When we started on the work, some 18 months ago, of researching and developing a business plan for a new Welsh news media business we had an open mind on the different types of models that could be employed. We met and spoke with existing news providers, in Scotland, England and Europe, specifically ones that had successfully built profitable businesses during a challenging time for news distributors. What became clear was the resource required to deliver different levels of service, with the main resource being staff.
Creating a simple news website that can offer a worthwhile service of daily articles would require a certain level of full-time staffing, searching for news, editing content, and distributing is a time-consuming process. It would be possible to buy in news, UK national and international from several sources at a cost. This type of content is already distributed here, digitally, in Wales by the BBC and existing regional news providers. The challenge would remain in surfacing Welsh news, beyond responding to content derived from social media.
Delivering the above would incur an annual cost of six figures requiring a substantial subscription base. Developing the additional revenue streams would require the energies of one individual alone.
In developing another standalone media project, we started conversations with a potential media partner, a global news company with operations in the UK. During those discussions we started a conversation around the “New Media Wales” project, those conversations proved fruitful.
They understood and appreciated the unique situation of Wales not having a national digital news and print service and the issue surrounding a lack of understanding with regards devolved matters in Wales. They, like us, believe that it would be commercially viable to create a news start up that offered an intelligent, politically neutral service that served the whole of Wales.
By working in partnership with an existing business we can create a service of scale that can truly rival the current news heavyweights who dominate the Welsh media scene, one that would cost well in excess of seven figures to establish from new.
By working in partnership, we can launch once we secure the funding required to employ four full time journalists. We are looking at a period of between four and six weeks to become fully operational. We are that close to creating the first truly national, independent news service in print and digital for Wales.
We have set a goal of 500 subscribers, which should act as the trigger which will make other funding available to us.
If you, like us, want to see a national news service that puts Wales at the top of the agenda, join us by signing up here.