Final push for petition requesting an independent review of how the BBC portrays the Welsh language

Evan Davis on newsnight.


A petition signed by over 7,500 people calling for an independent review of how the BBC portrays the Welsh language will close on Friday.

Huw Marshall created the petition after the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Newsnight posed the question “is the Welsh language a help or hindrance to the nation?”.

At midnight on Friday the petition will close and be delivered to the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the BBC Unitary Board and Ofcom, he said.

“I’ve made it clear from the start this is not an attack on the BBC,” Huw Marshall told Nation.Cymru.

“But we need to find out if there is an institutional problem within the BBC with regards the Welsh language or whether it’s a perceived issue.

“By conducting an audit we can finally get to the bottom of this and hopefully ensure that appropriate editorial guidelines are put in place.”

Former MP Elfyn Llwyd also criticised what he considered to be poor reporting by Newsnight, saying that a journalist who contacted him before the programme was woefully uninformed about the subject.

“I have to explain what the Eisteddfod was,” he told Golwg 360. “He didn’t have a clue. And I don’t think he knew the difference between Plaid Cymru and Cymdeithas yr Iaith.

“It showed a deep indifference, that they would take the issue so lightly.

“I felt when I watched the programme that we were in the position the Irish were in some 30 years ago when it was OK to make fun of them if you were English.

“And now the Welsh language is a subject of fun in London as well.”

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