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Newsquest says impact of 'digital revolution' behind its closure of free South Wales newspaper as title has no 'sustainable future' in print

Newsquest is closing a free newspaper in Wales due to challenges caused by the “significant impact” on the industry caused by the “digital revolution”, it has said.

The weekly Campaign Series newspaper, which covers the Caerphilly and Blackwood areas in south Wales in two editions, has been in print for more than 20 years.

However Newsquest has said it does not have “a sustainable future in print”, and announced in a message to the editor in last week’s newspaper that it was to be the last issue of Campaign.

The letter said: “The Campaign was launched when print was overwhelmingly the most effective medium for local advertising and the primary source of local news. Unfortunately that is no longer the case.

“Our industry is in the middle of a digital revolution which is having a significant impact on everything we do and the way we operate.

“The local and national newspaper and wider media industry has witnessed incredible change in the past few years in how news is delivered, how it is sourced and how it is paid for.

“And, while our sister paper, the much larger daily South Wales Argus, has adapted very well to the change and continues to offer businesses access to the leading print and digital advertising platform in the area, that is just not the case for the Campaign.”

Newsquest told Press Gazette no jobs have been affected by the closure.

The publisher has promised to continue covering the Caerphilly area in daily paper the South Wales Argus and on its website and social media pages.

Its BBC-funded Local Democracy Reporters will also continue to cover council meetings and decisions from the area.

The last available ABC figures for the Campaign newspaper, from January to December 2016, show it had a distribution of 20,304, down from a peak of 40,313 in the second half of 2008.

In a statement Hussain Bayoomi, managing director of Newsquest Wales, said: “Following a detailed review, we have decided to close the free distribution Campaign newspaper which we do not believe has a sustainable future in print.

“We will continue to cover Caerphilly news through the South Wales Argus whose online platform goes from strength to strength, as well as serving local Caerphilly businesses through our portfolio of cutting edge digital marketing solutions.”

The area is also covered by independent newspaper the Caerphilly Observer and Reach-owned Rhymney Valley Express and its website Wales Online.

Welsh Assembly Member for Caerphilly Hefin David said on Twitter: “The closure of the Caerphilly Campaign is a real shame. It had upped its game in recent years, partly as a result of the challenge from the Caerphilly Observer.

“I will be sad to see it go, but also hope to see the brilliant Caerphilly Observer go from strength to strength.”

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