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The Role of Welsh Language Journalism in Shaping the Construction of Welsh Identity and the National Character of Wales.

Hughes, GM (2017) The Role of Welsh Language Journalism in Shaping the Construction of Welsh Identity and the National Character of Wales. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

Ever since Edward I subjugated the Welsh in 1282 and, a little over 250 years later, Henry VIII attempted to wipe the country off the map, Wales has lived in the overpowering shadow of its powerful English neighbour. Unlike Scotland, Wales did not develop its own legal and banking systems and symbols of national identity were slow to appear. This thesis argues that, while many national institutions are relatively recent innovations, the Welsh language is the most potent symbol of national identity. More importantly, it argues that it was the journalists who used the language to communicate “Welshness”. They, in many ways, created a radical approach to politics, an antipathy towards the Established Church, an occasional suspicion of the country’s English neighbour, an interest in international affairs and an awareness of the rich cultural heritage of the country. This argument has been pursued by way of a critical survey of the development of Welsh-language journalism. To date, there are no specific studies on this subject - particularly relatively recent developments since the advent of S4C in 1982. Indeed, little scholarly attention has been paid to the fast-developing world of on-line journalism and the use of social media as far as the Welsh language is concerned. The main analytical focus of this thesis is to examine the impact of Welsh-language journalism on the national consciousness in Wales. This has been done through a series of case studies, content analyses and interviews with influential and experienced journalists and editors in all fields of journalism, namely print, broadcast and on-line. The conclusion is that journalists reintroduced the Welsh people to their literature and poetry, they wrote about traditional music, they adopted a radical approach to national and international politics, they were sympathetic to the non-conformist religion of the majority of people and news was reported from a Welsh point of view. Indeed, the phrase Welsh Renaissance has been applied to the section of this thesis related to Early Periodicals. There is considerable scope for further research. There is no history of solely Welsh-language journalism in a single volume. In recent years, journalism has moved on rapidly, as new forms of journalism have rapidly become established. There is little analysis of the effects of these outlets on Welsh consumers, let alone the effects of radio and television to any great degree. In addition, as Wales becomes more confident in the post-devolution era, Welsh journalism becomes more relevant and there is scope to chart how much influence Welsh-language journalism really has on its consumers.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Welsh, journalism, identity, national
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN4699 Journalism
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB2101 Welsh. Cymric
Divisions: Liverpool Screen School
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2017 15:25
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2017 15:28
Supervisors: Li, RL
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6710

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