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25/02/2018
BBC Radio 4

    Feedback: Are some things too horrible to broadcast?

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    Feedback's presenter Roger Bolton

    "Did they really say that? Why on earth would they want that broadcast? Do they really know what the consequences could be of millions of people listening in to some very private moments?"

    All these thoughts went through my head when I heard the two part series The Trouble with Kane on Radio 4.

    The producer followed a 12 year old boy arrested for possession of cannabis, who instead of being taken into custody is one of the first people in Britain to be dealt with through a combination of family therapy and home drug testing.

    Of course I was riveted by the programmes, and stopped the car until they were over, but I wondered whether I should feel guilty for listening in?

    And how much detail do we need to know about the horrors of the world?

    Foreign Correspondent Mike Thomson talked to Zawadi Mongane a woman who had suffered terribly at the hands of rebel Rwandan rebel soldiers in the Congo. They made her hang her own child.

    Did we need to know that and to listen to her tearful interview?

    Another programme, Victoria Derbyshire on 5Live, broadcast from an abortion clinic, talking to some of the clients and spelling out the details of what happened there. Was this suitable for broadcasting to a mass audience?

    All these were undeniably powerful, and in some cases, award winning, programmes, and three of the reporters and producers involved came into the Feedback studio to discuss the issues raised.

    Here is that discussion.

    Afterwards I wondered if there was an age issue here.

    My parents were born before the first world war and were pretty tight lipped about their private feelings, at least outside the home.

    Although I would probably count as a child, or at least a teenager, of the 60s, I too was, perhaps still am, reticent about my private life., not that there is much to hide I say quickly.

    Are today's teenagers, with information about anything, including porn, a mere switch way really any different? I suspect talking about ones deepest feelings is never easy, for anyone.

    Roger Bolton presents Feedback

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