I was listening to Radio 4’s Feedback in the car on my way home last night, when the presenter referred to a number of complaints the programme had received about BBC news’ coverage of the Welsh Rugby Team’s win in the World Cup Quarter Final against Ireland.
The gist of it was that BBC news output gave prominence to England’s Quarter Final loss, with scarcely a reference to Wales.
The BBC’s response was that they felt that they “got the balance about right across the radio network”.
For those of you on Twitter you would have seen the same sort of response from people across Wales tweeting that the Welsh win was not getting due prominence. Amongst the complainants were politicians from various British Unionist Parties.
Now while I agree with the general complaint, it should not come as any surprise to us. Why is it that when it comes to sport, or more specifically rugby, people who are happy with the British Establishment and being governed by London complain bitterly that the Welsh rugby team doesn’t get enough attention, but when it comes to real news – news that affect our day-to-day lives they are happy to see Wales ignored and marginalised?
The BBC is a British wide London centric organisation. In such a large organisation they allocate resources according to audience figures. The same is true of every news and London based media organisation. In this respect the BBC were absolutely right to ‘ignore’ the Welsh win.
In simple numbers Wales is only a population of 3million. There are twice as many people living in London alone. Why would they want to give any attention to such an insignificant group of people on the margins when the vast majority of their audience are not even Welsh?
After all Wales has her own ‘regional’ output which would have given the game due prominence.
If we are happy to see Wales as a marginalised part of a greater England (also known as Britain) then we shouldn’t complain that her sports teams aren’t getting any media coverage either.
Let’s stop complaining that London isn’t giving us the attention we feel we deserve and instead let’s put a positive argument forward about why Wales should get her own publicly funded Broadcasting Body.
Why do we crave the attention of London all of the time? Let London do her own thing and let’s focus our attention, energy, and resurces on Wales.
It’s not good enough for these Labour politicians to complain that Wales is ignored by London – do something about it!
One final thought – remember that it is this London centric media organisation that will also take charge of S4C before long. Do you really think that our only national TV station is safe in the hands of such an organisation?