BBC Editor fires back after Welsh language criticism

Pen ar y Bloc, Vaughan Roderick

 

BBC Wales has done more for the Welsh language than any other institution in the country, according to its Welsh Affairs Editor.

Speaking to Golwg magazine, Vaughan Roderick said that he bristled when he saw criticism of the BBC’s treatment of the Welsh language.

“What I don’t understand is that you see these people sometimes on social media who think there’s some massive, malevolent plot against Wales and the Welsh language in the BBC,” he said.

“The truth is that the BBC has done more for the Welsh language than any other institution in Wales.

“I just don’t understand this attitude. And what they do by attacking the BBC, rather than supporting those within the BBC who fight for things like Radio Cymru 2 and so on, is to make it harder for us because it appears as if they’re against it.”

Vaughan Roderick was discussing his new book, Pen ar y Bloc, which is published by Y Lolfa.

He did regret the way the Welsh language was discussed by Newsnight during the National Eisteddfod, but said that the problem was one of ignorance rather than malice.

“All I would say is that there is an ignorance of Wales in England that goes back over a thousand years,” he said.

“And the [item on Newsnight] was an example of that ignorance.

“But when you have people, after Newsnight, saying that they should refuse to appear on Radio Cymru to protest against Newsnight, they’re not hurting Newsnight.

“They’re hurting the most important broadcasting medium for the Welsh language that there is. Where is their common sense?”


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Leia
Guest

That’s not an excuse it’s part of the problem! One reason the Newsnight debacle was so frustrating in the first place was that the Welsh language ‘wing’ of the BBC was all over the Eisteddfod beavering away creating blanket coverage – but they seem to be treated like some sort of peasant fifth columnists by the rest of the BBC – what weird sort of internal structures must there be for no one in BBC London to think, “Ah we’re doing a piece on Welsh, perhaps we should ask our fine colleagues in BBC Wales / Cymru for their input…?… Read more »

kim erswell
Guest
kim erswell

Good points.

Robert Williams
Guest
Robert Williams

When a commentator as rational, balanced and usually quite gentle and charitable as Vaughan Roderick expresses himself as strongly as this, I think we should listen.

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

Yes.

kim erswell
Guest
kim erswell

Vaughn Rodderick, who I enjoy listenning to says -“All I would say is that there is an ignorance of Wales in England that goes back over a thousand years,”
I would disagree with him on ignorance being the cause: from my experience, as an Englishman, at the unwashed end of our society, it’s actually “total contempt”… That’s a big difference.

Emma Roids
Guest
Emma Roids

Again much respect for this gentleman, but he’s wrong to say it is just ignorance and even more wrong to suggest that the BBC has done more for the Welsh language, however is he not paid by the BBC. This is not the first time Newshite have produced a derogatory piece about Wales, that’s not ignorance it’s malice. Radio Wales controlled by the BBC is utter rubbish, again populated by BBC lapdogs like Jason Mohammed. The whole organisation is corrupt, broadcasting should be devolved so we can rid ourselves of the plus four wealding clones of Vincent Kane wannabes.

Tudor Rees
Guest
Tudor Rees

Mae Jason wedi dysg Cymraeg a wedi cyfrannu i raglenni diddorol iawn at S4C. Pob clod iddo.

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

Sadly Vaughan is too integrated and invested in BBC to give a truly neutral opinion. He does make fair points….but why isnt he asking why the BBC are the flag bearers for a language they originally tried to shut down in the pre war years

kim erswell
Guest
kim erswell

Glad you said it, Ederyn…

Teilo
Guest
Teilo

I agree with his last point, as the only broadcaster of any weight in Wales we must engage and criticise, I’m surprised however that he seems to miss the point that criticism of the BBC means we want to throw the baby out with the bath water, which is clearly not the case. Having said that the BBC is still a British institution, and he must be institutionalised not to realise that alough he and his colleagues are upholding standards in Welsh broadcasting, his superiors in London will undermine the language in order to outflank any perceived dissent from the… Read more »

Hugh Evans
Guest
Hugh Evans

I like Vaughan Roderick and agree with most things he says, and he’s usually sound in terms of his analysis. I also agree with a lot he says in this article, but I’m afraid he’s become institusionally blind when it comes to the BBC. Whilst he may be right also about Newsnight’s article being driven by ignorance, he ignores how numerous BBC Radio Wales items about the language have been either deliberatley provocative or outrightly hostile in tone. They do not have the excuse of ignorance I would argue.

Mike Flynn
Guest
Mike Flynn

In my opinion Vaughan represents a fireman fueling the Welsh language gravy train. A man who has never worked outside of Cardiff and spent his entire life inside the Taffia bubble that runs between Cyncoed,Fairwater and Llandaff. Such is his experience of life outside Cardiff he would probably get a nosebleed once he left Merthyr heading north. Like many at Llandaff he came direct from university to working for the BBC in Cardiff thanks to family connections. His father was Selwyn Roderick, another person who spent his entire working life at BBC Wales. In fairness later in life I used… Read more »

kim erswell
Guest
kim erswell

BBC news throughout Britain not just Wales is riddled with family connections and riddled by lack of balance. Brexit and American election heavily biased by those BBC elites for exampes whilst claiming their not. Wales needs real new independent media with new voices from all sides.

Gaynor
Guest
Gaynor

O god Mike let it rest , – I’m drowning, I’m drowning in all this gravy – anybody want to check out Bbc in Wales’ commitment to Welsh language/ read the history of production/ you will be amazed, surprised and thank those who fought so hard to create a Welsh language broadcasting corporation/ lot of ignorant things said here. Sure not perfect but facts speak for themselves

Mike Flynn
Guest
Mike Flynn
Mike Flynn
Guest
Mike Flynn

It’s a shame they never committed the same effort and resources to North East Wales. Radio Wales has just axed live commentry from Wrexham Racecourse the home of Welsh football. Unlike Radio Cymru there has never been a BBC Radio Wales daily programme from north of Cardiff.

Anon
Guest
Anon

Have they? Last Saturday’s game was on the radio. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p033wd5k

Mike Flynn
Guest
Mike Flynn

It appears they cover Wrexham if a major team such as Swansea are not playing. Here is the story from the Daily Post Cuts to the radio commentary for Wrexham football games have been slammed as unfair on fans. North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd has called on BBC Radio Wales to rethink its decision to reduce radio coverage of Wrexham matches, saying it disadvantages the many fans who cannot access online commentaries. The move, outlined by Radio Wales editor Colin Paterson, sees the opt-out for North Wales on FM radio being axed except for “key games”, while the Wrexham commentary… Read more »

Mike Flynn
Guest
Mike Flynn

I am with the Vale MP on this one.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-41279554

More powers should be handed to Welsh regions – rather than ministers controlling everything from Cardiff, says the Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns.
On the 20th anniversary of the referendum that created the assembly, the UK cabinet minister said too much power had been “centralised”.
Wales should respond to the challenge posed by new elected mayors in Bristol, Manchester and Merseyside, he said.

Manchester and Merseyside are on the doorstep of Wrexham and the coast while Cardiff is a long way south.

Lyn Thomas
Guest
Lyn Thomas

Dear god, who is Mike Flynn, all I can say your trolling is getting a touch tedious. Vaughan is a serious commentator, if he is blocked on Twitter by Alun Cairns it says a whole lot more about our SoS than it does Vaughan. What ever his family connections Vaughan got there by dint of his own work and his knowledge and nous of politics in Wales. He makes fair points about the BBC and all the more damming for that. There isn’t a conspiracy to get Wales from England, we are regarded as insignificant and not worth investing in… Read more »

Mike Flynn
Guest
Mike Flynn

There is a very interesting item by ex BBC Wales jounslist Phil Parry just published online here.https://www.the-eye.wales/twit/ Major questions are being raised about a senior BBC Wales Editor who attacked the Crossrail 2 project as “UK taxpayers subsidising London’s local transport system” in a late night tweet, The Eye can reveal. The tweet by the corporation’s Welsh Affairs Editor, Vaughan Roderick, comes after we showed how he used Twitter to compare the union with England to an abusive relationship in another late night tweet. This outburst came days before the closely-fought referendum on Scottish independence and as a programme about… Read more »

sibrydionmawr
Guest

Oh yes, if it’s Phil Parry then it’s gotta be true!

kim erswell
Guest
kim erswell

Can’t help but thinkin if the BBC wasn’t compulsary tax funded (the licence fee being tax) and had to operate in the world of free ideas – not an agenda – unshackled from the odious unelected OfCom it would soon disappear. Possibly allowing its staff to say what they really think and allow all voices throughout Gymru a tu hwnt to have a voice. Let the market place of ideas rule not the establishment.
Also, I enjoy hearing, Mike Flynn’s voice and all the other ones on the site: even though some are impalatable to my taste.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Leave it to the market place and let it provide the same quality and variety as the print media. Basically, you’d end up with Sky, Channel 5 and Heart FM. And no Welsh. None.

Mike Flynn
Guest
Mike Flynn

No one can doubt Vaughans passion for supporting the Welsh language. He says “The truth is that the BBC has done more for the Welsh language than any other institution in Wales. “I just don’t understand this attitude. And what they do by attacking the BBC, rather than supporting those within the BBC who fight for things like Radio Cymru 2 and so on, is to make it harder for us because it appears as if they’re against it.” I am not sure where the audiance for Radio Cymru 2 will come from. After nearly 40 years the BBC Wales… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

Mae anwybodaeth yn esgus wan iawn. Ni fydd BBC yn nibrisio diwylliant arall felly, neu ei drafod heb ymchwil/cyngor arbenigwyr. Anwybodaeth fwriadol yw e.

Lyn Thomas
Guest
Lyn Thomas

So we have Mike Flynn on a personal crusade against Vaughan, wonder why?

Elfed Jones
Guest
Elfed Jones

You wanna buy my book ???

Tame Frontiersman
Guest
Tame Frontiersman

It’s always interesting to hear the insights gained from people with first-hand experience and in regards the BBC how its organisation and culture impacts on how issues relating to Wales are covered . I have none to offer But I do wonder about what the political landscape of these islands might be now if instead of the BBC there had been Welsh, Scottish, English and Ulster Broadcasting Companies or indeed if RTE were an all-Ireland institution. I also think the creation of S4C should have been accompanied by the creation of C4W -an English language channel for Wales. This could… Read more »

Martin Johnes
Guest
Martin Johnes

As the historian John Davies put it: “The BBC was instrumental in the creation of Wales as an entity… you could argue that Wales is an artefact created by Broadcasting.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02k73fc Of course, like any organisation, it has been full of different people with different opinions. Its central controllers have not always been terribly understanding of Wales. During the war even the government had to remind Broadcasting House not to say England when it meant Britain. Nonetheless, the BBC helped modernize people’s views of Welsh, it helped bring together north and south in psychology and dialect, it introduced new vocabulary,… Read more »

sionyn
Guest
sionyn

I think Vaughan is creating a straw man here. The very people who criticise the BBC on issues of Welshness are the very people who’ve made sure (historically) that some element of Welshness and of Welsh language broadcasting was there in the first place. It wasn’t the BBC which created the ‘Welsh nation’ but the Welsh nation signing petitions, breaking the law, being awkward from the 1920s onwards, which forced the BBC to recognise a Welsh entitity The BBC had no wish, initially, to treat Wales as one. And everything since then has been a compromise built on the awkward… Read more »

Tudor Rees
Guest
Tudor Rees

Fel y bydde brodorion wreiddiol Ogledd America yn ddweud, “The BBC speaks with forked tongue!” Ar un llaw mae Vaughan ac eraill yng Nghaerdydd yn wneud gwaith gwych dros yr Iaith,ond at y llaw arall, mae criw Llundain yn tanseilio’r cyfan trwy ei agwedd sydd yn amrywio o diffyg diddordeb i gwrthwynebiad. Gan ei bod nhw yn gweld eu hunain yn BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation byddech chi’n meddwl bydde diddordeb ‘da bobl BBC Llundain yn holl ieithoedd brodorol Ynysoedd Prydain, yn enwedig yr Iaith Gymraeg sydd yn deillio o’r Frythoneg, ond na yn Llundain mae yn cael ei drin fel iaith… Read more »

Tudor Rees
Guest
Tudor Rees

Dyma sut mae BBC Llundain yn ymateb i sylw yn y Iaith Gymraeg i erthygl at BBC Wales :–Dear BBC Visitor, Thank you for contributing to the BBC web site. Unfortunately we’ve had to remove the content below because it contravened one of our House Rules. Your comment was considered to have broken the following House Rule: “We reserve the right to fail comments which… Are written in anything other than English – Welsh and Gaelic may be used where expressly stated.” For more information about the House Rule your comment broke, please visit – http://www.bbc.co.uk/social/moderation/house-rules#faqitem-3-3 You can read the… Read more »