The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

Recognising the contribution of Wales in contemporary society

The Transactions

home > Transactions > Volume 19 - 2013 > The Wales Media Crisis: Can the Welsh Newspaper Industry Survive?

The Wales Media Crisis: Can the Welsh Newspaper Industry Survive?

It is for me a great honour and pleasure to address the members of this distinguished Society, which for more than a quarter of a millennium has helped keep alive an entity as precious as the culture of Wales.

The theme of my talk today is one that is causing mounting concern within our country and which goes to the heart of the ability of our communities to communicate with each other: to know what is happening in the elected bodies that represent us, most particularly our thirteen-year-old National Assembly; and to contribute to the national debate over the wide range of issues that emerge organically in a flourishing democracy.

For me personally, the location of this meeting has a significance of its own. My family is from Pembrokeshire, but I was brought up in London and went to school in Hammersmith. My first ever job, in the months before going to university, was in a bank that is virtually round the corner from this building. The job was a lowly one, but my ambitions lay elsewhere, and I had no idea at the time that nearly forty years later I would be so preoccupied with the link between the profession I rejected and the one I have been a part of for the whole of my adult life.

After gaining an English degree at York, I did a postgraduate diploma course in journalism studies at what was then University College, Cardiff, having resisted a career adviser’s attempt to enrol me on a training scheme for prison governors. I never speculate about where that other alternative path may have led, and have felt privileged to be a newspaper reporter ever since. One of the urgent questions arising out of the situation I am going to outline is whether my successors will have the opportunity to do the same.

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