, NBC 26 commits two types of bias.
First, it commits bias by policy endorsement by implicitly accusing the DNR of ignoring the existence of climate change – a disputed point. – despite the DNR’s position that “the reasons for this change at this particular time in the earth’s long history are being debated and researched by academic entities” – and undisputed point. In other words, NBC 26 takes umbrage with the DNR’s position because it does not conform to the belief in climate change.
Second, NBC 26 commits bias by selection of sources because it chose to solely feature an interview of a climate change advocate who states that climate change “hasn’t been a matter of debate for 20 years. It’s a fact.” Clearly, it is still in debate – at least insofar as the DNR and many other respected sources are concerned. So much so, the agency chose not to take a position on the subject.
Because of this, unbiased reporting would have featured commentary from a challenger of climate change. Instead, by only featuring a pro-climate change source, NBC 26 continues to give the impression that the DNR has gone through a dramatic change.