Papurau Bro are Welsh-language local newspapers written by, edited by, folded & stapled and distributed by community members. They’ve thrived for three decades or more and I’d say that digital storytelling in Wales has drawn inspiration from the spirit of Papurau Bro.
In my current (2009) role as executive producer of www.bbc.co.uk/cymru I was interviewed by Rhodri ap Dyfrig for his tech blog metastwnsh. I’ve long been a fan of Rhodri’s work in screening short films via Pictiwrs yn y Pyb.
Before the interview began we discussed our shared admiration of the way Papurau Bro are made in concert by the people featured in the stories and wondered what might happen if this grassroots news movement took up video and its online publication as a way of brining the coverage up to date. I later refered to this in the interview (Welsh article, hover mouse over words in this version to get sense). And one reader’s comments seemed to endorse this, suggesting workshops be organised for Papurau Bro volunteers.
I wonder what local Welsh You Tube channels would look like. Local news, heritage pieces, personal stories, etc. Next step would seem to be for Papurau Bro activists to get together with Wales’s established digital storytelling practitioners to make a pilot.
Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 11 April 2009