Eisteddfod news service ‘takeover’

27 July 2018

Liam and Aled

The exciting digital news service that covers the National Eisteddfod will be taken over by two up-and-coming journalists at this year’s festival.

Llais y Maes (Voice of the Maes), now in its sixth year, gives Cardiff University students valuable experience alongside media industry professionals.

The University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture (JOMEC Cymraeg) is again partnering with ITV Cymru Wales, S4C and the National Eisteddfod to create multi-platform content from the Maes.

But for the first time the students will be led by two Llais y Maes ‘graduates’ for this year’s Eisteddfod in Cardiff.

Liam Ketcher and Aled Russell were inspired to set up their own organisation to increase and promote Welsh language student media at Cardiff University (Cyfryngau Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Caerdydd – CMCC) after working on Llais y Maes last year.

As a result there has been a significant increase in Welsh language coverage across all of Cardiff’s student media including Xpress Radio, student newspaper Gair Rhydd and Clebar (part of Quench magazine).

And CMCC has been so successful they have been invited back to lead Llais y Maes this year, with the support of ITV Cymru Wales, S4C and JOMEC.

JOMEC Welsh language lecturer, Manon Edwards Ahir, who is supporting Llais y Maes alongside ITV Cymru Wales Producer Iwan Roberts, said it would be a CMCC “takeover”.

“Since setting up CMCC they’ve really worked hard to make it a success so we believe Llais y Maes will be in safe hands with Liam and Aled this year,” said Manon.

“They’re already journalists and content creators so I’m confident they’ll be able to juggle the demands of a busy news service and make the deadlines.

“Joining them will be less experienced students who are just starting out on their journalistic journeys so we’ll be here, as lecturers and industry professionals, to support the whole team.“

Iwan said: “Llais y Maes is a brilliant partnership between ITV Cymru Wales, S4C, Cardiff University and the National Eisteddfod that has supported many young journalists.

“It has given them unique experience generating multi-media news content from the Maes with the support of industry professionals.”

“I am fortunate enough to have been offered a position with ITV Cymru Wales in partnership with S4C as a trainee journalist, and if it wasn’t for the experiences that I have been a part of whilst at university, none of it would be possible.

“Myself and Aled set-up CMCC over a year ago now, to give Welsh language students as many opportunities as possible to gain valuable journalistic skills whilst at university. Now with CMCC proving to be a success, I very much look forward to co-leading this year’s Llais y Maes with Aled and to work alongside some new faces in our team of reporters.”

The Llais y Maes team will be based at the ITV Cymru Wales headquarters in Cardiff Bay, close to the Maes.

They will offer the normal lively multi-media content but with a few differences this year.

A first ever Welsh language version of Cardiff University student newspaper Gair Rhydd will be printed and distributed across the Maes, alongside broadcasts on Xpress Radio, where Aled is Welsh language co-ordinator.

Following his experience with Llais y Maes last year, Liam has landed a place on a new ITV Cymru/S4C journalism training scheme which is being launched at the Eisteddfod.

He will be joined on the scheme by another former Llais y Maes reporter, JOMEC BA Welsh and Journalism graduate Elen Davies, who won Student Journalist of the Year at the 2018 Wales Media Awards.

The training scheme is being launched by distinguished broadcaster Guto Harri at an event at the Cardiff University pavilion on the Maes on Wednesday 8 August.

This year’s Eisteddfod takes place in Cardiff from 3-11 August.

See Cardiff University’s full programme here.

Find out more about what's happening at the National Eisteddfod.