Yearly Archives: 2014

Cultural Work and Young Workers – Who cares?

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?

Continue reading Cultural Work and Young Workers – Who cares?

All Things Considered: Annual Film Review

Brendan Gleeson stars in Calvary
Brendan Gleeson stars in Calvary

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:


The Writers’ Guild


Executive Committee Member, Wales
Organiser, The Media and Devolution – what do we need to know?
18th September 2013 Chapter Arts Centre
The Pros and Cons of Devolving Control of the Media to Wales – Speaker: Aled Eirug.
A  Guild Members Only event.
Facilitator of the submission from the Guild in Wales to the Commission on Devolution in Wales (Silk) September 2013
Union Learning Adviser for The Writers’ Guild 2009 – 2014
Identifying and responding to members’ training and development needs. ULA information

Institute of Welsh Affairs Posts

Commentator:        The Institute of Welsh Affairs: News Analysis Online Magazine

 Science on TV in Wales…. When did you last see?

 What Tony said – What Wales replied

Welsh Visibility in the Digital World

Devolution of Broadcasting to the National Assembly 

Welsh Government Response to Future of the Media Report   

Innovative Funding of Documentary Film Research

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and TV

The Story of Wales – the history of History on TV in Wales

Influencing Media Policy in Wales

Pioneering Autonomy in Social Care 

University Teaching

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.

Continue reading University Teaching

Of Mourning and Memory

Listen Online I devised and presented this documentary on First World War Memorials in Wales

Wales Remembers / Cymru’n Cofio  

Angela Graham and Chris Parry at the Pontmorlais First World War Memorial.

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.

Expertise Exchange

Initiator and Organiser:   24th October 2013

                                                                 a joint RTS / Cardiff University School of Journalism (JOMEC) event 
  • 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’?


Dr Cindy Carter, Llion Iwan, Dr Ross Garner, Erika Hossington, Prof Jenny Kitzinger,
Ashok Ahir
Prof Justin Lewis, Mike Talbot, Angela Graham, Huw Foulkes
An enjoyable and thought-provoking event resulting in 3 on-going partnerships:
Prof Jenny Kitzinger and Erika Hossington: a potential new storyline involving coma next year for ‘Casualty’.
Dr Ross Garner and Mike Talbot: collaboration on producing tv in Wales for the mainstream.
Dr Cindy Carter and Huw Foulkes: collaboration on News for young teenagers.

“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

  Ashok Ahir during the discussion