The detailed study has found that although availability of media has greatly improved, there are major concerns about the amount of content about Wales.
Since the independent think-tank’s last review of the Welsh media in 2008 the supply of content about Wales available to people in Wales has been subject to multiple pressures:
- The amount of money spent by the BBC on programmes for Wales in English has fallen by 22.4% in the last decade, as has the number of hours of television it produces.
- ITV Wales has seen its programming obligation to Wales cut by 40% following the agreement with OFCOM in 2009 and now only produces 90 minutes of English language television a week on top of its four hours of news output.
- S4C suffered a 24% cut in its central funding.
- Circulation of Welsh newspapers has fallen dramatically – from a 60% fall in the South Wales Echo circulation, to a 33% drop in sales of the Daily Post. The Western Mail now sells just 17,815 copies a day.
- The combined reach of the newspaper online sites in Wales each day, probably already exceeds the total daily readership figures for indigenous Welsh newspapers in the pre-digital world. In that sense the digital world has delivered a dividend. However, the number of journalists employed has dropped dramatically and the scope of reporting may be contracting. Further, newspapers continue to make up 90% of the income for news organisations raising concerns about the future viability of news provision.
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