AddThis SmartLayers

Ten titles win public cash to boost council and courts coverage

Emma Meese 1Ten local news outlets have won a share of government funding worth a total of £100,000.

The Welsh Government has issued grants from the Welsh Public Interest News Accelerator, which aims to increase participating titles’ coverage of councils and courts.

The grants will support training courses for community reporters, implementing artificial intelligence tools and improving access to information for isolated rural communities.

The initial beneficiaries from the fund are the Caerphilly Observer, Cwmbran Life,, Carmarthenshire Online, MyTown Media,, Nation.Cymru, Glamorgan Star, Golwg and Papur Y Cwm.

The funding, which involves grants of up to £9,400, is provided by the Welsh Government and will go towards paying publishers for their time producing public interest news.

The grants are being facilitated by Ping! News CIC – a community interest company that was set up by the Independent Community News Network and Bristol-based developer Omni Digital, which aims to support sustainability in the independent community news sector.

Dawn Bowden, 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 public service media is essential to provide a comprehensive service that informs, educates and inspires the people of Wales.

“I’m delighted that this funding is being distributed to projects which will play a part in providing further public interest news in local communities.”

ICNN director Emma Meese, pictured, added: “While start up funding is important, research and evidence has proven that ongoing funding and support is equally essential for a healthy and sustainable news ecosystem.

“This Welsh Government fund is committed to helping a number of high quality publications to grow and thrive.

“It’s hugely encouraging to see so many publishers across Wales who are committed to providing reliable public interest news.

“The increased amount of public interest news created by the allocation of this funding will undoubtedly benefit residents right across the country.”