Great, as you know very good, superb and amazing. Spoken fluently by a minority of people, Irish nonetheless has a significant symbolic presence as a marker of national and/or community identity (CSO, 2011). The language has official national status and is supported by the state to greater or lesser degrees of effectiveness (Ireland 1937, 2003). The launch of Teilifís na Gaeilge (now TG4) in 1996, after decades of campaigns, has led to a blossoming of the image of the language in new domains for both speakers and non-speakers.
Because the language has been supported by the state for several decades and yet is spoken only by a minority, the Irish situation is considered a "rather anomalous example of minority language broadcasting" (Cormack 2000: 394). In the early part of the twenty-first century, the Irish government took a new approach to the language, moving away from territoriality in favour of ecological and identity arguments. This ideological shift was helpful in bringing together language development agencies north and south of the border. It was at this time that Teilifís na Gaeilge (now TG4) was established.
TG4 operates in a broadcasting environment of four free-to-air channels, with English as a dominant language on three of them, and an increasing availability of digital and cable options. Since 1996, the station has been broadcasting to a national audience as Gaeilge. Whilst the primary audience has to be native-speaking communities, part of the mandate of TG4 is to reach a national audience which includes many non-fluent speakers of Irish. This sets the station apart from most other minority language broadcasting initiatives. TG4 is a unique media phenomenon in Ireland, showcasing the cultural confidence which had been running continuously for many generations in
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