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Senedd Committee calls for changes to protect public service broadcasting

Published 09/12/2021   |   Last Updated 09/12/2021   |   Reading Time minutes

The rules that govern the media need to change to ensure audiences in Wales can watch content that reflects and informs their lives in an age of digital transformation.

The Senedd’s Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport and International Relations Committee endorses a call made by the media regulator, Ofcom, for changes to enable the delivery of public service broadcasting to modernise in an increasingly online world.

The Committee’s report, “Response to Small Screen: Big Debate”, calls on the UK Government to develop policy and legislative proposals based on the recommendations of Ofcom in its “Small Screen: Big Debate” report. This includes ensuring the devolved administrations are fully involved in this work.

The report also recommends that a fair funding settlement for Welsh public service broadcasters is essential to guarantee that nation’s shared cultural events and trusted news service can continue to serve Welsh audiences.

Delyth Jewell MS, the Chair of the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport and International Relations Committee said:

“In an ever-changing digital world, public service broadcasting is facing many challenges. The Committee believes that the UK Government and a strong, independent regulator, can play a vital role in ensuring legislation supports broadcasters to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the transformation in viewing habits.”

“Legislative and policy developments must take account of the unique role that public service broadcasters have in commissioning content and reflecting the culture of Wales and the Welsh language.

“The regions and nations of the UK should be integral to the discussions on meeting the challenges posed by the digital era, and particular attention should be paid to the role of S4C in promoting the Welsh language.”

You can read the Committee’s report, “Response to Small Screen: Big Debate” here.