The first national Welsh language daily newspaper is to be launched next year.

Y Byd (The World) will go on sale for the first time next March and it is hoped to attract 5,000 readers with the initial launch.

The newspaper, which will cover news, sport, business and the arts from Wales, the rest of the UK and internationally, will be complemented by a website that could attract a large ex-pat following around the world.

The last decade has proved a difficult time for traditional newspapers in the face of technological advancements, the changing attitudes towards news and poor advertising revenues. Circulation across the board has generally fallen, with a few national and regional exceptions, so the launch of a new title is always a bold move.

However, by creating a niche market for itself, Y Byd could well triumph where other so-called “mainstream” titles have foundered. Equally, the newspaper’s web presence will undoubtedly be key to its long-term future.

There are rumours that plans for a second national newspaper for Wales, an English language publication, are also being prepared.

This title would be a direct rival to The Western Mail in Cardiff, which traditionally sells strongly in South, West and parts of Mid and North Wales but loses out to The Daily Post (based in Liverpool) in a large part of North Wales.

The fact that the rumours suggested this rival title would be launched this year, but progress appears to have stalled, points to the difficult and challenging market it would be entering.

In the meantime it is Y Byd which is grabbing a few early headlines and will have many crossing their fingers that it will survive long enough to lay solid foundations.

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