New Media Wales was the name of the project launched back in December 2018 with aim of establishing a national news service for Wales. This was achieved in March 2021 with the launch of The National Wales which was published by Newsquest.
Sadly The National Wales became a victim of the global economic crisis which has greatly impacted the news industry through the rising costs of newsprint, up from around £300 a tonne earlier in the year to £700 a tonne today, digital subscriptions have declined as people, understandably, look to make savings and revenues from advertising have become challenging as businesses look to make savings as costs, including energy, go through the roof.
The decline of the traditional news industry will continue as newspaper sales continue to fall and publishers struggle to make money from online advertising.
The drive to push eyeballs towards websites will lead to less news and more content designed to try and lure readers to view adverts as they bid to return profits to their shareholders and owners.
The traditional business model is broken a new one is required.
Talking Wales is taking the learnings of the past four years to create a new kind of national news and media business for Wales.
The big difference is how it is owned and funded.
Owned by you and its staff.
Talking Wales will be a cooperative company in the form of a Community Benefit Society. Individuals and institutions will be able to buy shares in the company and will have a say in the running of the business via an Annual General Meeting. It will operate under a one-member-one-vote system meaning the owner of a single share will have the same say and voting rights as someone with one hundred. It will also publish annual audited accounts.
All profits made by a Community Benefit Society are required by law to be reinvested in the community it serves, in Talking Wales case this will mean investing in improving news provision at a local and national level, benefitting communities across Wales and the wider international Welsh community.
Community Benefit Shares are non-transferable and can only be sold back to the society, interest is accrued on each share and this is paid back when a share is sold.
Staff will have a voice and representation on the company’s board. Talking Wales staff will receive the remuneration their work deserves along with excellent terms and conditions.
The issue of pioneer shares will fund Talking Wales as it becomes established and a further general share issue will raise the funding required to support the company during its first eighteen months of operation.
We are being assisted by Cwmpas in order to incorporate the company as a Community Benefit Society and in setting up the share issues.
As the work progresses in the coming weeks the New Media Wales website will migrate to become the new home of Talking Wales.
We’ll keep you updated on our progress.
Project Lead Talking Wales