Abstract

This article explores the significance of the report of the Beveridge Committee on Broadcasting (1949–1951)—which was charged with considering all aspects of post-war broadcasting in Britain at a time of political, social, economic and cultural change—in relation to Wales. It argues that the interaction between the committee and the Welsh political and cultural and groups that submitted evidence to the committee allows for an insight into the cultural politics of Wales during the early post-war period. It also argues that a study of the report throws light onto issues of broadcasting and nationhood, the significance of the Welsh language in defining nationhood and a national consciousness and the relationship between a minority language and the state, at a time of political and cultural change. A study of the Welsh dimension of the committee's report also provides a framework for an understanding of the broadcasting politics of Wales in the 1950s and 1960s. Finally, the article exemplifies the tensions that existed between what media historian James Curran calls the ‘newness and modernity’ of the broadcast media and a political and cultural elite which sought to preserve a ‘traditional’ way of life in the face of the perceived impact of those media.

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