Ministers Consider Whether Public Service Broadcasting “Fits For Purpose”

A transformation in the media landscape in recent years has prompted the government to consider selling off Channel 4.

Selling off Channel 4 will be considered in government review into whether the future of public service broadcasting is 'fit for purpose'
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden/Picture credit: Daily Mail

A transformation in the media landscape in recent years has prompted the government to consider selling off Channel 4.

In an announcement made today, the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden stated that the new panel will enquire into the future of public networks including BBC and even question ‘whether we need them at all’ in the digital age.

The media landscape has seen an “utter transformation” in recent years with Netflix and Amazon Prime “lobbing a grenade into the system”, Mr Dowden said.

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In a Telegraph article to accompany the announcement, Mr Dowden wrote: “It’s time to ask really profound questions about the role that all of those broadcasters have to play in the digital age – and indeed whether we need them at all.

“These bold questions require bold answers. So today I am pulling together a team of broadcasting and tech heavyweights to help us shape the future of public broadcasting in the UK. This 10-strong panel won’t just be tiptoeing around the edges.

“They have been tasked with drilling right down into the current system and how it operates. Public service broadcasting has already lived, adapted and thrived through a hundred years of history. It’s time to start thinking about what it does next.”

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The review will also “take a close look at” ITV, Channel 5 and S4C in Wales and STV in Scotland. The panel will advise ministers on whether public service broadcasting is still ‘relevant’ and whether the current funding and governance model are “fit for purpose”.

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