Ifan Morgan Jones
News is the lifeblood of any nation. A national news service scrutinises the powerful and provides a voice for the weak.
It makes democracy work. It brings a nation together.
Almost a year ago we set out a vision for a national, popular, completely independent, not for profit news service for Wales.
A news service by the people of Wales, for the people of Wales, with its success depending entirely on the people of Wales.
Incredibly, this is something that has never existed in our country. And today, it feels like we need such a news service more than ever.
What we’ve achieved together over the last year suggests that realisation this vision is perfectly possible.
We’ve published over 400 articles and almost 1 million people have visited the website.
We’ve attracted contributors from across the political spectrum, and from every major party in Wales (and some minor ones too).
Three party leaders, four MPs, and 13 AMs gave contributed to the site.
But many of the most interesting articles have come from those who don’t have a platform elsewhere and have suggested some radical ideas for the future of our country.
What’s notable is that all of this has all been achieved completely voluntarily – thanks to dedicated contributors who have seen the value of this platform in making their voices heard.
They’ve done all of this without being paid a penny. And all the money raised in the initial fundraiser has all been spent on improving and promoting the website itself.
But this success hasn’t been down to our hard work but rather your response.
The response has been phenomenal, suggesting that we’re providing a service that many people have been asking for.
Thank you to everyone who has visited, commented, shared, liked and contributed in any way.
The next step
We’ve got the conversation going and built an audience. But what we haven’t been able to provide, yet, is much in the way of investigative journalism.
We’ve broken good stories. But investigative journalism requires a dedicated team of professionals working consistently to build contacts and break news.
Having built up a respectable audience, it’s time to take the next step in developing the website.
A team of investigative journalists would allow us to research and uncover news that other news organisations don’t have the time or the inclination to look at.
You may have noticed that a new button has appeared on the right sidebar over the weekend, or at the bottom of your screen if you’re reading on a mobile device – a subscription button.
So we’re setting ourselves a new target.
Just 600 people giving us £2 a month would be enough for us to commission 2-3 investigative news articles every week.
This would be on top of all the voluntary work we’re currently doing.
If 600 people gave £5 a month we could commission 6-7 articles a week. With 1000 subscribers, over ten articles.
If everyone who read Nation.Cymru regularly this month contributed, this website could hire a full-time job for a professional journalist.
However much money we raise, all of it will be invested in making Nation.Cymru the best news website it can possibly be.
And more importantly, the independent, national news service that Wales needs.
We’re lucky to live in a society where most people can afford £2 a month. But if you can give more, please do so.
You can also make a one-off donation if you wish.
Imagine the unparalleled news service we could have in Wales if just a few thousand people – just a fraction of the site’s readership – made a small contribution each month.
We’ve shown that the demand is out there. There’s nothing to stop us but our own lack of determination.
It’s in your hands. If you don’t do it, who will? Now, let’s make it happen.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have the BBC, Walesonline, the Daily Post and other services online for free. Why shoud I contribute to this?
Wales doesn’t have an English language national news service, and has never had one.
The Western Mail and Daily Post are regional news services, while BBC Wales is a regional arm of a British corporation.
You do pay for the BBC through your license fee. And free websites such as Walesonline and the Daily Post will struggle to sustain in-depth, investigative journalism as print sales dwindle.
All of these news services are part of much larger corporations and answerable to bosses in London. We’re only answerable to our readers in Wales.
Surveys have consistently shown that the people of Wales do not understand what is going on within their country.
High quality investigative journalism will help to fill that gap in knowledge.
What happens if you don’t reach your target?
Then the dream of an independent, national news service dedicated only to the people of Wales stalls.
And as with any voluntary service, interest and support will at some point begin to dwindle and the service will be that much tougher to keep going.
Maintaining a website costs money so if our funds run out the site itself may cease to be sustainable.
This would be a big disappointment as Wales is in great need of a national news service, and there’s no good reason why it can’t have one.
We don’t believe that we lack ambition as a nation. We just need to be offered opportunity. And I’m sure this one will be taken.
Why not just make people pay for articles?
Because then the site would only reach a small clique of like-minded people and political anoraks.
We need to provide a service for all of the people of Wales – including those who don’t take a great interest in current affairs.
How many of these people have come across a Nation.Cymru article in the past year and had their interest kindled?
Why a subscription rather than a one-off donation?
Not everyone can afford a one-off donation but luckily, we live in a country where most people can afford a few pounds every month.
A regular supply of money we know is coming in also means that we have a much healthier business model than if we have one pot of money that is dwindling away.
We can form sustainable and long-term relationships with investigative journalists who will know that we’re in the market for good stories and that they will be paid for good quality work.
Investigative journalism is a process, not an event, and so there needs to be long-term consistency to our efforts to raise money, too!
What will you spend the money on?
Investigative journalism, commissioned opinion pieces by experts who won’t contribute for free, opinion polls, photojournalism, and of course maintaining a functioning website.
Unlike other commercial news services, we’re not looking to make a profit. Every penny will be invested back into the site.
The more people contribute, the better the site we’ll have.
Can I donate more than £2 a month?
You certainly can! All the options are there up to £50 a month, although we’d be surprised of many go for the latter.
Any money will go back into the service so a few pounds extra a month would enhance the website no end.