Bectu responds to broadcasting reforms and Channel 4 privatisation

28 April 2022

The Government has today published plans to reform the British broadcasting industry and to pursue a change of ownership of Channel 4.

channel 4

Responding to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s announcement on broadcasting reforms, Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said:

“The government’s plans are big on rhetoric but light on detail, particularly regarding creating more jobs and fostering continued growth for the UK’s thriving independent production sector.

“The UK’s much-loved public service broadcasters bring so much to the media landscape and we need robust plans and legislation to protect and nurture their unique offering.

“In the case of Channel 4, this hugely successful, self-sustaining broadcaster supports a thriving independent production sector that directly invests £12 billion into the UK production industry, creating 10,000 jobs in the supply chain, a third of these in the nations and regions.

“There could not be a worse time to introduce further uncertainty for the creative industries, who were among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and continue to face a chronic skills shortage.

“Privatisation will deal a heavy blow to independent production and the thousands of jobs it creates. The viewing public will also suffer – under the current funding model Channel 4 can champion risk and creativity, commissioning boundary-pushing, thought provoking content for British audiences to enjoy.

“It’s imperative that this uniquely British institution stays in public hands. The current model isn’t broken, so why is the government tampering with it? The broadcaster is self-sustaining and invests 100% of its revenue back into the organisation, at zero cost to the taxpayer. It’s clear that ideology, not public interest, is at play here.”