David Attenborough supports calls for an ‘open and transparent debate’ on broadcasting
Sir David Attenborough supported a campaign calling for “an open and transparent debate” on the future of public service broadcasting.
The naturalist and television presenter, 95, was announced as a supporter of the British Broadcasting Challenge campaign, which last month called on the government “to end short-sighted political and financial attacks” on broadcasters.
Sir David’s move comes amid a debate over the potential impact of privatizing Channel 4.
Alex Mahon, the broadcaster’s chief executive, said on Tuesday he would have “different priorities” if privatized, and warned against any “irreversible” action that could “perhaps damage some of those things that we do for the sector “.
She was speaking after it was announced that Channel 4 could be geared towards privatization as early as next year.
Ms. Mahon told reporters that the channel was “financially in a very strong position,” and added: “On privatization the government has the right to watch it.
“He hasn’t looked at it for five years, I think, maybe four and a half years, and it’s reasonable to watch it every now and then, and a lot has changed during that time.
“But I think, in any consideration of this one, we have to be clear that this is – as the Secretary of State said to the select committee – about making Channel 4 stronger.
“And, you know, my question would be, what’s the analysis to show what makes us stronger? “
A letter from the British Broadcasting Challenge to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, announcing Sir David’s support for the campaign, warned against privatizing the channel.
“The privatization of Channel 4 is such an important decision with far-reaching consequences for the channel’s tenure, the jobs it supports across the UK and for the whole UK PSB and the environment. of production, that it raises the question: “What has changed? mentionned.
The letter added: “We think the PSB is too important for all of us to be tainted by any sense of party politics or the political agenda.
“We believe that transparency and public debate are the best way to build a broad public consensus on the results of any review. “
He added that the group “called for an open and transparent debate on the future of public service broadcasting” in the UK.
Mr Dowden previously confirmed that the privatization of Channel 4 was under consideration as part of a review of public service broadcasting.