Alex Hogg, chairman of the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association, says he was stitched up by Channel Four News in a report on wildlife crime. He said that the broadcasters:
– Asked the same question more than six times because they didn’t like his answer
– Told him to repeat his answer without mentioning the plight of waders
– Edited his answers to fit the story they wanted to tell
– Produced an “extreme” report designed to provoke an emotional response from the public
The five-minute report, presented by Cordelia Lynch, was broadcast on Channel 4 on Wednesday 12 February. The studio introduction linked it to Prince Charles’ and Prince William’s support for the London summit on wildlife crime, saying that the royals “face charges of hypocrisy for taking part in a sport that campaigners say is linked to the death of iconic birds of prey like golden eagles and hen harriers.”
In an interview with Modern Gamekeeping, Mr Hogg said that during a one-hour interview he was asked the question of whether gamekeepers were killing raptors at least half a dozen times. “By the time the interviewer asked it the last time, I was so annoyed I just said ‘No’ and didn’t give a reason. It was clear that what the programme wanted me to say was ‘Yes, gamekeepers were killing raptors’.”
He believes that the producers arrived with a fixed agenda and were simply looking for the quotes to fit their story.