Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Second Report

23.  Memorandum submitted by Radio Ceredigion

  It has been brought to my attention over the Christmas break that your committee has been receiving evidence on the matter of the relationship of the media and the new Welsh Assembly. As a community independent local radio station serving the west Wales coast including Pembrokeshire, North Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and south Gwynedd, Radio Ceredigion has not been formally asked to submit evidence. In drawing its conclusions, the committee must bear in mind that the BBC is not the only radio broadcaster that offers news and current affairs coverage to listeners in Wales.

  Radio Ceredigion broadcasts a regular two hour news based programme in English from 7-9 in the morning and another hour in Welsh at lunchtime. We also intend to broadcast weekly half hour discussion programmes in both languages which will follow up any matters discussed by the Assembly that are relevant to this area. In order to do this properly we will need to be able to take advantage of any direct link ups and sound feeds of material from the Assembly that are to be made available to the press in general.

  We are a station that takes our community news coverage seriously and feel that with the coming of the Assembly that the people within our catchment area will want to receive this service from their own station. We have an average listenership of around 40 per cent out of a population coverage of around 200,000. Radio Ceredigion has the highest listening figures of all the stations, including BBC Cymru and BBC Wales, serving this area.

  I would, therefore, ask you to bring this matter to the attention of your committee and would be very grateful if you could recommend that Radio Ceredigion be included in any live link up to the Assembly proceeding.

  If the Assembly is to be an open and transparent body then it is of paramount importance that local radio stations are included in any plans for broadcasting its proceedings to the people in all parts of Wales.

Ellen ap Gwynn

General Manager

7 January 1999

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