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Jon Snow launches passionate defence of Channel 4 amid privatisation plans

Jon Snow has spoken out against the news of a possible privatisation of Channel 4, warning that a sell-off could threaten the trust viewers have in it and argued “if it ain’t broke, then why fix it?”

The Channel 4 News presenter launched his passionate defence of the broadcaster a day after leaked documents revealed that the government was looking to sell the state-owned, commercially funded broadcaster for around £1bn.

Speaking to The Guardian, Snow, the channel’s longest serving and most loved journalist, said there was a demand for Channel 4’s unique approach to its news coverage which has instilled trust from its viewers. He argued that “in the age of the social network people are looking for trustworthy brands” and warned of “grave dangers in knocking it about”.

The 67 year-old praised the channel for having a “completely unique model”, arguing that there is “no television service like it anywhere in the world and Channel 4 News is a unique product of the creation of the channel”.

He said “there is no sausage machine television news for Channel 4”, adding that “if it ain’t broke, then why fix it?”

Snow went on to point out that unlike many of its competitor’s channel 4 “increased our audience share over the last year” and was in no way a drain on the tax payer.

“It makes money – all the money goes back into the channel with nearly £1bn [in revenues] a year” he said and pointed out that “there’s not a commercial TV service in the world that is able to do this”.

Channel 4 executives have been strongly opposed to privatisation options and the broadcaster’s chairman, Lord Burns, is has put forth his own options centred on Channel 4 continuing as a not-for-profit operation.

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