GB News’s financial backer wants to buy Channel 4

Channel 4 building Nigel Farage and GB News logo
Support us and go ad-free

A financial backer of the controversial GB News channel is reportedly considering a bid to buy Channel 4. It could spell disaster for the channel and its output. Moreover, it would represent the continuing creep of modern fascism under the Tories.

GB News: courting the Tories

GB News already needs little introduction. It’s led by ex-BBC host Andrew Neil. The roster of journalists are a Who’s Who of the populist, often far-right wing of UK broadcasting and politics. Byline Times recently and neatly summed up GB News as follows:

It has a £25 million annual budget and will be covered extensively by the dominant right-wing press, which is desperate for content that both drives clicks and affirms a worldview steeped in the ‘culture war’. GB News, in this respect, seems as though it will be a gift for those who seek to promote populism.

Obviously, the Tory government quite like the channel.

Birds of a feather

The National recently reported that culture secretary Oliver Dowden “backed” GB News. This was after the scandal surrounding far-right miscreant Nigel Farage’s comments over the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). As the Herald noted:

the Johnson administration [is] adopting [GB News] as part of the “anti-woke” team.

‘Birds of a feather’ and all that. Because while the Tory government descends into corporate fascism, GB News is cheering it along. For example, bosses reprimanded host Guto Harri after he took the knee live on the channel. Harri soon quit. People have accused other hosts of pushing views that “border on conspiracy theory and misinformation”. And as Byline Times also wrote:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

in terms of its supposed balance, the platform has hired two former Brexit Party politicians as presenters, while two senior Conservative Party parliamentarians are shareholders, owning at least £50,000 in shares each.

GB News‘s funders are also dodgy. One of its backers, as The Canary‘s Tom Coburg wrote, is:

Legatum, a Dubai investment firm that via its chair is linked to the Brexit-backing Legatum Institute.

It’s other backer is Discovery, which runs the Discovery and Science channels. And it’s this $11bn “mass media company” that reportedly now wants to get its claws into Channel 4.

A US take-over?

Reuters reported that the US media firm Discovery:

is holding informal discussions about a potential takeover bid for Britain’s state-owned Channel 4 television broadcaster, The Telegraph reported on Saturday.

The potential bid process is being managed by UK Government Investments, the paper reported, adding that a deal was not expected to be completed until the middle of next year.

The Tories confirmed they were privatising Channel 4 in June. It’s currently publicly owned but funded by advertising. As the Guardian reported:

Privatising Channel 4 has been a long-term objective of the broadcasting minister, John Whittingdale, who first proposed such a move 25 years ago. However, until now the channel has repeatedly managed to successfully fight repeated proposals to sell it to the private sector, most recently in 2017.

A potential catastrophe

Of course, it would suit the Tories to have Channel 4 under the thumb of a populist and right-wing-supporting corporate media empire. Some people have described the current channel as “woke”. One of its bosses publicly called Johnson a “liar” in 2019. And Tory ministers have repeatedly refused to appear on C4 News. So, forcing the channel to toe the government line with its output, by flogging it off, seems pertinent – if you’re a Tory.

The move could potentially be catastrophic. Already, the other public service broadcaster, the BBC, is plagued by claims of pro-government bias and propaganda. ITV and C5 are corporate entities with profit at the heart of their agendas. Now, the last beacon of fairly impartial corporate broadcasting in the UK is under threat. Channel 4 is by no means perfect. But if it’s co-opted by the same agenda as GB News – one which is beyond sympathetic to the Tory government – it will be a disaster for the UK media landscape.

Moreover, it would represent another step in the creeping corporate fascism that Johnson’s administration is ushering in under our very noses. This must be resisted at all costs.

Featured image via Richard – Flickr, Nigel Farage – YouTube and GB News – YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Many years ago the Discovery Channels broadcast factual programmes but they found that broadcasting and promoting conspiracy theories and anti-science propaganda attracted more viewers in the age of “reality” tv. It is no accident that the likes of Trump gained traction in a country full of reality escapists and believers in myths and a fictitious sky daddy.
      They are not as bad as Fox politically, but they are just as dangerous in fomenting anti-fact extremism and promulgating disinformation.

    2. Dianesrightshoe: I reckon you are an Integrity Initiative operative, spreading your filthy disinformation.
      Even if you are not an Integrity Initiative creep, you have a serious personality disorder, either way.
      No one with your sick hatred is going to make friends or lead a happy existence.

      1. Over the years I have found those with “truth” or “seeker” in their pseudonyms are neither seekers or interested in the truth. I first encountered them as deniers of the reality of AGW, and then members of the Flat Earth cult, evolution denying Creationists, YEC and ID loonies and anti-vaxxers. And now Covid deniers.
        Your post indicates you are the one with serious mental disorders.
        PS. @Dianesrightshoe isn’t on these threads. ROFL. Woooo hoooo.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.