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The Bristol Cable

Love local news as much as we do? We’re seeking Patrons

We’ve been offered a bonus grant of £40,000 if we’re able to increase our membership income by £60,000. Patrons are the make or break factor in whether we succeed.

Cable Community News

Most of us know by now that the business model for local journalism has collapsed. Though the Bristol Cable has pioneered the local membership model now for ten years (yes, ten years!), we still haven’t quite reached financial sustainability.

BUT: this could all be about to change. 

The Cable has been offered a ✨bonus grant of £40,000✨ if we’re able to increase our membership income by £60,000 before September 2024. This would be a huge turning point for the Cable on its path to sustainability.

A £100,000 injection would allow us the runway to build our membership even further, as well as add and grow new revenue streams next year.

Cable Patron members will be the make or break factor in achieving this target.

The impact you can have by becoming a member now is hugeparticularly by becoming a Patron member before the deadline of August 31. We’re looking for around 15 more people who love local journalism as much as we do to contribute to the target as new Patrons of the Cable.

What is a Cable Patron member?

A Patron member of the Cable co-op is a member who contributes £1,000/year (£84/month) or more.

Patron memberships don’t affect the Cable’s democracy or independence – it’s still one member, one vote, regardless of contribution.

We now have 12 Patrons, and we only need a few more before September to reach our target and unlock the bonus grant. Given that we are over 50% of the way to the target, if we had just a handful more Patrons giving £1,000 or £2,000 or £5,000 a year, alongside the other members we’re recruiting we’ve projected that we’d hit the target just ahead of schedule.

Patron members who are able to give more do so knowing that, as well as unlocking the bonus grant, they’ll be making a huge difference in the following ways:

Securing the sustainable future of the Cable (and local news)

Membership income is sustainable income. We’re grateful for all grants and one-off donations we get, but reliable memberships that come in every month or every year allow us to plan for the future, and fund the core work we want to fund: investigative and community journalism.

The Cable not only produces journalism for Bristol, but also provides training and advocates for ethical journalism, and sustainable journalism at the local level, around the world. So supporting the Cable also means supporting the local journalism sector as a whole.

Allowing our staff to focus their time on producing our award-winning journalism

On an incredibly lean budget, in a small team, we are relentlessly chasing grants, donations and new members all the time, sprinting away from the ever-present funding cliff that all small organisations, third sector or other scrappy teams doing good work seem to face.

Instead, we want to continue focusing on producing our award-winning journalism, as well as innovating and developing both our journalism and revenue strategies.

Keeping our journalism free to access for all, and keeping membership rates low for others

This is perhaps the most important part of Patron membership: not only are Patrons, along with all our members, supporting the Cable generally, Patrons are also paying it forward. They’re supporting those on lower incomes to become members at rates they can afford, and ensuring the Cable remains free to access for those who can’t afford membership at all.

Patrons who can afford to support local media at the highest level help to redistribute wealth in Bristol, and ensure the Cable is able to serve a diverse audience equitably, where no-one in the membership and readership is excluded by their ability to pay.

Now, more than ever, we need Bristolians to rally behind this important cause and back us.

We play a pivotal role in holding power to account in the city, evidenced by the tangible impact we’ve had for real people in the last decade. We uncover stories that other media often overlook, and amplify diverse voices within the community. In an era dominated by corporate conglomerates and clickbait-driven content, we’re one of the few locals prioritising quality journalism over sensationalism.

Becoming an empowered member of our co-op means you’re able to actively participate in the direction of our output and organisation as much or as little as you want, as well as ensuring we remain independent, sustainable and free to pursue stories that matter most to the community. (You also get event ticket discounts, merch discounts, early access to podcasts and every paper through your door, of course!)

Becoming a Patron member of The Bristol Cable is more than just a subscription—it’s a statement of solidarity with independent journalism and a commitment to fostering a vibrant, democratic society.

Join 2,500 Cable members redefining local media

Your support will help the Cable grow, deepening our connections in the city and investigating the issues that matter most in our communities.

Join now

What makes us different?

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