Jul 08, 2021
4 mins read
I have received the following questions on more than one occasion, so it seems pertinent to put them all in one place for everyone to see.
If you have a question, please ask, and an answer will be added here. You can add a comment to ask a question, members have an email contact address (or access to it via member-only posts) to send questions directly.
Q: How do ByLine and The London Economic (amongst others) fit into this, is it not just a repetition of work?
A: We love ByLine and others, all of who make a real difference to the quality of online and print debate. But therein lay the difference, we are going after the broadcast space, which is where GB News are plying their trade. Therefore the direct answer is, we are complementary, not competing offerings, filling very different niches and addressing different market needs. Additionally, we hope we will have the opportunity to work with these other players in partnership in the future.
Q. Why now, in particular?
A. There has been a gradual decline, in our opinion, in news and current affairs programming, most particularly since the 2016 Brexit referendum.
This offering is not designed to rehash that debate, for the time being it is done. But serious questions remain, both about that, and about other major political changes (such as devolution settlements, independence and our post-Brexit world), and it seems to us that those questions are not being asked, both of government, or in debate and programming since that referendum. One core area we think needs addressing is re-inclusion of the so-called 48%, who have been ignored since the referendum.
Q. So is this a news project that wants to be biased towards the 48%?
A. No. That would be as bad as the GB News offering pretending to be neutral, but focusing on being "anti-woke". We need news and current affairs (and documentary and factual programming) that addresses all views, but hold them up to fact-checking, and brings true answers into the lives of viewers. We're not here to tell viewers how to vote, but we're here to give viewers the unbiased information they need to choose their vote accordingly, and how they interact with the democratic process.
Q. What is the idea?
A. To create a new sixth UK television network, with a focus on news, current affairs, documentary, as well as some more general entertainment, where the focus is on addressing the news in a head-on fashion, while being fair and balanced in our output. Letting the truth shine through, rather than allowing bias to lead the way.
Q. With such a bold ambition, how do you plan to do that for just £50,000?
A. We don't. We need £50,000 in launch funding. The £50,000 is to be used to fund a sponsorship agency to pre-sell certain amounts of sponsorship for our programming strands, this money will be used to issue a bond which will pay for the network and programming.
Q. So how much money will you make out of this?
A. Out of the £50,000, nothing. Out of the sponsorship pre-sale, nothing. Out of the channel network, a freelance producers fee on programming I introduce. But before thinking I'm off retiring in the Bahamas (I wish), it is unlikely the channel will ever do more than breakeven (news and factual are quite expensive to produce, and revenues limited), so no one gets rich out of this, but that's not the point of doing it. Those of us involved with the project are trying to rebalance the news agenda and message, to be fair, open and honest again, because we believe our democracy is in peril if we don't. That is the aim. If we can make a buck or two, great, if not, democracy is more important.
Q. How long will it take to launch?
A. Between six and ten months. It may even be a tiny bit more, it depends on various factors, most particularly how long it takes to make enough to move forward, and any regulatory roadblocks along the way.
Q. Why should I become a member?
A. By becoming a member, firstly you are helping to support the project in a very big way, and that matters to improving the news, and, as a result, shoring up democracy. Secondly, you'll get access to a lot more detailed information than these FAQs cover, and we cannot always make every detail publicly available, but members get to see a lot more. Thirdly, you'll get to direct the project, feedback directly to those who are implementing it, and make your mark on what will, ultimately, be the last ever terrestrial television network to be created in the UK (as the market moves away from network television to online over the coming decades).
Q. How can I contribute?
A. The biggest contribution needed right now is cash. Sorry to be blunt. Either as a one off donation (buying a coffee as it is called) or by becoming a member of the project (there are three tiers, £10 a month, £25 a month and £50 a month). If you become a member, then you will also become a part of our inner group, that helps shape the project, and gets asked for feedback, and have access to business and financial data.
Q. If I become a member, what happens to my payments when you have enough money?
A. Once we have enough money to move forward with the project, membership payments will be cancelled, so you don't carry on paying. You can, of course, cancel at any time you wish, but we hope you'll stay with us until we have completed the process.