BBC Still Linking to JABS

September 22, 2009 at 11:05 am (Anti-Vaccination) (, , )

Having previously complained to the BBC about their linking to JABS and read with interest the opinions of the author of Lay Science Martin Robbins, I was disappointed to note that the BBC are still linking to the site even now. So I sent in another complaint. This time, I have read the guidelines on impartiality in an attempt to pre-empt any defence of “balance”. Here’s my complaint:

While I am aware that the BBC carries a disclaimer stating that “The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites”, the BBC are responsible for choosing which external sites to link to. I think it is inappropriate to link to the JABS website (jabs.org.uk) in stories on vaccination, as the information on this site is not reliable. I have complained about the BBC linking to JABS before and was told that “I am afraid that in the interests of balance we must link to Jabs.” Having today seen yet another article on the BBC’s website that links to JABS, I have now looked at the BBC guidelines on impartiality (achieving impartiality) and note that they include this point: “It does not require the representation of every argument or facet of every argument on every occasion or an equal division of time for each view.” Given that the BBC’s own guidelines state that impartiality does not require them to represent every argument or facet of argument on every occasion, can the BBC please stop linking to the inaccurate and unhelpful JABS website when publishing stories on vaccination? While the “MMR vaccination and autism” story may once have been controversial, this is no longer the case – the hypothesis that MMR vaccination causes autism has been discredited – so I do not believe that the BBC’s guidelines on controversial stories still apply (“We must ensure a wide range of significant views and perspectives are given due weight in the period during which a controversial subject is active”, controversial).

Here is the article which links to JABS: Autism rates back MMR jab safety.

4 Comments

  1. Twitter Trackbacks for BBC Still Linking to JABS « Stuff And Nonsense [jdc325.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com said,

    […] BBC Still Linking to JABS « Stuff And Nonsense jdc325.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/bbc-still-linking-to-jabs – view page – cached Having previously complained to the BBC about their linking to JABS and read with interest the opinions of the author of Lay Science Martin Robbins, I was disappointed to note that the BBC are still linking to the site even now. So I sent in another complaint. This time, I have read the guidelines on impartiality in an attempt to pre-empt any defence of “balance”. Here’s my complaint: — From the page […]

  2. steve rolles said,

    I notice whale.to, source of much JABS drivel, also has a nice line in holocaust denial.

  3. jdc325 said,

    Thanks for commenting. Some of the posts on Jabs and articles on whale.to are simply wacky, but some are actually pretty disgusting. I’ve previously sent the BBC links to pages on Jabs that included posts casting doubt on the link between HIV and Aids – and pointed out that posters were linking to pages on whale.to to support their HIV-Aids denialism.

    Here’s a snippet of one of the emails I sent the BBC when complaining about their linking to Jabs last May:

    A lot of the info on JABS comes from whale.to – a site that includes pieces on the dangers of vaccines alongside pieces accusing Richard Doll of being a Big Pharma stooge and articles about: a flying whale; the Illuminate; the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion; alien abduction and the author “burning his ass on a ley-line”.

  4. Andrew Wakefield: Misleading and Irresponsible « Stuff And Nonsense said,

    […] Alternatively, you may wish to see examples of the comments made on the JABS forum. In which case, you can click here for more on JABS. This is a group that was used as a source of information by the mainstream media – including the BBC. […]

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