Low Welsh media consumption creates 'democratic deficit'

Welsh newspapers

Less than 5% of people in Wales read a Welsh newspaper, figures show.

According to 2016 Welsh Election Study analysis by Cardiff University, the Daily Mail is read more regularly by four times more people in Wales than the Western Mail.

The figures from more than 3,200 people surveyed in March reflect a "democratic deficit" across Wales, experts said.

They added the lack of information means many voters are uninformed about key assembly election issues.

The survey also found 11% regularly rely on the internet for news - whether online sites or blogs and Twitter, with 27% using Facebook.

BBC Wales Today is the most widely consumed Welsh media outlet, with 37% of people frequently watching.

ITV's Wales At Six and BBC Radio Wales are the second and third most popular, with 17% and 13% of people in Wales regularly tuning in respectively.

"No easy answers"

"There is a democratic deficit in Wales: people are not regularly exposed to news about Welsh Assembly matters, despite the fact that it is responsible for key policy areas such as health and education," said Dr Stephen Cushion, of Cardiff School of Journalism.

He said there was scant coverage of assembly matters in UK-wide media.

"People will be going to the elections on 5 May potentially voting for things that aren't under the control of the government in Wales," he added.

"There has been a devolution of power - but not a devolution of information. A lot of people think that health and education are the responsibility of the UK government."

Dr Cushion said there were "no easy answers," but added devolution should be covered in a more "constructive way".

"More comparative coverage would help raise help knowledge about the difference between the nations."

A spokesman for ITV Cymru Wales disputed the figures claiming: "Share of viewing for ITV Wales' evening news programme has grown for the last four years in a row, from 16.9% in 2011 to 21.7% in 2015."

Related Topics

More on this story