Bristol journalist takes redundancy to launch local website

A journalist who took redundancy from the Western Daily Press earlier this year has realised his dream to launch a dedicated local news website for Bristol.

Chris Brown said he first came up with the idea for Bristol247.com three years ago.

The new site, which launched this week, aims to be be the first port of call for visitors and local people to find out what’s going on in the city.

“The idea came to me when my girlfriend and I were trying to find somewhere to go and watch a firework display in Bristol,” he told Press Gazette.

“We trawled the internet in search of somewhere but we couldn’t find a thing.”

Initially, the site will be based around news and sport, but with time more sections will be added.

Brown said he had found someone to start working on restaurant reviews from next week. Other sections in the pipeline include what’s on guides and hotel reviews.

“I would like to make the website as informative as possible, so new material will constantly be added to improve the website’s functionality,” he said.

Currently, Brown writes most of the stories himself. He has no employed staff but said he was lucky to have had many offers to help out.

“I’m not too proud to turn down help,” he said. “In the future I do plan to hire some staff, but I want to get the website off the ground first.”

He said he did not want to fund the site using the usual technique of selling advertising space.

Instead, Brown said he would prefer to approach small businesses and organisations and work with them, offering help with digital marketing and building websites to promote them.

“Using some space for advertising by the organisations is welcome, but the primary tool will be through the marketing of a company,” he added.

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