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S4C Chief Executive calls for fairness for Welsh language public service broadcasting

03/08/2015

S4C Chief Executive, Ian Jones, has called for fairness as S4C's future funding is discussed as part of a debate on the future of the media in Wales.

During the discussion today at the National Eisteddfod, Montgomeryshire and the Marches, Ian Jones has emphasised S4C's unique role as the only Welsh language television channel in the world, and the only Welsh language public service television broadcaster.

During the discussion, Ian Jones called for fairness for all when making savings, taking in to consideration the huge cuts already made to S4C's budget, which equated to 36% in real terms since 2010.

Ian Jones, S4C Chief Executive said; "The media landscape has changed dramatically since S4C was launched in 1982. We face very different challenges in this age with a fragmented audience and competition not only from tens and hundreds of other TV channels, but from the huge store of content online.

"But the question for me is how will Welsh language public service broadcasting look in years to come? With the starting whistle blown on the discussions about the future of S4C's funding, I agree that all establishments must to be prepared to share the burden of making saving, but we need to ensure fairness.

"We must consider the service S4C provides, and how much Welsh language public service broadcasting will remain if there are to be significant cuts to the S4C framework and service, and fairness in my opinion is to take in to consideration the 36% cuts, in real terms, that were set for S4C in 2010.

"Whilst there is a choice of English language provision available for viewers in Wales, we only have one service in Welsh. S4C must be funded sufficiently if it is to continue this work, or political decisions must be made about what elements of Welsh language public broadcasting is acceptable to discard."

The discussion was hosted at Cardiff University's stand at the National Eisteddfod. On the panel with Ian Jones, S4C Chief Executive, was Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director of BBC Wales; Professor Sioned Davies, Head of School of Welsh at Cardiff University; Dr Rhodri ap Dyfrig, expert on the mass media. Chairing the discussion was the barrister Gwion Lewis, presenter of the BBC Radio Cymru series, Cyflwyr y Cyfryngau (State of the Media) which examined the Welsh media landscape today.

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