Tuesday, 7 July 2009

That second adjudication in full

Right, still no announcement on the PCC's site of the second adjudication, so here it is:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/3myt0kmnndz/Adjudication 2.pdf

As before, contact details are blacked out. Also helpful might be the results of the literature review:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/g4dzrtj2ny1/Same-sex adoption - Literature review.pdf

This is name-checked in the adjudication as the 'over twenty studies' I cited - the interesting thing here is that, for all their love of context, the Commission didn't get the point of these studies in relation to my argument. It's not weight of numbers which is important, it's the lack of 'repeated academic studies' or 'an increasing weight of academic evidence', i.e. that accuracy that I'd been complaining about.

Also interesting is the claim that the newspaper cast doubts on these studies - I was never shown their criticisms, although I trust they will be weighty and peer-reviewed. The Commission also fails to note my concern that the one paper the Mail cited wasn't itself peer-reviewed, and so had roughly the same authority as the newspaper itself does.

I'd also note again that the Commission agreed that the Mail had been misleading, but not that anyone misled needed to be told that they had been. Which brings me back to the conclusion that I drew from the last adjudication - there is no point seeking correction from the PCC. Their adjudications fail to engage with the arguments which have been made, their rules flex to accommodate what has been written, their sanctions are inconsistent with their rulings.

So where now? I think we need to find more public ways of dispelling media inaccuracy, both through direct engagement on a personal level with those the media has misled but also through wider fora. The Internet is a useful tool, but no substitute for direct, participatory action - one of things that's come out of this is the need for a greater communication between interest groups, single mothers coming under the same attacks as the LGBT community from the same shoddy 'academic' data, the scientific community being smeared by the misrepresentation of their methods, religious groups having their faith hi-jacked by special interests. Introducing this blog on another site I described it as an attack on us all, and it is. We need to bring misreporting and misinformation in general into our more established criticisms of society and the state because it's causal, not symptomatic.

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