Wales Weekly is headed toward its close as dozens of new hopefuls flock to Cardiff University looking for a place in one of the school’s renowned journalism and media masters programmes.
Next year this space will be filled by a new group of international students who will have access to a playground that celebrates freedom of press and a legal system that promises freedom of expression.
The advent of new media and the engines that drive WordPress and Blogger and the myriad of similarly-focused websites, have provided a new scope for student journalists.
New modules have been added to next year’s course in recognition of what this access offers communities and wider societies. The significance of which is routinely promulgated on television and in newspapers: from the Arab Spring, to the Turkish prime minister’s banning of Twitter this month, and even offering a new form of accountability in China.
In Wales, these opportunities come in the form of the ‘hyperlocal’. Easier access to conduits for expression has provided a space for journalists, the socially conscious and regular citizens, to write on hyper-focused topics that cater for communities of which the mainstream press could never satisfy.
Wales Weekly, in its print, tabloid and web offerings has jumped into this space. The focus adopted has been against the ordinary use of these tools. In fact, the paper has looked outwards at Wales’ place in the world, and not inwards at community-based interests.
The offering remains alone in its challenging niche.
What these platforms have provided is a way for Wales Weekly and other similarly constructed niche-driven media productions, to offer content to real-time consumers. The hypothetical becoming very real.
In the process these new avenues and forms of media are exploring the idea that self-reflection is prioritised and projects treated critically and fairly within a context of encouragement and improvement.
Wales Weekly is committed to the ideals of freedom of press and considers the rise of citizen journalism in this context as an exciting and empowering new venture.
Through this, the Wales Weekly has valued compliment and criticism equally. It has extracted the fairness in the words of its detractors and seeks to consistently improve itself.
In its final edition at the close of the second academic semester, Wales Weekly thanks its readers for accepting our offering in a young and expanding journalistic space and takes pride in producing an offering that contributes to a wider net of engagement by people across the world.