Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Going global

At Westminster, the Welsh affairs select committee's inquiry into globalisation continues apace("today the world, tomorrow Wales!") with a current focus on broadcasting.

Up for a grilling today, bigwigs from S4C.

Ceredigion MP Mark Williams was keen to know how large an audience the channel's gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Welsh Assembly had pulled in.

"Fairly low" was the considered response of S4C chair John Walter Jones, prompting one or two uncomradely chortles from MPs on the committee. (Not that programmes from Westminster are exactly ratings winners).

Mr Jones explained that audience size wasn't really the point. "It isn't a question of viewing figures, I think, in terms of broadcasting the National Assembly I think it is a service in terms of democracy in Wales and the growth of devolution as a project in Wales and I think that everyone, including S4C, has a duty at some point in advancing devolution as a concept in Wales."

Mr Williams was happy with that response - "I think we would all agree on that very strongly" - although not all MPs would agree that it is the role of broadcasters to "advance devolution as a concept".

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