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Government-funded job created as part of £200k boost for local news

Dawn BowdenA new government-funded journalism job has been created as part of a £200,000 boost to independent local news.

The Welsh Government has announced fresh funding as part of a new partnership with Ping! News, the Independent Community News Network’s public interest news gateway.

As part of the project, a dedicated journalist will be recruited to cover the Welsh Senedd, to be based at the Caerphilly Observer but providing content to all Welsh news outlets at no cost.

The job, entitled Senedd Reporter, is now being advertised on HoldtheFrontPage here.

Half of the cash will be shared between the Senedd Reporter project, which will be facilitated by ICNN, and two other schemes.

One project will see Cardiff University conduct research into the current state of the Welsh journalism sector with a view to producing an action plan for future support of the sector.

The other will involve campaign group Inclusive Journalism Cymru launching a new programme that will provide training, interactive workshops and follow-up support for anyone wanting to develop their media career.

The remaining £100,000 will be shared between up to 10 organisations “committed to delivering locally relevant public interest news and promoting growth in the Welsh community news sector”.

Dawn Bowden, pictured, the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism, said: “A strong and vibrant media sector in Wales is an essential part of a modern democratic society.

“A strong and independent media is essential to provide a comprehensive service that informs, educates and inspires the people of Wales.

“I’m delighted that we can announce this funding which will play a part in addressing the issues which currently face the sector – and also asses the current landscape and inform future funding and interventions.”

The scheme has however been criticised by Welsh Conservative shadow culture minister Tom Giffard, who said: “While the industry may be facing difficulties, this vanity project is the wrong priority for the people of Wales.”