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Publisher’s new title should consider firmer political stance, says ex-editor

Kevin Ward BIDA new news title should consider replicating the pro-independence stance of one of its sister newspapers, according to a former regional daily editor.

Kevin Ward is urging Newsquest’s new service The National Wales to take an explicitly pro-Welsh independence editorial stance in order to exploit a “real gap in the Welsh media market”.

Kevin, who used to edit Newsquest daily the South Wales Argus, has praised the new title after reviewing its launch edition, describing it as “good read, providing you have an interest in Wales and politics”.

In his review, he said the launch of a new newspaper was to be “welcomed at any time, let alone in the middle of a pandemic”.

Kevin, pictured, added: “I’ll watch its progress with interest, but I can’t help but wonder whether the real gap in the Welsh media market – a niche identified by Newsquest some years ago with daily newspaper The National in Scotland – is for a national title that supports Welsh independence, particularly as the cross-party Yes Cymru movement has seen such a surge of interest in recent months.”

Editor Gavin Thompson has previously described The National Wales being “pro-Wales”, rather than “pro-independence”, but said he wanted to “start a national conversation about issues like devolution and independence”.

In his review, Kevin also questioned whether a monthly print edition would help to “build up some readership loyalty”.

The National Wales is currently slated to run sporadic print editions for important events and published a special edition for its launch on 1 March.

Kevin wrote: “I cannot emphasise enough that the launch of any newspaper or online news service is to be welcomed at any time, let alone in the middle of a pandemic.

“A print product that is only on the shelves now and again will baffle or annoy some readers who bought and liked the launch edition.

“One wonders whether a monthly print edition would have made more sense initially to build some readership loyalty.

“The real success or failure of The National will be down to the quality of its content and the pricing of its online subscription model.  It is reasonably priced and yesterday was a good start.”

Since the launch of The National Wales,  Herald News UK Ltd has entered the market with the launch of Herald.Wales, a new bilingual service that will cover the whole of Wales and will back Welsh independence.

The National Wales declined to comment on Kevin’s review when approached by HTFP.