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Understanding the Welsh elections

9 March 2016

Senedd Building in Cardiff Bay

Two new free projects being launched today by Cardiff University aim to provide the public with a better understanding of devolution in Wales ahead of the National Assembly elections in May.

The two projects, an online booklet Guide to covering the National Assembly for Wales Election for Community Journalists and a new online course Scotland and Wales Vote 2016: Understanding the Devolved Elections, will provide people in Wales with the knowledge to better understand the forthcoming Welsh General Election in May.

The guide for hyperlocal journalists was created by Cardiff University’s Centre for Community Journalism in partnership with Wales Governance Centre.

The University’s Centre for Community Journalism, based in the prestigious School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, is part of the Transforming Communities engagement projects that demonstrate the University’s commitment to the communities of Cardiff, Wales and beyond.

The Guide will examine how journalists can cover the National Assembly for Wales Election safely and effectively, and build engagement with their local community.

The guide itself will provide information for hyperlocal journalists on:

  • Election engagement tools and ideas from community journalists
  • Media law advice on covering elections
  • Political polling data dissemination
  • Tools for selling their articles and sites to their communities

The online course, which has been jointly created by the Wales Governance Centre in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, will run for four weeks during the election campaign focusing on how the Assembly works.

The course will provide information for the general public on:

  • How the National Assembly works and how the different voting systems work
  • Who and what are the main players in the election
  • What the main issues are in the election
  • A full breakdown and analysis of the results after the election takes place on May 5

Commenting on the new guide, Emma Meese, Manager of the Centre for Community Journalism at Cardiff University, said: “Hyperlocal coverage of the General Election last year was amongst some of the most innovative and engaging in the UK.

“We are delighted to showcase the fantastic work of community journalists and encourage more news providers here in Wales to cover the National Assembly for Wales Election. Community journalists play a vital role in promoting democratic participation and holding power to account.

“We hope this new guide will help even more community journalists in Wales to produce comprehensive news coverage of the upcoming election.”

Lleu Williams, Manager of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, added: “With the election for the Fifth Assembly on the horizon, it is essential that electors feel they are able to engage with the issues of the day.

“Cardiff University has an important role to play in helping people better understand devolution in Wales and it is a role that we take very seriously.

“The guide for hyperlocal journalists and the online course are examples of how we can support democracy in Wales by ensuring that high-quality resources are available.”

A full copy of the guide can be found here 

You can register for the online course here