Channel 4 boss says it is ‘important’ that government projects be ‘scrutinized’


Its chief content officer said the government’s plans to privatize Channel 4 should be “rigorously scrutinized by MPs and colleagues from all sides”.

Since it was publicly owned by the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher in 1982, and funded entirely by advertising, broadcasters such as Culture Secretary Nadine Doris are being sold. Had previously announced.

Speaking at the Wales Screen Summit in Cardiff, Channel 4’s Chief Content Officer, Ian Katz, said in a speech reflecting the “complex and delicately balanced ecosystem” of the UK’s public service broadcasting architecture: Less – and even he – has a stronger grip, and it’s harder to predict the consequences of tampering with pieces. “

That is why in the coming months, it is imperative that the government’s plans for the privatization of Channel 4 be scrutinized by MPs and colleagues from all walks of life.

“They fully understand the pervasiveness of British life, that if it is sold without proper reservations, it can be used to support our creative economy, to make it equal, to represent the whole of Britain, to innovate. Critical thinking and intelligent, open discussion that plays a role in promoting awareness.

The former editor of Newsnight warned that if the proposed privatization proceeded “without careful protection of its essence”, “the day after the sale of the channel may turn out differently”.

“But gradually, a valuable part of our natural cultural capital may be lost. Like the proverbial frog in boiling water, we cannot understand the value until it is too late.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Doris says the sale of Channel 4 will “benefit the whole country” (Aaron Chowin / PA) / PA Wire

Earlier this week, during a Labor Day opposition debate in the Commons, Ms Doris told MPs that the government intended to use the proceeds from the sale to “benefit the whole country”.

It also claimed that the reason for the government’s decision to change ownership of the channel was that “the state cannot own a public service broadcaster that risks borrowing money”.

As for how she intends to “benefit the whole country” by selling Channel 4, Ms Doris explained: There has already been a lot of initial interest from a wide range and when the sale is secured it will not only benefit Channel 4. We intend to use this money to benefit the whole country. “

Mr Katz also responded to Ms Doris’ comments, calling Channel 4 News “entertaining” and saying the program sometimes did “no favors” in terms of impartiality.

He said: “Let’s not consider Nadine Doris’ observation before the select committee of DCMS that Channel 4 News did ‘no favors’ itself as the government has repeatedly made it clear that there is a political motive behind it. There is no scoring factor. For privatization. “

Like the proverbial frog in boiling water, we cannot understand the value until it is too late.

In April this year, the government’s White Paper gave a first look at Channel 4’s proposed plans, saying that under public ownership, the broadcaster has limited ability to borrow or raise capital by issuing shares and set up ” Effectively prevents it from owning its own content “, as it relies heavily on advertising revenue.

In his speech, Mr. Katz referred to Channel 4 News as the “most exclusive – and least commercial – area” of output, adding that “it is very possible that privatized Channel 4 would be a different kind of news. Will provide the program we are currently broadcasting. “

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. “It will be possible to consider this. Some of Channel 4’s most exclusive shows are made and educated guesses about whether they will appear on a net-profit channel.”

After naming Channel 4’s popular comedy series, such as Dairy Girls and VR Lady Parts, he said: “If the business you are in is a business, then comedy is not a good business. Or, you could say, A privatized Channel 4 is not funny.

A commission was also announced in Caradog Prichard’s novel Un Nos Ola Leuad (One Moonlit Night) in partnership with S4C, an opera sung in Welsh and aired on British TV.