Mark Steyn speaks about proposed GB News contract
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Broadcaster GB News launched in June 2021 and saw presenters such as Eamonn Holmes, Nigel Farage and Laurence Fox come aboard. However, after a year of launching the broadcaster has been hit with a total of £30 million in pre-tax losses over the beginning period.
GB News became Britain’s first television news start-up for more than 30 years, with Eamonn getting his own show after leaving ITV’s This Morning.
The channel described itself as right-leaning on political issues and promised viewers “original news, opinion and debate” with no biased opinions.
However, it has recently been reported by Metro.co.uk that the channel’s company accounts show it lost millions in May 2022.
Despite the considerable loss, GB News said its directors were “satisfied” with the results and expected growth in the future performance of the company.
Former UKIP and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage was one of the first to join the broadcaster, hosting its prime-time Sunday morning show.
Despite the optimism from GB News’ directors, the broadcaster has faced several controversies over the past year and a half, including an advertising boycott from several brands.
The likes of Ikea, Kopparberg and Octopus Energy decided to pull their adverts from the channel.
Alongside the advertising issues, GB News has also faced Ofcom investigations, with the first beginning in November 2022.
It was found to have breached its radio licence by not reading aloud the full list of candidates in the Erdington by-election.
As of March 2023, 3,432 complaints about GB News programmes have been lodged with Ofcom, with 1,665 of these complaints being related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It has also recently been ruled that an episode of the Mark Steyn show broke its broadcasting rules and was “potentially harmful and materially misleading.”
Mark resigned from his presenting role earlier this year after he claimed the broadcaster said he would be financially responsible for any potential Ofcom fines.
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It was claimed Mark was found to have made an “incorrect claim” about health data and an evidential link between the Covid vaccine and higher rates of infection, hospitalisation and death.
In a statement, they said: “We have been consistently clear that, under our rules, broadcasters are free to transmit programmes which may be considered controversial and challenging, or which question statistics or other evidence produced by governments or other official sources.
“It can clearly be in the public interest to do so. However, with this editorial freedom comes an obligation to ensure that, when portraying factual matters, audiences are not materially misled.”
The statement continued: ‘In this case, our investigation found that an episode of the Mark Steyn programme fell short of these standards.
“Not because it exercised its editorial freedom to challenge mainstream narratives around Covid-19 vaccination.
“But because, in doing so, it presented a materially misleading interpretation of official data without sufficient challenge or counterweight, risking harm to viewers.”
Mark’s material was “materially misleading” because of the way it was presented to its audience, the ruling stated.
The statements which initially sparked the investigation received more than 3,400 complaints about the GB News presenter, despite it only being the first breach.
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