Statement from Rachel Howells, Editor, Port Talbot Magnet
Over the summer we had all but completed the IMPRESS application process and were very close to signing up. Unfortunately events overtook us. The economic pressures on all businesses in Port Talbot following the recent and ongoing steel crisis have made it impossible to support our valued local news service through advertising alone.
In early September, we made the sad decision to stop publishing the newspaper. Without a hard copy newspaper, we don't see any other way of bringing in enough money to enable us to pay journalists to work on local news for our town. We have not actively pursued any local news stories since September, and therefore it would have been inappropriate to continue with our IMPRESS application.
We felt regulation was a good fit for us for many reasons. The option of arbitration to settle possible legal action was attractive, but we also felt that working hand-in-hand with our local community required trust from them and transparency from us, and that signing up to an open code of conduct and a system which made it easier for complaints to be heard and independently assessed was important.
We continue to seek a way forward with other partners in the hope a workable future can be formulated for the Magnet, and if that comes to fruition, we would seek to re-open our application with IMPRESS.