ARGUS AT 120: Live webchat with the editor

South Wales Argus: LIVE WEBCHAT: Argus editor Kevin Ward LIVE WEBCHAT: Argus editor Kevin Ward

YOUR Argus celebrates its 120th anniversary today - join Argus editor Kevin Ward now as he answers your questions LIVE between 2-3pm.

The paper was first published on May 30, 1892.

We have published a special feature in print today to mark the anniversary. And readers have the chance to quiz Argus editor Kevin Ward online this afternoon.

Mr Ward will be hosting a live web chat here from 2pm to 3pm. Readers can ask Mr Ward, only the eighth editor in the Argus’ 120-year history, questions about anything the paper does and he will respond immediately.

If you want to take part, you can do so in the following way:

LEAVE A COMMENT:

Leave a comment on this story between 2pm and 3pm.

E-MAIL YOUR QUESTION:

Email your questions to kevin.ward@southwalesargus.co.uk

VIA TWITTER:

Send your questions via Twitter @‏ArgusKevinWard

Comments (36)

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1:57pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

Hello and welcome to our live hour-long webchat marking the 120th anniversary of the Argus. I’ll be answering questions we have already received along with any that come in over the next 60 minutes.
Just leave a comment here to join in.
Hello and welcome to our live hour-long webchat marking the 120th anniversary of the Argus. I’ll be answering questions we have already received along with any that come in over the next 60 minutes. Just leave a comment here to join in. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: The Monmouthshire Association

Why does the Argus insist on using "Gwent" to describe Monmouthshire?

The Argus adopted the name after the Local Government Act created the administrative area in 1974, but kept on using it after its abolition in 1996. Do you think it is right to continue to keep referring to an unloved administrative area that existed for only 22 years and was abolished over 16 years ago rather than the historic county name?

The Argus' sister paper the Western Telegraph correctly describes places as being in Pembrokeshire, not "Dyfed" which has an identical provenance to "Gwent". Do you think it is right for Newsquest to have such double standards?

The Western Telegraph also has the Pembrokeshire Flag in their masthead. Will the Argus adopt the Monmouthshire Flag along with some more sensible geographic reporting?
From: The Monmouthshire Association Why does the Argus insist on using "Gwent" to describe Monmouthshire? The Argus adopted the name after the Local Government Act created the administrative area in 1974, but kept on using it after its abolition in 1996. Do you think it is right to continue to keep referring to an unloved administrative area that existed for only 22 years and was abolished over 16 years ago rather than the historic county name? The Argus' sister paper the Western Telegraph correctly describes places as being in Pembrokeshire, not "Dyfed" which has an identical provenance to "Gwent". Do you think it is right for Newsquest to have such double standards? The Western Telegraph also has the Pembrokeshire Flag in their masthead. Will the Argus adopt the Monmouthshire Flag along with some more sensible geographic reporting? South Wales Argus reader
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

I suspect whatever answer I give here won’t be satisfactory give you have a vested interest … but here goes.
We don’t use Gwent instead of Monmouthshire, we use it because it best describes the circulation area that we serve.
Having checked the archives, the Argus often used the term Gwent as an alternative description for the old county of Monmouthshire long before 1974. It could be argued that Gwent is also an historic name.
Local government reorganisation in 1996 means we cover an area that contains five county boroughs. While covering those areas individually, we refer to them by their individual names (including Monmouthshire).
But Gwent remains the best shorthand term for the total area we cover – and no doubt that is one of the reasons why Gwent Police, Coleg Gwent, the Gwent Wildlife Trust and many other organisations and businesses still use it.
I suspect whatever answer I give here won’t be satisfactory give you have a vested interest … but here goes. We don’t use Gwent instead of Monmouthshire, we use it because it best describes the circulation area that we serve. Having checked the archives, the Argus often used the term Gwent as an alternative description for the old county of Monmouthshire long before 1974. It could be argued that Gwent is also an historic name. Local government reorganisation in 1996 means we cover an area that contains five county boroughs. While covering those areas individually, we refer to them by their individual names (including Monmouthshire). But Gwent remains the best shorthand term for the total area we cover – and no doubt that is one of the reasons why Gwent Police, Coleg Gwent, the Gwent Wildlife Trust and many other organisations and businesses still use it. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: Cantankerous

Why are articles in the SWA written so poorly? Grammar, punctuation & spelling leave much to be desired!
From: Cantankerous Why are articles in the SWA written so poorly? Grammar, punctuation & spelling leave much to be desired! South Wales Argus reader
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2:06pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

I would obviously argue that they aren’t.
However, there will always be mistakes in newspapers given the rapid pace at which they are produced and the changing nature of the news.
We always do our best to keep errors to a minimum.
I would obviously argue that they aren’t. However, there will always be mistakes in newspapers given the rapid pace at which they are produced and the changing nature of the news. We always do our best to keep errors to a minimum. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

2:10pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: Dixie Smith

Proof reading your articles wouldn't go amiss together with factual reporting.

Having attended a meeting where an Argus reporter took notes the resulting article didn't reflect the tone or the views expressed at the meeting.
From: Dixie Smith Proof reading your articles wouldn't go amiss together with factual reporting. Having attended a meeting where an Argus reporter took notes the resulting article didn't reflect the tone or the views expressed at the meeting. South Wales Argus reader
  • Score: 0

2:13pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

All our pages are proof-read before publication, often by me. We're only human, though, and mistakes do happen as I am sure they do in other walks of life.
I would maintain our reporting is always factual but our interpretation of which facts are the most newsworthy may differ from others.
All our pages are proof-read before publication, often by me. We're only human, though, and mistakes do happen as I am sure they do in other walks of life. I would maintain our reporting is always factual but our interpretation of which facts are the most newsworthy may differ from others. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

2:18pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: Dee-Gee

Would be interested to hear your thoughts on how (or if) new technology has changed the relationship newspapers have with their readers.
From: Dee-Gee Would be interested to hear your thoughts on how (or if) new technology has changed the relationship newspapers have with their readers. South Wales Argus reader
  • Score: 0

2:19pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

The biggest change is the level of interactivity the digital age affords us. That can be both a blessing and a curse!
Personally, I enjoy being able to talk to readers directly as I am now, or via social media like Twitter.
New technology helps us to get breaking news like last night’s tragedy in Caerleon out to readers almost immediately and it allows us to compete on a more level playing field with TV and radio.
The biggest change is the level of interactivity the digital age affords us. That can be both a blessing and a curse! Personally, I enjoy being able to talk to readers directly as I am now, or via social media like Twitter. New technology helps us to get breaking news like last night’s tragedy in Caerleon out to readers almost immediately and it allows us to compete on a more level playing field with TV and radio. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

2:25pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: Mervyn James

What are the chances of the Argus going out as a localised 'TV channel ?' Perhaps a weekly round up ?
I'd also like to see Videos the Argus posts with some captions, as many with hearing loss cannot follow the spoken dialogue on them.
From: Mervyn James What are the chances of the Argus going out as a localised 'TV channel ?' Perhaps a weekly round up ? I'd also like to see Videos the Argus posts with some captions, as many with hearing loss cannot follow the spoken dialogue on them. South Wales Argus reader
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

Sorry for the delay in replying. We had an attack of the gremlins but now resolved.
The chances of us becoming involved in Local TV at the moment are nil.
Local TV as envisaged by the government is, in my view, commercially unviable. Many others in the media share that view.
If commercial TV at a regional level is struggling I do not see how a more local version can work unless it was to receive state subsidies and that opens up a whole new can of worms in terms of editorial independence and impartiality and, personally, I wouldn’t want to go there.
We’ll have a look at your subtitles suggestion though.
Sorry for the delay in replying. We had an attack of the gremlins but now resolved. The chances of us becoming involved in Local TV at the moment are nil. Local TV as envisaged by the government is, in my view, commercially unviable. Many others in the media share that view. If commercial TV at a regional level is struggling I do not see how a more local version can work unless it was to receive state subsidies and that opens up a whole new can of worms in terms of editorial independence and impartiality and, personally, I wouldn’t want to go there. We’ll have a look at your subtitles suggestion though. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

2:46pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: Steve Williams‏@NCFC_iRa
dio

Is there any way to stop the autoplay of the noisy adverts on the SWA site?
From: Steve Williams‏@NCFC_iRa dio Is there any way to stop the autoplay of the noisy adverts on the SWA site? South Wales Argus reader
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

Not that I am aware of. I just mute the sound on my PC!
Not that I am aware of. I just mute the sound on my PC! Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: ANDREW YOUNG‏@ANDREWYOUNG
83

How can you can you charge 45p for the paper and the nationals only charge 30p and there is lots more to read in them
From: ANDREW YOUNG‏@ANDREWYOUNG 83 How can you can you charge 45p for the paper and the nationals only charge 30p and there is lots more to read in them South Wales Argus reader
  • Score: 0

2:52pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

Most local newspapers cost more to buy than the nationals. It isn’t a particularly fair comparison between the two.
The main reason for price differentials, however, is basic economics. Mass produced items like national newspapers that sell in excess of a million copies a day will always be cheaper than a local newspaper that sells 23,000 copies a day – economies of scale being just one reason for this.
It is worth pointing out that the Argus costs less than a Mars bar. Given the amount of work that goes in to producing each edition and the fact that every issue contains at least 100 items of local news, sport and information I would say 45p represents good value for money.
Most local newspapers cost more to buy than the nationals. It isn’t a particularly fair comparison between the two. The main reason for price differentials, however, is basic economics. Mass produced items like national newspapers that sell in excess of a million copies a day will always be cheaper than a local newspaper that sells 23,000 copies a day – economies of scale being just one reason for this. It is worth pointing out that the Argus costs less than a Mars bar. Given the amount of work that goes in to producing each edition and the fact that every issue contains at least 100 items of local news, sport and information I would say 45p represents good value for money. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

2:57pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: Bethan


Congratulations to the Argus for reaching its 120th birthday today! I've got a few questions:



1)What has been your favourite story/ scoop at the Argus since you became Editor?




2)What is the best time of the day/ week for people to send stories in to the Argus? Is there a quiet period when you prefer to be contacted?



3)What sort of stories/ news to you particularly look for? What do you want more of?



4)How can readers or local organisations best engage with the Argus through social media?



5)If there was one thing you would change about journalism in Wales what would it be?



6)What do you feel the Argus should be most proud of over its 120-year history?
From: Bethan Congratulations to the Argus for reaching its 120th birthday today! I've got a few questions: 1)What has been your favourite story/ scoop at the Argus since you became Editor? 2)What is the best time of the day/ week for people to send stories in to the Argus? Is there a quiet period when you prefer to be contacted? 3)What sort of stories/ news to you particularly look for? What do you want more of? 4)How can readers or local organisations best engage with the Argus through social media? 5)If there was one thing you would change about journalism in Wales what would it be? 6)What do you feel the Argus should be most proud of over its 120-year history? South Wales Argus reader
  • Score: 0

2:58pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

Thanks for all your questions Bethan. I'll take them one at a time.
1. Well, we’re only talking about three months so the choice isn’t huge.
I thought the public reaction to the Olympic torch relay last week was fantastic and the coverage produced by our team in print and online was second to none.
But because I like the Argus to be fun as well as informative, my personal favourite was the emu loose on a Blackwood golf course a couple of weeks ago.
Thanks for all your questions Bethan. I'll take them one at a time. 1. Well, we’re only talking about three months so the choice isn’t huge. I thought the public reaction to the Olympic torch relay last week was fantastic and the coverage produced by our team in print and online was second to none. But because I like the Argus to be fun as well as informative, my personal favourite was the emu loose on a Blackwood golf course a couple of weeks ago. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

2. We’re here from about 8am to 9pm (sometimes later) through the week and for most of the day on Saturdays and Sundays. We’re happy to receive stories whenever people want to send them in.
2. We’re here from about 8am to 9pm (sometimes later) through the week and for most of the day on Saturdays and Sundays. We’re happy to receive stories whenever people want to send them in. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

3. Anything and everything providing it is local to Gwent (with apologies to the Monmouthshire Association). The more interesting it is to the widest cross-section of the population, the more likely it is to get in the paper.
3. Anything and everything providing it is local to Gwent (with apologies to the Monmouthshire Association). The more interesting it is to the widest cross-section of the population, the more likely it is to get in the paper. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

4. We have a Facebook page and a Twitter account (as do most of our reporters). Feel free to talk to us via these.
4. We have a Facebook page and a Twitter account (as do most of our reporters). Feel free to talk to us via these. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

5. That’s a tough one. I suppose I would like to see more young people engage with current affairs and the local news agenda.
On a wider level, I wish people would see the huge difference between the behaviour of the national press and local journalists. The phone hacking scandal has tarred all journalists with the same brush and that is unfair.
And I wish UK journalism was not so London-centric.
5. That’s a tough one. I suppose I would like to see more young people engage with current affairs and the local news agenda. On a wider level, I wish people would see the huge difference between the behaviour of the national press and local journalists. The phone hacking scandal has tarred all journalists with the same brush and that is unfair. And I wish UK journalism was not so London-centric. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

3:02pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

6. The many campaigns we have fought on behalf of our readers. The millions of pounds our readers have helped us raise for charity. The way in which we remain rooted in the communities we serve despite 120 years of often radical change.
6. The many campaigns we have fought on behalf of our readers. The millions of pounds our readers have helped us raise for charity. The way in which we remain rooted in the communities we serve despite 120 years of often radical change. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

3:03pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: Gareth Price

Congratulations on the 120th birthday.

The paper has changed a lot in that time – moving news to the front, adding pictures, adding colour, going tabloid, developing an online presence etc.
By the time we’re talking about the 125th birthday, will we still be talking about the South Wales Argus as a 6-days-a week printed newspaper?
From: Gareth Price Congratulations on the 120th birthday. The paper has changed a lot in that time – moving news to the front, adding pictures, adding colour, going tabloid, developing an online presence etc. By the time we’re talking about the 125th birthday, will we still be talking about the South Wales Argus as a 6-days-a week printed newspaper? South Wales Argus reader
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

It’s an impossible question to answer Gareth. I would certainly like to hope so but the reality is in five years’ time we will be producing what our readers want us to produce.
A number of regional daily newspapers have recently gone weekly. We certainly have no plans to follow suit but who knows what the future holds?
What is certain, however, is there remains a huge demand for local news – the only thing likely to change is how and when we deliver it.
It’s an impossible question to answer Gareth. I would certainly like to hope so but the reality is in five years’ time we will be producing what our readers want us to produce. A number of regional daily newspapers have recently gone weekly. We certainly have no plans to follow suit but who knows what the future holds? What is certain, however, is there remains a huge demand for local news – the only thing likely to change is how and when we deliver it. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

3:09pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: Steven Williams

How do you and your staff find the relationship with Newport County at the moment? Are they forthcoming with news? Could the links be better?
From: Steven Williams How do you and your staff find the relationship with Newport County at the moment? Are they forthcoming with news? Could the links be better? South Wales Argus reader
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

In general I think it is pretty good.
The nature of things is we will always want more information than sports clubs and other organisations sometimes want to provide.
The important thing is that we have contacts not just with club officials but with staff, players, fans etc so we provide more than just the official line.
To an extent the relationship should always be arm's length.
Ultimately we want County and all our other local sports clubs to be successful because that is good for us as well.
And let's hope the Rodney Parade groundshare goes ahead because it will be fantastic for Newport.
In general I think it is pretty good. The nature of things is we will always want more information than sports clubs and other organisations sometimes want to provide. The important thing is that we have contacts not just with club officials but with staff, players, fans etc so we provide more than just the official line. To an extent the relationship should always be arm's length. Ultimately we want County and all our other local sports clubs to be successful because that is good for us as well. And let's hope the Rodney Parade groundshare goes ahead because it will be fantastic for Newport. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: ‏@AWComms

What in your opinion is the biggest story the Argus has ever broken?
From: ‏@AWComms What in your opinion is the biggest story the Argus has ever broken? South Wales Argus reader
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

Over 120 years, there are probably too many to count.
It's impossible to pick one.
In my 20 years or so at the Argus, stories that stick in the memory are our Justice for Miners campaign, the Ty Mawr children's home scandal, the Jaswinder Grewal kidnap and rape case, the building of the Serennu centre, to name a few.
Over 120 years, there are probably too many to count. It's impossible to pick one. In my 20 years or so at the Argus, stories that stick in the memory are our Justice for Miners campaign, the Ty Mawr children's home scandal, the Jaswinder Grewal kidnap and rape case, the building of the Serennu centre, to name a few. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Wed 30 May 12

South Wales Argus reader says...

From: Jayne

What plans do you have to improve the Argus? Would be great to see the Argus doing well with good quality informative stories. Pleased to see you embracing twitter.
From: Jayne What plans do you have to improve the Argus? Would be great to see the Argus doing well with good quality informative stories. Pleased to see you embracing twitter. South Wales Argus reader
  • Score: 0

3:22pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

Thanks Jayne. We have made a number of significant changes to the Argus in the last three months and there will be a few more before the autumn.
I hope the end result will be a much improved paper.
We have also enhanced our website with added interactivity.
I've been using Twitter for a number of years and we are encouraging all our journalists to open accounts as social media is now such an important news-gathering tool.
Thanks Jayne. We have made a number of significant changes to the Argus in the last three months and there will be a few more before the autumn. I hope the end result will be a much improved paper. We have also enhanced our website with added interactivity. I've been using Twitter for a number of years and we are encouraging all our journalists to open accounts as social media is now such an important news-gathering tool. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

3:24pm Wed 30 May 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

Many thanks for all your comments and questions. I'm now off to find out what is in tomorrow's paper.
If you have other questions or comments for me, feel free to email me here kevin.ward@southwale
sargus.co.uk or contact me on Twitter @arguskevinward
Thanks again.
Many thanks for all your comments and questions. I'm now off to find out what is in tomorrow's paper. If you have other questions or comments for me, feel free to email me here kevin.ward@southwale sargus.co.uk or contact me on Twitter @arguskevinward Thanks again. Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Wed 30 May 12

Cantankerous says...

Kevin

A really worthwhile forum - you must do it again.

Regards

Chris
Kevin A really worthwhile forum - you must do it again. Regards Chris Cantankerous
  • Score: 0

8:42am Thu 31 May 12

Mervyn James says...

Kevin Ward - Editor wrote:
Sorry for the delay in replying. We had an attack of the gremlins but now resolved.
The chances of us becoming involved in Local TV at the moment are nil.
Local TV as envisaged by the government is, in my view, commercially unviable. Many others in the media share that view.
If commercial TV at a regional level is struggling I do not see how a more local version can work unless it was to receive state subsidies and that opens up a whole new can of worms in terms of editorial independence and impartiality and, personally, I wouldn’t want to go there.
We’ll have a look at your subtitles suggestion though.
Considering the many free options on youtube etc need it be cost prohibitive ? The option of local people making short videos of local issue could be included on the Argus site ? This is the reader providing the news.
[quote][p][bold]Kevin Ward - Editor[/bold] wrote: Sorry for the delay in replying. We had an attack of the gremlins but now resolved. The chances of us becoming involved in Local TV at the moment are nil. Local TV as envisaged by the government is, in my view, commercially unviable. Many others in the media share that view. If commercial TV at a regional level is struggling I do not see how a more local version can work unless it was to receive state subsidies and that opens up a whole new can of worms in terms of editorial independence and impartiality and, personally, I wouldn’t want to go there. We’ll have a look at your subtitles suggestion though.[/p][/quote]Considering the many free options on youtube etc need it be cost prohibitive ? The option of local people making short videos of local issue could be included on the Argus site ? This is the reader providing the news. Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

5:09pm Thu 31 May 12

tking says...

Dear Kevin, firstly belated congrats,and welcome, I seem to recall your good self saying the Argus does not not follow any particular political party, however as its comes across as anti union,and pro war it could be deemed as being on the right of the political spectrum? any chance of balancing out in the future?
Dear Kevin, firstly belated congrats,and welcome, I seem to recall your good self saying the Argus does not not follow any particular political party, however as its comes across as anti union,and pro war it could be deemed as being on the right of the political spectrum? any chance of balancing out in the future? tking
  • Score: 0

9:01am Fri 1 Jun 12

Mervyn James says...

Cantankerous wrote:
Kevin

A really worthwhile forum - you must do it again.

Regards

Chris
Thanks to Kevin. Look forward to the next one, but why wait 120 years :)
[quote][p][bold]Cantankerous[/bold] wrote: Kevin A really worthwhile forum - you must do it again. Regards Chris[/p][/quote]Thanks to Kevin. Look forward to the next one, but why wait 120 years :) Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

6:48pm Fri 1 Jun 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

tking
The Argus is politically neutral.
We praise or criticise all parties as we see fit.
During the recent local elections supporters of all four main political parties in Wales accused of supporting one or another of their rivals.
That proves to me that we have steered a pretty straight course.
Anti-union? Ask the PCS or NACODS if they agree with you after our Save the Passport Office and Justice for Miners campaigns in recent years.
Pro war? We called for an immediate withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan earlier this year.
Are you sure you're not getting us mixed up with another newspaper?
tking The Argus is politically neutral. We praise or criticise all parties as we see fit. During the recent local elections supporters of all four main political parties in Wales accused of supporting one or another of their rivals. That proves to me that we have steered a pretty straight course. Anti-union? Ask the PCS or NACODS if they agree with you after our Save the Passport Office and Justice for Miners campaigns in recent years. Pro war? We called for an immediate withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan earlier this year. Are you sure you're not getting us mixed up with another newspaper? Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

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