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EFFECT OF PLANNED CUTS OF POLITICAL COVERAGE BY ITV WALES

EDM (Early Day Motion) 116: tabled on 04 December 2008

Tabled in the 2008-09 session.

This motion has been signed by 15 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

As this motion is using historical data, we may not have the record of the original ordering, in which case signatories are listed alphabetically.

Motion text

That this House expresses its serious concern over the plans significantly to cut back the coverage of political affairs by Independent Television in Wales from four and a half hours a week to one and a half hours; recognises this planned cut-back is mirrored by proposed cuts in regional political coverage by Independent Television in other parts of the United Kingdom; believes that without full and proper scrutiny and coverage by a wide range of media the people of Wales are effectively being politically disenfranchised; notes with disquiet that these cuts in coverage follow successive cut-backs of specialist political journalists based in the National Assembly for Wales, as well as the loss of the Welsh Daily Mirror, resulting in a serious democratic deficit; recalls when ITV was awarded its franchise contract it included a commitment to provide distinctive and specific Welsh programming; further notes that the communications regulator Ofcom's principal statutory duty is to `further the interests of citizens in relation to communication matters' and to `further the interests of consumers ... by promoting competition'; further notes that Ofcom has the capacity to re-open the franchise process and seek an alternative news and programming provider if ITV fails to meet its broadcasting obligations; further believes that ITV in Wales currently employs an excellent group of political reporters, whose work is valued by their audience; and calls on Independent Television to reverse its dangerous and democratically damaging plans to cut back political coverage.