BBC says it 'regrets' Newsnight debate about Welsh language as 8,000 sign petition calling for review

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The BBC has said it “regrets” not having had “more thorough analysis and debate” in a Newsnight topic about the Welsh language that has led to calls for an independent review.

Newsnight asked whether the Welsh language was “a help or hindrance to the nation” as part of the programme aired earlier this month, but failed to invite any Welsh speakers to the debate.

More than 8,000 people have since signed a petition calling for an independent review into all BBC content about the Welsh language over the last two years, with news and current affairs a priority.

In a statement, the BBC said: “Whilst different perspectives were included in this item on the Welsh language, the discussion of such an important subject would have benefited from more thorough analysis and debate.

“We regret that, but believe it was important to look at this topic and we will do so again in the future.”

Huw Marshall, who is named as the creator of the petition on website 38 Degrees, said: “A review would enable the preparation of a documented audit of all items relating to the Welsh language and would be able to establish if indeed there is an issue with regards how the Welsh language is portrayed and to assess what editorial systems are in place to ensure editorial fairness.”

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