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The Bristol Cable

Dear Reader,

As the Guardian’s Gary Younge said at our event in April, storytelling can mean life or death. Just days later, as a result of the Guardian’s incessant reporting on Windrush-era immigrants facing deportation and other injustices, Amber Rudd resigned as home secretary and the government changed its policy. Quality journalism can make a difference.

(Otherwise, copies will be available for free from hundreds of venues across Bristol within the next week or so.)

This is the kind of public interest journalism we aspire to – to defend the interests of Bristolians and make our city a better and fairer place to live.

The Bristol Cable is owned by 2,000 members not a media conglomerate, which means we don’t have to chase clicks online to survive financially.

This issue we’ve invested time and resources into investigating several important issues affecting people in Bristol.

When news is often doom and gloom, we also want to celebrate the city of Bristol, by looking at St Pauls Carnival through the ages and collecting community stories where local people are making things happen for themselves.

Last year our members voted at our AGM for us to do more campaigning journalism, which we’re putting into practice. Last edition we launched a campaign to stop Bristol City Council using bailiffs to collect council tax debts. After a number of moving personal accounts and growing political support, the council is under increasing pressure to take action. Will the mayor act?

We also grapple with the issues of the day, from the debates around whether high rises should be part of the solution to the housing crisis following the Grenfell Tower disaster, to trying to get to the bottom of the widely-publicised problems with mental health at Bristol University.

This year we’ve also been running our free media training course, Media Lab. This year’s trainees have already produced articles about privatisation of probation services and threats to Filwood Community Centre. This edition another trainee takes a look at Bristol’s other zoo.

And, as with all our issues, we would not be able to dedicate the time that stories deserve without the support and input from our 2,000 members. We were recently highly commended at the Regional Press Awards, proving that we’ve come a long way since 2014 and can now compete with the big players of local media.

It is becoming increasingly clear that cooperatively owned media can have serious impact. Imagine what we’ll be able to do with even more members!


The Cable Team

Public interest journalism is expensive, takes time and can be risky.

But powering Bristol’s media co-op isn’t.

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