The Bureau Local

United Kingdom Project type: large The Bureau of Investigative Journalism


Central to The Bureau Local project is the intention to encourage the spread of ambitious data-driven local journalism. While many local media outlets are being shut down and resources centralised, The Bureau Local is driven by the essential desire to hold power to account at a local level; to make press more representative of those they represent. They do this by supporting a network of key local journalists - from traditional media outlets to bloggers - and providing vital data sets, statisticians and graphic designers to help local journalists yield investigative stories that might also resonate nationally.

The solution

The project has been a huge collaborative success - already 450 actively engaged participants have joined their network covering all of the UK. Since it’s launch in January 2017, it has already won an award for innovation at the British Journalism Awards, and over 125 stories have been published making an impact both locally and nationally. One example, involving 30 different regions, revealed how thousands of vulnerable women across the country are being turned away from domestic violence refuges due to funding cuts. The findings prompted the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn MP, to demand action and influential Members of Parliament to call for a change in the law. Another story revealed potential racial profiling of immigration officers in spot checks; 8 Members of Parliament called for a review of Home Office practices as a direct result of The Bureau’s research. With an emphasis on journalistic collaboration instead of competition, and using the power of technology, The Bureau is telling critical stories that really matter to communities across the UK.

We are absolutely thrilled by the success our Bureau Local project has had. There are now more than 450 participants all working together to build data sets and tell important stories that are having real world impact at a local level.

Rachel Oldroyd - Managing Editor, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism