"Thank you for your e-mail regarding 'Sunday' broadcast on 4 May.
I understand that you feel the report about the Goth lifestyle was deeply offensive and insensitive following the conviction of Brendan Harris and Ryan Herbert for the murder of Sophie Lancaster.
The feature on the Sunday programme was commissioned following a significant rise in the number of desecrated Christian graves in France. Our reporter was told by the Miviledes, the French Government's anti cult task force, that they had identified a sub group within the Goth Community in France who they believe were responsible for these attacks. This sub group was found to have been heavily influenced by Satanism and Neo-Nazism.
The reporter interviewed a young man who described himself as a Neo Satanist Goth and his experiences were heard in the feature. The other people interviewed were all recognised experts in this field and one in particular is consulted regularly by the French Police on crimes with religious overtones. All the statistics were provided by the Ministry of Youth from their recent report into youth culture.
The presenter made it very clear in his introduction that the feature was about the Goth Community in France and about some Goths who were influenced by Satanism. The programme was very careful not to link the story in anyway either to the Goth Community in Britain, which is a very different culture to that in France, or to the death of Sophie Lancaster. As all the interviewees were French and the feature was linked to a very specific event in France, we didn't think it would be necessary to remind listeners throughout the feature that we were not talking about the Goth community in Britain.
Thank you once again for taking the trouble to share your views with us.
First thoughts. It's not true that they interviewed a Satanist Goth!. (Let alone a neo-Satanist one, what ever that is.) They interviewed a charismatic Christian with a history of mental disturbance who claims that he used to be a Satanist Goth - which isn't exactly my idea of getting the Goth angle on the story. Also, remember that one of their 'experts' is the guy who claimed that Hitler rejected Christianity in favour of Norse paganism...
Also, if the Goth movement in France is so different from that in Britain, isn't that an excellent reason to make the distinction explicit for British viewers? Put it this way: if they were doing a report on a French hamburger chain called McDonald's that was selling rotten meat, do you think they might put in a sentence on the lines of 'This McDonald's has no connection with the American chain of the same name'?
Yeah, me too.