Press Release

The National Communications Council has welcomed a clause in the agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru calling for the devolution of broadcasting and communication powers and regulations. The agreement between the two parties is likely to be published during the coming week.

According to the Council, the inclusion of the clause is a small step in a long journey to ensure fairness for Wales and Welsh issues on the media which in turn will be an important contribution to the much longer journey to improving the nature and standard of democracy here.

Bethan Jones Parry, a member of the Council’s Board said: “Devolving broadcasting will be of great advantage to Wales and to the Welsh. The pandemic has proved that our national stories and priorities are not always reflected in the media’s agendas. There is no doubt that Wales is not reflected in its entirety on the Welsh media let alone on any British platform.”

“The people and citizens of Wales now understand the size of this huge gulf in communications and they know from experience that the present situation is not healthy, fair or democratic.”

She added that a statement of support is also not enough as it needs to be backed up by a comprehensive strategy linked to time specific targets in order to realise the aim.

“Using words and phrases such as ‘research into possibilities’, ‘tackling concerns’ and ‘supporting’ although positive, are not enough. This whole aim needs more ambition and strong leadership – and quickly, as the current situation has and continues to damage Wales’ identity and its devolved Senedd.”

The National Communications Council has already responded to a number of consultations regarding the devolution of broadcasting and its Board members also meet politicians, practitioners and experts in the media regularly in order to advance the whole concept.

“We will be more than pleased and ready to work with politicians of all colours and anyone else who is interested and who works in journalism, film, local radio, television and online in order to see the powers and regulations which influence the way they work, devolved as soon as possible.”

– ENDS –


Press Release 
Devolution of Broadcasting is the Game 

It is only by devolving broadcasting we can ensure that international rugby fans in Wales will be able to view the games for free, according to the National Communications Council. 

The Council is calling on the Welsh Government to urgently pursue the devolution of broadcasting in the interests of viewers – and Welsh fans. 

A spokesperson for the Council said: 

‘The Welsh Government has a duty to ensure that these games are available free of charge to all viewers and to ensure that it isn’t always just down to money. Only the devolution of broadcasting can ensure that our government has the capacity and power to do so. 

We therefore call on the Government to work with the Council and the many others of the same opinion to take urgent action to change the system. ‘  

The decision to broadcast all of Wales’ autumn internationals this year on the American company’s Amazon Prime Video network means that fans will have to pay to watch the games even though Amazon has allowed a public broadcaster, S4C, to broadcast the series free last year. 

Owen Evans, S4C’s Chief Executive, has called the decision a ‘step back’ adding that public broadcasters face being completely frozen out of broadcasting the games despite being allowed to broadcast the highlights one hour after each game has finished. 

When asked by members of the Welsh Parliament’s Culture Committee if S4C welcomed the decision, he said “No. ‘We bloody well don’t to be honest’. 

‘The Rugby Paper’ quotes a senior Amazon manager who says they were surprised that S4C’s international match figures were so high and attracted so many non-Welsh speakers to watch the games for free. This is what made the company think again. 

The Welsh Government has no law-making or regulatory powers in broadcasting so it is impossible for the Senedd to reverse this despite questioning Steve Phillips, Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union a few days ago. 



Press Release

 Plans by the ‘UK’ Government to make it a legal requirement that public service broadcasters – which include S4C and BBC Wales – produce ‘distinctly British’ programmes, have been described as undemocratic and dangerous by the National Communications Council.  

According to the Council this statement poses many important question, not least the matter of the definition of ‘British’, where the coverage of the pandemic continues to prove that ‘British’ is more often than not defined by the mainstream media in terms of ‘English’.  

But it also raises the important question of, who other than the people of Wales, is allowed to dictate the content of Wales’ TV channels? 

A spokesperson on behalf of the Council said: ‘Here again we see a reason to urgently devolve broadcasting and communications powers to Wales. We call on our Labour Government to take decisive steps in this direction as a matter of urgency.’  

The National Communication Council are currently working on fit-for-purpose communications and broadcasting regulations for Wales, paving the way for their devolvement. 


Press Release
From the National Communications Council


Actress Sharon Morgan and Director Llion Iwan have been elected to a Board that is developing the debate on devolution of broadcasting. 

With decisions on broadcasting in Wales currently being made in London, it is the job of the National Communications Council to develop regulations and structures in preparation for the devolution of broadcasting to Wales. 

Sharon Morgan is an actress and screenwriter who has won three BAFTA awards for her portrayal of Mary in Tair Chwaer (1999); her portrayal of Martha in Martha, Jac a Sianco (2008); and her portrayal of Maggie in Resistance (2012). She has also been nominated to sit on the National Committee for Wales – Equity, the UK trade union for creative practitioners. Sharon Morgan was one of the founders of Theatr Bara Caws. 

Llion Iwan is the Managing Director of Cwmni Da. He has been a print journalist, producer and documentary director for BBC1, BBC 2, BBC 4 and BBC Wales. His films have won awards in France, Switzerland, Canada and the RTS (Royal Television Society). He has also been S4C’s Content Commissioner. 

They are joining Angharad Mair, Barrie jones, Beti George, Betsan Powys, Bethan Jones Parry, Euros Lewis, Marc Webber, Nia Ceidiog and Owain Gwilym who continue their duties on the Board. 

A spokesperson for the Communications Council said: “This addition to the Board is invaluable as we can now extend our work even further as these two bring with them new expertise, skills and experiences. We look forward to the work ahead of us this year in designing a Welsh communications structure that will be in place, to be adopted, when those powers come to Wales in the coming years. 


Press Release
From the National Communications Council

We Must Get to Grips with our Journalism, With our Local Radio Stations and With Digital Poverty 

In the first full week of this new Government the National Communications Council is calling on the new Welsh Government to take steps to ensure healthy journalism and platforms for it; to take steps to ensure that all our local radio stations are actually local; and to ensure that everyone in Wales has good internet access. 

The calls of the National Communications Council, established two years ago to work on developing a suitable regulatory structure for the communications media in Wales, are: 

News and journalism – come to a clear conclusion on the powers already in the hands of the Welsh Government in order to support providers seeking to expand the range of journalism – and to use those powers, in this term, to strengthen the journalistic voice of Wales as a matter of urgency. 

Local Radio – to ensure that local radio regulations become the responsibility of the Welsh Government. 

Internet Access – to ensure that the Welsh Government becomes responsible for the entire internet infrastructure and contract process in Wales. 

According to the National Communications Council the need for these three things has become more and more apparent over the past eighteen months and they are vital for our democracy. 

According to the Council, taking these three initial steps would lead to a more democratic nation and democratic communities, would ensure a stronger voice for the people of Wales and ensure a more accurate reflection of our Welsh identity. The Council also says that the contribution to the economy would be great if these powers were moved to Wales. 

A spokesman for the Communications Council said: “I would like to emphasize that this should be a starting point for the process of improving our ability as a nation to communicate effectively, as communities and as a nation. But it’s a really important starting point. Taking these three steps would mean richer communities and a richer nation in every sense of the word and could lead to many further developments, for the better. 

“It is also clear that democracy would be a winner, with increasing our understanding of the  differences between Wales and the rest of the countries of the British Isles. With that clarity comes further interest and understanding. Our politicians and policies would also, at all levels, be subject to greater scrutiny leading to greater accountability and therefore better politics. 

“People have been craving for radio stations that, by their very nature, represent their communities, which is impossible while regulation for our local radio stations is in the hands of another country that is quite content to have companies in London running them for us.” 

“And central to all of this is the need to overturn the current situation where some of us have very good access to the internet whilst others have more or less no access at all. This is a purposely made policy, on our behalf, by the English Government. It doesn’t have to be this way. But to change the system the Welsh Government must have the powers to make the decision to ensure access to the internet for everyone, wherever we live. ”  



Press Release
From the National Communications Council

Our Media problem… and a solution to it 

In response to comments made by a Senedd Member yesterday, the National Communications Council claims to have a credible solution to an issue that, they say, continues to blight our identity as a nation, that issue being the weakness of our media.  

The National Communications Council notes that there is considerable grassroots interest in announcements made by the Welsh Government and in understanding the differences between us and other nations, but that this they say isn’t reflected in the media. 

The Council added that this interest is something to celebrate and that it signifies that a change must happen as a matter of haste. 

Delyth Jewell MS commented yesterday that such is the weakness of the current media in Wales that it has led to an ‘unacceptable and unsustainable democratic deficit’ and that the majority of us do not even have basic information about Welsh Government.  

The National Communications Council have responded by saying that they believe strongly that such problems are wholly inevitable and will persist while all the decision making and regulation for our media in Wales is decided by another country’s companies and government. 

According to the National Communications Council, the core issue is that Wales is largely being fed a version of itself through the filter of an English owned media perspective. Despite post-devolution successes and the increasing responsibilities of Welsh Government the Council believes that there is now little if any coverage that can be described as hard-edged journalism where the wheels of democracy can be seen turning. 

The Council believes that Welsh Government has a critical role to play in correcting this imbalance and that any concerns of involvement in a media project should be set aside.  

A spokesperson on behalf of the Council saidWe call on our Government to support the devolution of all powers over broadcasting and assist the initial creation of a quality media project for our nation across all platforms where the decisions are made in made in Wales… and for Wales. 

“It is essential that the media in Wales becomes a real Welsh media. The overarching priorities of English and American companies — who serve us their content — is to perpetuate their profits and not to ensure that Wales has a media structure that reflects its pride and ambitions as a nation. 

“The Covid-19 crisis has illustrated the difficulties perfectly in that Welsh Government’s strategic approach has been completely ill served by English media companies who publish and broadcast in Wales and who have regularly confused the message with not a thought to the substantial differences of perspective and policy that apply in a devolved nation. If anything has ever highlighted the need that something be done to legitimise our media landscape on this side of the border, then this is surely it.”

“Its autonomy and independence would need to be — and be seen to be — ‘holy’ across the political spectrum with reliable devices in place to ensure it could report as impartially as any outside agency. The commercial realities dictate that this can no longer be birthed successfully wholly as a business venture. But this in no way lessens its urgent importance for our future.” 

No other nation would even have to ponder or demand such an obvious solution.” 

Another Council member commented: “What is possible is that we have a true Welsh media in Wales that relates effectively to the situation that exists here — one that holds our Government to account and does so many other thingsBut to even start making this possible there are fundamental MUSTS. Control of broadcasting in this country must be devolved and a serious and practical plan instigated to build a worthwhile Welsh media across all platformsEverything is then possible — but we must start there.” 

Our First Minister has voiced his concerns several times… it is now time for his Government to formulate and prioritise action.”  

2020-05-20 Rheoliadau Darparwyr Newyddion


Press Release
From the National Communications Council

 Communications Council Announces New Regulations Needed for News Platforms

The National Communications Council, a body established to develop regulations needed for broadcasting in Wales, has today announced four new regulations needed for all news providers, that broadcast or publish in Wales.

Since its inception last August, the Council has been working on developing a new broadcasting and publishing code that suits the cultural and political needs of Wales, as well as protecting the fundamental rights of its residents, upholding standards and ensuring fairness.

According to the Communications Council, the current period of lockdown due to Covid-19 has clearly demonstrated, yet again, the shortcomings and ignorance in the British media about the existence of Wales as a nation as well as political devolution.

The Communications Council has announced that these regulations, that would ensure that the people of Wales receives the correct information, are needed as a matter of urgency for the health and safety of the people of Wales, as well as for the health and development of its democracy.

The regulations would apply to those who broadcast news in Wales, on television, radio and in the printed press and their respective websites.

The four regulations, briefly, include*:

  1. News broadcasters must make it clear to their listeners and viewers of the law as it stands in Wales
  2. News of current affairs in the other four nations of the British Isles must not give one of the countries more attention than the others
  3. International news must not give the English-speaking nations of the world more attention than other countries of the world
  4. Any news from Westminster must be matched with news, on the same subject, as it stands in our democratic institutions – be it in the Senedd or in our Local Authorities or in our Community Councils.

A spokesperson for the Council said:

“The regulations, as they are, have failed Wales. The need to reform these regulations has always been obvious, and has been highlighted further during this pandemic. Without these, and further changes, our democracy fails.

We are therefore calling on our Government and our Senedd to move on these regulations as a matter of urgency. It is very likely that we would need to devolve broadcasting powers to Wales in order to achieve these. We need to move quickly. It needs to be done and it needs to be done now.”


*Note to Editor: please see full wording of regulations and their purposes attached below:

ENG – Rheoliadau Newyddion