The Cable’s been ruffling a few feathers over the last one and half years. But the aim with our reporting is not to be sensational, or needlessly strident. Instead it is to highlight wrongdoing and ask questions – something the mainstream media often neglects to do. It’s far too easy to talk in vague terms about big issues without identifying how they happen, be that austerity, climate change or the housing crisis. Behind every decision and action is something – a company, an elected official or other individual.
With this outlook, the Cable investigates, verifies and publishes its findings. Recently, our reporting on the Bristolians evicted to make way for new high-rent emergency accommodation by housing firm Connolly and Callaghan has helped prompt a council inquiry and internal review by the company, inform a campaign by community union ACORN – and hopefully provoke positive changes to come.
All too often, news coverage casts events in isolation. For real insight we must dig deeper into the reasons and dynamics at play. It is with this in mind that we’ve taken a ‘wide-angle’ approach to this issue’s theme of education in Bristol – from the rising military presence in schools to the surge in pupil exclusions over recent years and the pros and cons of the academy system.
Meanwhile the dust is settling after the local elections and the installation of Marvin Rees as the city’s new mayor. We’re taking a close look at the incoming administration, with online coverage including a dedicated council correspondent, and there’s an interview with Rees himself in these pages.
More generally, the Cable is producing a unique archive of investigations, interviews, data, voices and features on every aspect of life in Bristol. The Cable’s free website and print publication makes this vital resource open to all. Without an independent and committed media, many of the topics and people scrutinised might never have seen the light of day – as they don’t in most towns and cities across the UK. The need for this has been underlined by the EU referendum debate, whatever your perspective on the result.
It’s not all about ‘serious’ journalism either. It’s about building a broad community, regardless of where you’re from. Hundreds of Bristolians have given invaluable advice, tip-offs and produced original media; this is truly a crowdsourced magazine. This new model for media ownership and production is made possible by the 1,200-plus (at time of writing) Cable members. If you’re not one of them yet, we’d urge you to sign up for as little as £1 a month. If you would like it guaranteed delivered to your door, join up for £3. It really is a little for a lot. Not only will you be part of a pioneering approach to journalism, but you can participate in workshops and events, get discounts at local businesses, have your say in the future of this unique co-operative, and by doing so shape our city.
The Cable team (your neighbours, colleagues and friends.)