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Write to your MP about Channel Four privatisation

House of Commons coat of arms on its wallpaper

Wallpaper in the House of Commons

PLEASE consider writing to your MP asking them to sign Early Day Motion 164, on Channel Four's role as a public service broadcaster. The channel is facing privatisation.

An Early Day Motion (EDM) is a sort of petition signed by MPs. When any such motion reaches around 100 signatures, government usually has to take notice. Before writing to your MP, please check whether they already signed this EDM - there's a list of signatories on the page linked above. If they have, it's worth thanking them, so they know their efforts have some sort of impact.

If you're unsure who your MP is, search for them using your postcode here.

The motion notes that Channel Four is "publicly owned but commercially funded," with profits ploughed back into funding the channel's independent productions. It further notes that a 2016 House of Lords Select Committee on Communications report "warned that the distinctive quality and contribution of Channel 4 News in particular could be adversely affected by privatisation".

The Freelance of course suspects that adversely affecting the output of Channel 4 News - one of the few remaining effective news outlets critical of the current Tory omnishambles – is likely to be the main purpose behind attempts to privatise it. Privatisation is also likely to lead to the triumph of the "narrow interests of shareholder profit" (in the words of EDM 164) which would likely lead to less commissioning by Channel Four of independent broadcast journalism from freelances.