The arrival on the scene three weeks ago of two new local newspapers - the Carmarthenshire Herald and the Llanelli Herald - is already making itself felt in the ranks of the existing titles where managed decline has been the motto for years.
Last week the Cambrian News was handing out free copies in Cardigan, which is at the extreme southern end of its range.
The Cambrian News is not a newspaper which features much on this blog, so it was good to get a chance to become re-acquainted with it. It is well written and produced, although its coverage of the Teifi Valley is on the thin side.
Unlike its competitors, the Cambrian has an edition which is squarely focused on Ceredigion, and that should be a strength in the new turf war. Whether a paper costs 60p or 50p or is occasionally handed out for free is neither here nor there, but content certainly is
It remains to
be seen if the Cambrian News can make readers in the Teifi
Valley feel that they are at the centre of the action rather than
outposts teetering on the brink of the vastness of outer space, or as we
know it, north-west Carmarthenshire and the northern bit of Pembrokeshire.
Over on the final frontier in Ammanford, the South Wales Guardian editor Steve Adams has been giving himself a pat on the back for breaking all the paper's first quarter targets. Readers should be warned that he is very fond of hashtags:
It would be rude to ask what those targets actually were, but something which has clearly rattled Stevo is the activities of other, nameless, competitors:
The heavy discounts would appear to be a reference to the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star which have allegedly responded to the Heralds by slashing the cost of advertising space to what industry observers consider to be suicidally low levels.
One source told this blog that a quarter page in the Journal could have been yours last week for just £40, but the paper vehemently denies this.
The Journal also recently went through a minor revamp, and has got rid of the "local pull-out" in the centre of the paper which made navigating though it like wading through a vat of tepid semolina.
Freebies, price cuts and slashing the cost of advertising are one way of fighting a war, but none of these tactics will produce a healthy local press, and they are in nobody's long-term interest.
An old-fashioned idea, but one which may yet win the day, is investing in journalism.