Do We Really Need the Moon?, BBC2, 1 February 2011 & Why the Moon is getting further away from Earth, bbc.co.uk

Complaint

A viewer complained that the programme was wrong to describe the Moon as “speeding up” in its orbit (a phrase replicated in the associated online item).  He also complained that a graphic showing the moon orbiting the earth in the wrong direction had been misleading.

 

Outcome

The term “speeding up” had been taken from a book by an authority on the subject, who revised his view in the light of an academic paper cited by the complainant.  In response to the complaint, and before escalation to the ECU, the programme-makers acknowledged the inaccuracy and undertook to replace the term with one which was accurate in the context.  This sufficed to resolve that aspect of the complaint, and the inaccuracy in the graphic complained of was not such as to mislead viewers on the matter under discussion at that point in the programme.  However, one occurrence of “speeding up” remained uncorrected in the online item.

Resolved/upheld

 

Further action

The online item has been amended.

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