Sunday, 18 January 2009

Wanted - a Welsh media

Wrecsam's finest journalist in exile has a pretty damning report here on the state of the Welsh media. The latest plans to merge the Daily Post and Western Mail's management teams seems to point to a merger of the only two daily morning papers serving Wales.
At first glance, a "Western Post" makes sense - the Western Mail mainly serves the South and the Daily Post mainly serves the North and they're both owned by the same company, Trinity Mirror. Except that Trinity Mirror has a history of cost-cutting by sacking journalists and is interested in the move as a cost-cutting exercise rather than increasing media coverage of Wales.
The lack of competition to the Trinity Mirror group (which also owns many Welsh weekly newspapers) impoverished the Welsh newspaper industry in the same way that ITV's steady demise is allowing the BBC to continue its monopoly on the radio and television news agenda.
The thriving online community in Wales has provided something of an alternative media but it's far from a mass media - what's needed is a national newspaper for Wales with the clout of The Scotsman, for example. A quality tabloid would also be good but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obvious question I know, but why don't you start some 'Welsh media' yourself?

Trinity are a business, not a publicly funded service and in times of recession are obliged to cut costs.

Anonymous said...

A sad state of affairs but it would appear that the Daily Post has already given up on North East Wales and rarely publishes stories/letters from this end of the world...that leaves us with the Evening Leader...not good for news from the Assembly or Welsh politics. That leaves the English written press...and what was the last thing written about Welsh Politics in the Guardian? No wonder people in North East Wales are totally oblivious to the Assembly and even can't make the connection with the rest of Wales. We urgently need some action from WAG.

Plaid Whitegate said...

Anon: You're right - Trinity is there to make money rather than service the community with a newspaper. And Trinity was cutting journalists at the Western Mail while making a 65% profit on turnover. Both papers were losing readers before the credit crunch because the owners have seen them as advertising cash cows rather than investing in the product.
Given the enormous capital needed to start up a new daily paper, any new challenge to these ailing papers will probably online. A new online daily news service for Wales was due to start in the New Year.

Anonymous said...

I'm anonymous for a good reason here.

What we need are politicians who'll stand up for journalism - for instance, helping those staff in companies locally who don't recognise unions gain recognition.

Instead, they sit and drink champagne with the bosses and eat canapes with royalty.

Sadly, even those who profess to have our interests at heart don't.

Plaid Whitegate said...

Management at any local company have to recognise the unions if more than 50% of the workforce vote for it. This wasn't the case when I worked at NWN pre-1997 and we had no union recognition.
If journalists at that company want help to gain recognition they can get in touch with the NUJ - nuj.org.uk - or they can contact me for details of the local full-time organiser.