Today may well be the last day a Tivyside Editor will sit in a Cardigan office and decide on the stories and news that will fill the next edition’s paper. 148 years of history will be lost overnight and this particular story will probably not feature on the front page of next week’s Tivyside. Yes, the paper will continue, but will be edited from Haverfordwest and with a reduced presence in Cardigan. Newsquest, the owner of the Tivyside title, has taken this decision from afar with little reference to history or community.
The Tivyside is an intrinsic part of the Cardigan area’s identity. Y Teifiseid, as it is known in Welsh, oozes the area’s rurality and spirit. It doesn’t happen unless it’s in the Teifiseid! Over the years, I wonder how many conversations have started on the streets of Cardigan or in the garages of Cenarth or Penparc with the sentence, Chi wedi gweld be’ sydd yn y Teifiseid heddi? Have you seen what’s in the Tivyside today?
Newsquest’s decision to centralise editorial control and downgrade the presence in Cardigan will mean that the paper’s finger will no longer be on Cardigan’s pulse. The paper also strongly looks to Ceredigion, not Pembrokeshire, and I fear that this Ceredigion focus will also weaken.
The Teifiseid has also been a strong campaigning paper, most recently on issues such as the Hospital, the Castle, the Tesco Junction. To be a campaigning paper requires a strong Editorial leadership and a strong sense of an area’s priorities. This also will be far more difficult from afar.
The paper is not however ceasing to exist and therefore we can but hope that its identity, its local news, its Cardigan spirit will not be entirely lost. Let’s thank Sue for all her work for the paper over the past years and wish her well in her future. And for today, let’s mark the fact that Cardigan and the area is losing one of its fixtures – the Tivyside Editor.