Category Archives: Works

Cardiff Media Summit – Top, Tail and Follow-ups

Cardiff Media Summit 29 March 2017

My Intro and Conclusion plus Follow-ups. More on http://www.iwa.wales/click/

This Media Summit is being held on the day when Article 50 is triggered. Aimed at taking this country out of the EU, this will alter fundamentally the framework within which the UK is governed.

The referendum, like the election of Trump in the United States, raised major concerns about the quality of information put before the public, by both politicians and media. ‘fake news’ and ‘post-fact politics’. The founder of the internet, Tim Berners Lee, has gone public on his deep concerns at the capacity of big data companies to distort the democratic process.

These huge issues impact on us here in Wales. The media scenario is constantly developing and it’s going to get more complicated – which is one reason why the Institute of Welsh Affairs maintains a very necessary focus on media issues in Wales.  The Audience, Viewers and Service Users are our prime concern. Continue reading Cardiff Media Summit – Top, Tail and Follow-ups

My Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary 2017

I am thrilled to have been awarded a Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary for 2017. I admit (career suicide for a writer!) to being at a loss for words to describe how encouraging I find it to have expert opinion, and public money, invested in me. Maybe ‘inspiring’ will do the job. My congratulations to all the bursary recipients.

photo: Richard Outram

Continue reading My Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary 2017

Merthyr Meirionnydd – A Welsh Martyr

“Here’s a man who plays hide and seek with the secret police and cuts his prison cell bars to escape as he faces the gallows”, says Guto Harri in this 60-minute documentary about St John Roberts (repeated on Sunday, 3rd April at 10pm on S4C with English sub-titles). “He acts more like James Bond than a saint. The issues underlying the history are echoed today, dealing as they do with someone considered to be a religious extremist, living abroad and considered a threat to the very fabric of the state.”

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Continue reading Merthyr Meirionnydd – A Welsh Martyr

BBC licence fee raid ̶̶ The consequences for Wales

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This blog appeared on 10th July 2015 on the IWA’s clickonwales blog site.

For the second time in five years Government Ministers have backed the BBC into a corner, issued a ‘money or your life’ threat, walked away with a big chunk of the licence fee and left a Director General making as good a public fist of defending ‘the deal’ as he can. Has this been a fair trade between a willing buyer and a willing seller? Continue reading BBC licence fee raid ̶̶ The consequences for Wales

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