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Linda Harrison finds that the cities of Bristol and Bath are a magnet for creative industries and have a large community of journalists and writers


Canary Gin Bar is one of my all-time favourite hangouts. “It was only when I moved to Bristol a year ago though that I realised how much friendlier and alive other cities can be.” In terms of media, Bristol is the bigger beast. Employers


include BBC Bristol – one of the largest BBC offices outside London and the regional television centre for the West of England. With studios for regional news show Points West and BBC Radio Bristol, it also produces a vast array of factual, arts, feature and documentary programmes, including the Antiques Roadshow and The Hairy Bikers. The Natural History Unit is based there, making content for TV, radio and digital platforms such as Sir David Attenborough’s Life Story. ITV produces regional news from its ITV West


Country studios in Bristol, although with a much smaller presence. Local World is the main newspaper employer, with offices in Bristol and Bath. The Bristol Post and Western Daily Press are based in Bristol – the playwrite Tom Stoppard started his career as a journalist at the Western Daily Press, while the late Sir Terry Pratchett was a sub-editor at the paper in the 1970s. The Bath office has


three titles, including The Bath Chronicle. Immediate Media is another big employer, with a large,


T 10 | theJournalist


hese beautiful West Country cities both have a healthy publishing scene and are only about 13 miles apart – but they also have their own individual identities. “Bath and Bristol are both awesome cities to live and work in and


are so different to each other,” says Lara Watson, editor of craft and creative lifestyle magazine Mollie Makes – published in Bristol by Immediate Media. “Bristol is positively buzzing. Every corner you turn, there’s entertaining street theatre, graffiti, a delicious foodie experience or live music. I adore this city. It’s young, vibrant and so creative. “I lived in Bath for four years… and found it so inspiring. The architecture, history and geography are so rich. Some nights I’d just walk around the Crescents and cobbled streets and soak it all up. House prices are high though, and nightlife is slim, though specialist bars are aplenty. The


varied portfolio of special interest titles and several BBC magazines. News agency SWNS, formerly South West News Service, is also based in Bristol (it was recently reported to have taken over London-based National News). Meanwhile, Bristol24/7 is a publishing venture with a free


monthly news, culture and listings magazine distributed across Bristol plus a news/features website. It’s a Community Interest Company and owned by shareholders. Louis Emanuel, Bristol24/7 news editor, was previously a reporter at the Bristol Post. He says: “In my last couple of years at the Post I saw quite an exciting trend develop where small, independent media began to emerge. Made in Bristol TV popped up about the same time as Bristol24/7 and the Bristol Cable and there were suddenly more people on stories which gave everyone a kick up the backside. “There’s a pretty decent camaraderie between reporters in Bristol now and plenty of competition, which is healthy.


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