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House of Commons Hansard
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11 November 2009
Volume 499
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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the future of broadcasting in Wales. [298045]

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I have discussed this matter with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and he agrees with me that Wales needs a strong, vibrant, independent, high quality news service, besides BBC. The Digital Britain White Paper outlined the Government’s proposals for a pilot scheme for news in the nations and regions, and Wales is one of the pilot areas. This shows the Government’s commitment to securing a plurality of news provider and viewer choice, which is fundamental to the quality of democracy and accountability of Welsh Assembly Government to electorate in Wales.

Wales has vibrant media both on television and via the internet through local print newspapers, and I want this not only to continue but grow and believe Independently Funded News Consortia can help this. An ideal partnership would involve news delivery on ITV Wales and through other innovative electronic delivery outputs as provided on web by Welsh printed media. I understand that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will shortly be announcing the process and timetable for implementing the IFNCs and I look forward to this news.