Thursday, 7 July 2011

Save S4C

S4C is the only Welsh language television channel in the world. The ConDem coalition government in London is slashing the S4C budget and removing its independence by absorbing it into the BBC. No guarantees have been given about public funding beyond 2015 and very little information has come out from the BBC as to their plans for the channel.

Claims of low viewing figures and questionable practices in the running of the channel have helped those who would quietly like to see the end of an independent Welsh language TV channel. Many of those campaigning to save the channel are fiercly critical of the channel's failings and so are not demanding that it continues in its current form.

S4C is not just for Welsh speakers. Many non-Welsh speaking parents with children in Welsh medium schools recognise the fantastic worth of Cyw, S4C's children's programming. For many parents who don't speak Welsh, S4C provides one of the few ways children can hear Welsh outside school, something vital to their language acquisition, especially over long time periods like the summer holidays. It's also vital in the process of normalising the Welsh language within our communities.

The principle of a Welsh language channel is an important one to uphold. It's not just a broadcasting issue. It is a language issue.

In support of the campaign to save S4C, I have stopped paying my TV licence.

Speaking ahead of a rally being held today in Cardiff, Cymdeithas Yr Iaith Chair Bethan Williams said:

The channel faces cuts to its budget of over 40% in real terms, being swallowed by the BBC and seeing powers to get rid of the channel completely in the hands of Westminster Ministers. The Government is saving 94% of the money that they used to pay S4C, cuts that are wholly unfair. It will be impossible to secure the independence of S4C under the joint-proposals of the Government to fund S4C through the BBC. We now know that if the BBC had refused this idea there would be no threat to the independence of the channel. The unfortunate truth is that the heads of the BBC in London don’t care one bit about S4C, and that is why we are in a critical situation at this time.”

S4C was set up after a difficult battle. This campaign is about making sure it doesn't disappear without a similar fight.

Ymlaen a'r ymgyrch.

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