Awkward moment Nadine Dorries learnt how Channel 4 is funded resurfaces

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries tells MPs she's 'amazed to learn' young people ...

As culture secretary, Nadine Dorries continues plans to privatise broadcaster Channel 4, let us recall how little she appears to understand it.

Speaking during a select committee hearing in November 2021, Dorries claimed Channel 4 is “in receipt of public money” when discussing the future of the channel, despite the fact it doesn't.

She said: "I would argue that to say that, just because Channel 4′s been established as a public service broadcaster and just because it’s in receipt of public money, we should never audit the future of Channel 4 and we should never evaluate how Channel 4 looks in the future and whether or not it’s a sustainable and viable model.

“It’s quite right that the government should do that.”

Channel 4, which was founded in 1982, is publicly owned but makes its money through commercial operations like advertising, as MP Damian Green pointed out to her in an excruciating moment.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

In the last five months, Dorries has appeared to get on top of her brief enough to announce major changes to the channel. The government last night announced it will be sold, with the money from the sale being reinvested in a "creative dividend" to be shared among the TV industry.

Dorries said: "Channel 4 rightly holds a cherished place in British life and I want that to remain the case. I have come to the conclusion that government ownership is holding Channel 4 back from competing against streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon.

"A change of ownership will give Channel 4 the tools and freedom to flourish and thrive as a public service broadcaster long into the future."

Not everyone seemed to agree and a petition against the move has already garnered 34,000 signatures.

At least Dorries is finally learning about the media.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)