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The Bristol Cable

Values

The members of The Bristol Cable make decisions democratically, with our values in mind.

Our four main principles are: creating Ethical Journalism and remaining Community Focused and, through that work, Holding Power to Account and Creating Change.

Here is a detailed guide to the values that underpin our work and our decisions:

Ethical Journalism

  • In the public interest: Our stories will focus on systemic issues in the public interest
  • Independent: We will never cover a political party in an unchallenging way and we will not be influenced by any other powers in the city
  • Progressive: Our journalism will reflect socially progressive values, with a focus on key topics such as social justice, inequality and climate.
  • Original: Our journalism will be distinct from other local media and worth supporting
  • Accessible: Our stories will avoid being wordy or full of jargon, using simple language
  • Transparent: We will be open about our processes, self critical and reflective
  • Unsensational: We will avoid needless sensationalism, but also not shy away from telling bleaker stories when it’s important to do so
  • Long-term: We are committed to long term reporting, from investigations, to in-depth series about one topic and follow ups when other media have moved on

Community Focused

  • Embedded: Our journalism will be connected to the needs of our readers and the wider city, by using callouts, growing our pool of freelancers, improving our Area in Focus series and better linking editorial to community organising and events
  • Range of voices: We will tell authentic stories from a range of perspectives, often by encouraging people to tell the story themselves
  • People-centred: People will always be at the centre of our stories, and we will stand up for marginalised communities
  • Entertaining: Our journalism will be serious and in-depth without being dry or boring, so as to encourage people to read, share and engage fully with our work

Holding Power to Account

  • Rigorous: Well-informed, in-depth reporting that is authoritative and earns respect
  • Challenging: Holding power to account, asking difficult questions, but also being constructive
  • Investigative: We will expose wrongdoing and injustice
  • Partial: We don’t believe in the idea of impartiality, and believe a reporter’s subjectivity can be an important part of the story, as long as this remains transparent and doesn’t compromise our commitment to accuracy and rigour
  • Campaigns: We will take strong stances on an issue when we we feel confident to do so, and also directly campaign for change
  • Informative: Rather than only focusing on recent events, our stories will always provide context and strive to tell the full story. We want to equip communities with information to help them better understand their city and act

Creating Change

  • An alternative: We will challenge mainstream media narratives and avoid clickbait or churnalism
  • Impact: As part of our reporting process, we will plan for impact
  • Solutions: Our reporting will focus on solutions, not just the problem, which is important to combat news avoidance
  • Creative: Journalists will develop individual voices, experiment with narrative storytelling and build their character around their reporting
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