On December 3rd the Cardiff Media Summit was held in the capital. This was an initiative of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, undertaken to promote collaborative reflection on the state of the broadcasting and media sector in Wales. It was jointly sponsored by BBC Wales and the University of South Wales. The latter had a stand near the entrance with books on display which had been written by university staff. I immediately found these titles of interest but, in fact, none were for sale on the spot yet what better buying public than scores of media professionals?
BBC Radio Wales Sunday 7th December
Unanimous praise for Calvary but disagreement over whether religion has ‘moved to the periphery of Irish life’
Fun being among the reviewers but I found myself at odds with them on this point.
Far from religion being on the side-lines, this film presents it as being so close to Irish hearts that its betrayal by clerical abuse of children results in a seething anger against clerics and the Catholic Church. Religion has failed but faith, in this film, is precious.
My favourite film, Bresson’s ‘Diary of a Country Priest’ is the model here. In both films a good priest is surrounded by embittered, suffering parishioners who taunt and confront him with the monstrosity and absurdity of suffering. There is plenty of jeopardy of the usual who-dunnit type but even more hangs on the risk that the priest will compromise his principles from sheer fellow-feeling.
A key role is that of the newly bereaved French wife whose clear-eyed acceptance of enormous loss proves a touchstone. Integrity, the coherence between what a person believes and what he or she does, is a major theme.
A great cast. Brendan Gleeson and his son, Domhnall are powerful in one of the many one-to-one encounters.
Why do we get angry at suffering as though it is something unexpected? That’s a question I feel this film put in front of me.
iPlayer Radio: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04snkt6
Rhyme and Reason: Reflections on a Changing UK
I was commissioned to write 2 poems on the theme of the Scottish referendum for performance at the Wales Millennium Centre along with the following poets:
Commentator: The Institute of Welsh Affairs: News Analysis Online Magazine
I have a varied engagement with universities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels as a professional tutor, visiting speaker and workshop leader. I am a steering committee member for several academic projects and contributor to academic publications.
Currently I’m writing an article for the next edition of ‘Llafur’ the Welsh People’s History journal, about the war memorial in Merthyr Tydfil which featured in my BBC Radio Wales documentary Of Mourning and Memory.
Shortlisted for Arachne Press SOLSTICE SHORTS Short Story Competition, November 2014
Listen Online I devised and presented this documentary on First World War Memorials in Wales
BBC Radio Wales, Sun 9 Nov 2014 10:30
With Contributions from:
- Prof. Jay Winter, Yale University.
- Dr. Lester Mason, University of Wales Trinity St David.
- Prof. David Machin, Orebro University, Sweden.
- Prof. Sir Deian Hopkin, Adviser to First Minister on Commemoration of WW1.
- Michelle Darby, Grangetown Local History Society.
- Chris Parry, Communities Officer, Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery.
Initiator and Organiser: 24th October 2013
- Professor Justin Lewis and Llion Iwan, Content Commissioner, Factual and Sport, S4C
Consumerism, the hidden driver behind all TV production?
- Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen and Ashok Ahir, of Communications Agency, mela; former Head of Politics, BBC Cymru Wales
Impartiality and representation of opinion on TV news
- Dr Cindy Carter and Huw Foulkes, Broadcast Journalist, Ffeil & Newyddion 9, BBC Cymru
What TV news provision does the younger teen audience want?
- Dr Ross Garner and Mike Talbot, Series Editor, Wales This Week, ITV Wales
Producing the ‘Mainstream’ in Wales
- Professor Jenny Kitzinger and Erika Hossington, Series Producer, Casualty, BBC Cymru Wales
How can TV drama represent family experiences of long term ‘coma’?
“There are now plans to reflect adverts off the moon,” said Professor Justin Lewis as he argued that all television is ultimately driven by a hidden consumerism. That was just one of the many insights gained as the Wales Centre paired academics with television professionals for one-to-one dialogue and debate at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.
Karin Wahl-Jorgensen reported that the BBC is still trapped in a two major party world when it comes to political reporting, while Jenny Kitzinger told us that the portrayal of people in a coma in hospital drama is not only wrong but actually misleads the public. Other subjects discussed included news provision for the younger teen audience and an attempt to define what the ‘mainstream’ means within commercial British television.
Mike Talbot from ITV Wales said that cage fighting and cuts to council services were both current and mainstream, but that only one was really popular with audiences. So which programme offered true public service broadcasting? As the academics would say – discuss! Tim Hartley