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I have always considered the BBC’s online Welsh language news service and material for people learning the language to be significant landmarks on the Welsh language virtual linguistic landscape. Therefore the potential impact of the recent Strategic Review on this provision has been a point of concern for me; is this provision under threat?
Having read through the Strategic Review, I am not really 100% certain one way or the other.
On the negative side the Review talks of spending 25% less on the BBC’s website by 2013, and closing “lower performing” sites (lower performing in what sense?).
On a positive note, the Review confirms the BBC’s commitment to “services that both reflect parts of the UK to the whole and serve specific areas with content that meets their needs and interests” and the long term strategy to achieve this includes “Continued support for the UK’s indigenous minority languages including through a renewed strategic partnership with S4C, and through Ulster Scots provision and BBC Alba.”
I imagine that leaving a clear space for commercial providers of local services has less relevance to Welsh language services than other local services, and if they had been planning to axe either of both of the online services I mentioned that the Review would have mentioned this. However, perhaps irrationally, I just can’t shake a slight sense of unease.