Friday, 18 September 2009

Journalism (4)

Oh how I love 'subjective' journalism - an example of which is the report in today's Daily Telegraph that:

"Global warming has led to a change in their breeding and migrating patterns and this has forced the Department for Transport into a rethink on the rules which governing temporary road signs"

And the basis for the statement 'Global warming has led to a change in their breeding and migrating patterns' is.........?

On telephoning the Department of Transport (Road Signs) on 0207 944 2974 I was informed, by a most helpful lady, that the reason for this change was at the behest of Froglife, a conservation charity, and that the 'request' had been initially made in 2007! On querying whether this might also have anything to do with whether toads were a protected species under an EU directive or regulation and what basis was the claim about global warming, I was then informed that the Telegraph story was not factually correct and quote "I would not know - we are trying to protect the motorist, not toads."

Froglife - one of whose patrons was Ken Livingstone, he of 'newt' fame - has now, along with the Herpetological Conservation Trust, 'metamorphosed' into the Amphibians and Reptile Conservation Trust - as in July 2009. On their website they state that they are a registered charity, number 1130188, yet Companies House gives their number as 06932972. Inputting 1130188 into the Companies House website gives Trianco Activair Limited.

Afterthouoght: One interesting aspect of the report though is: ".......while the Natterjack is found in north west and southern England........" Too true - a few hundred 'Natterjacks' can be found in the confines of Westminster!

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