In creating a new Welsh media service we are setting up a new business. To succeed we will need customers in sufficient numbers that will be, potentially, willing to pay for parts of our output as well as engaging with our content in sufficient numbers to attract advertisers and sponsors.
There are countless examples of similar ventures who have simply pushed their boat in to the water in the hope the current would take them to their desired destination or becoming overly reliant on government grants, or as is becoming increasingly common a mixture of the two.
That’s why we placed a priority on the business side of things. We know current trends and the direction of travel as far as news consumption goes, but we need to learn and understand more in relation to our target audiences, both here in Wales and internationally in order to provide a product the public want.
Developing a business plan for a new media venture requires a lot of research and evaluation. Only by doing this and aligning it with a clear editorial policy can we develop a successful venture. One that will benefit Wales for generations to come.
What will our editorial policy be?
News will feature large as part of our output and many have asked, quite correctly, what our political stance will be. We will be politically neutral, we have to be, one of the issues with the current media landscape in Wales and further afield is the skewed nature of many media outlets, particularly in relation to news.
What is news?
What appears to be a simple question has many answers depending on your point of view.
The dictionary definition is as follows:
noun (usually used with a singular verb)
- a report of a recent event; intelligence; information: His family has had no news of his whereabouts for months.
- the presentation of a report on recent or new events in a newspaper or other periodical or on radio or television.
- such reports taken collectively; information reported: There’s good news tonight.
News generally is the reporting of actual events. An accident, a crime, the court case and a conviction (if individuals are brought to account) and the aftermath.
News has increasingly become the reaction to an event or a claim by an individual, particularly a politician or a public figure.
Where news becomes complicated, and leads to confusion amongst the public, is when opinion is presented as news. An increasing number of news outlets are combining the two, presenting the facts about events coloured by their own editorial policy (or in many cases an owners personal view).
Opinion in itself is not news.
Our aim is to develop something that is unique in Wales, a media service that shares news and information based on fact. One that challenges statements and individual opinions. One that gives context to matters that impact on people’s lives, on a hyperlocal, local, national and international level.
What this service will look like remains to be seen. We know it will be a combination of different media created to suit the distribution platform and the specific audience we’re appealing to. This is why we’re conducting this first phase of research and evaluation. The numerous conversations we are currently having with companies and individuals is helping us to develop a business model and plan. We look forward to sharing the fruits of labour and our conclusions with you soon.