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Welsh-language technology and digital media

Grant Holder: Professor Justin Lewis

Co-Applicants: Sara Moseley

Funder: Welsh Government (Welsh-language Technology and Digital Media Grant) and REACT

Period: October 2013 – March 2014

The aim of this project is to enable any community to digitally gather, publish and access news and information through the medium of Welsh using an app and software that is accessible and free to use. This project will produce a Welsh-medium application on Android and iOS platforms, with roaming capabilities which allow the user to send news to hyperlocal journalists in a 5 mile radius, or to choose to send to their hometown hyperlocal instead. This project will also undertake the development of a Wordpress theme for producing community news in Welsh-medium, a Storini ‘widget’ for Wordpress sites and a function for publishing content produced in Storini directly to a Wordpress site. The platform and app will be user-tested by the Centre for Community Journalism and selected hyperlocals in Wales.

The ultimate outcome would be a significant increase in the amount of range of Welsh language content available on line and much more participation in creating and sharing content through medium of Welsh. Furthermore, this content would be focused on a geographical area or community and so support that community to engage and thrive.

Local and community journalists and community groups, including Papurau Bro, are currently hindered from publishing because of difficulties in gathering information and material and because of the lack of a template website that they can use with minimal digital skills and financial investment.

Through this project we would see more content created and consumed in the medium of Welsh by a broader contributor group and we more websites, many linked to twitter feeds, set up to share content within communities and to connect those communities together. We anticipate that these tools could help any community create and sustain a place for sharing and coming together online and that it could be used for communities of interest such as schools and sports associations. The aim is to make it easy to create and upload content in Welsh and to support a new culture.
We will integrate the new tools into the package of support available to community journalists in Wales. Training will be available on their use and integration with a publication as well as advice on the phone and on line. The digital developments also build on insights gained during our work with local and community journalists and on existing research projects. In particular, in terms of StoriNi, we are building on a very successful React research project and making the most of innovative use of new technology.

We will also promote the platform to key stakeholders in Wales.

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