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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 07:11 GMT 08:11 UK
Study into viability of Welsh paper
Generic of printing press
Research shows support for a Welsh-language paper
Research has shown producing a daily national newspaper in Welsh could be a commercially viable proposition.

A survey conducted by Mercator, the Aberystwyth-based unit for studying minority languages, suggests more than a third of the estimated 500,000 Welsh speakers in Wales would be interested in a paper written in the language.

Cymru'r Byd site
Demand for BBC Wales's Welsh language news service has grown

Newspapers in other minority languages in Europe boast being able to make money from their readership.

Wales is one of the few countries that does not have a newspaper for its minority language.

The 60,000 Mercator survey suggests establishing such a newspaper could make business sense.

A Welsh-language daily would be sold in shops but it would depend on subscribers.

The research indicates running costs of up to 2m a year could be covered by a successful publication.

There are currently 40m speakers of minority languages in Europe.

The 300,000-strong Swedish-speaking population of Finland maintains 10 daily newspapers, with every household buying one on average.

Catalonia in Spain has five separate papers for Catalan speakers.

Tabloid newspaper

Around 560,000 Catalans read a daily newspaper with a circulation of 17,000.

In Wales the Welsh-language weekly magazine Golwg (View) has a circulation of 3,500, while the tabloid newspaper Y Cymro (The Welshman) sells 5,000 each week.

However, the demand for up-to date news in Welsh is shown by the growth of the BBC Welsh-language internet service Cymru'r Byd (Wales's World).

Since its launch on 1 March 2000, the service has seen rapid growth in the number of users both at home and abroad.

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Ned Thomas, director Mercator
"I would say we're at the stage where we are able to start producing a fairly detailed business plan."
See also:

30 Jul 99 | The Company File
Mirror merger with Welsh titles confirmed
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