Wales Co-operative Centre

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Posts Tagged ‘news

Read all about it – new co-operative newspaper hits the streets!

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A new newspaper for Port Talbot, The Magnet, has hit the streets being distributed free to 20,000 households in Port Talbot over the coming days.

Packed with news, sport and even a crossword, the newspaper, produced by a journalists’ cooperative (Local News South Wales Ltd), is the fulfilment of years of hard work and planning by the dedicated social enterprise team.

Their aim has to be to ensure that a news vacuum, left in Port Talbot when its former weekly newspaper closed down in 2009, can be filled, and that local people can have a news service they can engage with, contribute to and be proud of.

Port Talbot Magnet director Ken Smith said: “This is a great achievement from a small group of people, and one which we aim to build on. We have had a website for a three years, but getting the newspaper out was really important to ensure more people in Port Talbot got the news they were otherwise missing, and to begin the process of building a sustainable business.

“One of our directors Rachel Howells has written a guide to who we are, what we’ve done and where hope to be going. You can read it at . For us to build on this success we now hope to take it to the next stage, and for that we are really needing the help of people who understand social enterprises and can help us realise the advertising potential for the newspaper.

“We set up our business and got our first issue out with excellent support from the Wales Co-operative Centre and the Carnegie Trust and others, but for us to progress now with our vision of maintaining a regular, mass circulation newspaper for Port Talbot and surrounding areas, then we’re looking for of experienced advertising sales reps or agencies that work with and understand social enterprises.”

Port Talbot Magnet can be contacted at or at  or by phoning 07840 168071.


Written by David Madge

September 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Co-operative online newpaper launches new funding model

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A community news website in a South Wales town where the last dedicated paper closed two years ago has launched a new funding model which it believes could revolutionise its fortunes.

A co-operative first was launched by eight journalists in 2009 in reaction to major cuts in the local press including the closure that year of Trinity Mirror weekly the Port Talbot Guardian.

In 2011 they launched the website Port Talbot Magnet, funded largely by donations from directors and interested partners, with stories written on a voluntary basis.

It has now combined its cooperative ethic with the US ‘Spot.Us’ non-profit model based on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.

The new model is called Pitch-in! and calls on locals to support the website by producing local news, suggesting stories for journalists to work on, sponsoring journalists, donating to its development fund, sponsoring new sections, carry out fundraising and volunteering.

As it is a social enterprise and a co-operative all profits go back into developing the news service.

Those behind the website say it is built on the belief that “good journalism is essential to democracy” and aims to “ensure it is accessible to all”.

One of MagNet’s directors, Rachel Howells, said: “We have set up a great basic framework for producing local news for Port Talbot, but we want to do something innovative, and something that involves local people in their own news.”

“We know this model has great potential. We’ve seen something similar in action in America, for example with the website Spot.Us, which collects donations towards stories that are in the public interest and distributes them on all kinds of news networks.

“But we have brought a few different ideas together to come up with It – the Spot.Us model was one element, but we also brought the ethos of co-operatives to this idea, along with our hyperlocal focus, which means we are intent on serving the town of Port Talbot.”

Howells is currently researching a PhD at Cardiff University into what happens to a town when it loses its local paper and the implications for democracy. In it she is looking at sustainable alternative business models for news.

She added: “We think Pitch-in! gives local people a real chance to get involved in the way news serves Port Talbot, and to have a say in how it is provided. Gone are the days of journalists deciding the news agenda and simply dishing it out.

“Today’s news agendas should be part of an ongoing collaboration with the communities they represent and serve. We want people to pitch in, both with money and fundraising efforts, but also with ideas and news of their own. We have the framework and the skills to develop the service, but we think community involvement and collaboration is the only way we’ll develop in the future.”

Targets for the appeal include sponsoring a court reporter for a day, or sponsoring a new football results service covering all the teams in the area.

“These are just a taste of what we would like to achieve,” said Howells. “We have a long list of goals, including reporting council meetings and news, police and emergency services news, increasing our coverage of business news, sport, arts, music, entertainment, charity groups and campaigns – things we don’t have the resources for at the moment.

“And we are looking for local people to tell us what they would like us to cover, as well as giving journalists the opportunity to pitch in with ideas for investigations or news that they think should be covered.”

Source: Press Gazette

Are you thinking of setting up a co-operative? We can help you; the Wales Co-operative Centre provides free advice and support to co-operatives within the Convergence area of Wales.

Written by C Kenzie

October 14, 2011 at 9:30 am

The ultimate list of social enterprise blogs

leave a comment » has put together a list of the social enterprise blogs you should really be reading!

Acumen Fund Blog

A non profit fund geared towards using the entrepreneurial approach to deal with global challenges. The blog is peppered with tid bits from the Acumen fund community from across the world. Interesting ad campaigns, developments in the social sector in third world countries, activities of the different arms of the fund in varied geographies, etc.


Audeamus covers the world of social enterprise and corporate social responsibility. The blog includes stories of successful and struggling social entrepreneurs from all over the world, as well as useful business tips on how to manage your social enterprise.’s Social Entrepreneurship Blog

This blog covers everything a wide range of topics about social enterprise and social innovation, such as social investment, corporate social responsibility, startup life, mobile technology, cause marketing, international development, social media, venture capital, microfinance, impact assessment and more. In addition to fantastic content, readers can also start a petition on issues related to social enterprise, or take action by sending a petition.

Envision Good

A multimedia communications company with a focus on marketing strategies for small organizations. Their video interviews and blog posts are valuable for those who want to understand the fine points of establishing and running a social venture. Here you can learn from the experiences of some of the leading organizations working to tackle the most vexing problems facing planet earth.

Mobile Active

Mobile Active aims to connect people and organizations trying to use mobile phone technology to bring about meaningful technological change. When it comes to the application of mobile technology Mobile Active can help entrepreneurs reduce their learning curve. The Mobile Active blog can help social entrepreneurs streamline their strategy to provide locally relevant content, discuss relevant issues with others using the same platform and connect with service and content providers.

Next Billion

Focused on bringing together a range of people including policy makers and social entrepreneurs to solve world’s problems. It has a team of staff writers and editors who work to give their readers insights on how the work of social entrepreneurs is affecting the people at the bottom of the pyramid.

Nubian Cheetah

Nubian Cheetah talks about social entrepreneurship stories from Africa. The stories include those about companies focused on harnessing traditional knowledge, popularizing technology, biodiesel, purified ice, and off grid lighting among others.

School for Social Entrepreneurs

Founded by Lord Michael Young, himself a serial social entrepreneur. It works out of 6 centers in UK and is a leading organization working in the field of educating and training budding social entrepreneurs. Nick Temple is the policy and communications director at the SSE. SSE has an excellent blog. The resources at the SSE blog range from measuring the impact of social enterprise, valuable quotes, Stories about social entrepreneurs, slide shows, and tips on the future impact of communication on the social enterprise.

SE Reporter

Started with the aim of bringing stories from the entrepreneurship world to social entrepreneurs particularly to those from North America, the promoters believe that their tools, stories, news, information will help decision makers at social businesses to improve both their financial performance and their social impact.

Social Earth

Social Earth believes strongly in the importance of social enterprise. It is geared towards promoting social businesses. The organizations covered by Social Earth are involved in a wide range of businesses with one thing in common – a profit motive and a desire to bring about meaningful change.

Social Edge

A program of the Skoll Foundation, of which the blog is a veritable storehouse of experiences of social entrepreneurs all over the world and practical tips and tricks that one can put to good use. The content here is authored by social entrepreneurs and there are valuable interviews with leading social entrepreneurs.

Social Enterprise Blog

Rolfe Larson hosts the Social Enterprise Blog from the Free Management Library. Free management library has been striving to provide free resources since 1995. Resources at the blog range from venture capital philanthropy, cause related marketing and earned income generation. On average new knowledge articles are added to the blog twice every week. The blog is focused on social enterprise and tries to disseminate practical tips.

Social ROI

A blog about how social entrepreneurship is making this world a better place. The blog covers a wide range of topics, from iphone apps that help social entrepreneurs to twitter campaigns for social causes, as well as updates on international programs and social impact investing. Social ROI also invites social entrepreneurs who are facing a unique problems to contact them for advice and help.

Spare Change

A social marketing blog by Nedra Weinreich, a consultant who specializes in using social media to promote health and social issues for nonprofits and government agencies. Her blog is a great resource for nonprofits, NGOs, and social entrepreneurs who need marketing tips that will help them maximize the reach and social impact of their message. The author has also done a lot of legwork for social entrepreneurs by searching for and connecting to other good social entrepreneur blogs.

The Social Business Blog

The Social Business Blog bills itself as “the most influential social business blog” in United Kingdom. Rob Greenland maintains the blog. Rob has been associated with social business since 1997 and has conducted several training sessions and workshops for businesses. His experience with social business is reflected in this excellent blog for social entrepreneurs. The topics on the blog range from social enterprise opportunities in garbage management to the social innovation lab hosted by Danone.


Does your social enterprise need help with business development or IT? Visit the Wales Co-operative Centre’s website to see what we can offer.

Written by C Kenzie

September 29, 2010 at 8:46 am

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