NEWS AND EVENTS

First Ever Daily in Welsh
Ybydcrop2[1]111
The Welsh language today is spoken by over half a million people: how can the non-existence of a national daily until now be explained? Visit Y Byd (The World).
Plans to launch a daily paper in the Welsh language are at an advanced stage in Aberystwyth, Wales. Hopes are high that the paper will become reality by the end of 2004, or early next year. Despite the fact that literacy levels are high amongst Welsh speakers, the paper, Y Byd (The World) will be the first daily ever in Welsh. Weekly publications have long had their place in Welsh life, these being both national and regional. Welsh is also widely read locally, with local pamphlet-type journals (papurau bro) appearing monthly all around the country.

The Welsh language today is spoken by over half a million people: how can the non-existence of a national daily until now be explained? There are several reasons. Welsh speakers account for only 20% of the population of Wales, and are served by English language media. Also, there is little unity between Welsh speakers north and south. Caernarfon and Bangor are closer to Liverpool than to Cardiff, while south Wales, by way of the M4 and the bridge over the river Severn, is closer than ever to London.

Religion has also played a role in shaping the literate culture of Wales. Early in the last century, many non-conformist denominations published titles of their own. Furthermore, although most Welsh people see their country as a place with a specific identity, separatism is a concept embraced by few, and for most of the population, traditionally and currently, being Welsh does not preclude being British.

Y Byd is an ambitious project funded partly by Objective 1 European money, partly, in all probability, by the Welsh National Assembly. Capital from private sources will also play a role in the financial life of the paper. Y Byd will appear five times a week, Monday to Friday, and employ over thirty people. Plans are afoot to house the project near Aberystwyth, west Wales.

Visit Y Byd (The World).










¬© University of Wales, Aberystwyth 2002-2009       home  |  e-mail us  |  back to top
site by CHL