In an era where the trend of paywalls and subscription-based news is on the rise, MyTown Media LTD has stood firm on its commitment to community service and announced that both MyWelshpool and MyNewtown will be free for 2024.

A testament to the company’s dedication to providing accessible, high-quality local news to the residents and communities of Mid Wales.

At Digidol, I thought it was only right to highlight the importance of MyTown Media for local communities. Briefly taking a moment to praise and celebrate its promise to keep local news free and accessible throughout 2024.

The Story of MyTown Media: Transforming Local Journalism in Mid Wales

As sales of newspapers plummeted and news websites began paid subscriptions, Mid Wales was at a real threat of being overlooked when it came to a trustworthy unbiased provider of free local news.

A beautiful place to live that is filled with amazing communities, businesses and sports teams, it seemed that Mid Wales was (once again) at a real breaking point, in threat of losing more of its identity, as it fell further being the rest of Wales, UK and the world.

However, all of this changed on Friday 13th of August 2010 with the launch of MyWelshpool by MyTown Media LTD, made live by none other than TV celebrity Sian Lloyd.

Closely followed by the launch of MyNewtown in December 2010, the two sites exist to produce articles that cover general local news, sports, business, features, properties and jobs in Welshpool, Newtown and the surrounding areas.

The Impact of MyTown Media: More Than Just Numbers

Fast forward to 2024, browsing the MyWelshpool and MyNewtown websites, for many, has become part of the daily routine. Covering all major events from the introduction of new stores, roadways and schools in Mid Wales to the Covid-19 pandemic and Ukraine crisis that affected the world, MyTown Media has kept communities informed throughout.

During this time, MyWelshpool and MyNewtown have seen over 25,000 and over 20,000 articles go live respectively. This astonishing amount of content brings in over 200,000 page views across both sites from over 40,000 unique visitors every month.

All from organic sources, these local news websites have harnessed the power of social media to create an online community for their offline communities. Across Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) each site has an audience of 35,000 followers.

Funded by the support of local businesses and occasionally government grants, the growth and success of both websites is remarkable. A major testament to the undeniable commitment, dedication and hard work of the team behind the scenes.

The latest announcement that the news sites will remain free for users in 2024 is a breath of fresh air in a world where other news sites are now hidden behind a paywall, or more similar to a game of pop-up ads Whac-A-Mole.

The residents, communities, sports teams and businesses of Mid Wales are beyond lucky to have such a priceless, and some could argue essential, service delivered to them for free for another year.

Innovative Storytelling: MyWelshpoolTV’s Video Journalism

To keep up with the ever-changing landscape of how we, as users, consume our news, Dave Williams has turned his hand to high-quality and informative video reports. Capturing and editing all of these reports using an iPhone, what is really incredible is the level of quality and attention to detail that is featured within each of these reports.

Creating quality video is a difficult task, even with full software packages, top-of-the-range cameras and microphones. So, managing to record and edit short-form insightful video reports in this way on such a consistent basis is beyond impressive. Possibly showing us how the future of local news reports in Mid Wales will be.

Not surprisingly, these innovative news reports have been recognised internationally, winning an International Mobile Journalism Award in 2023 for a video highlighting the community of Welshpool’s response to the Ukraine crisis.

Moving from strength to strength, the proof is definitely in the pudding. The latest Christmas special news report that covered the ‘Llansantffraid Winter Wonderland’ reached an outstanding 55,000 views.

An extraordinary achievement for a local organisation that delivers all of its news for free, the time, effort and dedication that goes into creating all of the content, not just the video reports, is a priceless resource to every local community.

Digidol’s Perspective: The Value of MyWelshpool and MyNewtown’s News Service

For Digidol, MyWelshpool and MyNewtown are invaluable assets both professionally and personally. On a professional level, it allows me to promote all of the great achievements, charity work, development and more from my clients. Helping to inform and inspire the local communities about the amazing things that can be achieved by entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses in Welshpool, Newtown and across Mid Wales.

Digidol client Nomadic Washrooms have been featured multiple times for winning the Maker and Creator Award at the Allica Bank Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Best Tourism & Leisure Business in Wales at the National StartUp Awards, and their Charity Murder Mystery night to raise money for Self Help Africa.

Other Digidol clients such as Fabrizios, were featured for winning the Best Italian Restaurant in Wales at the 7th British Italian Awards; and The Pheasant Inn for the return of DJ Sonny Wharton for a charity event.

From a personal standpoint, MyWelshpool provides me with an insight into the local news as I travel around the world. A reliable and wide selection of news that I would not be able to access or obtain from anywhere else. Regardless of what country or time zone I am in, I can still get trustworthy reports to keep up to date with everything that’s going on in my hometown.