April 21, 2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

Plaid Cymru call for ‘right of reply’ to Welsh Government Covid-19 press conferences

PLAID CYMRU’s shadow minister Siân Gwenllian MS has written to the Director of BBC Cymru Wales calling for opposition parties to be given the opportunity to reply to Welsh Government daily press conferences as part of the BBC Wales’ flagship 12:30pm programme.

The programme, which airs daily reports on the Welsh Government press conferences from Monday to Friday, does not currently include response to Government statements by opposition members.

Sian Gwenllian said it was the responsibility of opposition members to hold government to account, and that this was particularly important at the moment in such heightened and difficult times.

Ms Gwenllian said that for the sake of scrutiny and accountability of government opposition members should be given the right of reply to the press conferences as part of the BBC’s flagship program.

“BBC Wales’ decision to provide daily coverage of Welsh Government press conferences was a welcome development in ensuring that the Welsh public receive the correct public health information from their own government. Whilst reflecting the messages from the government of the day is important, so too is holding up a mirror to them.

“An important mechanism for democratic accountability is investigative journalism. Indeed, journalists who provide public service broadcasting are classed as key workers, and all credit to those at the BBC who continue to provide this important public service.

 “The actions of government have a bearing on so many lives, and on the needs of the public, and it is important that the public see all sides of the democratic process.

 “The freedom to present valid alternative narratives is one we enjoy in this nation. It is for the sake of scrutiny and accountability of government that I am therefore making my request that opposition members be given the right of reply as part of the BBC Wales’ flagship 12.30pm programme.”

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