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Assembly urged to protect Welsh media

17 November 2011

There is a crisis in the Welsh media, with the newspaper industry in dangerous decline and broadcasting's independence under threat, the NUJ has told an inquiry set up by the Welsh Assembly.

The NUJ's submission – made on behalf of the NUJ's Welsh Executive Council – says that in the past two decades there have been more than 2,000 job losses among major media organisations, with any new jobs created often short-term contracts rather than staff positions.

It says:

"Overwhelmingly, decisions about the future of Welsh media - whether a local weekly paper or the fate of S4C and BBC – are being made by chief executives based outside of Wales and Government ministers in Westminster…
"Recognising the important role that newspapers play in Welsh democracy, we believe the Welsh media and its journalists should be seen as community and national assets. Their fate should be seen as too important to be left solely to the whim of media groups and chief executives from outside of Wales."

It recommends:

  • Scrutiny of print and broadcasting media by the Westminster Welsh Affairs Committee and a standing Welsh Assembly
  • An overhaul of the governance bodies for Public Service Broadcasters to ensure their independence
  • The removal of S4C from the Public Bodies Bill
  • Accurate statistical data to be assembled on the current state of the Welsh media
  • Training for staff at BBC, ITV and Media Wales and other media outlets in Wales
  • That media organisations in Wales give commitment to long-term investment for their Welsh titles and outlets.

Tags: , welsh executive council, newspapers, cuts, redundancies, assembly wales, s4c, bbc, broadcasting, local newspapers, itv, media wales