Letter to Editor of Family Law
Re: Don’t Shoot the Messenger- Louise Tickle on the Reaction to Channel 4 Dispatches
I write in relation to the above article, published 24/9/2021.
Firstly, I would seek to unreservedly condemn any correspondence sent to Ms Tickle that might reasonably be perceived as abusive, threatening and/or naked misogyny.
Speaking as an advocate for open and mature discussions about human rights issues, I am keenly conscious that such behaviour only serves to poison the well for those seeking to promote dignified discourse around matters that can often be both emotive and nuanced.
It is therefore, my sincere hope that Louise has brought all evidence of abusive correspondence to the attention of the appropriate social media platforms and, if appropriate, the police. This obviously includes evidence of the alleged orchestrated pile on by ‘men’s rights activists’, most of whom she has identified to be male.
Speaking as a man and as an advocate for human rights for boys and men (in tandem obviously with equal rights for women and girls), I am also keenly conscious that such behaviour can only ultimately serve to undermine those of us seeking to address gendered inequalities and, human rights issues impacting on women and men, in a mature, respectful, and professional manner.
Again, I condemn abusive behaviour unreservedly and I sincerely hope that the social media platforms involved take swift action appropriate to their trust and safety codes of practice.
That all being said, I write as one of the 550+ men and women who have taken the time to complain to OFCOM, the body responsible for regulating compliance with the communication code of practice most relevant to the Channel 4 Documentary that, as is acknowledged in the article, provoked a ‘pile on’ of many hundreds of messages, many of which were extremely complimentary about the narrative promoted by the show.
Having followed developments about this closely, I note that Louise appears to have opted not to directly address valid criticisms about the documentary, other than to acknowledge that they do exist and that, at least some of them, have been communicated in a constructive and non-abusive or threatening manner.
I also note that her approach to not addressing any valid criticism has been noticeably different to her varied efforts to highlight positive feedback from a diverse range of viewers and viewpoints. The article published by Family Law is entirely indicative of this approach.
Hopefully her approach will be more balanced if OFCOM ever do get in touch.
In the meantime, and in the interest of editorial balance and perceived impartiality (something that a diverse range of viewers believe was absent from the broadcast Louise presented), I would encourage you to seek out and publish a contribution from an expert professional, best placed to speak to the nature and validity of the complaints lodged with OFCOM.
I include a link to a presentation that I have submitted to OFCOM, outlining the five main ways that, I believe, Channel 4 breached broadcasting rules around accuracy, impartiality, harm and offence.
This presentation features the expert witness testimony of an Attachment Psychologist (with experience of the type of court ordered child removals that were inaccurately portrayed in the programme), a Family Law Barrister (with significantly more experience of Family Courts, when compared to the Barrister interviewed by Channel 4) and the Chair of Central and North London Branches of the Charity Families Need Fathers.
Their contact details are all included with the presentation, and I would encourage you to reach out to them.
Finally, I will take this opportunity to express my disappointment that Ms Tickle felt it appropriate or necessary to so casually criticise a fellow female journalist, by dismissing her report about the aforementioned complaints to OFCOM (in a National newspaper) on the basis that she apparently simply copy and pasted some tweets.
The fact that Louise would so blatantly and unapologetically seek to ‘shoot the messenger’ in an article where she quite literally pleads for others not to do the same to her, was, let’s say…instructive.