Since I announced my intention to launch Talking Wales as a cooperatively owned national news and media service on the 2nd of September 2022 I have been the subject of efforts to try and smear my reputation and undermine my work and by association impact the development of Talking Wales.
I will let you come to your own conclusions as to who would want to do this and their motivations but in light of their ongoing efforts, I feel compelled to write the following statement.
New Media Wales was founded by Huw Marshall in December 2018 as a response to the lack of national news services in Wales with the sole aim of establishing a new national news service for Wales.
An initial crowdfunding campaign raised funds that enabled Huw to dedicate his time, full-time, for four months in order to conduct research into the news landscape in Wales and further afield. The learnings from this work allowed for the development of a number of business plans based on different scenarios.
This work was interrupted in March 2019 when Huw underwent two major surgical procedures on an umbilical hernia.
The work continued through 2019 and into 2020. By May 2020 the work of developing a national news service for Wales became a full-time undertaking for Huw and a Patreon was set up in order to support this full-time undertaking.
People wishing to support the work of establishing a new national news service for Wales could do so by visiting the New Media Wales Patreon page www.patreon.com/newmediawales. Here potential supporters were provided with information regarding the plan to establish a national news service for Wales. They were then able to choose from a range of different membership levels, each clearly stating what Patreons were receiving in return for their membership contributions.
The prime benefit of being a Patreon was access to exclusive updates available only to Patreons.
Supporters were kept up to date with the progression of the business plan, this included two lengthy updates in August 2020 which explained that New Media Wales was in discussions with a media partner who would be willing to fund the costs of the new service, including the employment a team of journalists.
An agreement, in principle, was discussed with Newsquest towards the end of August, and supporters were informed that an agreement, in principle, with a media partner was in the process of being finalized. The details of the partner were kept private at the request of the funders.
Work continued through to February 2021 when the partnership with Newsquest was formally announced to supporters via Patreon along with an update on the future of New Media Wales now that the stated aim of launching a national news service for Wales had been achieved. New Media Wales would continue with a new goal of launching a national audio and video platform for Wales.
On the 1st of March 2021 The National Wales launched, employing a full-time team of journalists, funded in its entirety by Newsquest.
On the 31st of August 2022 after 18 months of publication, Newsquest decided to cease publication due to the impact of the ongoing economic crisis on the wider business.
Huw Marshalls’ involvement with Newsquest and The National Wales came to an end on the 31st of August.
With the need for a quality national news service for Wales being greater than ever New Media Wales announced on the 2nd September 2022 announced its intention to develop Talking Wales, a new National news and media service for Wales, offering national news provision from Wales online and via new audio and video platforms.
Talking Wales is being created as a cooperative company in the form of a Community Benefit Society and is being supported by Cwmpas Cymru, formerly the Wales cooperative society, in order to achieve this.
Talking Wales will be owned by the community its serves and the staff it employs, giving them a voice in the running of the company.
Unlike public limited companies and some limited companies that exist to create profit for their shareholders and owners, as a Community Benefits Society all of Talking Wales profits are required by law to be reinvested into the communities it represents, this will mean improved news provision at a local level, creating new job opportunities within the news and media business in Wales.
Talking Wales will value its staff, ensuring that the journalists it employs are paid the wages that the important work they will carry out on behalf of the people of Wales merit, offering excellent working conditions within a healthy working environment.
The work of incorporating Talking Wales as a Community Benefit Society is underway, this will enable the launch of a public share issue where individuals and institutions, subject to certain legal limits, will be able to invest and take part ownership in the company. As with any investment any capital invested is at risk.
Once this work is completed and the required funding is in place the New Media Wales website will be archived and the New Media Wales Patreon will be wound up.