Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood has received an apology from BBC Radio 5 Live relating to research for a programme on the “different languages of the UK”. The research included a message on the social media website Twitter which sought views from individuals on whether the Welsh language “should die”.
While accepting the apology about the specific programme, Leanne Wood has warned the media and broadcasting industry in the UK of the potentially dangerous consequences of not understanding the role of the Welsh language.
Leanne Wood commented:
“The apology deals with the programme in question but there is a wider issue that needs addressing here.
“Too often, the Welsh language and its speakers face discrimination. It must be understood by the press and the broadcasting industry as well as other opinion formers that this kind of questioning of the very existence of Welsh language is crass and insensitive and it seeks to divide communities. For the state broadcaster to encourage contributors to say they want a language to die is appalling. Remember, we are all paying for that.
“It should not be acceptable to use terminology which advocates that any language deserves to be wiped out or not used, even as part of a debate. Broadcasters, particularly the BBC, should update their guidelines as a matter of urgency, and should not see Welsh as ‘fair game’ for provocative discussions.”