Our local investigative journalism hub the Bureau Local has been named one of Britain’s best social enterprises, in a list celebrating “the innovators making a difference to real lives in the UK.”
The Observer newspaper published its 2018 list of “New Radicals” on Sunday, which highlights individuals and groups across the country who are actively changing their communities for the better. The Bureau Local was chosen as one of 50 winners, which included an organisation which gives full-time carers a free break, a group of Muslim feminists who run a non-judgmental prayer space, and a team of volunteers who help homeless people’s pets - among many others.
“You can imagine how happy I am to introduce 50 New Radicals bringing us positive social change at a time of continued political upheaval at home and abroad,” said actor and previous New Radical winner Michael Sheen, introducing the 2018 list. “To shine a spotlight on those delivering programmes, services and campaigns that put people and the planet first. Each deserves their own headline.”
The Bureau Local is a collaborative investigative journalism network that the Bureau launched in March 2017 in response to the decimation of local newsrooms across the country (228 local newspapers have closed down since 2005). The network’s members, who now number more than 800 and include lawyers, bloggers and teachers alongside local reporters - work together to find and tell stories that might otherwise go unreported.
“We’re honoured to make this list alongside so many change-makers," said Bureau Local director Megan Lucero. "It is a testament to our network members who have been working across the country to make a difference in their communities. By working together they have shown the power of collaborative reporting and how it can improve our society.”
Since its inception the Bureau Local has broken 35 exclusive stories, including a major investigation revealing cuts to funding for domestic violence refuges and another looking at council finances, which found four county councils showed signs of financial crisis and half of the councils in England planned to cut children’s services.
The project has won the Innovation award at both the British Journalism Awards and the European Press Prizes, and is now being replicated in Germany by the non-profit newsroom Correctiv.