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Independent community journalism in Wales given a £200,000 boost
By Matt Abbott | 19th Mar 2019
Independent community news publishers in Wales have today been provided with a £200,000 boost that promises to have a great impact on local journalism, local enterprise and social cohesion across the country.
The announcement follows the findings of the independent Hyper-local Journalism in Wales Report, which was co-written by Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Culture’s Centre for Community Journalism (C4CJ), and will look to support publications that are independent of political, commercial, and religious interests; are community-focused and produce contemporary news content.
Grant funding will be made available to eligible Welsh-based print and online publications who are members of the Independent Community News Network (ICNN), run by C4CJ.
Director of the ICNN Emma Meese praised the government on its commitment to hyperlocal news.
She said: “This is a major step forward in recognising the invaluable work of community journalists across Wales. Investing in this sector could have a great impact on local journalism, local enterprise and social cohesion.
“We are delighted to be working with Welsh Government to ensure the Independent Community Journalism Fund rewards innovation in the sector and is accessible to those which are most deserving in order to help the sustainability, development and growth of their publication.
“We are also immensely proud of the impact our work has made, and that ICNN membership has been recognised as a trust mark of quality journalism.”
The fund was established after the publication of the ‘Read All About it’ report by the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, in 2017.
The inquiry looked into the state of local journalism in Wales and found it wanting. It recommended formal support of independent community and public interest journalism in Wales as a strategic priority.
ICNN was launched in January 2018 and currently represents 105 independent community news publications in the UK; 12 in Wales.
The grant funding is available from 1 April 2019 for one year and is additional to the existing support for businesses through Business Wales.
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The Independent Community News Network (ICNN) has over 100 members.