Assembly committee says broadcasters should do more to reflect life in Wales

A major report into broadcasting in Wales by a National Assembly committee says broadcasters should do more to reflect life in Wales in their programming.

The report calls on the BBC to spend an extra £30million on English language drama and broadcasting in Wales.

It also concluded there should be a Wales opt-out for news on Radio 1 and Radio 2 to, "better reflect what is going on in Welsh society."

A spokesperson for the BBC said it had, "committed to spending more on English-language programming in Wales and will set out the proposals in due course."

Elsewhere, the report recommended that funding for S4C should not be cut until the results of a planned review are known and considered.

While the Committee also noted the "extremely high level of repeats", estimated at 57-percent was a "major concern".

Credit: ITV Wales

Members noted the success by ITV Cymru Wales in securing commissions for network programmes, but called for a, "more proactive attitude" in order to, "showcase our Welsh communities throughout the UK."

ITV Cymru Wales' Head of News & Programmes Phil Henfrey said, "having an informed democracy is vitally import and we are proud of the contribution the ITV News and Programmes teams make in Wales on daily basis. All of which is free to the viewer and at no cost to the taxpayer."

Credit: ITV Wales

Key milestones since Ofcom awarded new stand alone licence for Wales in 2014:

  • 2014 Opening of new state-of-the-art HD broadcast centre in Cardiff Bay

  • 2015 Launch of new ITV Cymru Wales HD channel

  • 2015 ITV acquires Welsh independent production company Boom Cymru

  • 2016 Co-broadcasting of Six Nations Rugby Championship begins on ITV

  • 2016 Launch of new network production label Shiver Cymru securing first network commission, The Aberfan Young Wives’ Club

  • 2016 Commission of new returning series Y Detectif along with long-running series Y Byd Ar Bedwar, Hacio and Cefn Gwlad for S4C

Bethan Jenkins AM, the chair of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communication Committee, said the report is a "snapshot of the broadcasting industry as it stands in Wales" and that it would "form the basis for more detailed inquiries in the future."

Watch Adrian Master's report: