Friday, 15 February 2008

One Wales: Not worth the paper it's written on

With an early call for more cash than expected for a Daily Newspaper in Welsh, the One Wales Agreement now has more cracks than my Grandmother's china. The upcoming local election will no doubt also add to the tension between the two coalition partners.

In the latest chapter from today's news, Ned Thomas, chair of Dyddiol Cyf, said they were "firmly of the opinion" the assembly government was not fulfilling a pledge in the coalition One Wales document to back moves to expand the Welsh-language sector, and set up a daily paper in the language.

This is just a short post on the subject, but considering the many events since July 2007, we can't help but think that this 'One Wales' document isn't worth the paper it's written on.


Plaid forever 15 February 2008 at 11:06  

Give them a chance. The government is still young in its life and full of ideas.

Anonymous 15 February 2008 at 11:53  

What did happen to the improved North to South Wales railway?

Dotcommentator 15 February 2008 at 13:35  

To be fair to the Assembly Government, One Wales never promised support for Y Byd, only for a Welsh language daily newspaper. You have to feel a little sorry for Ned Thomas...he has been working on this for years.

Setting up a daily newspaper these days is horrendously difficult, especially at national level. The fact that its market would've been more specific (Welsh-speakers) just added another difficulty.

Miss Wagstaff 15 February 2008 at 13:52  

DC "To be fair to the Assembly Government, One Wales never promised support for Y Byd, only for a Welsh language daily newspaper."

So it's still left wanting. It also leaves Plaid in an awkward position as it was their bargaining that made it part of the deal.

Anonymous 15 February 2008 at 14:25  

good take Miss Wagstaff
why are Labour worrying its Plaid Cymru who will get hammered in the local council elections for selling out, as bad as us non Labour people feel about the party there are still plenty of people in the valleys and parts of north wales who believe in the Labour brand and Rhodri Morgan

May's local elections might actually be good for the Lib Dems, welsh democracy in action you can't beat it.

Normal Mouth 15 February 2008 at 15:10  

Given the likely non-appearance of a Welsh-medium daily newspaper surely the criticism is that OW is no worth the paper it's not going to be written up in?

Miss Wagstaff 15 February 2008 at 15:34  

That made me smile, Mr Mouth :)

Anonymous 15 February 2008 at 15:42  

Y Byd's time has come and gone. What's important is that the Welsh language makes the most of new technology such as the internet.

Anonymous 15 February 2008 at 16:00  

"Y Byd's time has come and gone. What's important is that the Welsh language makes the most of new technology such as the internet."

... hmm, like a blog by Golwg one assumes.

good to see Plaid's spin doctors can type into the internet as well as pose as 'impartial journalists' on crap documentary programmes like Y Byd ar Bedwar.

Anonymous 15 February 2008 at 16:02  

it beggars belief that Plaid have sqandered a lot of good will and trust all for a few hundred thousand quid when millions are being spent on other project.

Next time I'll bring a lawyer to read Plaid's manifesto promises with me.

Dotcommentator 15 February 2008 at 16:30  

It's all about priorities. The Assembly Government is shifting pennies around this Welsh language daily issue talking about 'robust business models' after throwing £13.5m at the Millennium Centre's debtors and trebling the annual revenue funding to the WMC from £1.2m to £3.7m. The explanation is simple: a larger political egg would've instantly affixed itself to Rhodri Glyn Thomas' hairy face if WMC had gone belly up. Anyway, there's still a few years to go before the next election...

Valleys Mam 16 February 2008 at 08:51  

The Business Plan didnt stack up apparently.
They said they would have 5000 signed up,to subscribe, only 750 did.Hardly viable on that is it.
Have the Assembly finally learned a business case is valid - think Millenium Centre and Botanic Gardens.
I hope so

Sue 16 February 2008 at 23:13  

Don't think it matters about this particular newspaper project. What matters is the fact that a promise was broken. It's early days in this government as we can all appreciate. The question is one where we must ask what future project must suffer in order to fulfil the Plaid part of the agreement.

Anonymous 17 February 2008 at 01:08  

The Welsh language newspaper never stood a chance and everyone knew it. It's the reason why Labour agreed to the Plaid condition in the first place.

Jom Tones. 17 February 2008 at 09:37  

"They said they would have 5000 signed up,to subscribe, only 750 did ..."
I wonder how many of those were actually members of plaid cymru, or relatives of the publishers?

"Subsidies and grants", are perhaps not the most sensible use of taxpayer funds, it seems that in this case they are being used to catch votes, without foresight or planning as to the realities of commercial enterprise.
Guido Fawkes, the Anglo-Irish blogger of renown, gets around 25,000 hits per day.
No subsidies, no start-up grant, his readership is drawn by the quality of news, and the style of the content.
Journalism should never be a function of the state.

Damon Lord 17 February 2008 at 14:25  

Y Byd should have worked. Other minority language groups in Europe successfully have a daily; why not a Welsh language daily?

hafod 17 February 2008 at 17:01  

The European comparison was one of Dyddiol's main flaws - the newspaper market in Wales is incredibly centralised and dominated by the UK dailies. The Welsh morning dailies are both shrinking in terms of readership.
Y Byd had missed two previous self-imposed deadlines for publication, which is why many people like myself held back before committing to a project by a bunch of well-meaning amateurs.
There was a lot of goodwill towards the venture amongst Welsh speakers but that was squandered over the years.
The fact that they've bailed out rather than look for (say) Convergence funding from Europe says it all. Even locating the HQ in Machynlleth - outside Objective 1 funding area - was a mistake.

Anonymous 18 February 2008 at 15:54  

it wasn't viable - it may have been 100 years ago but papaers no longer break news - it's done by the internet and rolling tv news channels.
Wales and Welsh have chance, a golden chance, to break new grounds but no, we insist on 20th century answers to 21st century needs.
A state funded paper would play into the hands of the biggotts and their
"what's the point of the welsh language, it's not a propper language, it needs taxpayer money to keep it going"
Lets invest enthusiastically in something new for the next generations - I'm a 20something and I know 2 people who regularly buy and read a paper - the rest watch, listen or net the news.
Move on, leave the Byd behind

Anonymous 19 February 2008 at 00:18  

Of course a Welsh language newspaper is viable - if it can get a decent level of public service advertising - after all that's how the Guardian staggers on. Other than that advertising revenue it should have stood on it's own two feet - unlikely of course with the committee dominated mentality we get in Wales

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