After suffering a barrage of online abuse, here our Editor Phil Parry explains why his own views are not the same as those in the stories on The Eye.
I want to make a short personal statement because of the extraordinary abuse I have endured recently online.
Just because on The Eye we have published a number of stories which have been perceived as being against taxpayer support for the Welsh language does NOT make me personally opposed to public funds helping the Welsh language.
Just because on The Eye we have published a number of stories which have been perceived as being against requesting money from the public for an independent English-language news service in Wales does NOT make me personally opposed to an independent English-language news service in Wales.
Just because on The Eye we have published a number of stories about BBC Cymru Wales (BBC CW) as well as the links, as critics see them, between senior staff and Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru (PC) does NOT make me anti BBC or Plaid.
I realise this is repetitive, but unfortunately it has to be so in order to hammer home the message.
A story, is a story, is a story – I am neither OPPOSED to these things nor FOR them.
My personal views are completely irrelevant to publishing such reports.
As a journalist of more than 36 years I have always suffered abuse after stories, but these insults seem to have increased recently with the rise of the internet.
An old journalist friend of mine has endured more online abuse than me because of the stories he has covered, and said once: “It’s not ME saying it!”.
I totally endorse that.
It may interest all those abusers to know that my wife of almost 27 years is first-language Welsh-speaking from Pwllheli.
We were married in a small Welsh-only ceremony on the Lleyn peninsula and our children have been educated exclusively through the medium of Welsh.
I myself was born in Wales and have learnt the Welsh language.
Yet it seems these facts have not altered the number of social media insults I receive.
It hasn’t stopped there either – revisions to my Wikipedia entry were blocked, my achievements as well as those of The Eye were downplayed, and I have been described as “sometimes a TV presenter” by someone calling him or herself ‘Sionek’, even though I was on television (both in Wales and across the UK) for 23 years and won an award for the best television presenter in Wales!
It is a shame such comments even have to be made – but unfortunately they must!