• Dragon Media

The Future of TV News: An insight into the future plans for Wales' biggest broadcasters

“The notion of a broadcast channel will be gone” according to the director at the BBC Wales as students and journalists gathered to discuss the future of TV news.

This was the prediction of the director of BBC Wales, Rhodri Talfan Davies, when he was asked where TV news will be in 50 years. Journalists and student journalists had gathered yesterday at a live debate at the University of South Wales to talk about the future of TV news.

Mr. Talfan Davies said: “I think there will still be a premium on live within the media experience you have. There will still be investments in moments, whether that’s a live football match, or also a moment with news, especially breaking news where the live experience is still valued.

“I don’t think all the live news expertise will be dead by then, but I suspect the broadcast carriage, the notion of a channel, will have fallen by then.”

As the younger audiences move to other platforms for their news, broadcasters are beginning to transition away from the traditional ways. According to Owen Evans, chief executive at S4C, they have already begun the transition.

He said: “We launched Hansh a couple of years ago as a short form, but slowly that’s grown more into a channel.

“I think that’s probably the way forward for us is getting people to package the news we show on the screen in a way, in short form, that’s punchy and means something for young people.”

But with the rise of fake news on platforms such as social media, Phil Henfrey, head of news and programmes at ITV Wales, believes more needs to be done to help younger people learn what to trust. “I think we need to educate people in schools about what news is and what you should be trusting and why. I think we are almost at that point where the disconnect is so wide we’re going to have to find ways to play with it.”

But journalism lecturer Craig Hooper, of the University of South Wales, believes there is good reason to be hopeful about the future for TV news as the upcoming journalists are more multi-skilled then those of the past.

He said: “I think the potential journalists coming through the system now are far better in many respects, not saying better than all the people I’ve trained with, but we were single skilled.”

Representatives from the BBC Wales, ITV Wales and S4C discuss the Future of TV News at the University of South Wales' Atrium

-Cole Harris (@ColeHarris348)