C4 News and the emergence of a one-party State

Here is the comment I just sent to C4 News (UK). If this resonates with you, then you should send your own message.

“Not by will or design – but nor by accident – C4 News increasingly provides an almost exclusive platform for the Conservative Party, which is barely distinguishable from Government. The Official Opposition, and alternative Parliamentary parties are rarely called up for comment – and then only fleetingly, and rarely, if ever, to challenge the Government/Party narrative. The attempt by excellent C4 journalists to hold the government and its backbench spokespeople to account amounts to little more than probing questions that are easily brushed off. The strategy is ineffectual at best. Shadow Ministers have the expertise, the alternatives and the evidence base – and the WARRANT – to challenge government spokespeople in a way your journalists cannot, but they are rarely if ever invited. C4 editors seem to settle for the heroics of asking risqué questions and leaving it at that. The impression that emerges is of a one-party State with only internal (backbench) opposition. Your journalists and editors cannot and should not carry the burden of official opposition and in a multi-Party democracy, it is a dangerous myth to assume that journalists and editors shoulder the burden of government’s accountability. We are not (quite yet) at that desperate state. But one would not imagine, reviewing C4 coverage and the distribution of air time, that we do, indeed, live in a multi-Party democracy.
Don’t mistake me – I am firm in my support of C4 News which I watch without fail, and with full admiration. But I understand that one-Party States do not happen overnight, by force: they emerge out of circumstances, they rest on consent, their ground is prepared. Currently C4 is one of the very few bulwarks against the growth of these circumstances. It must, surely, play a better political game.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s