Sky launch Brexit-free news channel

15 October 2019, 20:45

Sky have launched a Brexit-free news channel
Sky have launched a Brexit-free news channel. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Sky have launched a pop-up news channel for "viewers wishing to catch up on current affairs" that do not involve Brexit.

The spin-off channel, called Sky News: Brexit-Free will launch at 5pm on Wednesday and will be available from 5pm until 10pm on weekdays.

The new channel was created after a YouGov poll earlier this year reported that increasing numbers of Britons are steering clear of the news due to frustration over the coverage of Brexit.

In June, The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism Digital News Report 2019 found that around a third of survey respondents in the UK were actively avoiding the news, an increase of 11 percentage points since 2017.

The report said 71 per cent of avoiders tried to dodge Brexit news coverage "due to frustration over the intractable and polarising nature" of the political debate.

It also found that 58 per cent of avoiders said the news had a negative impact on their mood, and 40% felt there was nothing they could do to influence events.

John Ryley, head of Sky News, said: "Sky News Brexit-Free is a bold approach but listening to public opinion over the past weeks and months, it's something we know our viewers will find valuable.

"Brexit is an historic story that has a major impact and we will continue to give it comprehensive coverage.

"The new channel simply gives people the option to take a break from Brexit, apply a filter to their headlines and hear about issues away from Westminster and Brussels with a focus on hard-hitting, original journalism."

Viewers will be able to catch up on current affairs that do not involve the UK's withdrawal from the EU can on Sky channel 523 and on Youtube.