Hello there. Hope you’re feeling today.The Wales On Sunday, for those who don’t know is the only Welsh national newspaper that goes out (obviously) on a Sunday. I remember coming across it in the late nineties. I liked it. It wouldn’t set the world on fire but who wants the world on fire on a Sunday. What you want is a good read and that it gave you.
Last Sunday I came across it for the first time in a long while and was stunned. It was much thinner than when I read it decades ago. Obviously newspapers have been affected by the rise of online but other than going tabloid I cannot recall one that cut the number of pages. If it was a person it would have been treated for anorexia.
As a consequence the product suffered. There were seventeen “news” pages. Of those in a very unscientific count there only appeared to be four that occurred the day before. Yes four. Some of those were just small reports as well. Sunday newspapers are of course part news part magazine. But even allowing for that it was shocking.
No analysis for example of the news from Bridgend Ford as discussed in my previous post. A proper newspaper would have done that.
After that comes the Sport section. Here is where effort has truly been made. The best bit of the entire paper. Focuses on Wales without losing sight of sport outside it’s borders. If only all of the paper was like that.
And then comes Seven Days. The lifestyle section. Full of bland puff pieces on cooking etc. But let’s focus on the TV bit. There’s a section called Soapdish where the weekly plots for TV soaps are explained. Is Pobol Y Cwm amongst them? No.
There is a section on TV highlights for the week. Is an S4C programme there? No. Is a programme specifically made by BBC Wales in English to be broadcast locally there? No.
You would not know S4C or specific local English language Welsh programmes exist other than the TV guide section.
Of course we know why. Presumably this is a one size fits all tenplate for Scotland On Sunday, Bristol On Sunday, Aberdeen Angus on Sunday. Trouble with tenplates though is that sometimes one size does not fit all. Whilst S4C should not demand special treatment but it’s entitled to expect that a Welsh paper gives a Welsh TV Channel some attention.
It’s byline by the way is PRIDE OF THE NATION. If you look carefully though you will see that it’s actually printed in Birmingham.
Perhaps the byline should read: PRIDE OF THE NATION (Printing not included)
Whether Wales needs a Sunday newspaper in this internet world with the likes of BBC Wales and Nation Cymru is a debate. Whether it needs the Wales On Sunday is far more questionable.
Until the next time.