If the ‘alternative’ viewpoint isn’t sound, there is nothing to report on the alternative viewpoint.
For some things there are no sound alternative viewpoints.
There seems to be a number of media personnel who feel obliged to offer ‘another’ viewpoint, as if everything were decided by opinion.
It is, at best, lame journalism to rope in some unorthodox opinion to fill in some imaginary requirement that an alternative viewpoint be offered.
Alternative views make sense for things defined entirely by opinion: a dress at the Oscars, the colours an automobile manufacturer choose for it’s cars – and so on.
Scientific things are determined by evidence, not opinion.
There can be alternative viewpoints in science for issues that have yet to be settled. In that case it ought to be noted that the material is still under open investigation: the ‘state of play’ of the science should be presented. It would be quite misleading, though, to place unsound alternative viewpoints alongside science that is well-resolved. In that case, the alternative views incorrectly imply the science is unresolved, leaving the piece misrepresenting the subject matter.
Similarly, if views that are not sound are presented alongside sources that are sound, the audience may take away that the ‘alternative’ view has a creditability that they do not.
I’ve been reminded of this by Radio New Zealand, who usually do a good job, offering Hilary Butler as a counterpoint to information on vaccines by Immunisation Advisory Centre immunisation research director Helen Petousis-Harris.