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Friday, February 15, 2008

Y Byd

The future of news may well lie with the internet and there are may be questions about how independent any newspaper that relies on huge sums of public money can be, but the people at Y Byd are having none of it.

They appear to have abandoned attempts to establish a daily Welsh Language newspaper in the face of the Assembly Government's decision not to give them the funding they believe that they needed. Their press release confirms their unequivocal view that Ministers have broken a key One Wales pledge:

A statement by Ned Thomas, Chair, Dyddiol Cyf.

In light of the Assembly Government’s recent statement on the funding of the Welsh press, it will not be possible for Dyddiol Cyf. to establish a Welsh-language daily newspaper.

Even though Dyddiol Cyf. has not so far presented its full business plan to the Assembly Government, it was absolutely clear to the Government that an annual grant of as little as £200,000 would be insufficient to establish a Welsh-language daily newspaper – Dyddiol Cyf. had said as much, as had Dr Tony Bianchi in his report.

We are firmly of the opinion, therefore, that the Minister for Heritage’s decision does not fulfil the Assembly Government’s commitment, as written in its One Wales document:

“We will expand the funding and support for Welsh-medium magazines and newspapers, including the establishment of a Welsh-language daily newspaper.”

The board of Dyddiol Cyf. is considering a number of other positive ideas which could give a much-needed boost to the Welsh press.

We will be asking the company’s shareholders to consider these options.

Following the Minister’s announcement, Y Byd’s Editor, Aled Price, has tendered his resignation. We would like to thank him very much for his work, and his dedication to the establishment of a Welsh-language daily newspaper.

Whatever the merits and demerits of the case, it is clear that Plaid Cymru have not won any friends with this decision.
Plaid probably haen't won many friends, but perhaps they are due some credit for taking a wider view (for once) and not taking the easy decision which would have seen good public money thrown at this project.

If a daily paper in Welsh is needed or wanted, we'd have one already.

Given the internet, it would seem that the need to go to print was just a vanity exercise anyway.
Plaid have committed to a daily paper according to One Wales. I can't remember any mention of it having to be the byd? Adam Price has posted an interesting view on his blog.
I was looking forward to have my daily paper in Welsh. Yes, of course it doesn't have tobe 'Y byd', but all this will make it even more difficult for any other paper in Welsh. There is so much money thrown at frogs, minority groups, wars and support to other countries and all this doesn't even have to be profitable, so why not invest a little in local people starting a local business?

Daniela Schultz
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