It was a great pleasure to be awarded an Honorary Life Fellowship by the Institute of Welsh Affairs. The citation reads:
For supporting our shared objective of a strong, confident democracy in Wales by chairing and leading our media policy work to foster robust debate in Welsh society, laying the groundwork for our current citizen-centred media and democracy work.
It was a lovely opportunity to reflect on many years of work, work which itself was based on that of predecessors. The two founder members, here in the photograph, were among those who launched the IWA itself. They were respondiong to a remark by a Secretary of State for Wales. He had said that he found it very difficult to access accurate and reliable research as the basis for policy decisions about Wales The generous response, by just a few people, who realised the significance of the gap he was pointing to and stepped up to address it, led to the creation of the IWA. That was thirty-five years ago.
That ability to hear, see, and react is the basis for most imaginative social action. The IWA has long been the leading social policy think-tank in the country.
In media terms it has acted as a catalyst for constructive critiques of the status quo and has been especially effective in researching and analysing the facts relating to all media in Wales. Without such critique and fact-based analysis the basis for policy development is weak.
Media policy is not devolved from Westminster so it is essential that people in the nations and Northern Ireland represent their own best interests as robustly as possible, especially given the globalised nature of the media.
In 2008, 2015, and 2020 the IWA conducted Media Audits, producing detailed facts and figures about what is actually being made and consumed in the country and how this relates to Biriish and global media. Through its Wales Media Summits the IWA brings together a wide range of interests – broadcasters, politicians, media workers, academics, sudiences – around pressing issues.
The IWA’s Chair, Bethan Darwin said,
“Angela has proven herself as an invaluable supporter of the IWA’s work through her clear-sighted chairing of our Media Policy Group, paving the way for our current citizen-centred media and democracy work.
Our work in this area has gone from strength to strength thanks to her leadership, persistence and vision.
Angela’s expertise, as you’ll have understood, is squarely in the field of media. She is an award winning TV Producer and director, a writer and a radio presenter. A renowned practitioner, she has also taught documentary practice to university students and trained media professionals and journalists.
Thank you Angela for your tremendous contribution both to your field and to the IWA’s work.”
Any effort of this kind is a joint endeavour and I greatly enjoyed the collaboration with the wide range of people who contribute towards envisioning a better future for media in Wales.
Dylan Moore is now heading up the media policy work. The most recent IWA report on media adopted an innovative type of consultation with members of the public :
The IWA has also commissioned Dr Marlen Komorowski to lead a research project assessing the current state of regulation and accountability for broadcasters in Wales, and surveying the options available for future models of regulation:
Media policy is the framework for all media output and use. We all have the right to make our voices heard.