PORT Talbot Magnet has been chalking up some more successes – with record numbers of visitors to the news website, and victory in a national competition – and so have its hard-working volunteers.
One of them, Neath-born Rachel Moses, aged 28, has now secured a full-time job in journalism as a reporter on the Carmarthen Journal, thanks in part to her contribution to the Magnet – and while we are sad to see her go, we are delighted to see Rachel moving up the ladder, and we wish her every success.
Rachel said: “I came across the Magnet team after being made redundant from a reporting role.
“I found myself at a loss during my job search, and found I needed something else to fill my time, to ensure I was still active in a work-type environment.
“I approached Neath Council for Voluntary services, who told me about the Magnet, and soon had a phone call from Rachel Howells, who was pleased to have heard from not only a former journalist, but a former Port Talbot reporter.
“It wasn’t long before I was on board as a volunteer, with my first story surrounding a fundraising event for the families of the Swansea Valley miners.
“I would usually write at least one story a week, up until I once again started full-time employment, but even then would fit in as much writing for the Magnet as possible, and was spreading the word about the website everywhere.”
She added: “I believe the fact that I continued to report in this voluntary capacity, in a South Wales community, is what made me stand out when I applied for the Carmarthen Journal job.
“The Magnet is a great tool for the people of Port Talbot, and for anyone interested in local news to be able to volunteer for.
“The Magnet team are a great group of journalists, photographers and editors who are very welcoming to anyone passionate and interested in local news for Port Talbot.”
Meanwhile, this month the site celebrated a record number of unique visitors, when more than 3,200 people visited the site during one four-week period in February and March.
The Magnet team also celebrated a competition win in March, when we entered a Multimedia Journalism contest and won one of two prizes for a free newspaper print run. This means the team will be publishing a trial newspaper later in the year to see how our brand of local news translates onto paper.
“We are delighted with our successes so far this year,” said Rachel Howells, one of Magnet’s seven directors. “We are still working as volunteers and so there’s still a lot of hard work going into the project, but these are great morale boosters for us and we know we are going in the right direction now and making good progress towards our goal of providing sustainable local news for Port Talbot.”