It’s hard to get a break in print journalism when you’re starting out. What’s more, entry into the industry often relies on working unpaid internships or having family connections.
So we’re proud that, as of this month, we’re offering a new placement specifically for talented emerging journalists in our city. It’s important to us that this position is paid, competitive and open to candidates regardless of educational or professional background. We had over 140 applications to the scheme and are delighted to introduce Fatima and Priyanka – our first Early Career Journalists.
Working in the Cable’s editorial team, our two new reporters will be supported to research and publish great public-interest stories over the next five months, benefitting Bristol readers with their skills, passion and fresh ideas!
Becoming an investigative journalist has been a dream since my childhood, growing up just off the Gloucester road. Looking back on it, it was perhaps inevitable given my politico dad changing channels from Sesame Street to Panorama and Dispatches. At the age of 11 I founded a school newspaper called, ‘The Daisy Mail’- it aimed to tell the untold stories facing KS2.
It was during travels in India that I landed my first journalism job. I met a reporter for news outlet “India Today” in a bar in Rajasthan. The drink turned into an impromptu interview and a week later I started work in their Mumbai office.
The adrenaline rush I got from hearing people’s stories or finding a lead confirmed that journalism was the career for me. A year later, I would spend some months in Lebanon, working at the national English language newspaper The Daily Star. I had more independence to pitch stories I cared about here, for example reporting on the “Kefala system” – cases of modern slavery with domestic migrant workers.
It’s a pleasure to be back in my beloved hometown of Bristol – even better to be here as an Early Career Journalist for The Bristol Cable. Having felt frustrated at being editorially constrained by sponsors in previous jobs, I particularly appreciate the independence and transparency of The Cable.
As for what I hope to get from this experience, I have a sprawling notebook of pitches that I’m keen to start producing. I want to call out abuses of power and celebrate activism and campaigns. I have a particular desire to focus on diversifying the voices in the media, in a way that more truly reflects the constituent cultures of the city. I want to leave my written comfort zone and explore other formats of storytelling such as film and podcasts.
It’s a pleasure to be able to work in a place with such integrity and to learn from and be supported by intentional and conscientious journalists committed to meaningful and impactful reportage.
I was born in a small town in southern Netherlands and spent part of my childhood in southern Germany. As a teenager I moved to Easton, my home now for ten years. Moving around led to a love for languages – the lens through which we see and understand other cultures.
In travels to Jordan during my degree, I assisted with homework clubs for local refugee children, acted as an interpreter and helped with the distribution of food parcels in and around Amman.
Learning about the issues refugees were facing inspired me to get involved in Borderlands, a Bristol charity working with refugees and asylum seekers. It was here that I had my first-hand experience with journalism.
Recognising the lack of representation of refugees and asylum seekers in the media, I and other members and volunteers at Borderlands set up Bristol Free Voice (BFV), a grassroot citizen journalism project that aims to give refugees and asylum seekers a media platform to represent themselves.
This experience made me see the media differently and consume news more consciously. It opened my eyes to how powerful media can be in constructing our reality, be it true or false. I learnt that transparency, accountability and truth-seeking should be the core principles of any kind of journalism.
I believe the Bristol Cable embodies these values, and I’m keen to learn more about the co-operative model from the inside. As for 2020, I’m looking forward to reporting on issues of crime, privacy rights and the threat surveillance poses to civil liberties.
Support a new type of media. Join the Bristol Cable.
Media in this country has to change. If you want to be part of making that happen, consider becoming a Bristol Cable member for as little as £1 a month. You’ll be joining over 2000 others in Bristol who are chipping in to create a new type of local paper. It’s because of Cable members that the early career journalism placement is possible. Join us today.Join the Cable