ONE of Wales’s oldest titles is considering launching a new national paper for Wales.
The South Wales Argus (founded in 1892) is an evening tabloid serving Newport, Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire.
Now, the company are in discussions with the Welsh Government with a view to create a national news platform which would include on-line and newspaper coverage.
‘We believe there is a younger, more socially engaged audience which could make a new national paper for Wales viable now’ said Argus Editor, Gavin Thompson.
Mr. Thompson made his comments during a Senedd committee meeting on Monday, discussing journalism in Wales during the current crisis.
Talks are now underway to see whether such a venture could be provided with government seed-funding, as a prelude to introducing a subscription model for the news platform.
‘This is very encouraging news’ said a spokesperson for GWLAD.
‘The fact that this idea has emanated from one of the more populous areas, not usually associated with the Welsh national cause is even more encouraging.’
He added that initial assistance from the Welsh Government would probably make or break the idea.
‘Of course, we don’t want a situation where the Welsh Government, whichever party is in power, owns the media and can therefore unduly influence things’ he said.
‘But, we do have examples in other small European countries where there is governmental support for newspapers and the like-but with a clear arm’s length principle in place.’
‘There is no reason why Wales couldn’t follow this model’.
Perhaps one of the few positives of the coronavirus saga is that is has shown, in quite stark terms, the dangers of the current news deficit in Wales.
And it has now sparked a flurry of new initiatives to address this longstanding problem.