The National Assembly for Wales has finalised the details of its inquiry into the state of the country’s media and what can be done to help it.
A task and finish group has been set up by the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee which will examine newspapers, television, radio and online.
The inquiry is in response to widespread cuts to the country’s press and broadcasting industries including the recent loss of 22 jobs at its biggest newspaper group, Trinity Mirror‘s Media Wales, and budget cuts at ITV and BBC Wales.
The terms of reference for the inquiry are ‘to look at the future outlook for various media platforms in Wales by exploring:
- ‘the current state of the media in Wales and how new technology and other developments are impacting on this, in the context of continuing concerns about the future of the Welsh broadcast and print media
- ‘what the priorities should be from a Welsh perspective as the UK Government brings forward proposals for its Communications Bill
- ‘the opportunities for new media business models to be built in Wales
- ‘what the Welsh Government is doing to implement the Hargreaves report recommendations and what other steps could be taken to strengthen the media in Wales in terms of content and plurality of provision.”
The cross-party group is made up of four Assembly Members: Labour’s Ken Skates (chair), Liberal Democrat Peter Black, and Plaid Cymru’s Janet Finch-Saunders and Bethan Jenkins
‘The timing of this inquiry is significant as the media industry in Wales continues to struggle with funding and uncertainty,’said Skates.
‘The scope of what we are looking at is deliberately broad as the research suggests there is no single solution to the challenges the sector faces.”
‘We would like to hear from anyone who is either involved with or has an opinion on the Welsh media – from hyperlocal to national level and across all forms.
‘A sustainable, creative and informed media is crucial to our society and we will be very interested to hear what people have to say.”
In August a source close to the inquiry told Press Gazette it will look at how to protect journalism jobs in Wales and examine whether non-profit organisations could be established to protect the press and broadcasting industries.