Contribute to Exeter Observer

Exeter Observer welcomes contributions from aspiring or experienced writers, editors, photographers and film makers who want to help create and deliver our independent public interest community journalism.

We offer support to help regular contributors develop story ideas, learn core journalism skills and gain confidence.

If you are interested in holding wealth, power and influence to account and are prepared to put time into reporting on issues that matter to local people then we’d like to hear from you.

Pitch a story to Exeter Observer

Exeter Observer is looking for compelling stories about issues affecting the public interest in Exeter and beyond.

These might be about major decisions, ongoing issues, the publication of data or reports, or community concerns.

Strong pitches will present something new or show people something in a way they might not have thought of before. Good quality accompanying photos, graphics or video are always a bonus.

The first step in putting together a story pitch is developing a brief. This provides a helpful basis on which to discuss the story’s potential with an editor.

Please take a look at the guides we have produced to help potential contributors on the journey from novice reporter to seasoned feature writer.

Start with news writing: when you’ve outlined your idea in the form of a brief please see our submission guide.

If the brief looks like the basis of a promising story we’ll give you feedback and guidance and invite you to produce a draft.

We’ll give you feedback on the draft then, if it looks like a story we can publish, we’ll invite you to refine it for final submission.

Submission does not guarantee publication. Submissions may be edited for style, clarity and length.

Editorial priorities, legal considerations and other factors may all also contribute to publishing decisions.

Contributor guides

Topic notes

These cover specific local, subregional and regional public interest issues in depth to help contributors better understand policy and practice in and around Exeter.

More topic notes are coming soon. These will cover Exeter regional arts & culture, climate & environment, economy & enterprise, education & skills and health & wellbeing.

Exeter Observer blog

An open letter to all members of the Exeter Observer team

The situation is changing quickly. The electoral commission have proposed the cancellation of the May local elections, several universities are moving to online-only teaching and it seems likely that there will be a wave of event cancellation announcements early next week.

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Free two day news writing seminar on 14 & 21 March

Want to help hold wealth, power and influence to account in Exeter & East Devon? Get involved in a new independent public interest community journalism project!

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Next community journalism course begins 22 February 2020

Want to help hold wealth, power and influence to account in Exeter & East Devon? Get involved in a new independent public interest community journalism project!

Independent Community News Network logo

Exeter Observer joins Independent Community News Network

Exeter Observer's application to join the ICNN has been successful, connecting us to a network of more than a hundred similar projects across the UK.

BBC Local News Partnerships logo

Exeter Observer joins BBC Local News Partnerships

Exeter Observer's application to join the BBC Local News Partnerships has been successful, granting access to the BBC News Hub and Shared Data Unit and the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

IMPRESS logo

Exeter Observer agrees regulatory framework with IMPRESS

Exeter Observer is now regulated by IMPRESS, the only Leveson-compliant PRP-recognised independent UK press monitor.

Exeter Observer blog

An open letter to all members of the Exeter Observer team

Exeter Observer logo

Free two day news writing seminar on 14 & 21 March

Exeter Observer logo

Next community journalism course begins 22 February 2020

Independent Community News Network logo

Exeter Observer joins Independent Community News Network

BBC Local News Partnerships logo

Exeter Observer joins BBC Local News Partnerships

IMPRESS logo

Exeter Observer agrees regulatory framework with IMPRESS

Recent stories
Exeter City Council offices on Paris Street

Analysis  ⁄  Democracy & governance

Council pushes back on Liveable Exeter Place Board scrutiny following membership change

Exeter City Council has responded to an enquiry about disproportionate Church of England representation on the Liveable Exeter Place Board by accusing Exeter Observer of promoting a "partisan narrative" and claiming our public interest reporting "bears no resemblance to fact".

Devon County Council local authority pension fund fossil fuel investment bar chart

News  ⁄  Climate & environment

Report places Devon County Council among UK's top local authority fossil fuel investors

£157 million of Devon Local Government Pension Scheme is invested in companies including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, BHP, Anglo American and ExxonMobil despite local authority climate emergency declarations and carbon reduction commitments.

Exeter polling station

News  ⁄  Democracy & governance

May local elections to go ahead despite COVID-19 challenges

Ban on doorstep canvassing and door to door leaflet distribution likely to favour the two major parties on 6 May as postal and proxy voting encouraged in Exeter City Council, Devon County Council and Devon & Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Illustration showing how the new building will look when completed

News  ⁄  Economy & enterprise

Exeter Science Park STEMM "grow-out building" construction begins

A new specialist centre for fast-growth Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths & Medicine businesses will be completed by November 2021.

Exeter energy recovery facility

News  ⁄  Climate & environment

District heating network planned for new South West Exeter development

Local councils are investing up to £7.3 million in a £23 million project to supply a development of 2500 homes with heat from Marsh Barton waste incinerator.

Climate change mitigation challenges infographic

News  ⁄  Climate & environment

University research consortium launches "Accelerate to Net Zero" project

The GW4 Alliance of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter universities has launched a collaborative project aimed at accelerating decarbonisation across South West England and Wales.


Support Exeter Observer