A Case for Cornish Public Service Media

A study commissioned by Cornwall Council in 2019 to investigate potential business and development models for Cornish Public Service Media; responding to the current status and future developments of minority language public service broadcasting in the context of significant changes in viewing trends and technology.

Person holding radio to the sky
Cornwall Council white logo
Cornwall Council logo

Project details

Project lead  Denzil Monk
Centre alignment Centre for Heritage, Culture & Society
Start date  2019
End date  Ongoing

Lead image credit: Sonosynthesiser © Matt Cannon/Emily Sorrel 2020


Minority languages in Europe have become increasingly visible, connected and legally protected over the last few decades, leading to the formation and evolution of minority language Public Service Broadcasters. The Welsh language channel S4C launched in Wales in 1982, and has inspired BBC ALBA in Scotland, TG4 in Ireland and globally indigenous television movements such as Māori Television in New Zealand.

Cornwall is the only national minority and only indigenous language in the UK without its own media service.

With guidance and encouragement from the network of established Celtic minority language broadcasters, and in response to favourable aligning trends, it is timely to propose the formation of a Cornish PSM – an engaging new model, harnessing technological developments with regenerative, social and environmental principles at its core.

The main opportunity the project presents is the formation of a Cornish Media Service: Gonis Media Kernewek creating an original and authentic voice, driving growth, developing skills and improving cultural participation in the region's creative economy.

Kernewek is a living language with several hundred fluent speakers, and with a wider community of around 10,000 who would like more opportunities to use the language - people with a direct interest in or who are studying the language, alongside those who want to use some Cornish phrases in everyday life.

This will create a flagship example of Cornwall leading from the edge, demonstrating a progressive, world leading technological, environmental and socially responsible future PSM model.

This will respond to and redress over 100 years of picturing Cornwall on screen which has elided the Cornish voice, experience and culture, and it will invoke a self-determined, vibrant new place-myth reflecting the language, culture, innovation and diversity of Cornish life.

A Cornish PSM would give a voice to the communities of Cornwall, create a shared cultural expression and connections across a dispersed rural community. Investment in a Cornish PSM would have a significant positive economic impact both through direct activity and indirect and induced multipliers, generated through direct employment, commissioning of content and services, the related supply chain of mostly SMEs, micro businesses and freelancers, and spill-overs into the wider regional economy.

The project recommends that there is: provision of transitional arrangements delivering high quality content and serving Cornish speaking audiences alongside securing a Cornish PSM for the future that delivers a minimum of 200 hours of original content per year.

Project team

Denzil Monk was the Principle Investigator for this research project. Professor Rachel Moseley, Florence Browne and Mandy Berry also worked on the project as Co-investigator, Research Assistant and Specialist Consultant, respectively.

Denzil Monk staff profile image
Denzil Monk staff image

Denzil Monk - Project lead

Denzil Monk is a Film lecturer in the School of Film & Television at Falmouth. Denzil has over twenty years’ experience as a creative producer and consultant across the film value chain. His research interests include transmedia narratives and geo-locational experiences, experimental and explorative theatre and filmmaking, and hybrid distribution. Find out more about Denzil’s producing work, research interests, projects and outputs directly on his staff profile, linked below.

Staff profile


This research project and ongoing campaign to establish a Cornish PSM have been and continues to be supported by the following partners:

  • The Department of Meaningful Cultural Stuff helped to deliver the initial research project and scoping report.
  • Screen Cornwall worked as the delivery partner of the summary report and follow up stakeholder engagement.
  • Sustainable design company Leap was tasked with the design of the scoping study and summary report.
  • Indpendent production company Bosena has supported the Case for Cornish PSM providing a web page and curating a collection of Cornish content.
  • The University of Warwick provided departmental support for research project Co-investigator

This project has been further supported by senior executives at BBC Alba, S4C, TG4 and France 3 Bretagne, the Celtic Media Festival, the BFI, staff from Falmouth University, The University of Warwick, University of Exeter, Cardiff University, University of the Basque Country, from officials in Cornwall Council, the Welsh Government, Scottish Government, and the British Irish Council.


This projects has been supported by grant funding from the following funding bodies:

Cornwall Council white logo
Cornwall Council logo

Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council's commitment is to work with the people of Cornwall and use resources wisely to pro...

Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council have funded this project with a £35,000 commission for Ragdres Hwithrans Darlesor Gonis Poblek Kernewek Agwedh Onan – Studhyans Arhwilas | Cornish Public Service Broadcaster Research Project Phase 1 – Scoping Study.

Cornwall Council have since provided a further £6,500 to Screen Cornwall to produce a summary document and engage with key stakeholders to build support for a Cornish PSM.

Project value


Outcomes & outputs


The project team set out to describe a new blueprint for PSM, designed to harness the opportunities of the future. Ownership of IP in some of the content would create an opportunity to sell on ideas, programmes and formats both in the UK and internationally, particularly through the Celtic nations and global Cornish Diaspora. Impact would not only be in the directly related sectors of media, film and TV, arts, culture and entertainment but also heritage, tourism and hospitality.

A Cornish PSM could model and help establish a set of standards to better reflect the society we live in and that raises the bar of expectation for a fairer, greener Cornwall to which all stakeholders aspire.

Published by Cornwall Council, the report's recommendations are impacting local government industrial strategy and have been presented at the inaugural UK National Minorities Summit and at international conferences on minority language media.


Impact & recognition

This project intends a transformational shift in attitudes towards Cornwall and Cornish people, language and culture, to deliver significant progressive sustainable growth by developing a new paradigm of Public Service Media (PSM) fit for the 21st century. Initial indicators are that this shift is starting to happen.

A Cornish PSM would have a significant positive economic impact both through direct activity and indirect and induced multipliers, generated through:

  • Direct employment
  • Commissioning of content and services
  • Related supply chain of mostly SMEs
  • Micro businesses and freelancers
  • Spill-overs into the wider regional economy

Impact would be in the directly related sectors of media, film and TV, arts, culture and entertainment and also heritage, tourism and hospitality, etc. Academically this research contributes to a growing global interest in minoritised languages and cultures, and technological, environmentally and socially responsible re-modelling of public service media.

A Cornish PSM would:

  • Give a voice to the communities of Cornwall, creating shared cultural expression and connections across a dispersed rural community.
  • Help grow the regional talent supply chain, e.g. routes to employment for Falmouth University graduates, retaining talent with high quality jobs.
  • Contribute to the soft power that is generated by the UK's cultural sector.

The research has been presented at several international conferences and forums contributing to Cornwall Council's Cornish Language Strategy, Local Industrial Strategy and national policy debates concerning the future of Public Service Broadcasting. Subsequently the CIF Programme is planning a conference to be hosted at Falmouth within the next 12 months.

A Case for Cornish PSM has stimulated and is directing an ongoing dialogue with DCMS, BBC, BFI, academics and industry, informing and enriching policy debate (influence to be determined)



D&C Film article:
Cornish Public Service Media | cultural and creative impact

Policy evidence submission:
House of Lords Select Committee on Communications and Digital HL Paper 16 1st Report of Session 2019
Public service broadcasting: as vital as ever

Gorsedh Kernow
Gorsedh Kernow Proclamation in Newquay.

Cornish Constitutional Convention

Council of Europe Support for Cornish Culture Ignites the Big TV Kernow Debate

Cornwall Council
New Frontiers Cornish Culture and Heritage