• June 2021
    M T W T F S S

My email to ITV West – Re: St Pauls Carnival 2007

From: Shawn Sobers
Sent: Sun 9/16/2007 13:27
To: itvwestnews@itv.com
Subject: Biased reporting on St Pauls

I’ve just watched the 11.55am West Today news update and was disappointed by the highly subjective way you reported yesterday’s events in St Pauls. The people of St Pauls have long complained about the biased nature of reporting about their area and this was highlighted in your broadcast this morning.

I was at yesterday’s carnival and was proud that the city was host to such a fantastic event, and even prouder of St Pauls for organising it. It was also the carnival’s 40th anniversary. In this morning’s news you didn’t even show so much as a one-second glimpse of the colourful and peaceful carnival, which was attended by people from all parts of Bristol and also from around the country – and you instead chose to lead with a typically negative story, that of the murder inquiry from an incident in a St Pauls pub. The newsreader fleetingly mentioned in a one-second sentence the peaceful carnival saying that the police say the incident was unrelated to the murder.

Of course the murder is an sad story and shouldn’t be ignored, but it is also sad that now in the minds of your viewers, due to the way you reported the incident, again St Pauls = police tape and violence. Had you instead inverted the negative/positive bias of the reporting and led with the story & images of the fantastic carnival and followed it by mentioning the unrelated and deeply sad event that happened hours later, it would have been a much more representative account of what happened in the St Pauls area for your viewers to get a less biased message.

As a previous employee of HTV West I am really sad to have to write this. And even sadder that in all the years I have been watching television news, not much seems to have changed.

Yours sincerely,

Shawn Sobers


flags float

stage and balloon

grosvenor road



Reggae Reggae Sauce

one man and his speakers







UPDATE: Community Media South West have published a new report:


An Enquiry into how companies in the Community Media Sector recruit and
retain skilled freelancersPublished by – CMSW / Blueboard – Jan 2007

Research by Ella Bissett Johnson

Edited by Shawn Sobers, and Steve Gear


This report is a timely and original development in the analysis of social interest creative practice. It takes the debate much further than merely exploring the merits of such projects, and directly provides an analysis of the economic and skills base for this area of work – the area of community media activity within the creative industries.

According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the creative industries are now one of the fastest growing sectors in the British economy, and socially aware creative practice is now gaining a stronger profile and being taken seriously by a wide range of cultural agencies. We feel this report provides an important step in recognising not only the economic realities of these community minded organisations via case studies of the companies themselves and the freelancers they employ, but also charts the average skills contained in this community media/arts field of work, and highlights its future sustainability.

This report has been designed to be not only illuminating, but also be useful. It will be of interest to stakeholders of community based media & arts activity, including project facilitators, managers, funders and policy makers, and also for areas such as careers advice and academic fields such as media studies and social policy. Hopefully this report will provide a platform from which to make informed decisions with confidence, from which the sub-sector of community based media education activity can strategically grow and flourish.

To order from Amazon click here.To download full report as a pdf file click here.

Research funded by ABI Associates, University of the West of England and South West Screen

Supported by Calling the Shots and Firstborn Creatives

Radio Salaam Shalom – Muslims and Jews talking together

Just giving a heads up to all at Bristol based internet radio station Salaam Shalom.


One of the dj and member of the steering group Adnan Ahmed was an original member of Channel Zero and I also taught him at the university. (He also sold me this broadband connection, but that’s another story!)

I interviewed Adnan for my PhD, and I’m more than proud to see what he’s doing now.

Big Up Big Ad!


Selling out from Community Media……

…….or bridging the gap?

Click here to watch a programme we (Firstborn Creatives) recently made for BBC1.


Connecting Bristol Supporters Film