Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Better late than never?

You and I may live in a 21st century electronic 24:7 media culture where news breaks around the clock.

Others pursue the news agenda at a more sedate pace. A mere two weeks after they returned to this country from a top-secret trip to China, MPs on the Welsh affairs committee have, wait for it, put out a press release.

Here's the top line: "The Welsh Affairs Committee has visited China as part of its inquiry into globalisation and its impact on Wales. Members visited Shanghai and the Special Economic Zone of Xiamen in the southern province of Fujian."

Well, hold the front page. What the press release doesn't say is that the MPs were rather restricted in what they could see by the Chinese Government.

Chairman of the Committee Dr Hywel Francis MP said: “The most striking part of our visit to China was becoming aware of the current scale and pace of change. We also saw many examples of a workforce that is increasingly skilled, flexible, adaptable and hard-working.

"The importance attached to universities and skills was impressive. We witnessed a great respect for learning and saw how ‘Confucius Institutes’ are now being established worldwide in favoured overseas universities, including Cardiff. Consolidating existing links and establishing new ones between Welsh and Chinese universities is vital to ensure that education remains the key to harnessing globalisation.”

I know of no Welsh media outlet that works on fortnightly deadlines, but I guess the committee will be chuffed that at least this is one outlet that used the press release.

I'm looking forward to receiving a Christmas card from the committee - probably around the middle of January.


prasit said...

Can not see how you view it as top secret, many of us knew about it.

David Cornock said...

The point I was trying to make, but clearly failing, was that the committee tried to keep the trip secret until their return. They clearly failed in that too.

David Jones said...

Actually, David, that is unfair. I announced that I was going on the visit before I left for China, on my blog. That's how you found out about it.

David Cornock said...

That is true - I was just surprised that committee members apparently discussed putting out a press release to alert the media ahead of the visit but decided against it.