S4C’s Chief Executive will say today that the Welsh language’s place must be secured across all media – television, online and new platforms – as well as on the street and in the home in order for the language to flourish and to meet the needs of future audiences.
In a speech at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Bala, Ian Jones will say that technological developments are swiftly changing living habits, and in addition to the traditional TV schedule, the language’s place must be secured on smart devices and future appliances in order for it to be seen and used.
The comments come as the channel publishes a consultation document at the Urdd Eisteddfod regarding services that will need to be offered in future in order to keep pace with the public’s viewing habits.
According to Mr Jones, the way the channel deals with technological developments is key to efforts to ensure that the language remains in every-day usage.
The focus of the document, S4C: The Future of Welsh Language Television, is on how the channel can fulfil the needs of future generations of young Welsh people. It is described as a starting point for discussions as the channel’s budget is discussed during the period of the BBC Charter review and as political parties plan for the next general election.
Before the event, which will be held at 1130 in the Annedd Wen Pavilion at the Urdd Eisteddfod, Ian Jones said:
“If we look back a decade and a half, to the turn of the millennium, the technology used by the public was rather primitive compared with what we use today. Things have moved on very quickly and we have to expect that technology will move on again just as much over the next decade and a half.
“And as living habits are swiftly altered by the technology we use to communicate, to view, to relax – we have to ensure that such resources are available in Welsh. As the only Welsh language TV channel in the world, it will be very important that S4C is a part of such developments – ensuring that it is still possible to use the Welsh language in this digital age.
“After all, alongside efforts to transfer Welsh to more and more of our young people over the coming years, it will be essential to have opportunities to use the language as part of our every-day lives.
“I’m stating a discussion today as we publish S4C: The Future of Welsh Language Television. It’s a discussion about the type of services we will need in future, and how we can ensure financially that such services can be developed.”
Ian Jones’ speech will begin at 1130 in the Annedd Wen pavilion at the Urdd Eisteddfod.
Watch the speech live online here: http://www.s4c.co.uk/keynote/