But more than anything we need your passion, a shared passion for making Wales a better place to live for all its citizens.
It’s been a year in development. Time spent researching the news landscape here in Wales and further afield, developing and then interrogating business plans based on different models of ownership, economic scenarios, and service delivery plans.
It’s been a huge undertaking, but we have now reached a point where we are ready to share our plans with the Welsh public, who we hope will share our desire, determination and need for a new national public interest news service that serves the whole of Wales, built on a community of interest who understand the importance of objective and impartial reporting, a service that takes the sometimes mundane workings of democracy, converting it into understandable and relatable content that allows Welsh citizens to make informed decisions, decisions that affect the communities they live in and the country as a whole.
It isn’t just the delivery of news we are looking to change, it’s also the business of news. We are developing a sustainable revenue model based on a diverse range of sources of income, not relying on one, but harnessing multiple revenue streams.
Most importantly we are placing community ownership at its heart. It will be owned by you, we will be answerable to you. To succeed we have to deliver an excellent service, one that is valued by you, both as investors and consumers.
We will be employing a team of fourteen at launch, the majority journalists, they will be assisted by a small but agile digital delivery team backed up by a commercial officer and head of delivery.
As our revenues grow we will re-invest every penny of profit back into the service and start the job of filling the news black holes that exist in too many parts of Wales.
We want to create a service that governments, at local and national levels, know will hold them to account, creating the conditions for democracy to thrive.
We need to raise in the region of £700,000 to underwrite our staffing costs for the first year of operation, whilst we build income streams from subscriptions, commercial partnerships, events, and creative digital services. We will achieve this from various sources. Institutional investment from bodies that align with our principles, loans, and grants where they are available, but mostly from our community share offer.
This will give you a stake and a voice in Talking Wales. As a member, you will have equal voting rights alongside all other members, regardless of the value of their holding. You will get a say at the annual general meeting, and receive a detailed annual report along with audited accounts. Hopefully, we will be able to pay a modest rate of interest on your investment, and after a set period you will be able to sell your shares back to the company for the amount you paid.
Of course, nothing in life is guaranteed, and as with any venture there is a risk, but we are convinced of the potential demand for a new innovative public interest news service built on the four pillars of current affairs, politics, culture, and the environment.
We’re aiming to launch our initial share issue in the new year, during an eight-week window, with a target to raise £500,000.
To support us as we prepare to launch our share issue, through fundraising and then beyond to our service launch in 2024, we wish to appoint a management committee, a steering group that can help and advise us up to the point where we hold our first AGM and our members can appoint an elected board of directors.
Are you interested? Are you passionate about Wales and democracy? Do you want to help shape a positive outlook for Wales?
We’re particularly interested to hear from people with a background in news and the media, you may have been involved in other successful community-owned ventures. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, please drop us a line so we can discuss further.