I’ve written at length about the service Talking Wales aims to provide. A comprehensive news and current affairs website which will also feature culture, sport, and lifestyle. The same content will be made available via social media, a digital radio station and YouTube.
But the most important question is why? Why do we need a new news and media platform for Wales? What will Talking Wales deliver that others don’t?
Talking Wales success won’t be measured by page views, it will be measured by our reach and number of subscribers.
Our purpose will be to inform the citizens of Wales of the issues and matters that impact their daily lives in an accessible and easily digestible manner.
An informed public is a critical part of any democracy.
We want to make politics and current affairs interesting. Politics plays such an important and integral part of our daily lives but news from the Senedd beyond the “headlines” struggles to make its way into public view.
The work of Senedd committees and their outputs rarely feature in the news. Why? They don’t generate page views and in return advertising revenue.
We know that people do care about governance in Wales at both a local and national level. How do we know? The Institute of Welsh Affairs together with the Open University set up a Citizens Panel that met during the summer to discuss the question: ‘How well does the news help you understand politics?’. They will be presenting the findings of the Panel about how the Welsh media might better meet the needs of people and communities, and reactions to their recommendations from industry professionals and politicians at an event on the 17th of November.
I was fortunate enough to contribute to the work of the panel and observed one of their day-long sessions. I don’t wish to pre-empt their findings, but from the feedback I received, it was clear people cared.
The outputs of the panel will be central to the service we develop.
We will cover the stories that others do not, we will focus on the issues that matter and not on sharing content that is designed exclusively to generate page views.
We will investigate, challenge, and explain. Make the mundane meaningful and create spaces where Welsh citizens can question and discuss.
It’s a big ask, but it’s so important.
And with your support, we can create something unique in Wales.