BBC’s Huw Edwards may give Port Talbot Magnet a boost on Thursday as the veteran broadcast journalist takes to the stage to present the Wales Media Awards. Port Talbot Magnet is shortlisted in the Community News Outlet of the Year category.
Meanwhile, the Magnet’s directors hope to reassure readers that the news service is still here, and they are still working hard, despite things being quiet on the website recently.
“Being shortlisted for the Wales Media Award is such a huge achievement for the Magnet project, and we are thrilled about it,” said Director Rachel Howells. “Last year we took our newspaper from strength to strength with the help of grant funding, and are pleased that it is now on a stable financial footing with our last two editions bringing in a small profit.”
The news co-operative – which is run by volunteer journalists, members of the community and freelancers – may have been quiet lately, but the team continues to work hard behind the scenes.
“The website has not been as active since we launched the newspaper as we’ve been putting so much energy into the business side of the operation, but we feel this is short-term pain for long-term gain – if we can make a success of the newspaper, we will be able to fund a much better service online.”
As a social enterprise, all profits are invested into improving the service. The team plans on publishing another print edition – its sixth – in May or the early summer, and launching a mobile version of the website as soon as possible.
It has also been working with members of the community, and hosted its first open meeting in January.
“We had lots of new members join us, and lots of brilliant ideas and offers of practical help,” said Rachel. “We are looking forward to continuing to work with local people to develop the Magnet news service, print a more regular newspaper, and improve our online news too.”
The Magnet will be hosting a training event on April 15 for people who’d like to learn how post articles to our website using WordPress. If you’d like to sign up, please email Hannah Scarbrough at ScarbroughH1@cardiff.ac.uk. The Wales Media Awards are on 19 March.