The Bristol Cable

One Bristol Cable Media Lab graduate’s journey into journalism.

Photos: Chris Milne

Jenny Stringer played the long game on her journey to becoming a journalist. Instead of betraying her morals to work for a publication she didn’t respect, she interned at a local paper before embarking on a mission to educate herself about the world she wanted to write about. She’s worked in multiple sectors including homelessness, sales and recruitment.

Eventually landing in Bristol (she’s originally from Newcastle), Jenny came across a poster advertising the Cable’s Media Lab – a six month course offering budding writers the skills, confidence and contacts they need to move into the daunting world of freelance journalism – for free.

Refer a friend
Grow free media
Get free stuff
find out how>>
Her application was successful and Jenny began acquiring skills for investigative journalism: media law, article structure, and how to use data to find a story. Perhaps one of the most important skills Jenny developed was the speed with which she can now write up an article – what used to take her a day now takes just an (enviable!) hour.

“The guys at the Cable were really supportive. Writing is like an instrument, you need to keep practising to get better. So, I kept hanging around the office and they were just like yeah, come in whenever you want.”

Since graduating from the Media Lab, Jenny has focussed on giving voice to marginalised communities – covering diverse subjects like community power in Barcelona and Bristol’s tenants’ rights. Her talent is in listening to what a community is really saying, understanding its struggles and what is important for people there – then finding the best way to communicate this to the rest of the world.

Jenny’s recently released short film about women ‘on the tools’ highlighted the near absence of women in trades like plumbing and carpentry, and the barriers women face to entering traditionally male-dominated roles.

“The average trade job pays around £40,000 a year. That’s almost double what pink collar jobs like care work or hairdressing pay. Women continue to draw the short straw,” she explains.

The most watched film on the Cable’s website, it inspired ‘Cracking IT’, a weekly women-only IT workshop run by Baggator, to create a web platform for women in trade.

Her current project is a series of films investigating the forgotten communities of Bristol.

Bristol is one of the least equal cities in the country, with very affluent and incredibly poverty-stricken areas existing side by side in silos. While we all remember the fierce protests against Tesco Metro opening on Gloucester Road, the equally urgent campaign led by residents of Lawrence Weston demanding a supermarket for their area gained far less attention.

The films will spotlight inspirational people and grassroots campaigns because “there comes a time in everybody’s life when they need to step up and be a leader.”

Jenny is keen to create content for other publications too, but the Cable will always be special to her; she even helps to distribute the community newspaper around St Werburghs.

Be the Cable’s next Spotlight!

Are you involved in a project or organisation we should know about? Or are you or another member doing something that the rest of us should know about? Get in touch and nominate yourself or someone else for our next Member Spotlight:

    Can we contact you


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Related content

    How Bristol communities are building grassroots action to tackle climate change

    Six community groups across the city are taking up the daunting challenge of how to inform local people about the climate crisis and how to reduce their carbon footprint.

    The decade-long battle to get a community centre for Horfield's Manor Farm

    Residents of the ‘forgotten estate’ in Horfield welcome the granting of a community centre following a decade of campaigning, but are right to be cynical.

    Green spaces a priority for voters in Horfield, where every vote could be crucial

    Green spaces, litter and a community space are key issues in Horfield, where the Tories and Labour were neck and neck in the last council election.

    Can community energy projects help Bristol get to net zero?

    A community organisation in Lawrence Weston has got permission to build England’s biggest onshore wind turbine, but other communities in Bristol are helping us transition to green energy. Here are some of their stories.

    New emergency fund to support people facing fuel poverty because of Covid-19

    The Emergency Covid Winter Fund has been set up as fuel poverty charities deal with ‘unprecedented’ numbers of referrals.

    Helping people from Bristol’s Somali community deal with lockdown 2

    For members of Bristol’s Somali community already living in difficult circumstances, the second lockdown has made life even harder. But the Bristol Somali Resource Centre has stepped in.

    Join our newsletter

    Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

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

    Join our newsletter

    Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

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