S4C ‘needs to include BAME people in decision-making’

Melanie Owen

S4C needs to include more BAME people in the decision-making process, according to the political campaigner, Melanie Owen.

In an interview to be broadcast on Y Byd yn ei Le at 8pm tonight she said that having BAME people in front of a camera was not enough.

“I think these people need to be in the meetings,” she said. “Not just in front of the camera – they need to be making the choices. About what is going to go on the television, what’s going to be in a programme.

“They should be able to communicate their experiences and say ‘I have these experiences, BAME people like me can relate to that, or actually that isn’t relevant to us at all, why can’t we give that person a voice?’ It comes down to who is making the decisions, too.”

Asked whether a lack of BAME Welsh speakers made it difficult for institutions to include them, she said that was an excuse.

“It’s easy to say ‘Oh we can’t find one so we’ll just use you’,” she said. “BAME people can speak Welsh. Like me, I learnt to speak Welsh when I was a child when I moved here, and there are a lot like me.

“So go out and find them. There’s a responsibility to do that, and it’s too easy to say ‘we just can’t find them’.”

 

‘Important’

She added that when she was young she did not watch S4C because there was little to relate to.

“I’d rather watch something that speaks to me directly,” she said. “I believe it’s fantastic that we have this channel through the Welsh language.

“But why don’t we use a channel like S4C to speak to BAME people who can speak Welsh? That’s so important.”

Owen Evans, S4C’s Chief Executive, will be among those responding on the programme.

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