Category Archives: PortfolioRadio

Artistry & Poetry on the Jamie Owen Show

I first worked in radio for the BBC in Wales in 1981. I’m still learning. On the 2nd July 2017 on the Jamie Owen Show I learned: always have your opening prepared, no matter how informal the programme.  The right blend of spontaneity and clarity flows more easily after that.

This show mixes recorded music, live performance, two guest commentators and two interviewees. The brief is weird and wonderful angles on the week’s news so, along with fellow commentator, comedian, Frank Honeybone, I enjoyed sharing some ‘couldn’t-make-it-up’ stories with listeners.

Sarah Brown

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Reporting Belief 2017 – an appetite for engagement

A stimulating day on May 10th for journalists and ‘believers’ which contained a sharing of professional expertise, a chance for encounter and a special training session on the use of Social Media and How to Write a Press Release . See my blog on the NUJ Training Wales site. [Images by @HirstPhotos]

Bryan Elliott of Assemblies of God meets representatives of ISKCON Wales, Hare Krishna Movement

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Cardiff Media Summit – Top, Tail and Follow-ups

Cardiff Media Summit 29 March 2017

My Intro and Conclusion plus Follow-ups. More on

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

Contestable Funding for PSB genres – good for Wales?

A pot of £60 million to boost production in under-served genres of Public Service Broadcasting on TV and Radio sounds like good news but the DCMS consultation document gives cause for concern to the Nations and Regions.

Nowhere in the document is there evidence of an adequate understanding of the position of PSB output in Wales. Continue reading Contestable Funding for PSB genres – good for Wales?

Resourcing Journalists to Report on Faith & Belief

Many mainstream stories feature religion as an element in the mix. It might be the conjunction of religion and violence; the clash of ethnicity, faith and culture or controversy around the relation of secular ideology and faith-based values. Who takes responsibility for ensuring that journalism students and professional journalists are well-equipped to interpret the powerful impetus of religion at home and abroad – and not only religion but belief in a wider sense?

The answer, in Wales, has been almost no one.

But that is changing, and Wales is at the forefront. In Cardiff on November 8th a day-long workshop was held which it is hoped will have a positive effect on the training of professional journalists and on university curricula.

Copyright @HirstPhotos

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When Religion Makes the News – how well is it reported?

This post appeared first on the IWA’s clickonwales site 5.11.16

When religion makes the news how well equipped are journalists to understand it? The notion of a dedicated religious correspondent fell out of favour as Britain became more secular but religion as a force in current affairs has never been so prominent. There is a religion-and belief-sized gap in the training that would-be journalists and practising professionals are receiving. NUJ Training Wales, the training arm of the National Union of Journalists has taken a bold initiative towards filling it.

A one-day workshop will be held in Cardiff on November 8th

When Religion Makes the News will be chaired by the eminent broadcaster, Roger Bolton (Panorama, This Week, Feedback) and addressed by Aaqil Ahmed, BBC Head of Religion and Ethics. Continue reading When Religion Makes the News – how well is it reported?

Faith in the News

Faith in the News an episode of BBC Radio Wales’s All Things Considered examined the ability of journalists to grasp and interpret religious motivation in world affairs. The programme, led by Sarah Rowland Jones, was prompted by the workshop I am organizing for NUJ Training Wales.

The workshop is a response to the lack of training for journalists in this area.

With me on the programme was Dr Michael Munnik of Cardiff University’s Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK. He has just  launched the first undergraduate module in any Welsh university to tackle the subject of religious literacy and the media. This is delivered via the School of History, Archaeology and Religion. To date, no School of Journalism in any of Wales’s 8 universities originates any teaching on this topic.

Abdul-Azim Ahmed of the Muslim Council of Wales and Ruth Gledhill, former Times Religious Affairs correspondent also debated the place of religion among the many factors that influence social and political events.

#ReportingBelief16 is the hashtag for the workshop because not only religion but other kinds of beliefs and ideologies have an influence on the choices people make.