FEATURE1 August 2023

Talking about my generation: Channel 4 and Gen Z

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Features Impact Media Trends UK Youth

Channel 4 is on a mission to engage young people across its platforms, and it wants to use evidence to make sure its content, programming and brand stay relevant to a generation that is increasingly misunderstood. Katie McQuater speaks to the broadcaster’s James Hamilton, and Craft’s Konrad Collao, to find out more about its Generation Z-focused research study.


Young people are all ‘woke’. Depending on what you hear and read, they are all angry activists or wannabe TikTok influencers. Of all the cohorts, the younger generations seem to get the shortest shrift in terms of stereotypes and lazy generalisations. Despite its size – comprising around eight million Britons – Generation Z is often portrayed as a homogeneous mass.

As a public service broadcaster, Channel 4’s brand is heavily shaped by its remit to champion unheard voices, innovate and stand up for diversity. The channel’s existence is dependent on its relationship with younger people – so it needs to understand them and try to get in front of some of the misconceptions about them, in order to take a nuanced approach to its Gen Z audience and compete with multiple other demands on their attention.

“We have a remit to speak to and represent all of Britain, but with a specific focus on understanding younger people. You can’t do that without talking to ...