Mediating civil society: is Wales getting the media services it deserves

Printable version Thursday 14 January 2016 Last updated at 12:44

Presenters: Dr Ruth McElroy (University of South Wales) and Hywel William (Advisors in Media)
Date: 28th January 2016, Atrium, University of South Wales, Cardiff
Times: 5.00pm – 6.30 pm
The  media play a pivotal role in the everyday lives of the people of Wales  and have the capacity to enrich civil society, represent social  diversity, offer routes to local community participation, and hold those  in power to account. On the surface it may appear as if citizens and  consumers are being well served, with increasing improvements of  connectivity coming to most parts of Wales and a proliferation of  television channels and social media. Yet the truth behind this apparent  media abundance is rather different.
 Since 2008, for example,  there has been a significant reduction in spend, range and diversity of  television programmes available both in English and Welsh, specifically  for viewers in Wales.  The total reduction in spend on television  programming for Wales across BBC and ITV is greater than the  corresponding reductions in any of the other devolved nations of the UK,  from £39 million to £27 million. Several commercial radio services have  closed and ownership of those that remain has consolidated into three  main groups, with greater networked programming and reduced local  content, while newspaper circulations of the few titles produced in  Wales have declined significantly.
 So at a time when Wales as a  democratic entity has never been more clearly defined, the sources of  information for debate and scrutiny about our Government, culture and  identity are drying up. This presents a major challenge to our society  and democracy, and merits analysis form social scientists in Wales.
  In this seminar we will share the findings of our Wales Media Audit  Report (2015), produced by the Institute for Welsh Affairs and with  support from WISERD. We will evidence the major changes to the media  landscape in Wales and chart some of the consequences they have for  civil society, for communities and for the sustainability of Welsh  creative industries.
 *Both speakers are members of the IWA’s  Media Policy Group which recently published a substantive Wales Media  Audit Report. See the IWA’s website for details.
Dr Ruth McElroy,
Reader in Media and Cultural Studies/Director Creative Industries Research Institute
Darllenydd yn Astudiaethau'r Cyfryngau a Diwylliant/Cyfarwyddwr Sefydliad Ymchwil Diwydiannau Creadigol
Faculty of Creative Industries/Cyfadran y Diwydiannau Creadigol
University of South Wales/Prifysgol De Cymru,
Adam Street,
CF24 2FN
01443 668591



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