Bristol Media

Bristol has two daily newspapers, the Western Daily Press and the Bristol Evening Post; a weekly free newspaper, the Bristol Observer; and a Bristol edition of the free Metro newspaper, all owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust.[1

News and magazines

Bristol is the home of the regional morning newspaper, the Western Daily Press, local evening paper the Evening Post and a weekly free newspaper, the Bristol Observer. A Bristol edition of Metro is distributed for free on buses and on the streets. The local listings magazine, Venue, is now published weekly after many years as a fortnightly publication and comprehensively covers the city's live music, theatre and arts scenes. All of these papers are owned by the Northcliffe Group.

In 2003 several local publications reported Bristol the "smiling capital of Britain" due to a study being conducted by the BBC before Red Nose Day on 14 March. Psychology students from universities in the cities surveyed, found that 70 out of every 100 Bristolians returned a smile from Comic Relief researchers. This put Bristol first in their "smiles per hour" census, the table makes interesting reading with Londoners only returning a smile 18% of the time. Bristol comedian Tony Robinson said: "We do smile a lot in the city, but sometimes it is not really a smile - we are just a little bit constipated."

Bristol has a flourishing independent media scene, including The Bristolian, Bristle magazine and a local Indymedia website. The Spark is a magazine that was established in 1993 and is published quarterly. It covers the surging interest in all things green, ethical and complementary.

The Bristolian news sheet achieved a regular distribution of several thousand, pulling no punches with its satirical exposés of council and corporate corruption. The Bristolian, 'Smiter of the High and Mighty', even spawned a radical independent political party that polled an impressive 15% in Easton ward in 2003. In October 2005 it came runner up for the national Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism.

The anarchist-oriented Bristle, ‘fighting talk for Bristol and the South-West’, was started in 1997 and celebrated its twentieth issue in 2005. Its pages especially feature subvertising and other urban street art to complement news, views and comments on the local activist scene as well as tackling issues such as drugs, mental health and housing.

1970s women’s liberation Feminist movement paper Enough, was succeeded in the 1990s by the environmental and pagan Greenleaf (edited by George Firsoff), West Country Activist, Kebelian Voice, Planet Easton, the anarcho-feminist Bellow and present-day punk fanzine Everlong, all of which have been published in Bristol.

The Bristol Indymedia website, like the wider Indymedia network, provides a mix of news and articles that often tend towards a left-wing, progressive or anarchistic perspective. Bristol Indymedia volunteers have also produced films and run community media day (often at the Cube Microplex).

Local broadcasters

Bristol is in the ITV West and BBC West television regions.

BBC Radio Bristol is part of the BBC Local Radio network broadcasting on AM and FM. Commercial stations include Heart (previously known as GWR and Radio West), Classic Gold 1260 (AM), Kiss 101 (FM), Star 107.2 (FM) and 106 Jack FM, which replaced Original 106.5 (Bristol) in December 2009. Two community stations have been launched in the 21st century:BCFM and Ujima 98 FM,as well as two student radio stations, The Hub (University of the West of England) and BURST (University of Bristol).

Urban radio projects such as the 1980s pirate, Savage Yet Tender and Dialect Radio (ceased October 2004) have proved to be more short-lived. However, in February 2007, a unique online station, Radio Salaam Shalom was launched by a combined team of Muslim and Jewish volunteers allowing the two cultures to talk together and share their experiences.

Film and television production

Stop frame animation films and commercials painstakingly produced by Aardman Animations and high quality television series focusing on the natural world have also brought fame and artistic credit to the city. Aardman films Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, Creature Comforts and Robbie the Reindeer were all produced in the city, and their premises in St Phillips Marsh hit the news in 2006, when a fire destroyed many of the sets from past productions.

Broadcasting House in Clifton is the headquarters of BBC West and the BBC Natural History Unit (NHU). Natural history TV programmes produced a in Bristol include Life on Earth, The Living Planet, The Trials of Life, Life in the Freezer, The Private Life of Plants, The Life of Birds and The Life of Mammals. The NHU also produced Animal Magic, many episodes of which were filmed at Bristol Zoo.

Popular television programmes filmed in Bristol include BBC dramas Casualty and Being Human, Channel 4 comedy-dramas Teachers and Skins and the ITV series Afterlife, a number of which used local actors and residents as extras. Several games shows also film in the city, including BrainTeaser and Deal or No Deal. Other prolific series to be filmed here include Shoestring (1970s), Robin of Sherwood (1980s) and The House of Eliott (1990s). The sitcom Only Fools and Horses was filmed in Bristol, despite being set in London as was The Young Ones.

In film, Bristol has been the location for:

    * The Truth About Love 2007
    * Starter for 10 2006
    * These Foolish Things 2004
    * Paper Mask 1990
    * Truly, Madly, Deeply 1990
    * The Titfield Thunderbolt 1953

Bristol is also the birthplace of the actor Cary Grant. In 2001 a statue was erected in his honour in Millennium Square (Bristol) next to At-Bristol in Canons Marsh.
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