Meet the team

The Bureau Local team combine years of experience in local, national and international reporting with data journalism and community engagement backgrounds.

From left to right in the photo:

Shirish Kulkarni

Shirish has almost 25 years’ experience in journalism – initially in TV newsrooms at ITN and Sky, before returning home to Wales to go freelance. In the past five years, he’s produced a range of agenda-setting investigations, from work on the radicalisation of children by the far right to the overprescription of antidepressants and ADHD drugs to young people. His work uncovering the British Steel pensions scandal won a Wales Media Award and led to a parliamentary inquiry and a ban on pensions cold-calling.

Shirish reads Wales Online and is an admirer of how they continue to find time and space for thoughtful and humane reporting, despite the commercial pressures facing local media.

Charles Boutaud

Charles is a developer-journalist who has experience investigating data for stories using computational method. Originally from Quebec, he moved to Wales in 2014 to be part of Cardiff University’s first MSc computational journalism course. He won a Canadian Online Publishing Award for his work on public transport data in Montréal with the Huffington Post, Québec. Charles joined the Bureau Local from Trinity Mirror’s data unit in Cardiff having covered a wide range of social issues for the group’s many local papers.

Charles grew up reading La Presse and Le Devoir, two of the main french-language local papers in Montréal. Wales Online has been his source of choice for local news since moving to Cardiff. He also enjoys going on the Reddit thread r/unitedkingdom.

Megan Lucero

Megan, formerly the Data Editor at The Times and Sunday Times, was part of the first data journalism team at The Times and led its development from a small supporting unit to a key component of investigations. She spearheaded the paper’s political data unit ahead of the 2015 General Election – making it the only one in the industry to reject polling data ahead of the vote. Using computational method, her team brought many issues into the public eye and won awards for revealing the widespread use of blood doping in the Olympics.

Megan is a long time fan of the Santa Barbara Independent, a local weekly paper she worked for in Santa Barbara, California where she went to university. Since living in east London she has enjoyed, and is a member of, the Waltham Forest Echo.

Rachel Hamada

Rachel is one of the founders of Scottish investigative journalism cooperative The Ferret, and currently works as their Head of Engagement. Based in Edinburgh, she has worked as a journalist for 16 years, with a particular interest in social justice and marginalised communities. She is currently taking part in the European Journalism Centre's News Impact Network programme, looking at how readers/viewers of journalism can become more positively involved in those projects. Rachel grew up with the Edinburgh Evening News (and ended up working with them for a spell). Rachel does the role of Community Organiser as a job share alongside Eliza Anyangwe.

She enjoys everything from Edinburgh hyperlocal the Broughton Spurtle to new media cooperatives like the Bristol Cable, and also platforms such as Media Diversified that give space for writers who aren't always offered access to mainstream media.

Maeve McClenaghan

Maeve is an experienced investigative journalist who has written for Buzzfeed UK, the Guardian, the BBC, Vice News, and others. She joined The Bureau Local from Greenpeace's Energydesk. She is winner of the Bar Council's Legal Reporting Award and was nominated for last year's Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain's Social Evils. Maeve has covered many public interest stories with local elements and is experienced in national FOI stories.

Maeve grew up reading the Northwich Guardian and she is a big fan of the dogged reporting of the Manchester Evening News.

Gareth Davies

Gareth is an award-winning local reporter who specialises in public interest and investigative journalism. As the chief reporter of the Croydon Advertiser, a weekly newspaper in London, he won ten awards in five years, including Weekly Reporter of the Year at the Regional Press Awards a record four times. He established an award-winning data blog, led a campaign which prompted new legislation on driving under the influence of drugs in England and Wales, and undertook an investigation which led to the conviction of a serious fraudster. Gareth is based in Lancashire as the Bureau Local’s northern voice.

Gareth grew up reading the Southampton Advertiser the Southern Daily Echo. Having recently moved to Lancashire, he is now reading the Blackpool Gazette and Lancashire Post (formerly the Evening Post).

Advisers and partners

The Bureau Local is supported by an advisory board made up of some of the best in the industry worldwide. It includes Scott Klein, the deputy managing editor of ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning non-profit journalism organisation; Mar Cabra, head of data at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which led the Panama Papers investigation; Aron Pilhofer, formerly digital executive editor at the Guardian and associate managing editor of digital strategy at the New York Times; and Joaquin Alvarado, former CEO of the award-winning Center for Investigative Reporting, which was the first non-profit investigative journalism organisation to be founded in the US.