Looking after the seabirds: This picture from BP's blog, detailing oil-spill cleanup efforts

The contemporary journalism blog – Peter Shaplen Productions – has excellent coverage (here) of BP’s media management  using social media (here) to get their own stories out, from their own reporters, including coverage of the victims of the oil spill. An incredible vehicle for setting up their own narrative and keeping it running alongside the news media’s unsurprisingly often critical coverage. As the author of this blog says, “brilliant but insidious”. It’s what I’d do in their place.

Given the flak the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) has been taking in recent months, perhaps there are lessons here for them! The IPCC typically tends to try to keep its head down and avoid the media circus in order, perhaps, to maintain its appearence of a pure scientific body, impartial, apolitical and focused on getting the job done.

It’s work, however, if it wasn’t innately political, has certainly been politicised now, and there is a nagging sense from the news coverage that their critics are scoring well-documented points across the board, leading to the recent UN-commissioned review (see the BBC article here) . Sceptic books (and films) of all shades go completely to town attacking them. It’s certainly not what anyone could call a transparent organisation.

Time to set up the IPCC blog?