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The Bristol Cable


Illustration: Liane Aviram

The Bristol Cable is one year old!


Crowdsourced from the Cable’s 450 co-op members, this edition’s theme centres around ‘green’ issues.

Inside you will find stories of hypocrisy, double standards and ‘greenwashing’ – the process of dressing up environmentally unfriendly practices in the language of ‘eco’, ‘green’, or ‘sustainable’.

We don’t want to rain on the parade of Bristol Green Capital. We think initiatives to create a green and sustainable future should be encouraged. But we want to hold decision makers and powerful entities to account, so that all this talk can bring about genuine change for our communities, and planet.

Boats in Leigh Woods are nice, maybe. But investment in fossil fuels, the use of Monsanto chemicals and contracting of scandalous accountants are not minor details. The latter are real issues that demand real action. They require challenge, and sometimes confrontation. That, in our view, is the role of genuine community media, and broad-based social movements.

The stakes are too high, and the decision makers too dithering. As Bristol prepares to take a seat at the crucial Paris COP 21 Climate Conference in December, now is not the time for half measures and sell-outs.

Sometimes the Cable is criticised for being too ‘negative’. But if Bristol’s green credentials are to be more than a thin veneer for corporations and self-congratulation we have to start taking on the status quo – fully and confidently. Only by taking on the ‘negatives’ can we work toward positive and significant developments.

However, you’ll also find local voices and coverage of projects that are pursuing environmental and community objectives with integrity. Integrity that demands more support from us as individuals and from institutions. All this appears amongst the features and stunning artwork that also contribute to our aim of redefining local media.


Minimum cost of Cable co-op membership


Current co-op membership contributing on average £3 per month


Co-op members needed to pay volunteers and build sustainability

As our collaboration with the Centre for Investigative Journalism and others shows, the Cable’s pioneering approach is gaining credibility beyond Bristol.

As we call on the Council and others to act, on the Bristol Cable’s 1st birthday, we ask you to act as well. As a start-up we are volunteer-led. We aim to change that as a matter of principle. Hundreds have come together to build the co-op on a shoestring budget, making it so much more than just 36 pages every quarter. Dozens of workshops and events, and now a new and expanding team are the next steps in the making of a new blueprint for local media.

But it needs you. So, if you think that quality ideas and information is at the heart of real change, join 450 members in owning your media, and act to make it happen.

Support the journalism Bristol needs.

Our journalists have spent hundreds of hours covering Bristol’s local elections, but what comes after the votes have been counted is just as important. The debate about issues should continue, and decisions scrutinised. We’ll be here to report on that too. But only with your support. Become a member and support us in holding power to account in the city.

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Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday