'By recognising and defending GB News - we endorse choice and trust in the British public's judgement that underpins our democratic society', says Greg Smith MP

Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster

Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster hosting Breakfast

GB News
Greg Smith MP

By Greg Smith MP

Published: 26/03/2024

- 10:43

Updated: 26/03/2024

- 10:51

In recent weeks, GB News has been the subject of heated debate and scrutiny, as critics have questioned the channel’s role in the UK media landscape.

However, amid all this upheaval, one thing remains unwaveringly clear: GB News has emerged as a distinct voice, offering an alternative perspective that many viewers find refreshing and necessary.

Unquestionably, GB News's impressive viewership numbers demonstrates and affirms that a sizable audience is interested in what the channel has to offer.

Not only is this about standing up for a broadcaster, but it's also about acknowledging the fundamental values of freedom, choice, and the inherent value of having diverse points of view in our media.

In the broadcasting world, viewer statistics speak volume, and GBN's figures are a loud testament to its demand. People aren't just passively watching; they're actively choosing GB News, tuning in for its unique content and opinions. This alone is a powerful counter to any argument that seeks to diminish the channel's relevance or question its existence. People want to watch it - a simple, undeniable truth that underscores the channel's appeal and necessity.

I’ve seen this with my own eyes in the constituency. The popular Bell Hotel in Winslow, proudly only showing GB News on screens in the lobby area. More and more emails coming into the inbox from constituents and more widely saying they have seen my appearances on the channel. GB News is an active choice for many as part of their viewing and consumption of news and analysis.

But why do people flock to GB News? In a media landscape often criticised for its homogeneity, particularly with accusations of a left-leaning bias, GB News offers what people have been craving for years.

It provides a platform for voices and viewpoints that might find less airtime elsewhere, embodying the principle that a healthy democracy thrives on a diversity of opinions. In an era where choice is valued in every aspect of our lives, from the brands we love to the food we consume, GB News now represents an essential piece of the UK's media landscape, ensuring that the spectrum of political and social thought is well represented.

The success of events like the "People's Forum" with guest political figures, and most recently the Prime Minister, attracted more viewers than BBC and Sky News combined, is a prime example of the channel's ability to engage and mobilize the public in meaningful dialogue.

As a viewer and contributor, I've been heartened to see GB News tackle topics that are often side lined yet are of paramount importance to many Britons.

The channel's focus on issues like illegal migration and the "war on woke" has helped fuel important debates and apply pressure where it’s needed. To my knowledge the only broadcast channel to cover Conservative Way Forwards devastating analysis of the inaccuracy of the Office of Budget Responsibility.

This isn't about endorsing a single viewpoint; it's about ensuring that all perspectives have a place in our national discourse.

Ofcom's interventions, while well intentioned in the pursuit of broadcasting standards, easily verge on what some might perceive as a 'nanny state' approach. I would argue that Ofcom’s consistent interference of the channel imply a need to shield the public from certain viewpoints or framings.

There's absolutely a case to be made that viewers benefit from exposure to a range of perspectives, equipped as they are to sift through them with their judgement.

The British people are more than aware that programmes hosted by politicians, whether on GB News, LBC, or Talk TV, naturally embody a political perspective.

The narrative surrounding GB News should not be one of condemnation but rather one of appreciation for the diversity and choice it brings to the UK's media landscape.

Its growing viewership is a clear indication of the public's appetite for alternative viewpoints and a more pluralistic media environment.

In recognising and defending GB News, we're not just supporting a broadcaster but endorsing the principles of diversity, choice, and trust in the public's judgement that underpin our democratic society.

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