Should ministers only be on free channels?

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
brooksby
Posts: 495
Joined: 21 Aug 2014, 9:02am
Location: Bristol

Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby brooksby » 16 Apr 2020, 11:20am

I was reading an article this morning which said that Matt Hancock (the health secretary) had made various statements in an interview on Sky.

And I know that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had started doing Facebook interviews/statements a few weeks ago.

And the Govt has a habit of giving interviews to various newspapers which are hidden behind a paywall.

So, it occurs to me that in these interesting times, doesn't the Govt has an obligation to make sure that any statements it makes are disseminated across the widest part of the population?

And that would surely mean making sure that their statements go out onto the formerly terrestrial channels and not only onto pay-to-view/membership only platforms??

(Or am I just being naïve...?)

carpetcleaner
Posts: 920
Joined: 14 Nov 2019, 1:25pm

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby carpetcleaner » 16 Apr 2020, 11:41am

All TV is pay to view. Try not paying the state for permission to watch your TV and you'll get letters from its broadcaster and a fine and criminal record if you don't pay up.

Ministers have long given interviews to newspapers and written articles for them. In the old days you had to buy the paper to read them and I see no reason why people who are not prepared to pay online subscriptions should have free access to them now.

To ensure that the maximum number of people get important government messages during this crisis it'd be a good idea to suspend the TV licence system and its criminal punishments - perhaps permanently.

Psamathe
Posts: 11560
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby Psamathe » 16 Apr 2020, 11:44am

brooksby wrote:I was reading an article this morning which said that Matt Hancock (the health secretary) had made various statements in an interview on Sky.

And I know that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had started doing Facebook interviews/statements a few weeks ago.

And the Govt has a habit of giving interviews to various newspapers which are hidden behind a paywall.

So, it occurs to me that in these interesting times, doesn't the Govt has an obligation to make sure that any statements it makes are disseminated across the widest part of the population?
....

I think you raise a good point.

I don't subscribe to Sky and I'm not on Facebook and, whilst Facebook is debatably free, I would not regard it as a news source (I also don't regard it as "free").

That said, I'm finding the TV news pretty boring these days as they feel the need to fill most of their broadcast time entirely with C-19 mainly UK developments and whilst the developments are important there really isn't enough "news" to fill the e.g. 1hr -1½ hrs per day (for Channel 4 News). But I also note Channel 4 have had to go back for "Asked for a Minister and none was available ... for 8th day in a row". So I record it and sometimes watch, sometimes have it on in background and sometimes just delete it next day without watching.

Ian

mercalia
Posts: 14465
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby mercalia » 16 Apr 2020, 12:14pm

should be on radio.
by the way did any one get the letter from the govt or was that another promise not fulfilled. I didnt get one

Oldjohnw
Posts: 5314
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby Oldjohnw » 16 Apr 2020, 12:18pm

The BBC is not the state broadcaster. It is a public service broadcaster. Look how it was boycotted a few weeks ago. It may not stand up to government very well.
John

PH
Posts: 9613
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby PH » 16 Apr 2020, 12:18pm

carpetcleaner wrote:All TV is pay to view..

That should be all live TV is pay to view.

mercalia
Posts: 14465
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby mercalia » 16 Apr 2020, 12:20pm

I have been subscribing to a bbc podcast on the virus. But thats getting boring the people spend their time chatting. The only bit of "news" is that oldie has done his marathon walk around his garden and raised how mnay £m. It would have been more interesting had teh old codger done it backwards or on his knees? Hmm I will have to do the same on my 20' balcony and see how much I can raise...

PH
Posts: 9613
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby PH » 16 Apr 2020, 12:27pm

We live in a information age, like it or not, I doubt there's anything on one platform that isn't reported on another. There can't be many people with no access to any important information who haven't made that decision to exclude for themselves.
The tough bit isn't getting the information but filtering out the bits you deem relevant, many of us will choose a limited number of sources to do that for us and hope that our trust isn't misplaced.

User avatar
RickH
Posts: 5228
Joined: 5 Mar 2012, 6:39pm
Location: Horwich, Lancs.

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby RickH » 16 Apr 2020, 1:36pm

mercalia wrote:should be on radio.
by the way did any one get the letter from the govt or was that another promise not fulfilled. I didnt get one

We got a letter & I know someone else that has had one (but only because I specifically asked her). I don't think anyone else I know has commented either way.

If you have opted out of general items, those that aren't specifically addressed to you (such as flyers, etc). If you sign up to stop them it does warn you that you may not receive important information as a result (my paraphrase) so you may not get one (I don't know if there is any override so that some things, considered essential, will get through anyway).

brooksby
Posts: 495
Joined: 21 Aug 2014, 9:02am
Location: Bristol

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby brooksby » 16 Apr 2020, 2:59pm

PH wrote:We live in a information age, like it or not, I doubt there's anything on one platform that isn't reported on another. There can't be many people with no access to any important information who haven't made that decision to exclude for themselves.
The tough bit isn't getting the information but filtering out the bits you deem relevant, many of us will choose a limited number of sources to do that for us and hope that our trust isn't misplaced.


But our Prime Minister doing interviews and presentations *on Facebook*?? Ridiculous.

brooksby
Posts: 495
Joined: 21 Aug 2014, 9:02am
Location: Bristol

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby brooksby » 16 Apr 2020, 3:00pm

We got a letter last week. I'm presuming Johnson didn't actually sign it himself but got his name printed on (like Trump's bailout cheques that have had to be printed with his name on *definitely not to remind people to vote for him*).

Oldjohnw
Posts: 5314
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby Oldjohnw » 16 Apr 2020, 3:07pm

brooksby wrote:We got a letter last week. I'm presuming Johnson didn't actually sign it himself but got his name printed on (like Trump's bailout cheques that have had to be printed with his name on *definitely not to remind people to vote for him*).


Did you really expect him to actually sign 30m letters? His name is on because he is the PM. It's how it works.
John

PH
Posts: 9613
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby PH » 16 Apr 2020, 3:10pm

brooksby wrote:But our Prime Minister doing interviews and presentations *on Facebook*?? Ridiculous.

It would be if that were the only place and they were not being reported elsewhere, neither are the case.
British PM's have often used media that not everyone has access to, for example I don't have a TV. This has always been the case, PM's have often been interviewed by newspapers with a far smaller readership than facebook, this has always gone on to be repeated elsewhere.
If your complaint is that the origin of the news has some influence over it then I would agree, but that has always been the case and always will be. If you're arguing that it gives it exclusivity, then I think you're wrong.
Last edited by PH on 16 Apr 2020, 3:12pm, edited 1 time in total.

reohn2
Posts: 40137
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby reohn2 » 16 Apr 2020, 3:12pm

IMHO they should be on every available means of public communication.
-----------------------------------------------------------

PH
Posts: 9613
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Should ministers only be on free channels?

Postby PH » 16 Apr 2020, 3:14pm

reohn2 wrote:IMHO they should be on every available means of public communication.

Have you any examples where they're not? Is there any piece of ministerial information exclusively available from one source?