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Editor vows to work with ‘smaller, local publishers’ as national title launches

An editor has vowed to work with “smaller, local publishers” to showcase their work after launching a new national news service.

Newsquest’s new project The National Wales has officially launched this morning with a special print edition.

Although the digital-driven title is due to only publish in print for special events initially, editor Gavin Thompson has shared his hope the title will be a regular fixture on newsstands in the future.

In a welcoming editorial in today’s edition, pictured below, which is priced at £1.10, Gavin also pledged to involve other publishers across Wales in the project.

National Wales 1

His pledge comes after local publisher Herald News launched a rival title, Herald.Wales, on Friday, while independent site Nation.Cymru also recently unveiled its first permanent editor.

In his editorial, Gavin wrote: “It’s been pleasing to see since our announcement about the title, other publishers have stepped up their investment here in various ways too.

“We also want to help smaller, local publishers and we’ll be looking to collaborate with or showcase such organisations across Wales because a strong, quality media helps create a better informed public and a healthier democracy.”

The National Wales, which has been in the pipeline for two years, has been launched in partnership with New Media Wales, which has campaigned and raised funds to launch a new news service for Wales in recent years.

Three journalists – audience and content editor Michael Sweet and reporters Gareth Axenderrie and Rachel Nurse – have been taken on to work for the title.

The National Wales will also draw on Newsquest’s 50-strong network of journalists working on titles across Wales, as well as freelance writers and photographers.

Gavin added: “But our dedicated team is limited. So for now, the printed newspaper will only be published for special events. We’d love to make it a regular fixture on the newsstands.

“Our online coverage will be built on our pillars of politics, the environment, culture and business. But we’d like to employ dedicated specialists for each of these subjects.

“And we’re not yet covering sport online. We want to, but we want to do it in a way that doesn’t just duplicate what’s already done by others. And we want to do it well.

“With your support, we’ll be able to do all of these things and more.”

Discussing his role in the project, New Media Wales founder Huw Marshall wrote in a blog: “Securing a truly national news service, one that is politically neutral, one that delivers quality content, one that can lead a national conversation about the future of Wales was the goal when we set out.

“We have now achieved that. We will not have any editorial influence on the service, an editorial board made up of individuals that are representative of Wales in 2021 is being formed, this board will ensure the output is politically neutral and gives fair and adequate coverage across a range of agreed subjects.”