Alec Saelens, Adam Cantwell, Alon Aviram are the founders of Bristol Cable, a quarterly newspaper-cum-magazine and online outlet. It aims to offer an answer to the hollowed-out state of local and city media through “commonly owned public-interest journalism, produced by a wide range of people.”
The core team of the Bristol Cable is a collective of approximately 10 people involved in developing the project, with 30,000 free copies distributed from more than 650 points across Bristol. Daily operations are supported by 15 volunteers and a roll-call of more than 60 contributors.
Two years ago, the three founders organised a series of workshops across Bristol – on everything from video journalism to reporting on the police – to draw local people into the project, and ensure voices from across the city would be represented in the Cable’s content.
They also encouraged people to join the co-operative that was officially launched at the same time. This is not just in keeping with its democratic values, but also a viable way of securing funding – and in a world where people flit from one title to another, both membership and community involvement could build loyalty. Today, 1600 people are legal shareholders/members of the Bristol Cable, jointly making decisions and contributing a minimum of £1 (on average £2.50) a month.