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The Bristol Cable

We believe journalism is more than information. It’s power. And now it’s time to add your voice to create positive change in Bristol.

Bristol cable logo“Any newspaper worth its salt in the modern age should know the key ingredients of a good campaign.”

At the Cable we have very little in common with the Daily Mail, but we can agree on this statement made by a former deputy editor.

Amidst the constant drum beat of xenophobia, the Mail has among other things campaigned for justice following the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence and now against plastic pollution in our seas. Like it or not, they know how to get the ear of the public and those in power alike.

We also believe that journalism is more than information. It’s about empowering people with the knowledge to push for positive change through creative and dogged reporting with the public’s participation and backing.

But we’re not a corporate behemoth owned by a Lord through an offshore company. We’re 100% owned by our members on a democratic basis; members can and do get stuck into working out how we should campaign and on what issues.

Following a 2017 vote by Cable members to run campaigns, we have notched up several wins. With member support we’ve been able to:

The last of these was shortlisted by the British Journalism Awards for Campaign of the Year, but was pipped to the post by none other than the Daily Mail.

Following these campaigns, we have turned to members to help shape what we do next. In September, members grappled with the risks and challenges of campaigning journalism, discussed what makes a good campaign and came up with a few options.

We’ve now whittled these down to two strong options. Issues that touch our lives in the day to day, but also resonate with bigger political issues of inequality and health – Air pollution and problematic drug use. Crucially, we believe that as a city we have the power to make these changes.

But, as a small organisation we can only run one of these as a campaign. So it’s up to you to vote online for either one and then to get stuck in to make it happen!

Voting closes on the 27th of February!

How to vote:

First take a look at the campaign options below.

Then, if you’re a Cable member simply click the button below and vote in seconds.

Not yet a member and want to vote? Join the Cable for just a few quid and within seconds add your voice!

Vote now

Campaign 1:
Prevent drug deaths and clean up our streets!

Every day, people who use drugs risk infection and overdose. Many residents feel unsafe and find thousands of needles in our parks. Police time is wasted fighting a public health crisis. And the NHS picks up the pieces.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Safe drug consumption rooms are medical facilities where people take illegal drugs and receive support to get clean. These services improve rehab rates, reduce drug deaths, crime, infections, public injecting and needle litter.

They are pioneered in more than 10 countries, but the government remains opposed. Now a growing number of charities, politicians, senior police and local authorities are backing them.

This campaign would drum up support and call on the council to work with the police, community groups and public bodies to set up a safe consumption room in Bristol immediately.

Read more: A safe fix for Bristol’s drug users and the city

Campaign 2:
We want clean air. Let’s fight for it.

At a busy junction or in your neighbourhood, the very air we breathe is doing us harm.

A day spent on the streets of Bristol does as much damage as smoking between 1–2 cigarettes. Approximately 300 deaths every year are attributable to air pollution.

Countless others suffer, with children and people in working class neighbourhoods hit hardest.

This can, and must, change.

From industry to fuel, transport to research, the problems – and solutions – are wide-ranging.

But the solutions will only be implemented if we push for it.

Through a series of coverage and working with allies and community groups the Cable will investigate the sources and solutions to Bristol’s dirty air and then push for action, from companies, the authorities and the public.

It’s time we all breathed a little easier.

Read more: How the air we breathe is a matter of equality

Vote now

Support the journalism Bristol needs.

Thanks to the 2,000+ members who support the Cable, our in-depth journalism is free for everyone. Together, we empower readers with independent and investigative local reporting. Join us and be a part of Bristol’s reader-owned media cooperative.

Join the Cable

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