Plaid Cymru says now is the time to set out steps for devolution of broadcasting
Plaid Cymru has called for the Welsh Government to take “bold steps” to commence the work required to enable devolution of powers over broadcasting and to act on the key recommendation of a report published today to establish a Shadow Broadcasting and Communications Authority for Wales.
Plaid Cymru spokesperson for broadcasting, Heledd Fychan MS, says an independent media is “crucial” for a democratic society.
The calls follow the publication of a report from an expert panel looking at the devolution of broadcasting to Wales.
The Co-operation Agreement states that Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government agree that broadcasting and communications powers should be devolved to the Senedd.
The central recommendation of the report is that the Welsh Government should proceed with the establishment of a Shadow Broadcasting and Communications Authority for Wales, by September 2024.
Plaid Cymru has hailed the recommendation as “too important to delay.”
Heledd Fychan MS, Plaid Cymru spokesperson for broadcasting, said:
“Today’s report is a significant development for Wales to help us take steps to turbo-charge our democracy.
“A fair, independent and balanced media is at the heart of every democratic society. Decisions about communication and broadcasting matters for Wales should be made in Wales, and whilst power for much of Welsh media continues to reside in another country, under another government, Wales will be all the poorer.
“Crucially, the report notes that Welsh Government will need a body in Wales to turn to for guidance on navigating the changes on the horizon, and to increase transparency and plurality of the media in Wales.
“The onus is now on Welsh Government to implement the recommendations within the report and take immediate steps to establish a Shadow Broadcasting and Communications Authority. This is too important a matter to delay.”
The Expert Panel was established through the Co-operation Agreement between Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government in 2022. Designated Member, Cefin Campbell MS said:
“Through Plaid Cymru’s Co-operation Agreement with the Welsh Government, we’ve been able to directly address our concerns about the current fragility in the media and attacks on its independence.”
“Our public interest approach towards broadcasting and communications in Wales stands in stark contrast to the London-centric, profit-at-all-costs approach of the UK Government.
“We believe in a future where there is a democratic and diverse media pluralism that enhances and reflects Wales’s national life. Establishing a Shadow Broadcasting and Communications Authority for Wales that can protect, diversify, and enhance our local and national public service platforms will be a crucial step forward.”