Don’t let Channel 4 fall into private hands | Letter

Oliver B Steward argues against government proposals to privatise the television channel

The proposal to privatise Channel 4 is a bad one (Report, 14 September), and only a tiny minority of shareholders will benefit from such plans by the government. Let us remember that Channel 4 is a public broadcasting service, and its programming caters to broad sections of the public as well as different age groups in Britain, with its documentaries, news, entertainment and foreign language programmes.

Industry leaders from across UK advertising and media have signed a letter, “4 the People”, urging ministers to rethink such proposals. With the Conservative rightwinger Nadine Dorries becoming the new culture secretary, those who want to see Channel 4 kept in public ownership need to carry on the struggle and argue the case.

Television production is a key element of our broadcasting culture and identity, and it would be a shame if it were privatised and sold off to appeal to those free-market ideologues in government who do not see the value of public ownership in broadcasting. It is a backward step. Let’s keep Channel 4 in public ownership.
Oliver B Steward
Norwich

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