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Chris Mitchell and The Australian – good oil or snake oil?

The Australian’s editor-in-chief, Chris Mitchell, has been recognised with a special honour:

THE editor-in-chief of The Australian, Chris Mitchell, has won the JN Pierce Award for Media Excellence for leading the newspaper’s coverage of climate change policy.

For the first time, the judging panel presented the award to an editor rather than a reporter or columnist.

And who decided Mitchell and his paper deserved such an award?

The award is presented each year by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.

While the petroleum lobby might be fans of the Oz’s coverage of climate change issues, others seem to disagree.

Should a newspaper – or its editor – feel honoured to receive an award on its reporting and coverage from a group that appears to have a clear vested interest in the nature of the coverage?

ELSEWHERE: Mitchell’s award is being discussed at Pollytics and Larvatus Prodeo. Andrew Bolt, who is normally quick to criticise awards that he thinks are judged based on how well they suit the judges’ agenda, hasn’t picked it up yet.

ELSEWHERE #2: Tim Lambert notes:

The Australian did not report on their 2008 victory in RealClimates’s prestigious award for Most consistently wrong media outlet, but the APPEA award generated this headline: Editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell wins top award.

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  • 1
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    TZ – To be fair it should be noted that previous winners have included Journalists from the ABC.

    To award the prize to an editor and to highlight that as a result of the editorial influence over a number of journalists is a whole different issue.

  • 2
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I’d agree with that distinction, DB. But another important one is that the previous winners appear to have won for reporting that is largely about oil and related issues (e.g., the ABC’s Greg Hoy won it for a story on oil exploration), and not for “coverage of climate change policy”.

  • 3
    confessions
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    media excellence award in climate change reporting from the oil and gas lobby. LOL.

    meaningless suddenly took on a whole new meaning.

  • 4
    Daniel Ashdown
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    The First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.

  • 5
    Josh
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    May I suggest that Crikey adopt a pro-smoking editorial policy so that it can obtain awards from the prestigious Tobacco industry trade groups.

  • 6
    PeeBee
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I must admit, in my earlier life, my wife and I played 500 against another couple for the prestigeous ‘AustraAsian Championship’. The championship was won by them sometimes, by us other times. Years later when cards came up conversation, I would mention that my wife and I were once AustraAsian Champions and was always surprised at the interest and respect I got.

    So the process of self congratualatory prizes works!

  • 7
    Mobius Ecko
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Is this award as meaningful as Howard’s Medal of Freedom or his Irving Kristol Award?

    Then it must really be worth a lot and be legitimately deserving.

  • 8
    baldrick
    Posted June 4, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Looks like you managed to mention Bolt even though he has absolutely no linkage with this issue other than in your own opinion.

    Just saying. Its relevant cause you brought it up!

    I await the tenuous linkages from the forum here….don’t dissapoint me people!

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