Ian Hargreaves, top journalist and professor, calls on Wales to go confidently into the digital age
Ian Hargreaves, former editor of the Financial Times, The Independent and now strategic director of communications in the Foreign and Commonwealth office, has called on Wales to secure the future of Welsh journalism in the digital age with its own Welsh networked journalism.
Speaking at UNESCO’s Wales World Press Freedom Day last night at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff, Professor Hargreaves, also former head of Cardiff Journalism School, said Wales is at a pivotal point in deciding the future of its media.
He said: “We’re not in the early rounds of this drama, we’re approaching the finale. This is the Britain’s Got Talent moment, when everyone has done their stuff and the judges must decide.
“It’s make your mind up time and we must be thankful that it’s not Piers Morgan on the bench.”
He said none of the problems raised by the future of the media are insolvable or should stop Wales moving forward.
“None of these problems is insoluble and they must not be allowed to distract us from the task of taking the historic opportunity which really does lie before us now,” he said.
“The debate so far has delivered clarity on these points.
“One. An Assembly Government capable of clear policy specification in this area demands and deserves to be heard.
“Two. None of the matters under discussion can sensibly be resolved in London. Equally, what works in Wales must be designed to work well alongside what’s going on in England.
“Three. In designing a solution based upon plurality around the BBC, we should make sure that a new institution arrangement will plug and play into the age of universal broadband.
“Four. Any new commissioning machinery must be clearly insulated from direct political interference.
He also said the internet could improve Wales’s national pride, by increasing the country’s profile.
“We need Wales to find some time to communicate to the world so they never have a grumpy day. It will be better than the National Health Service,” he said.
What is networked journalism?
Jeff Jarvis says networked journalism is professionals and amateurs working together to get the real story, linking to each other across brands and old boundaries to share facts, questions, answers, ideas, perspectives.
“It recognizes the complex relationships that will make news. And it focuses on the process more than the product.
“In networked journalism, the public can get involved in a story before it is reported, contributing facts, questions, and suggestions. The journalists can rely on the public to help report the story.”