Don't Switch It off; as a Consultation Starts to Gather Television Viewers' Opinion, Nick Morris of the Institute of Welsh Affairs Asks What Is the Future of Broadcasting in Wales?; WHAT'S THE FUTURE FOR WELSH BROAD CASTING ?
Byline: Nick Morris
THE future of television services in Wales - even in the short term - is uncertain.
Ofcom, the communications regulator, anticipates the cost of ITV's public service broadcasting in Wales will be greater than the commercial station' economic benefits as early as 2009.
Are we only a year away from a possible end to Wales This Week, The Ferret or Trevor Fishlock's Wild Tracks?
We already rely on the BBC for Waleswide coverage on radio. If ITV withdraws completely from public service broadcasting for Wales are we going to be reliant on only the BBC for national radio and television services as well?
To discuss the future of broadcasting in Wales the Institute of Welsh Affairs and Ofcom have jointly organised a series of free public consultation conferences over three evenings in June.
The firstwill be held at St George'sHotel in Llandudno on Monday, June 9 from 5.30pm until 8.30pm.
The other conferences will be at Aberystwyth University (June 10) and GlamorganUniversity's Atriumbuilding in Cardiff (June 11), also running from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.
Broadcasting in Wales is not only a matter for executives, engineers or even elected politicians.
The best people to communicate the needs of Wales are the people.
We often only realise the importance of changes after they have occurred.
This is especially true for broadcasting, where the pace of change is often staggering and usually led by great leaps in technology. We do not often stop to consider the social and economic consequences of these changes.
As a nation Wales is changing also.
The National Assembly has been established but people also have a greater sense of their Welsh identity.
We understand, also, thatmany of our public services, such as education and healthcare, have circumstances unique to Wales that require Welsh solutions. …