The Bureau is a mission-driven organisation: we aim to spark positive change through journalism. Our stories and data have contributed to changes in policy and law at a local and national level, in the UK and around the world. They have informed and strengthened the work of NGOs and academics on topics ranging from human rights abuses in the Afghan war to the online influence industry. They have inspired individuals to take action and have prompted the formation of community movements.
We think a lot about the role our journalism plays in society, and how it contributes to social change. Journalism doesn’t change anything on its own – but it is often a key part of a much bigger array of people, organisations, events and movements that does. In June 2019 we appointed Miriam Wells in a new role of Impact Editor to make sure we create, recognise and seize every opportunity for our reporting to do good.
The impact strategy she has developed aims to lift the Bureau’s journalism off the page and into the world, ensuring through a collaborative and creative approach that our work connects with key audiences, benefits affected communities and helps drive top-down and bottom-up change.
There are six components we see as necessary to achieve that. Some we are already doing - others we will build in coming years:
We produce revelatory, news agenda-setting stories about important, systemic, undercovered issues which particularly benefit from our reporting; we report solutions as well as problems
Each project has defined aims; target audiences and impact opportunities are identified early; these aims and opportunities are revisited and reassessed as reporting continues
Our findings and our stories reach specific target audiences in creative and reactive ways; each major investigation has a comprehensive, cohesive, bespoke dissemination and outreach plan
We have sustained, meaningful collaborative relationships with other journalists, topic experts and civic society, and we build engaged communities around our topics. We listen to and work with communities of experience to find and tell their stories, and the journalism goes full circle
Our project pages are a practical resource for someone interested in an issue and/or who wants to take action
We think differently about what journalism can be, experimenting and innovating with how we gather and tell stories, taking inspiration from different industries
We are very keen to hear from others seeking to resonate with different audiences and be a part of social change; those trying to harness the power of collaboration to build a better society; people experimenting with different ways of imparting information and telling stories; and from anyone interested in the Bureau’s work who has ideas about how it can make more of a difference. Get in touch with Miriam Wells via email or Twitter.
Header image: Miriam Wells. Credit: Jamie Drew