Members recently voted in favour of the Cable working more closely with local communities to improve its reporting and better serve Bristolians. To answer this call, the Cable has received £41,143 in grant funding from Nesta Future News Pilot Fund to test a pioneering project we’re calling ‘open newsrooms’.
The grant funding is part of a £2m national innovation fund for public interest journalism. Other recipients include Open Democracy, the New Internationalist and Tortoise. The fund is paid for by the government and coordinated by innovation charity Nesta.
The decision to establish this fund comes off the back of the government-commissioned Cairncross Review, which examined how public interest journalism could be sustained in the UK news industry. The Cable was one of the publishers interviewed as a part of that review.
So what will we be doing?
Thanks to this funding, the Cable will bring its newsroom into communities across Bristol, with journalists working with locals to select and co-produce stories that matter. These transformative events will enable communities to create high quality journalism on under-reported issues which matter to them, building trust and having impact.
We will also be rolling out ways for the Cable’s 2,100+ members to collaborate with journalists online. Drawing on members’ expertise and lived experience, these digital forums will generate ideas for stories, check the facts, and get feedback on articles before they’ve been published. After all, cherry picked letters or comments for a reader’s page just don’t cut it in this day and age.
With so much knowledge and experience in the Cable’s membership, we recognise that members need to be offered the opportunity to be more regularly involved in creating stories alongside staff to improve the quality of their media. This fund will help realise that ambition.
Finally, we’re looking forward to sharing our learnings with other like-minded media organisations nationally so we can support the wider media ecosystem.
Watch this space for how to be involed!