Research on the creative industries in small nations influences policy and corporate decisions
The establishment in 2006 of the Centre for Media and Culture in Small Nations at the University of South Wales has had important consequences for creative industries in Wales and beyond. The Centre, led by Professor Blandford (2009-13) and Dr Barlow (2006-9), has provided a focused research approach to analysing the media and creative industries. By better articulating the distinct challenges and opportunities faced by these sectors in small nations, the Centre has positively influenced outcomes and encouraged better decision making.
By using a variety of tools, including audience focus groups and industry-academic research symposia, the Centre’s findings persuaded the BBC Audience Council Wales to commission the seminal 2010 report Screening the Nation: Wales and Landmark Television and influenced the Corporation’s commitment to its regions and nations policy which resulted in the BBC opening its prestigious Roath Lock Studios.
Research from the centre also contributed to the thinking on small national theatres that has led in recent years to the establishment of National Theatre Wales, whilst their analysis of live music has influenced policy at Welsh Government level aimed at providing strategic support to the industry.
Their work on community radio has been adopted by the UN Development Programme as a tool for development, following successful collaboration with community radio production in Laos.
“The University has acted as an important source of research and support for the development of radio in Wales over many years…our strategic partnership has directly informed the development of the Welsh Community Radio Stations Network and enhanced our ability to lever support from Welsh Government for this important initiative. It was also very valuable in forming a strategic view of the developing community radio sector in Wales, which has helped to influence policy in this area. I am delighted to be able to commend this excellent example of academic work contributing to the development of community radio and to the many benefits such models of media participation can bring for citizens and communities in our society” Hywel William, Director Advisers in Media / former Head of Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Ofcom in Wales