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
Exeter the musical promo poster

Council announces plan to produce "Exeter the Musical" at city's Corn Exchange

Exeter City Council has announced a plan to produce a musical theatre extravaganza billed as "an ambitious celebration of a better life in the world's most world-class city" as part of its UNESCO City of Literature celebrations.

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.

Exeter Observer logo

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!

Exeter Observer logo

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.

Exeter Observer logo

Free introductory community journalism courses start 11 January 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!

Exeter Observer blog
Exeter the musical promo poster

Council announces plan to produce "Exeter the Musical" at city's Corn Exchange

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

Exeter Observer logo

Free introductory community journalism courses start 11 January 2020

Recent stories
Centre for Cities Exeter City Monitor graphic

Comment  ⁄  Economy & enterprise

Selective use of statistics presents an unbalanced account of Exeter's economic & environmental status

Exeter City Council's Chief Executive uses statistics to show the city in a good light, but in doing so presents a picture which omits important information about the city's true position.

Empty retail units at The Depot Purpose Built Student Accommodation block on Cheeke Street in Exeter

News  ⁄  Planning & place

Developer plans to convert retail units in Exeter city centre block to additional student bedrooms

Conversion of five of eleven shop/leisure units at The Depot on Cheeke Street would add nineteen rooms to existing 715 bedrooms in monolithic PBSA.

Train at Okehampton Station in 2015

News  ⁄  Transport & mobility

Okehampton to Exeter "Dartmoor Line" passenger rail service reinstatement confirmed

£40 million Department for Transport "Restoring your Railway" funding to enable trains every two hours by end of this year, with plans to increase to hourly service during 2022. Stakeholders combine to get South West infrastructure needs onto Whitehall agenda.

Atmospheric rise in carbon dioxide from the industrial revolution to the present

News  ⁄  Climate & environment

Atmospheric concentration of CO2 now 50% above pre-industrial levels

Met Office says 2021 will be first year on record in which symbolic threshold breached for more than a few days as UK prepares to host COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Maclaines Warehouses beside Exeter ship canal

Analysis  ⁄  Planning & place

Maclaines Warehouses development tests Exeter Heritage Harbour status

Decisions taken behind closed doors in favour of commercial interests threaten maritime and waterway heritage vision for Exeter’s historic quay, canal and canal basin.

Exeter Guildhall needs repairs

Analysis  ⁄  Democracy & governance

£37.5 million council maintenance backlog caused by underinvestment to be part-funded by asset sales

Exeter City Council has allowed property assets to deteriorate while prioritising new schemes including the £44 million St Sidwell's Point leisure centre, forcing it to identify assets for sale to pay its outstanding repair bills.


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