Letter: Channel 4 would make an ideal social enterprise

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Following the announcement that the Culture Secretary is expected to launch a consultation on the future of Channel 4 which could privatize the company by the end of next year, we urge the government to allow it to transform it social enterprise (“Channel 4 Warns on Privatization After Financial Results Shine,” report, June 23).

This would allow the broadcaster to maintain its independence and continue commissioning programs that reach a diverse audience and use its profits to support independent production companies.

The UK is home to 100,000 social enterprises – businesses created to do business for social and environmental purposes and which reinvest the majority of their profits to achieve these goals. Not only do they contribute £ 60 billion to the economy and employ 2 million people, but they offer a way away from the binary choice of state ownership or privatization.

We simply cannot allow valuable national institutions to be sold to those with the richest pockets. Channel 4 has an essential role to play in supporting the emergence of new talent, ensuring better regional representation and providing an independent and critical voice to those in positions of power. Converting this popular broadcaster into a social enterprise will allow it to present a powerful model of what an independent, community-responsible broadcaster can look like and not just another money maker.

Peter Holbrook
CEO, Social Enterprise UK
London SE1, United Kingdom

Letter in response to this letter:

Media trust can secure Channel 4’s mandate / By Tony Orchard, Exeter, Devon, UK


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