Next month active research into the viability of creating a Welsh language daily newspaper in Wales, will commence under the guidance of Ned Thomas, who is director of the Mercator Media news agency in Wales. He is also one of the instigators of the European Minority Daily Press Association which is currently holding a conference in Palma. Thirty minority language daily paper representatives are taking part in the two day conference, which started yesterday at the Parc Bit technology park and Ned Thomas, who addressed delegates on “creating a new newspaper: progress in Wales” yesterday afternoon believes that a daily Welsh language newspaper has a viable future. In fact, he agreed that minority languages, with the correct guidance and promotion, could become a huge growth market, both culturally and commercially. For example, in Wales, leading companies are now advertising in the daily English language press in Welsh as well as English, the market place in Wales is becoming bi-lingual. Thomas said that there are an estimated 500'000 Welsh speakers and readers in Wales and as many as 200'000 in England, which translates into a potential daily readership of over one million people. But there are two key doubts Thomas wants to clear up before going ahead with the new daily paper. The first is which readership market to target and the second, a more practical one, is which format to use. Thomas believes a blend of newsprint and the Internet will be the answer - hence his particular interest in this year's conference as promoting minority language media by using the Internet and the latest technologies is one of the principal topics on the agenda.

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