In another sign of the growing independence movement in Wales, a new online radio service will be launched at the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff.
Radio YesCymru will broadcast live between 5.00-7.00pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from Cardiff Bay and is part of the pro-independence YesCymru movement.
The programmes for the Eisteddfod week will be in Welsh but the station will then begin outlining a timetable for broadcasts both Welsh and English.
The presenter for the first week is Siôn Jobbins, a founding member of YesCymru and author of several books.
One of his books, an anthology of his articles, The Phenomenon of Welshness II: is Wales too Poor to be Independent, recalls the pirate broadcast by Welsh nationalists who broke across television frequency at the end of the 1950s in a campaign for more Welsh programming and political representation of Plaid Cymru as party political broadcasts.
He said that he saw Radio Yes Cymru as being part of the same tradition.
“Yes, I’d like to think that Radio YesCymru is in the tradition of the pioneering work of those can-do nationalists in the 1950s (and also a similar effort by Welsh language campaigners who broadcast at the 1967 National Eisteddfod in Bala,” he said.
“We can’t allow, nor expect, the British media to make the case for independence – although it would be better for the media industry in Wales if Wales was an independent state like Ireland.
“The media that people in Wales consume follows the agenda set by a hand full of tax-dodging British nationalist Tory millionaires.
“They are given free publicity and advertising for their British nationalist worldview by the lazy ‘what the papers say’ slot of the British and Welsh media which then sets the nature of the debate for the days and weeks ahead.
“If Wales is to be independent, then we have to create our media which is outside the narrow British nationalist worldview of the Tory press, public school educated and tax and service cutting think tanks, or paternalist liberal left who often see Wales as a hindrance to ‘progress’ and ‘unity’.
“Radio YesCymru will make the case for a normal Wales – that is, Wales as a normal independent nation-state.”
The service is made possible by the cooperation within non-state Welsh language media –cymru.fm, which streams Welsh language pop online, is the online platform.
The technical kit and technical support has been offered by Radio Beca of Ceredigion, an online radio group which broadcasts at special events and occasions.
The studio for the Eisteddfod week will be the Indycube offices in Mount Stuart Square – ironically, directly behind where the 1979 Assembly was to be located had the devolution referendum had been won in that year.
Guests on the first week of the broadcasts are diverse and reflect the convenience of broadcasting during the Eisteddfod week and less than 3-minute walk from the Eisteddfod field.
The first programme on Wednesday night will include:
- Plaid Cymru leadership candidates Adam Price, Rhun ap Iorwerth
- Labour for Independent Wales speakers Huw Williams and Chris Roberts
- Begotxu Olaizola a Welsh-speaking Basque representative of the ANC, the pro-independence movement for Catalonia
- Mabon ap Gwynfor who’ll discuss nationalist music from the Celtic countries
- Iestyn ap Rhobert, Chair of YesCymru on the movement’s public meeting on Welsh independence.
Other guests scheduled for the week include Owain Young of Shwl-di-mwl clothing who’ll discuss the popularity of Welsh political T-shirts, especially the growing national awareness of Welsh football fans, and author Catrin Dafydd, this year’s newly crowned bard, who’ll discuss the cultural pro-independence movement, AWokEN.
“We’re looking forward to this new chapter in the growing pro-independence movement,” said Hedd Gwynfor of Radio YesCymru.
“We will work on the strengths and lessons of the Eisteddfod broadcasts as we work on a schedule for broadcasting in both languages.
“We’d like to see Radio YesCymru contributing to the new pro-independence media in Wales which includes Nation.Cymru and Desolation Radio.”