Channel 4 bats away shooting industry hysteria

On Monday evening Channel 4 News included an explosive piece about grouse shooting in the North York Moors National Park and its association with the illegal killing of birds of prey.

Fronted by veteran war correspondent Alex Thomson, it was a follow-up to an item that was broadcast back in May where Alex had again focused on the illegal killing of birds of prey on grouse moors in the North York Moors National Park as well as in the Nidderdale AONB (see here).

Monday’s piece was car-crash viewing if you were a member or supporter of the grouse shooting industry, in what was an extraordinary display of arrogance, denial and entitlement from a number of individuals involved with a grouse shoot. All those previous media campaigns, carefully-crafted to showcase this industry to the general public in the best possible light, shot down in tatters during a prime time viewing slot before our very eyes. If you missed it, this six minute film is well worth your time.

Predictably, since the programme aired some members of the shooting industry (which, remember, professes a ‘zero tolerance‘ for raptor persecution) have been in an absolute rage on social media, angrily shouting about how unfair it all was, how dare a high profile journalist question anybody involved in this noble ‘sport’ for their views on illegal raptor persecution, spitting blood that there wasn’t an alternative opinion given (conveniently forgetting that the Moorland Association was given the opportunity to comment, but didn’t).

They were also probably furious that several members of the local community were filmed, dispelling quite a few myths and debunking the propaganda often painted of a moorland community in harmony – a rural idyll where local residents are deliriously enthralled by the activities of the local grouse moor managers and thankful for the boost that grouse shooting brings to the local economy, without which the local community would apparently collapse. Nah, these Goathland residents weren’t having any of it. Kudos to them for standing their ground.

Don’t be surprised to see the launch of a campaign /petition calling for Alex Thomson’s dismissal from Channel 4  –  this thuggish industry has a well-deserved reputation for trying to shoot the messenger, usually by generating a nasty little smear campaign to undermine the integrity of those who dare to speak out against the industry’s criminality and environmental destruction.

Meanwhile, several individuals have already been making complaints about the programme directly to Channel 4. Channel 4 is having none of it. Here’s the standard response that has been sent back:

Brilliant! If you’d like to send Channel 4 a message of support for (a) broadcasting the footage during its main evening news schedule and (b) having the balls to stand up to the resulting howling hysteria of the grouse shooting industry, you can use this form (here) to show your support and appreciation.

18 thoughts on “Channel 4 bats away shooting industry hysteria”

  1. Thank you Channel 4, the only national news broadcaster worthy of that title now!
    Thank you so much for being brave, not folding to the bully boys who’ve cowed the BBC and ITV.
    Keep doing good!

  2. Well done to the folks of Goathland. They seem to be realising that it’s safe to comment because the myth of total support for the grousers has now been busted. Old style bullying doesn’t work so well when people have the support of social media.

  3. Let’s hope there will be a domino effect….Bear Baiting then Otter Hunting then Cock Fighting then Hare Coursing then Fox Hunting with dogs Next GROUSE SHOOTING.

  4. Excellent ! Channel 4 thank you for standing up to these disrespectful people who do this just for fun : pat on the back for you✋

  5. The reaction from shooters to what has happened this spring (and for the many, many years before) is why I wouldn’t shed a single tear if grouse, pheasant and partridge shooting was to be stopped.

    How many shooting organisations, or even individual shooters, have stood up after each incident, and said that crime has to stop, and offered to help provide evidence?

    On the flip side, after each incident, the airways are full of shooters claiming fake news, fabricated evidence, complete innocence, and smearing campaigners in the most unpleasant ways. The shooting organisations do nothing to stop those claims and smears; some take part.

    So, their opportunity to change has long-gone. We must push for the harshest controls possible, on all aspects of shooting. Shooting has proven itself completely incapable of change, to be ridden with crime, and has only itself to blame for what is coming.

  6. Excellent coverage from Channel 4 which presents the issues to a much wider audience.

    It bust several myths:

    Gamekeepers “Guardians of the countryside” Nope Ignorant, arrogant tossers

    “You city folk don’t understand the ways of the countryside” Nope local people speaking out against grouse shooting

    A breath of fresh air. I hope they continue to cover the issues surrounding grouse shooting.

    Well done Alex Thomson and Channel 4.

  7. I would like to commend C4 news for its focus on environmental issues like this when other channels, at least in their news, do not seem to find environmental news worthy of broadcast. Items like this and the climate crisis need public exposure in a fair non-biased way. Well done!

  8. The local …..r has had a fall out with the shoot owner/farmer and has left the shoot, theres not much being reared this year, this Summer the Buzzards have been more noticeable , Im guessing why,

  9. Dear Ch 4,
    Thank you for showing the grouse shooting repot the other night.
    It’s good to see TV that shows the truth.

  10. Glowing thank you sent to Channel 4 thanks for the link. In the future during argie bargies with shooters on social media will be able to paste in link to this feature…..can’t wait! Yes it was especially commendable that they actually spoke to the local community directly, whenever has that been done before? Usually on Countryfile or Landward the grouse shooters claim how much the locals love grouse moors which is just accepted without bothering to actually speak to them, piss poor reporting. The only ‘community’ we usually see are keepers, their wives and rosy cheeked, cherubic children – I assume any inconveniently ugly ones are locked in the shed for the duration of filming. All rather puke inducing. I can’t remember the journalist’s name, but I read a quote of theirs recently that if you have a thousand issues and expect the cases for and against every one are equally balanced then that’s ridiculous. That’s why the Channel 4 feature was excellent it was very fair therefore showed there’s no balance of pluses and minuses with grouse shooting, it’s utter shite.

  11. Reply from C4:

    “Thank you for contacting Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries regarding Channel 4 News,

    We are pleased to read of your praise for the report. Please be assured your comments have been noted and logged for those responsible for our news.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact us here at Channel 4, we hope you continue to enjoy our programming.

    Kind Regards,

    Julia Kell
    Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries”

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