NUJ submission to the Senedd Committee Inquiry into the impact of increasing costs, September 2022
The effects of Covid and cost-of-living crisis on the news industry in Wales
The Welsh newspaper industry has been left especially vulnerable to an economic shock brought on by the cost of living crisis. Despite the concentration of investment in online products and falling circulation for paid-for newspapers, print remains a crucial source of revenue. For example it was responsible for 75% of revenue in 2021 for Reach plc, the publishers of the Daily Post, the Western Mail, the South Wales Echo, the South Wales Evening Post and a series of weekly titles, as well as the website WalesOnline. Inevitably readers in the midst of a cost of living crisis are going to question a newspaper purchase, when much of the same content is available free online and when the original journalism in newspapers has been reduced by waves of redundancies. The cost of newsprint has also been rising sharply, with the constant threat that publishers will seek to protect their profits by raising prices and cutting jobs and consequently content. The Western Mail has already seen Welsh content pages reduced, while content from Reach’s non Welsh newspapers has been used instead.