When asked why the broadcast had not included footage of the dog on the move, the KC said:
"In light of the concern over the particurlar dog we made the decision not to further highlight the unsound movement of the dog whilst we discuss ways forward to improve the health of the breed."Remember that the KC here is talking about the TV footage broadcast on Channel 4, a public service broadcaster.
Here's what the Channel 4 guidelines say on this point:
Broadcasters must retain complete editorial control over their programme content. In order to achieve this:
- programmes must always be and appear to be editorially independent;
- programmes should not promote or endorse the commercial products and services of others or appear to.
- any improper external influence on the editorial process must always be resisted e.g. by a commercial organisation, a contributor or anyone or any organisation who seeks to exercise some degree of control over programme content;
I have today submitted a complaint to Channel 4 - and will follow it up with the broadcasting watchdog, Ofcom.
I know this one won't provoke as much outrage as a deformed German Shepherd, but I'm a TV producer and guard very fiercely my editorial independence when making my own films.
Behind the scenes, there has been a lot of concern about the impartiality of the Crufts broadcasts because it is pretty obvious to anyone in the know that the Kennel Club pulls a lot of strings. Everyone invited on to that Crufts TV sofa is KC-friendly.
My understanding is that the live footage from the show is streamed to an OB (outside broadcast) team that edits the footage for broadcast, with a KC media representative overseeing the process.
Hopefully next year, if Channel 4 continues to broadcast the show that the BBC dropped on animal welfare grounds after Pedigree Dogs Exposed, measures will be put in place to ensure that the Kennel Club is not running the show.