LBC 'Shock Jock' Nick Ferrari has written an excellent article in today's Independent calling for Ofcom rules preventing the creation of a UK version of Fox News to be scrapped. He reckons there is a real appetite for such a channel. Here's an excerpt from his article...
"Critics point to the pro-US right-wing slant of Fox, and say that's what makes it intolerable. Why? In ths country, newspapers like The Sun can happily exist alongside the Daily Mirror and the Daily Telegraph against The Independent. Why on earth can't that be the same with our television offerings? Or are we really saying that the Great British public are so brain-numbingly dumb they believe everything they see on the box? What an insult to our intelligence. No, we can consume a bit of Fox without the nation tyrning into a band of war-mongering neo-cons, I assure you.
" The other argument is even simpler. Put a pro-right (or pro-left) channel on air and if no one watches, the market will take care of business. After a costly relaunch and an even more expensive rejig of presenters, the doomed enterprise will collapse anyway."
Mainstream TV should not see the creation of such a channel as a threat. Indeed, I would not propose changing the rules for taxpayer funded channels or terrestrial TV. But we are moving away from the era of the mass media into the era of the niche, where every single minority interest is catered for. The only thing preventing this in the area of political comment and news coverage is Ofcom and its regulations demanding balance. Just as well no bright spark in Whitehall has thought of Ofblog, isn't it? Can you imagine it if blogging was afflicted by regulations demanding balance? If the Ofom rules were abolished we could enter a wonderful new era of political broadcasting which really would re-engage people currently lost to the political process. So roll on Fox News UK, Toynbee TV or, heaven forfend, the UKIP Channel.