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Iona Jones named chairman of Celtic Media Festival



With the Celtic Media Festival in full swing in Newry in Northern Ireland, the organisation's Annual General Meeting 2010 has elected Iona Jones, Chief Executive of S4C, the Welsh language television channel, Chair for 2010-2013.

The Celtic Media Festival is from 21st-23rd April 2010 and is being held at the conferencing suites of The Canal Court Hotel, Newry. 

Founded 31 years ago to celebrate the best in television, film (and more recently radio and New Media) the annual Celtic Media Festival has grown in stature and status to become one of the most prestigious and enjoyable events in the broadcasting and film industries in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany.  The annual gathering, whose venue rotates among the nations and regions, combines a conference, programme competitions and a vibrant student strand.  Some 300 delegates are attending this year's Festival in Newry, undaunted by the uncertainty over travel plans caused by the volcanic plume from Iceland.


Iona Jones succeeds RTÉ's Director General, Cathal Goan, as Chair of the Festival's Executive Committee.  Mr Goan has had a long association with the Festival from his days as producer and later as founding Ceannasaí of TG4.  His three year term as Festival Chair ends in Newry.


Incoming Chair, Iona Jones said: "Being elected Chair of the Festival is a special privilege. I look forward to leading the work of developing the Festival together with the members throughout the Celtic nations and regions. I'd like to thank the Director General of RTE, Cathal Goan, for his chairmanship over the last three years."  


This year's Celtic Media Festival has seen some of the most influential names from the broadcasting and film industries gather at The Canal Court Hotel in Newry to celebrate the quality and diversity of work being produced by the Celtic nations today.  Last held in Northern Ireland in Belfast in 2003, this is only the fourth time the festival has been hosted in Northern Ireland and the first time in Newry. 


Highlights of the festival include interviews with renowned investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre, Emmy Award winning director Dearbhla Walsh and Bob Collins, the inaugural Chair of the newly established Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.


Themes and issues explored during the festival include cross border funding, multimedia platforms, the future of the Ulster Scots tongue in broadcasting, the rise of political blogging and the thorny issue of under representation of Northern Irish daily life on UK television. 


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