• 'A pit we have dug ourselves': The EU referendum and the Welsh democratic deficit

      Roberts, Simon Gwyn; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-05-24)
      The chapter examines the Welsh Brexit vote from a news media perspective, locating it within the long-standing 'democratic deficit' and absence of Welsh national press.
    • Impossible Unity? Representing Internal Diversity in Post-Devolution Wales

      Roberts, Simon Gwyn; University of Chester-- (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015-09-16)
      The gradual transformation of British politics through the processes of devolution has been a ‘work in progress’ since Scotland and Wales voted in favour in the 1997 referenda (in the case of Wales, for the creation of an Assembly with devolved powers). Yet these major constitutional changes have not been matched by a realignment of the UK media (Cushion, Lewis and Groves, 2009). In this context, the particular deficiencies of the Welsh media have become increasingly politically relevant in recent years, with its shortcomings (in terms of informing the public about devolved politics) regularly highlighted by politicians, academics and journalists. A 2014 BBC poll, for example, found that fewer than half of Welsh respondents knew the NHS was devolved, which Thomas (2014) suggests results from a Welsh media landscape in which “huge numbers of people” get their news from London-based newspapers. The contrast with Scotland is marked: while Scottish devolution provided a pretext for London-based national newspapers to reduce news content from all three devolved nations it simultaneously provided a catalyst for the further development of an independent media policy in Scotland itself. In interviews, London journalists argued that since Scotland had its own parliament it had its ‘own news’ and its own newspaper editions to carry it (Denver, 2002). More recently, Macwhirter (2014) rued the financial decline of the Scottish newspaper industry, suggesting that this makes it harder for the Scottish media to perform their traditional role as ‘cultural curators’ and forum for informed debate. However, sentiments like this merely highlight the more acute media deficiency in Wales, because the Welsh media is considerably more fragmented than its Scottish equivalent, with no real tradition of a Welsh national press to draw on and the majority of newspaper readers dependent on London-based publications. Around 1,760,000 (from a total population of three million) read newspapers with ‘virtually no Welsh content’ (Davies, 2008).
    • Introduction (Sport, Media and Regional Identity)

      Roberts, Simon Gwyn; University of Chester (Cambridge Scholars, 2015-12-01)
      Introduction to an edited volume entitled Sport, Media and Regional Identity.
    • Negotiating identity politics via networked communication: a case study of the Welsh-speaking population in Patagonia, Argentina

      Roberts, Simon Gwyn; University of Chester (Cambridge Scholars, 2017-09-01)
      This chapter examines the communicative and political potential of networked communication in the specific context of marginalized linguistic communities. The work concerns the remnant Welsh-speaking population in Patagonia, Argentina, descended from 19th century migrants who attempted to establish an exclusive and deliberately isolated Welsh-speaking enclave in the region. Since then, the ‘enclave’ has been absorbed into the wider Argentinian ethnic and linguistic melting pot with Welsh-speaking residents now Argentinian citizens claiming dual linguistic and cultural heritage, and therefore represents a kind of archetype for a wider journey from conflict and exclusivity to compromise, inclusivity and hybridity.
    • Nurturing English regionalism: A new role for local newspapers in a federal UK?

      Roberts, Simon Gwyn; University of Chester (Intellect, 2017-03-01)
      Any constitutional move towards a federal system in the United Kingdom would inevitably be unbalanced by England’s obvious economic, cultural and numerical dominance. Some form of English regional devolution is therefore essential if we are to progress as a multinational state post Scottish and Welsh devolution. This article adopts a deliberately polemical approach to a consideration of the potential role of regional English newspapers in that context, suggesting that their established links with a coherent audience, rooted in place, might allow them to act as a vehicle for debate and nurture a sense of regional identity often absent from contemporary English politics. Regional newspapers are ‘culturally specific’ and have a key role to play in articulating the popular experience of post-devolution political change: this might also present this struggling sector with valuable commercial opportunities as they take advantage of the new political paradigm to further embed themselves within their communities.