April 14th 2000 - 10:50 p.m. BST
Very well done to Brigit Solomon for facing the unrepentant face of Panorama in the stony faced form of reporter Shelley Jofre. Shelley's feature for Panorama on Monday 10th April, "Kids On Pills" was debated on UK Channel 4's Right To Reply program tonight, Friday 14th April at 7.30 p.m. Our report and others comments on the Panorama program can be read by clicking here.
Brigit spoke for many outraged parents giving a well-structured argument as to why her and others felt the program was biased and damaging. Shelley was however unrepentant saying when asked by presenter Roger Bolton if she had any regrets about the way the program had been made, "I don't have any regrets. I would hate for anyone to get the impression that we were saying bad parents were to blame for any of this because I certainly never used that phrase or wanted to give that impression. I think we took quite a thorough and fair and balanced approach to the subject and I'm quite proud of the film that we made".
Whilst Shelley may not have used the phrase "bad parents were to blame" in the actual film, all the trailers for Monday's program and the write up in the BBC's own Publication, The Radio Times, stated and I quote, "Shelley Jofre reports on the concern being expressed, both here and in America, that drugs such as Ritalin and Prozac are being prescribed to children to treat recognised behavioural disorders and are therefore being used as a substitute for good parenting". Not you notice "may be being used as a substitute for good parenting" but "are therefore being used". If that doesn't give a clear impression of what the programs content was going to be then Shelley Jofre, you quite apparently have a very low opinion regarding the intelligence of your intended audience.
Simon Hensby for adders.org
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