Readers' letters: Channel 4 sell-off is cultural vandalism

Culture Minister (!) Nadine Dorries announced this week she is pushing ahead with privatising Channel 4.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 7:00 am

Dorries personifies the current UK Government’s ignorance, incompetence and greed. After all, this is the minister who five months ago didn’t have a clue about how Channel 4 was funded, falsely claiming it received public money.

It makes its money from commercial operations, supports an independent TV production industry, invests in investigative and foreign journalism and ploughs all profits back into the Channel to make new programming.

A private owner would instead reward shareholders and the public would lose an independent voice that dares to hold the government to account. The irony is rich as Channel 4 was created by Thatcher’s government.

During the consultation period, 90 per cent of submissions said privatising the channel was a bad idea. Voices across the media industry, including Sir David Attenborough, have condemned the plan as an attack on British public service broadcasting.

There are few broadcasters in these islands willing to speak truth to power. Channel 4 is one of them and is why Boris wants to silence them.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Dories out of her depth as minister

Our Culture Minister Nadine Dorries has decided, along with other cultural vandals in her government, to sell off Channel 4.

In a recent interview it was clear Ms Dorries did not know how Channel 4 was funded, but a lack of knowledge goes with the territory of this government and she has pressed ahead with this narrow-minded idea.The reality is that C4 is funded by private enterprise, its programmes are made by independent production companies but it is owned by the public.

A better example of Thatcherism would be hard to find. But Ms Dorries wouldn’t know this as for some bizarre reason she thinks it should be competing with Netflix so will be sold off.

The real truth is her beleaguered and corrupt government are, once again, terrified of any media outlet that has some semblance of independence and having gagged the BBC, they are now starting on Channel 4.I will wait with bated breath to find out who will be the eventual buyers but I have a hunch it may go to the same sort of people who did so well out of PPE contracts.

D Mitchell, Edinburgh.

We must speak out about war crimes

I’m surprised by the glaring absence of letters from readers voicing their opinions about the horrendous situation unfolding in Ukraine.

I can’t believe that people are indifferent to the deaths of over 300 civilians and the destruction of their homes, by an invading army of Russian forces.

The UN have confirmed that evidence from the town of Bucha points towards the targeting and killing of civilians, not ‘collateral damage’. Dead people with their hands bound and bodies of naked women found partially burned constitute indisputable signs of war crimes, but the Kremlin has denied any responsibility for their deaths, even suggesting that the corpses were “fakes”.

Have we not learnt any lessons from recent history? It would appear not, since a rally in Berlin last Sunday which was meant to highlight the growing hostility towards Russians living in Germany, included demonstrators who supported the invasion of Ukraine. This took place on a day when hundreds of civilians in Bucha became victims of alleged atrocities.

Carolyn Taylor, Broughty Ferry.

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