Raymond Williams Memorial Lecture organised by Learning and Work Institute, in partnership with The Open University in Wales delivered by Michael Sheen on 16th November 2017 at RedHouse in Merthyr, Wales.
In this extract from the lecture, Michael addresses the role of the media -- specifically the broadcasting media -- in portraying Wales in all its complexity, and selling Wales to the world. He goes on in the following section to talk about journalism and the role of the local press.......
P 22. …………...Its how we get to connect with each other, show who we are, where we’ve been, explore who we might be, challenge and change each other, discuss, argue, provoke.
It’s how we show the rest of the world who we are and who we can be.
Without it we recede into darkness and isolation. We are all too easily drowned out and engulfed.
When the big broadcasters do get involved with more in depth and extended pieces of reporting around issues like homelessness, as ITV Cymru Wales did recently, it can have a real impact.
The 6 part BBC Wales series ‘The Story of Wales’ gave me the education I wish I could have got in school.
Series like ‘Hinterland’, ‘Bang’ and ‘Stella’ do a lot of heavy lifting.
And its been heartening to watch new exciting projects emerge like Nation.Cymru and the always inspirational Desolation Radio podcast but these are rare oases in a desert of stunted discourse.
Lee Waters and Angela Graham, in their introduction to the IWA Wales Media Audit in 2015, said -
“It is essential ...that the UK government recognise the particular media needs of Wales and that the Welsh government, too, should act to the full extent of its capacity in this area.”
An improvement on the current media provision in Wales “......is a democratic, social and cultural necessity.”
Exactly how much incentive there is for our government to support the strengthening of a sector that would of course result in them being put under far more pressure and made more accountable is up for question though.