National Assembly to host major conference on e-democracy
A major conference on e-democracy is being hosted by the National Assembly today.
The conference is being organised by the Wales Media Literacy Network, and is being held in the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay, on Monday January 14. The Wales Media Literacy Network is a partnership of organisations and individuals,funded by Ofcom and facilitated by NIACE Dysgu Cymru. It aims to bring together stakeholders from across Wales to ensure a better public understanding of the benefits of media literacy.
The conference aims to encourage debate about the development of an e-democracy strategy in the Welsh context. The speakers will include AMs Leighton Andrews, John Griffiths, Peter Black, Alun Cairns, Alun Davies and Bethan Jenkins, as well as representatives from Ofcom, NIACE Dysgu Cymru, the Welsh broadcast media, the Hansard Society, the Wales Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Welsh Local Government Association.
Pupils from Greenhill and Thomas Picton Schools in Pembrokeshire are also attending the conference and will record the day’s proceeding for their own internet radio station and also produce a digital story which will subsequently be published online.
Delegates to the conference will be welcomed by Peter Black AM, Assembly Commissioner, who said: “I am delighted that the Assembly is hosting this important conference. As an Assembly we aim to be as inclusive as possible, and e-democracy is a vital part of achieving this aim. We are committed to using the most modern and inclusive methods available to help people engage with the Assembly. We are beginning the launch of a pilot project on e-petitions, enabling people to submit and sign petitions to the Assembly online.”
Karen Roberts, Chair of the Wales Media Literacy Network said: “The Network was established to work in partnership with organisations across Wales and this conference is a perfect example of an event that will highlight both the importance of media literacy and the benefits of engagement to a wide range of organisations and the public in general.”
Rhodri Williams, Director Wales, Ofcom said: “It is imperative that in a society where communications services are converging and new platforms emerging, citizens don’t miss out because of a lack of understanding or opportunity. Ofcom research shows that some groups in society, such as the elderly, the less affluent and those from ethnic minorities feel disenfranchised, so we are particularly delighted that the National Assembly for Wales is adopting an inclusive policy and is keen to address any imbalances from the outset.”
Richard Spear, Director of NIACE Dysgu Cymru added:
“With the development of communications technology, NIACE Dysgu Cymru believes that media literacy is fast becoming as important as traditional literacy, language, numeracy and ICT skills. The ability to access, analyse and respond to a range a media is crucial to being active citizens in modern society. That is why we are delighted to work with Ofcom, the National Assembly and other partners to promote media literacy and encourage more adults to become media literate.”