PSB Television in a digital world – what’s the recipe for Wales?
On April 6th there was a chance to get Welsh voices on the record at the session for Wales of David Puttnam’s Future of PSB TV Inquiry. The event was hosted by Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. This independent inquiry is gathering evidence from around the UK and will report in June.
I spoke for the Institute of Welsh Affairs alongside Angharad Mair (Tinopolis, BAFTA Cymru), Huw Jones (S4C), Rhys Evans (BBC Cymru Wales) and Ian McKenzie (Nations and Regions, Channel 4).
See Future of TV Inquiry – Content and Platforms in a Digital Age
“The Inquiry has been set up to consider the nature, purpose and place of public service television today and for the future. It aims to address how public service content can be most effectively nurtured taking into consideration a range of services, platforms and funding models.
Now is the right time to examine the whole subject of public service television: its significance in this multi-channel ecology, and how best to preserve and nurture it for the future.
A Future for Public Service Television Inquiry, chaired by Lord Puttnam, is bringing together some of the industry’s foremost practitioners and experts. It aims to take a uniquely broad view of public service broadcasting and, working with partners of distinction (the British Academy, Hansard Society, BAFTA, Vice, and The Guardian) will draw on a wide field of research and debate.”
You can read my contribution to the event here. It concentrates on the structures we need to develop in order to achieve:
- a tv menu for Wales which properly reflects the experiences and interests of its citizens
- adequate representation and portrayal of the people of Wales on network tv and beyond
- proper partnership between Wales and the rest of the UK in decision-making and in funding
- arrangements in the management of broadcasting and in its governance which allow Wales to have a voice at the highest levels
- means by which the P in PSB (the Public) can dialogue adequately with broadcasters and hold broadcasters to account
- a Welsh Government and Assembly capable of playing a robust role in accountability and in the oversight of broadcasting and communications
BBC Cymru Wales used a great shot of Nessa from hit series Gavin and Stacey to promote the event. It’s about 8 years since the series was new to our screens. Apart from Torchwood, at around the same time and The Indian Doctor (last new in 2013) there has been almost no Wales-set drama on the network and few Welsh protagonists either. BBC drama for Wales itself in the English language is non-existent, apart from the It’s My Shout shorts. Where we have seen Ruth Jones is in Stella, on Sky1.