Category Archives: Uncategorized

British, Bold, Creative – for all of us in Wales?

British, Bold, Creative: a catchy, punchy title for the BBC’s statement of its plans for the next decade and beyond but, read from the point of view of the Welsh bit of ‘British’, the contents are something of a curate’s egg.

Lord Hall

One sees the effort to engage with the Nations and Regions. There are suggestions about reconfiguring the delivery of news and about opening up platforms for a wider sharing of materials. The aspirations are right, as in section 7.3 Entertaining the whole UK:

Firstly, we will improve how we portray and represent the different Nations of the UK on our pan-UK network services. Secondly, we will strengthen the services for each Nation.

Then comes a very big ‘but’:

But significant new investment in a broader range of programming, such as drama, comedy and entertainment, cannot be delivered within the current Budget agreement with the Government… funding these ambitions would require additional income. Continue reading British, Bold, Creative – for all of us in Wales?

Hungry Wales in an Age of TV Plenty

If a thing is repeated often enough it begins to be as persuasive as though it were true.

We’ve never had it so good, apparently. We live in a televisual Age of Plenty with digital wares piled high in the marketplace and so it’s time for the BBC to withdraw from universality and to stop disadvantaging the commercial sector by its scale and success; the level of public funding gives the BBC an unfair advantage over its competitors and the BBC should become more ‘distinctive’, confining itself to things the market can’t or won’t provide.

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Continue reading Hungry Wales in an Age of TV Plenty

Regulating the Regulators – the Press Recognition Panel and Wales

We all remember Leveson. And we still hear late rumblings from that consideration of corruption in the UK press as well as continuing debate as to how best to deal with it. A need for regulation was generally acknowledged but what system should be used? The compromise reached was the creation of self-regulators overseen by a Recognition Panel established by Royal Charter and the Panel came to Cardiff on 14th July.

PRP_Logo_rgb

The Press Recognition Panel  held a consultative session in the School of Journalism, Cardiff on the criteria to be used when assessing applicants for recognition. This consultation process ends on 31st July. Continue reading Regulating the Regulators – the Press Recognition Panel and Wales

TV for Wales – in both languages

It’s not just S4C that is threatened by potential changes. It is television for Wales as a whole, if the latest BBC Wales Annual Review 2014-15 by Audience Council Wales is anything to go by.

BBC ACW

This Review, for 2014 – 15, makes alarming reading, particularly as it comes hot on the heels of Ofcom’s recent special additional report on  PSB in the internet age: The Nations of the UK and their regions and the bombshell about funding burdens for the BBC lobbed by the Chancellor while no one was looking. It appears the day before the Green Paper on BBC Charter Renewal is expected but it shouldn’t get lost in the sturm und drang that that is likely to produce because it has significant things to say about television in Wales. Continue reading TV for Wales – in both languages

Faith and Violence – the journalist’s role

On New Year’s Day this year the Western Mail published an article by the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales, Saleem Kidwai. He claimed that a precious achievement in Welsh cultural life is in jeopardy and that a generation have felt ‘rejected by their fellow Welshmen’.

 Welsh-Muslim youth who thought themselves like any other Welsh person got a rude awakening post-9/11 — a sort of cultural shock that they were not like any other Welsh person. Overnight, they were the other, the enemy…

As Mr Kidwai set out the traumatic ramifications of this tragic dissociation I felt the force of his appeal that, “As a society…  We have to reject any attempts to marginalize Muslims as second-class citizens” but I was perplexed as to how to go about that.

Until I perceived a potential response from the world of journalism itself – from journalism in Wales.

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Silent rally in Cardiff in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings

Continue reading Faith and Violence – the journalist’s role

Passion and Policy – Documentary in Wales

 

Doc Heads

On Friday 29th May Documentary Wales/ Dogfen Cymru is holding a symposium in Cardiff:

to discuss the future of documentary film in Wales. Drawing together a range of talent from Wales and beyond, the day will be an opportunity to meet a diverse collection of individuals who share your passion for documentary.  The focus of the day will be on:

  •  Strengthening the community of documentary film makers currently working in Wales
  • Exploring ways of building the audience for documentary film in Wales
  • Discussing future plans for supporting documentary film within the Welsh production sector

Without good policy no social endeavour flourishes as it might. Structures start from policy. Policies are not made by machines but by people and people have beliefs and values and prejudices, all of which can be discussed, debated and shaped into principles on which actions are based. Those actions influence both what is possible in the social sphere and what becomes impossible.

To make Wales a place in which documentary flourishes we need policies which build sound platforms for documentary. That means taking an interest in policy for broadcasting, digital media and cinema – at least. Continue reading Passion and Policy – Documentary in Wales

Munificent Documentary

 

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Some municipes at work on a Green Bay Media documentary shoot!

In the previous post I outlined the first half of an hour’s class I gave to students of Communications from Michigan State University as part of their British Mass Media Programme visit to the UK. Having considered how the ‘I’ of the film-maker interacts with the ‘You’ of other people, who are the subjects of the film, to create the ‘Us’ of the viewing community, we moved on to reflect on what Communication is, and what it is for, and furthermore what the role of a professional communicator might be – all in 20 minutes! Continue reading Munificent Documentary

Cardiff Media Summit

media summitRuth McElroy

Angela Graham

Glyn Mathias

Rhodri Talfan Davies

The Cardiff Media Summit 3rd December 2014

Panel on the Democratic Deficit in Welsh Media

Ken Skates’s Keynote Speech ‘Finding Wales’s Voice in the Broadcasting Debate’

Rhodri Talfan Davies ‘The Challenge of Reaching Wales’s Citizens’

‘Is the Production of BBC Drama in Cardiff Under Threat?’

At the conclusion of the summit an invitation was issued to anyone keen to contribute to the debate on broadcasting in Wales to attend a meeting at the offices of Ofcom, 2 Caspian Point, Cardiff at 9.30am on 15th January.

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