‘The real issue in Wales isn’t fake news, it’s no news at all’ says Bethan Jenkins AM

By Matt Abbott | 9th Oct 2017

Following the announcement that the Welsh Government had pledged to subsidise the hyperlocal sector in Wales with £200,000 over two years the Centre for Community Journalism reached out to the Chair of the Committee on News Journalism in Wales, Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West for a quote. Bethan wrote back:

“I’ve been campaigning for better news coverage for Wales and more home-grown and operated current affairs media for a long time.

“It’s particularly important as we see each year the number of titles dwindling and an increasing monopoly control over Wales’ local news. Just this year, the South Wales Evening Post shut its separate website and was demoted to a section on the wider WalesOnline site.

“We can’t go on like this. I’ve said in the past that the real issue in Wales isn’t fake news it’s no news at all in many cases.

“As part of the budget deal struck between Plaid Cymru and Labour we secured a £100 thousand per year local journalism grant.

“The money is intended for hyperlocal and community journalism support, to those on the ground who want to start up something in their area. I’ve recently asked the Welsh Finance Secretary if he could rule out this money going to established news outlets too, in order to prevent this money being used by newspapers or websites controlled by larger parent companies such as Newsquest and Trinity Mirror.

“I would prefer there be more support available, but it is a step in the right direction.”

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