I was delighted to be asked on to the last panel of the Edinburgh TV Festival in August to debate the issues of news bias raised by Emily Mathis in her McTaggart Lecture and to make the case against the governments ideological pursuit of Channel 4 privatisation.
The Conservative’s decision to privatise Channel 4 shows they are not serious about levelling up our country, supporting British made programming and our home-grown creative industries in the regions and nations of the UK, or promoting British cultural soft power around the world.
This unnecessary privatisation is also a huge distraction from the cost-of-living crisis facing families. Families want the government to strain every sinew to help them make ends meet, not pursue a petty vendetta against a broadcaster whose news content the Conservatives don’t like.
Channel Four has a unique role in British broadcasting as a company owned by the British public, which costs the public nothing, and ploughs its profits into commissioning new programming, creating jobs and discovering new talent across the country.
Since 2007, Channel 4 has spent over £220m on Scottish productions, with about £20m per annum being spent in recent years.
They are a key commissioner from Scottish Indies and other broadcasters like STV. Their own features and daytime team – the largest creative team they have – is now based in their Glasgow office.