Bristol Voice series set for expansion in 2013

Hyperlocal series the Voice has announced plans to expand into Bristol area and is offering undergraduates paid work on its titles.

Some 15 months after the original Filtonvoice was founded by two former Bristol Post executives, plans are afoot to have six different titles by the spring.

There are currently two Voice papers – Filtonvoice, founded by former Post assistant editor Richard Coulter,  and Keynshamvoice, launched by former Bristol Post advertising manager Emma Cooper.

In the new year Cooper is launching Bishopstonvoice, while a local businessman will publish Yatevoice.

Cooper will be joined on both of her titles by former Post sub-editor Joni Mann and ex-South Gloucestershire Post reporter Lynne Hutchinson will lead editorial content for Yate.

Discussions are underway as well to launch fifth and six titles in the spring of 2013.

Creators have also begun a new venture with the University of West England (UWE), in which final year journalism undergraduates will work on the titles with pro rata pay levels equivalent to newspaper trainees.

Bishopstonevoice will be offering part-time paid reporting roles to four UWE final year students.

The Voice is also seeking entrepreneurial journalists in other parts of the country to publish their own magazines.

“The ‘Voice’ model is all about ‘creating self-employment’. We are trying to show journalists and entrepreneurs that there is profit in publishing if the model is correct,” founder Coulter said.

"Our tie-up with UWE is very exciting, giving the best journalism students a real outlet for their work – and being paid – while for us, we get the flexible staffing levels our model dictates.

“The hope is that some of the students will look closely at the model then possibly become publishers themselves.”
 
On the potential for others to become involved in Voice projects, Coulter added: “This is very much a ‘network’ organisation with each publisher working with the others rather than in competition, both editorially and in commercial.

“And we do not charge hefty franchise fees – instead it is a licence arrangement tied to the success of the publication.”

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