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 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.
Analysis ⁄ Planning & place
Exeter City Council has approved plans to develop land at Pinhoe with a parking ratio of 2.4 cars per household as part of an "exemplar scheme for future residential development in the city" while accepting that zero carbon construction comes "at a cost to the provision of affordable housing".
News ⁄ Planning & place
Devon County Council is to develop new town centre facilities including a children's centre with public health nursing provision, youth centre with indoor and outdoor recreational spaces and library with small café.
News ⁄ Democracy & governance
Council revenues have fallen dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic, prompting a £6.357 million capital spending deferment. But financial support from government has so far been limited.