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13. An Uncertain Era: Welsh Television, Broadcasting Policy and the National Assembly in a Multimedia World

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Welsh television is changing. New technology, changing forms of regulation, a new political environment, profound social and cultural transformation and changed economic circumstances are creating a new broadcasting environment. This environment poses both opportunities and dangers. There is the potential for growth. The new political order created by the devolution of some political power to Wales in the form of the National Assembly is an incentive for more home-produced media. However, this opportunity comes about in conditions which can be seen as actively working against such efforts. It is possible to argue that the evolving social, political and economic circumstances threaten the very continuation of distinct Welsh media. Whether you accept this assessment or not the new environment does pose a challenge to policy-makers and in particular the National Assembly. This article outlines the recent changes in the ecology of Welsh television and the reaction of Welsh broadcasters. The policy implications of these changes and the responses to them are explored as well as the ways in which policy-makers in Wales and the United Kingdom have engaged with these developments. It examines the debates and enquiries into the state of broadcasting in Wales as well as the relationship between Cardiff and London over broadcasting matters. What is apparent from this examination is that there is considerable confusion, uncertainty and insecurity over the future of Welsh broadcasting. There is little direct public engagement with this debate. Given the political, economic and cultural importance of broadcasting to Wales this state of affairs, it is argued, presents a clear and present danger to Welsh society.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Contemporary Wales is at the forefront of research into economic, political and social sciences relating to Wales. It contains both academic and practitioner-based articles, annual economic and legal reviews, and book reviews. Its interdisciplinary content drawing on current research on Wales makes the journal essential reading for students and researchers across a range of subject areas, including political and social policy, history, law, media and languages. Contemporary Wales has published articles in English and in Welsh.

    Mae Contemporary Wales wedi’i gyhoeddi’n gan Wasg Prifysgol Cymru fel llwyfan ar gyfer ymchwil blaengar ar Gymru o safbwynt y gwyddorau economaidd, gwleidyddol a chymdeithasol. Mae'n cynnwys cyfuniad o erthyglau gan academyddion ac ymarferwyr, adolygiadau economaidd a chyfreithiol blynyddol, ac adolygiadau o gyhoeddiadau yn y maes. Mae natur rhyngddisgyblaethol y cynnwys sy'n seliedig ar yr ymchwil diweddaraf yn golygu bod y cyfnodolyn yn hanfodol i wleidyddion, gwneuthurwyr polisi, y cyfryngau, gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, llywodraeth leol yn ogystal â fyfyrwyr ac ymchwilwyr mewn ystod eang o feysydd gan gynnwys polisi gwleidyddol a chymdeithasol, hanes, y gyfraith, y cyfryngau a ieithoedd. Mae Contemporary Wales wedi cyhoeddi erthyglau yn y Gymraeg a’r Saesneg.

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