Cable brings a fresh new voice to Bristol’s media

THE fourth edition of ‘The Bristol Cable’, the city’s new investigative magazine, hit the streets in July 2015..

Produced every two months by a publishing co-operative which already has some 400 members, it promises to fill an important gap in the local news market. And it boasts a interactive online edition too.

The latest issue looks into the location of Bristol’s empty homes, examines Bristol University’s investment portfolio and challenges the value of the ‘new apprenticeships’ scheme which benefits employers more than young people joining the world of work. One of its defining features is the use of infographics to illustrate its researches, and an acknowledgement that current issues benefit from an appreciation of local history. 

The Cable is gradually engaging more and more people in its efforts to map the economic and social structure of the city, and hold the power brokers to account. It welcomes contributions from more experienced local journalists too – at last an outlet for those stories you just can’t get published elsewhere. 

Set up last year with limited funding, inevitably it has had to operate on a largely voluntary basis and is both open and careful about where it obtains funding. The Bristol Cable | About  

Branch members have supplied training sessions for Cable members, one of several ‘perks’ offered to those who get involved. I joined up because the thoughtful commitment and vision of the founders. They reminded me of the days when members of East London NUJ Branch combined forces to set up the East End News Co-op back in the 1980s. Our aim the was to provide an alternative to the mainstream local press which was more sympathetic to the desires of dockland developers than the needs of the impoverished multi-ethnic community it claimed to serve. That  was 35 years ago. Today, with shrinking mainstream news outlets and job opportunities there is even greater need for alternative news and views.

The Cable has already won plaudits for its imaginative approach, and contributed to the Centre for Investigative Journalism Summer School at Goldsmiths’ College in London. The CIJ are now planning to run workshops with The Cable in Bristol.

Though I speak as a recently elected Board member, I would urge Branch members to lend their support to The Bristol Cable by becoming a member for a mere £1 (minimum) a month. Once we reach 1,000 members we shall be in a better position to pay contributors. The Bristol Cable | Membership

 

Mike Jempson

@MediaWiseMJ

Filed Under: Local action

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