The future of the media in Wales – an inquiry…

The National Assembly for Wales is currently running an inquiry into the future of the media in Wales. Of course, all Assembly inquiries are important – but this is one of the few that I’ve felt strongly enough about on a personal level to try and gee up everyone I know to sumbit evidence to.

Here’s the thing: the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee of the Assembly has set up a group to discuss and consider the future of media in Wales. And by ‘media’, they are including everything – newspapers, broadcast, new media, creative industries…. It’s a massive inquiry (too big, some might say).

There is more information about the inquiry here: Welsh media to come under Assembly spotlight

Or you can view the inquiry into Welsh media page

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; and
– 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 consultation letter is attached here: Consultation letter to future of media in Wales inquiry

Any of you that have any interest in the creative industries, the media in Wales, anything at all to do with digital communication and traditional media models SHOULD RESPOND!

It’s a short consultation period – you have just over a month to respond (by 11 November). So you better get a move on….

#senedd2011 – democracy in our networked age

It’s not often that I talk about my actual, paid, 9-5 everyday job on here, as this is usually reserved for my extra-curricular activities. However, today at work months of preparation finally paid off in an event called ‘#senedd2011 – democracy in our networked age’

My bread and butter, as it were, are earned by working for the National Assembly for Wales as the web editor there (that’s right, all the books and the community art are done in my spare time. No, I don’t sleep much). A few months ago, with a view to improving the Assembly’s engagement with digital communities, I approached a couple of acquaintances of mine who run a consultancy called NativeHQ.

Here’s what they say about themselves: “Based in Cardiff, providing web presence and social media strategy, open networked websites, web tools and training. Your bridge to the new web.”

The Assembly started talks with Native last summer, with a view to running some kind of online engagement – initially we thought about an outreach project to try and educate people in Wales about the impact of the referendum, but it soon became much bigger than that – a behemoth of an event, inviting bloggers and those who are active online to come and talk to a selection of panellists who also gave talks.

The speakers did a wonderful job – you can watch Dr Andy Williamson from Hansard kick ass talking about things like how governments should do away with copyright completely (which got my friend Carl very excited indeed) below

#senedd2011: Dr Andy Williamson, Hansard – Part One / Rhan Un from Assembly Wales / Cynulliad Cymru on Vimeo.

#senedd2011: Dr Andy Williamson, Hansard – Part Two / Rhan Dau from Assembly Wales / Cynulliad Cymru on Vimeo.

Other speakers were Alison Preston from Ofcom, freelance journalist Marc Webber, and Iwan Williams from the National Assembly. You can see all sorts of other stuff that happened at the event on the Vote2011 wordpress.

It was pretty stressful putting the whole thing together – hence my radio silence on this blog for such a long time. But ultimately it was a really worthwhile experience. I just hope that after the Assembly election on the 5 May, the new Assembly Members pay attention to the direction that their representatives want democracy to move into.