Friday, February 15, 2008

Death of the World.

I thought it was doomed, as soon as Rhodri Glyn Thomas announced earlier this week, the level of financial support that he is prepared to put into it. Yesterday came the official announcement. Dyddiol, the company which has worked for years to publish a Welsh Language Daily Newspaper announced that the dream is dead. Aled Price, the editor has resigned. The newspaper, Y Byd (The World) will not be appearing on March 1st as planned. The planned 24 jobs that Machynlleth was anticipating, are no longer being anticipated. Its all over. Kaput.

The company did not mince its words. It dumps the blame squarely at the Minister's doorstep. Last May the Coalition Government promised as part of the agreement which convinced Plaid Cymru to throw in its lot with Labour that sufficient funding would be provided to launch the newspaper. This promise has been broken. The Minister has sent out a rescue raft, loaded with millions of pounds of taxpayer's money to save the Millennium Centre in Cardiff and the National Botanic Garden in Carmarthenshire, but has dispatched only a coracle with a lighter load to underwrite Y Byd which was to have been produced at Machynlleth in Mid Wales.

When I 'appeared' on Post Prynhawn today to discuss this with Gareth Glyn, I held back from criticising the Minister myself for his decision. I have not seen the reports that he's seen. Perhaps he's not convinced about Y Byd's viability. But what I'm sure of is that the public (and Plaid Cymru's members) should not have been told that the Coalition Government was going to underwrite Y Byd. Promises should not be made, if they are not going to be honoured. The Assembly Government deserve all the stick they are getting.


Anonymous said...

As a lot more people will go to the Wales Millennium Centre and the Botanic garden than are likely to read Y Byd I reckon the Minister has got it about right.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Glyn, the business case and business plan didn’t stack up.
They only had 750 signed up -they had estimated 5000.
Better not to start a project that is doomed to fail financially
May be there is some other route to this much needed Welsh Publication

Southpaw Grammar said...

"May be there is some other route to this much needed Welsh Publication"

Yes, by making it a truly representative paper of the Wales, both english and welsh speaking!

Glyn Davies said...

anon, VM and southpaw grammer - I specifically refrained from criticising The Minister's decision. What I sought to draw attention to was the promise to underwrite Y Byd, and the breaking of it. While I was always a keen supporter of Ned Thomas' dream, I realised that it may never be viable. I said when the Coalition Deal was done that there were promises that would not be kept - the most important of which is the referendum on law making powers. This disingenuousness deserves to reap its just reward.
The main problem is that newspapers are becoming less important in delivering our news. The internet plays a part in that.

Anonymous said...

All that work by Griffith Jones to teach the Welsh to read and no national newspaper. What is the world coming to? I suppose it will still have to be the News of the Screws tomorrow as usual.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - There will be no Welsh Language newspaper now. The idea is dead and buried. I see that Plaid MP, Adam Price is rubbishing the idea of Y Byd on his blog. Question must be why it was included in the Coalition agreement on a work programme last May. Could it be that a few sweeteners had to included to win the support of the Plaid activists?