Help grow the independent journalism Exeter needs
Exeter Observer is new kind of independent news organisation that holds wealth, power and influence to account while helping people participate more effectively in local democracy.
We’re expanding our team to cover more of what matters and foster our city’s cultural and community life, so we’re seeking investors, members and contributors to help us grow.
Exeter Observer is part of an agile, innovative local news sector that is emerging in response to the failure of established publishers to fulfil their function in local democracy.
With support from Co-ops UK we have developed a growth plan to build on the foundation of a comprehensive local public interest news service, expand our coverage and launch a regular print edition.
With the help of a Reach Fund grant we have prepared a community share offer to raise the investment needed to finance this growth.
We have received advance assurance from HMRC that our share offer is eligible for 50% tax relief under its Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, with scope to claim capital gains tax and loss relief too, minimising investment risk.
We are also pursuing the possibility of becoming the UK’s first public interest journalism publisher to gain charitable status, blazing a trail which would confer a range of benefits and have a significant impact beyond revitalising Exeter’s public sphere.
Traditional local news publishers are failing the communities they are supposed to serve in towns and cities across the country. Exeter Observer’s success can be recreated everywhere committed citizens are prepared to invest in local news that matters.
Exeter Observer is published by Exeter Observer Limited, an FCA-registered non-profit community benefit society that is democratically owned by its members.
Each supports our publishing with a small monthly subscription and each has a say in how Exeter Observer is run, with a share in the society and one-member-one-vote democratic decision-making.
Every subscription helps sustains our independent public interest reporting of local news that matters and ensures it stays free for everyone’s benefit.
Exeter Observer’s participatory common ownership approach is formally constituted in its legal structure, which makes it accountable to all its members, and is informally expressed in its members and stakeholders helping it to grow.
Many possess specialist skills, knowledge and expertise and can provide insight into complex issues, make managerial contributions via board membership, act as brand ambassadors, facilitators or network effect catalysts or contribute writing and photography.
We are planning a range of events from local democracy workshops to elections hustings and will continue to hold regular forums to invite feedback and input on a wide range of editorial and operational questions.
We also intend to resume our community journalism training courses, designed to help potential contributors quickly develop core journalism skills and produce publication quality content with support from our experienced editorial team.
Exeter Observer is published by Exeter Observer Limited, Community Benefit Society No. 8435 registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
Our registered address is St Sidwell’s Community Centre, Sidwell Street, Exeter EX4 6NN.
Our independent journalism is enabled by our members: each contributes a small monthly subscription to ensure our publishing remains free for all.