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Thread: Reply from BBC RE: Countryfile/Emporer stag episode

  1. #1

    Reply from BBC RE: Countryfile/Emporer stag episode

    Dear Mr Flyingfisherman,

    Many thanks for your correspondence about the Countryfile programme broadcast on Sunday, November 21.

    I am sorry that you felt the film was 'unbalanced.' The BBC takes complaints of this nature very seriously and vigorously defends its reputation for fair, balanced and accurate reporting.

    There is no doubt that opinions on hunting are divided and when Countryfile covers the subject there are always comments from viewers who represent both sides of the argument. On this occasion I am in no doubt that the programme gave a balanced view of hunting - both for and against.

    Near the head of the film John Craven talks to the residents of Rackenford who are at pains to point out that they could not understand what all the fuss was about when the media descended on their village. The strong inference being that the shooting of deer is a way of life in this part of the Devon countryside.

    John Craven says in commentary:

    'In the village pub, appropriately the Stag Inn, the locals just couldn’t believe the fuss over the shooting of a deer. Other locals were equally bemused.'

    During his interview with the landlady of the Stag Inn, John Craven asks:

    JC: 'It's quite a common occurrence around here isn't it shooting stags - I mean you've got a fine set of antlers here at the stag pub!'

    Landlady: 'Yes we do - I mean this does seem like a storm in a tea cup……'

    Later in the film John interviews hunter 'Andy' - a British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) member who organises trophy hunts and who is hired by landlowners to control the deer population.

    'Andy' talks about how well the deer population is managed in the UK and that in other parts of Europe deer are taken when they are too young.'

    John then asks Andy what checks are made on would-be trophy hunters.

    JC: 'If I was a trophy hunter would to check to make sure I was a reasonable shot?'

    Clearly demonstrating that there are strict controls surrounding the culling of deer, Andy responds:

    'Oh absolutely - in fact whether you were culling or trophy hunting you will be taken to a range where you would show me that you can shoot correctly and accurately……the trophy side of things is a by-product. The animal has to be taken when we feel it has to be taken. If it's got a good set of antlers then that is just a bonus.'

    John does not suggest there is anything wrong with this - though in the interest of balance there is an interview with a representative from the League Against Cruel Sports.

    Even here, John says to the contributor:

    'But what about the argument that there are too many deer - that they do need to be culled for their own good really….'

    I can confirm that Countryfile were in touch the BASC who were very helpful during the course of our research. However, the 'stalker' they lined up for us did not want to be identified and did not want to be interviewed. The programme makers decided that this might imply that the stalker in question had something to hide - that some viewers may question his integrity. For this reason we decided to film with the contributor Andy who was happy to be visually identified and was prepared to be interviewed.

    I do hope this explanation goes some way to addressing your concerns. We appreciate your interest in Countryfile and for taking the trouble to write and I can assure you that your comments have been registered.


  2. #2
    Thanks ff for posting this. Interesting for me to read as I don't live a million miles away.

  3. #3
    i FEEL THAT WAS A GOOD RESPONCE BUT WOULD NOW ASK BASC to make sure that the person they ask to speek on behalf of the deer stalking comunity dose not hide in a corner but speeks in a clear and well balanced way.

  4. #4
    I wonder how they would have replied, if they really knew how the greater portion of real country dwellers refer to this program?????????? "Countryphobe" is the current one amongst many Cheshire land users/owners.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  5. #5
    Not a bad response from the beeb. Why on earth couldn't BASC find someone who was prepared to speak???

  6. #6
    did you really get XXXXX from the Beeb?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bobt View Post
    did you really get XXXXX from the Beeb?
    Hah, no, same as they didnt address it to Mr Flyingfisherman.. hehe.

    I agree with 6pointer and AndrewS, would be nice to hear why it all went to rat sh*t just before the programme was to be filmed.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewS View Post
    Not a bad response from the beeb. Why on earth couldn't BASC find someone who was prepared to speak???
    Isn't it ironic that BASC have recently had their media centre opened by Prince Phil, but couldn't find someone amongst their number that was willing to robustly defend this whole debacle on TV??

    An open-media-goal unfortunately missed....??
    Nothing is worse than having an itch you can never scratch

    "...Nicely just doesn't cut the cheese....." A new twist on management-speak courtesy of a colleague.

  9. #9
    typical basc sit back in there new media centre say nowt just and count the pounds rolling in surely this was a great media oppotunity

  10. #10
    How can it be termed a media centre (in the full sense of the term) if internet membership participation is denied & kicked into the long grass, (Elephant grass, that is!)
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

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