GB News channel launches in the UK

Aiming to shake up a well-meaning British media scene with strong opinions, GB News premieres on Sunday, already disproving comparisons to the controversial US channel Fox News.

killer of thecancel culture» that would prevent the voices of conservatives and «woke up», this awareness of injustices linked in particular to skin color or gender, the first news channel to open in the UK in two decades ensures that it speaks to a wide audience. Including those who voted for Brexit in 2016, who are seen as forgotten by traditional broadcasters, often criticized for focusing too much on London’s cosmopolitan elite.

Dressed in the red, white and blue colors of the Union Jack, this small-screen newcomer hopes to become “uk news channel“although it competes directly with the well-established private channel Sky News and the British public broadcasting giant BBC.

Unlike the latter, it will not offer newspapers but rather talk shows hosted by presenters with strong opinions. “Our presenters will be free to speak their minds, have fun and be brave on the issues that really matter to Brits.director of news and programming John McAndrew said in a statement.

GB News, whose first program will air at 19:00 GMT, has managed to attract some of the biggest names in the British media but wants to be innovative with a team of 140 journalists based in London. The channel will be run and chaired by veteran Andrew Neil, with 25 years of biting BBC interviews and a background as editor of the Sunday Times, a newspaper owned by Sky News founder and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch. “We are for people who think that the existing channels do not accurately represent their point of view.Neil told the Evening Standard newspaper.

‘We won’t be like Fox’

Since the announcement of its creation, the channel has been criticized as a clone of the US tabloid channel Fox News wanting to fuel a cultural divide that the powerful British tabloids are already copiously surfing. As well as its format, its promise to address an audience disappointed with the BBC, which feels underrepresented in the Brexit debate, has drawn comparisons to the US channel, which appeals to viewers hostile to politics and mainstream media.

Andrew Neil rejects an analysissimplistic and imprecise»: «In terms of format, we look like Fox, but we won’t be like Fox in that they come from a hard right that supports an agenda of conspiracy and disinformation.GB News chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos, who had established Fox-like programming when he was head of Sky News Australia, also refuted GB News’ portrayal as a right-wing equivalent of the BBC.

“Let’s wait and see”

For Jane Martison, a journalism professor at City University London, the mood leading up to the launch is “a little hysteria on both sides». «Some say it’s Fox while the channel hasn’t launched yet so let’s wait and see.“, he explains to AFP. “On the other hand, if you criticize the channel, you are accused of being part of the liberal intelligentsia, which is a simplistic and somewhat hostile argument.».

According to the professor, it will not be possible for GB News to reproduce Fox News, because “impartiality rulesof Ofcom, the British audiovisual police, but heit will be very interesting to see how they comply with the established normsDes Freedman, a professor at London’s Goldsmith University, fears that this new channel will invite discussions on television of ideas hostile to those of social justice activists, as is already the case in many British tabloids.

«It will not be about ‘breaking news’“, he claimed, “they will be couch discussions, dominated by people with very strong views on free speech and the idea that we are in the middle of a culture war».

Regina Anderson

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