Help deliver the independent public interest community journalism Exeter needs

Get involved

Exeter Observer is looking for aspiring or experienced writers, researchers, editors, photographers and video makers to become both occasional and regular content contributors, as well as social media mavens to help with content promotion.

We publish news, features, analysis, comment, briefings, editorial, opinion, neighbourhood spotlights, profiles, interviews, reports, previews and reviews, factchecks and photo galleries.

We are also looking for layout and graphic designers to help with our print edition, planned for later this year, organisers to help deliver community events and coders who know their templating languages from their javascript libraries.

We want to ensure talent has access to our platform regardless of privilege, so we are keen to welcome contributions from under-represented groups of all kinds.

And if you possess insights into regional policy-making or delivery and would like to offer your perspective as an ad hoc editorial consultant, please drop us a line. Chatham House rules apply unless you want to go on the record or write a story yourself.

Suggest a story

Exeter Observer is also seeking compelling stories about issues affecting the public interest in Exeter and beyond.

Suitable stories might be about established issues, major decisions, the publication of data or reports, or community concerns. Our coverage will range across sectors while examining cross-cutting topics such as climate change and the democratic deficit.

Good story ideas will present something new or show people something in a way they might not have thought of before. Accompanying graphics, maps, photos or video are invaluable, and any relevant supporting documents are always welcome.

Whether its new development on your doorstep, a council policy that’s making life difficult or an issue in your community that needs airing we’d like to hear about it. Likewise if you know about people proposing real-world solutions to the challenges Exeter faces.

If you would like to suggest a story you think we should be covering, or to share relevant information or resources, please get in touch via one of our communications channels. We are always happy to hear from whistleblowers and will protect your identity if you want to remain anonymous.

Help fund us

Serious journalism involves careful research and the resources to effectively interrogate information, arguments and the people who put them forward.

Exeter Observer’s capacity to scrutinise, investigate and report depends on an innovative local media model that makes us different to other publishers in the region at a time when factual, open reporting is crucial for our future.

We are also planning to launch a print edition later this year which will reach a wider audience, but which will incur new costs including printing and distribution.

There are several ways you can help fund our editorial and operational independence. Every contribution, large or small, sustains our research and writing about the issues that matter in and around Exeter and helps ensure community interest journalism remains a public good which benefits everyone.

Subscribe: A direct debit subscription mechanism is coming soon.

Donate: We do not accept grants from organisations which might be the focus of investigative enquiry or editorial attention, but gift support from individuals who wish to become philanthropic donors is welcome.

Online donations are coming soon, but direct bank transfers will always prevent transaction fees reducing their value, so please contact us to discuss your interest.

We are also seeking financial help from trusts with a track record of supporting community journalism projects.

Invest: We are investigating the possibility of issuing community shares to interested investors, and are considering raising money through crowdfunding later this year.

Advertise: We are developing a print-only ethical advertising policy for our planned print edition which will allow independent local businesses and organisations to benefit from our ability to reach our readers accurately and affordably.

One disruptive startup Exeter can’t do without

Exeter is positioning itself as a global leader in sustainable living, but many obstacles to becoming a world-class environmental exemplar remain. If reality is to match rhetoric, significant local challenges must be met.

Attempts to deal with such problems are hampered by the way public policy is determined and delivered. Meanwhile other powerful yet unaccountable organisations and actors also significantly influence decision-making which affects us all.

Good quality local news coverage can help address these issues by providing accurate, relevant, timely information about who is deciding what on whose behalf and how the bill for these decisions will be paid.

However, the capacity of the press to perform these essential public interest tasks has been eroded and the editorial independence of existing local media is at risk.

Exeter Observer is part of an agile, innovative local news sector that has emerged in response to these systemic challenges to deliver independent community journalism with public interest at its heart.

An antidote to existing local media models

Exeter Observer is editorially and financially independent, which means we produce and distribute our content without political or commercial bias.

We aim to deliver investigative journalism and in-depth articles rooted in community interest with real relevance and impact while informing and empowering our readers.

We observe industry best-practice principles, are fully regulated, and are enabled by ordinary people who share our mission to strengthen civil society and help people participate more effectively in local democracy.

Exeter Observer is published by Greater Exeter CIC, a non-profit community interest company limited by guarantee, registration number 10711812.

Recent stories
Exeter City Council accounts delayed by auditors Grant Thornton

Feature  /  Democracy & governance

Exeter & East Devon council accounts delayed by Grant Thornton's "lack of staff resources"

Annual accounts for local government, including Exeter City Council, have been delayed by private sector firms failing to complete their work on time after cost-cutting government auditing reforms.

Read more ...

2019 parliamentary elections - Devon Conservative vote share change bar chart

Analysis  /  Democracy & governance

Conservative vote share varies across Devon but still blocks an Independent MP in East Devon

Labour loses vote share in every constituency, but retains Exeter and Plymouth Sutton & Devonport to leave the county position unchanged from 2017.

Read more ...

Exeter election polling station

News  /  Democracy & governance

Conservatives hold Topsham in Exeter city council by-election

A by-election held on general election day produced an unusually high turnout but a lower Conservative vote share than at the May local elections.

Read more ...

East Devon Independent Claire Wright 2019 general election candidate

Feature  /  Democracy & governance

East Devon Independent Claire Wright set to unite Remain voters in close historic two-way contest

Claire Wright is poised to make history by beating the Tories in East Devon next week. If she does it will be without thanks to the LibDems and Greens, who insisted on standing candidates against her despite the preferences of local party members and the Unite to Remain campaign.

Read more ...

Striking University of Exeter history lecturers Dr Jennifer Farrell and Dr Gemma Clark

News  /  Education & skills

University of Exeter staff strike over pay, pensions and working conditions

The Exeter branch of the University & College Union (UCU) is taking part in a national eight day strike for fair pay and pensions, including equal pay for female and BAME staff, and against casualisation and increasing workloads.

Read more ...