The Bristol Cable - A Citizen Media Co-op

by bristolcable in Bristol

We did it
On 10th April 2014 we successfully raised £3,344 with 79 supporters in 28 days

A new citizen media project - created, owned and produced by people in Bristol.

by bristolcable in Bristol

            The Bristol Cable - A People's Media

                                    organise. create. exchange.

Please find us at and don't hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

The Bristol Cable is a newly forming citizen media co-operative, created, owned and produced by people in the city. We aim to build the tools and platform for people to engage with the city and the wider world, through journalism; creating a multimedia website and a monthly free print edition.

 As a democratic collective, The Bristol Cable is an innovative blend of community action and journalism; an essential resource that performs a crucial societal function where the corporate press can not - accountable, independent, quality journalism.

People will be able to report on their own experiences, explore important issues, develop and promote skills and positive ideas, and hold power to account.

This can be the first in a powerful movement of co-operatively owned and independently produced local media. Can you contribute to making it happen?

The story so far...

  • July 2013: The Bristol Cable is hatched as an idea, inspired by the power of citizen media and the failure and corruption of corporate media and business.
  • August 2013: Founding members successfully apply to the UK federation of co-operative organisations for a £1500 grant tailored to funding local co-operative media.
  • August 2013- March 2014: Outreach and consultations with over 40 civil society groups and hundreds of people, from university lecturers, refugee support networks and youth on the street!
  • August 2013- March 2014: Over 1600 volunteers hours spent on project development.

Now, as we move to the next stage of making this a truly participatory initiative, we need your help!


Free and open citizen media workshops and events!


With over 30+ hours of events confirmed so far, we have invested all our current resources in organising an extensive series of workshops, talks and events this May, providing a foundation of skills, confidence and interest. To make this easily accessible, all events will be free to attend, and we aim to subsidize transport for low income people.

Delivered by a variety of experienced local and national professionals, workshops will introduce how to create a range of content in a range of formats, including;

  • Smart-phone journalism', with Glenn McMahon, freelance community journalist and workshop facilitator and contributor to The Guardian, The Independent, The Justice Gap and The Huffington Post
  • Social media; sourcing and telling stories in fresh and different ways', with Guardian feature writer and masterclass facilitator Jon Henley
  • Getting the ‘scoop' on your local government', with Paul Francis, award winning journalist, weekly newspaper reporter of the year in the national Regional Press Awards in 2011. He has written for The Guardian, Sunday Times and Kent Media Group amongst others.
  • Low budget film making and Q& A with pioneering youth film group, Fully Focused Productions, and screening of critically acclaimed documentary 'Riot from Wrong'
  • From Stop and search to Freedom of Information: reporting on the police', with Glenn McMahon, freelance community journalist and workshop facilitator.
  • Journalism with integrity: media law and ethics', with veteran journalist and trade unionist Mike Jempson, Director of Mediawise and senior journalism lecturer at UWE
  • Basics of Wordpress for citizen journalists' with Mat, The Bristol Cable's in-house website developer.
  • 'Spoken word as media' with Rebecca Tantony, writer and award winning local spoken word artist and poet.
  • Introduction to reporting and writing news', with Ann Luce, experienced facilitator and journalist, and lecturer in Journalism and Communication at Bournemouth Uni
  • The challenge of citizen journalism: social exclusion and absent voices' plus screening of 'Secret City', with Lee Salter, award winning documentary producer and University of Sussex lecturer
  • Phone photography for citizen journalists', with Arvind Howarth, Bristol Cable member and UWE media instructor at the University of the West of England

We also have workshops by local rappers, spoken word artists, historians, poets and community radio broadcasters!

Once the workshops and events conclude in late May, we will have a launch event in early June 2014, offering the opportunity for all of those who have taken part to meet one another, present their work, invite family and friends, enjoy some live local music and discuss how we can move The Bristol Cable forward!

All of this has left us with little finances - even with members putting in some of their own cash!

So, where next for The Bristol Cable?

  • May 2014: City-wide free and open workshops and events
  • June 2014: Partners and workshop participants design and produce first edition
  • July 2014: Website goes live, first print run (10,000 copies of 16 pages at (approx) 20p per copy!)
  • August 2014: Second edition published
  • September 2014: Third edition published
  • Expand into a sustainable media cooperative through launching a community share scheme, membership drive and mutually beneficial advertising with local civil society groups, co-ops, and social enterprises.
  • Actively form links with and promote local media cooperatives, nationally and internationally.

What will your contribution pay for?

  • Promote and extend participation in the current workshop programme.
  • Pay for the first (and maybe second?!) print edition. Approx £1700 for 10,000 copies of 16 pages
  • A consecutive series of free and open media workshops for participants; building on skills and abilities
  • Contributors stipends and expenses to promote equal access and participation
  • Initial equipment such as dicta-phones, a camera and editing software.

As firm believers in open accounts we will be publishing our finances quarterly, providing a breakdown of exactly how we have spent your money.

The final product; What will The Bristol Cable look like?

Multimedia content will include:

  • Unreported local news - e.g treatment of asylum seekers or housing evictions
  • A People’s history of Bristol and beyond (grassroots history)
  • Innovative mapping and trend technologies (e.g. visual and statistical correlation between betting shops and low income areas)
  • Info-graphics (e.g. the size and distributions of council budgets)
  • Open debates and discussions on local and global issues
  • Comment from local people directly affected by current affairs
  • Investigative features and documentaries (e.g. malpractice of Bristol-based corporations,employers and public authorities)
  • Profiles of community organizations and initiatives locally and worldwide!
  • As well as creative arts, literature, cartoons and crosswords.

Get involved!

Whoever you are, no matter what your experience, we all have something to say about our city and society, The Bristol Cable is the means to do this. So please take the opportunity to contribute in whatever way you can to The Bristol Cable - free, engaging and democratic media.

 organise. create. exchange.

Get in touch:

If you would like to know more about The Bristol Cable, please email [email protected] or visit our website at Find us on Facebook and Twitter too!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£2 or more

£2 Reward

We'll send you a private thank you message and you'll be added to our mailing list.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

Honorable mention on our Facebook and website. You contributed to an essential movement.

£15 or more

£15 Reward

A delivered first edition copy AND an honorable mention on our Facebook and website. You contributed to an essential movement.

£25 or more

£25 Reward

A personal thank-you in our first print edition delivered to you.Plus an honorable mention on our Facebook and website. You contributed to an essential movement.

£55 or more

£55 Reward

A custom Bristol Cable poster by a Cable member. A personal thank-you in our first print edition delivered to you. Plus an honorable mention on our Facebook and website. You contributed to an essential movement.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

A custom Bristol Cable T-shirt AND poster by a Cable member. A personal thank-you in our first print edition delivered to you. Plus an honorable mention on our Facebook and website. You contributed to an essential movement.

£150 or more

£150 Reward

Bristol Cable Team members will organise a personal meeting with you or your group to talk about our experience so far and how we can expand the independent co-op media movement.

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.