Meet the team

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

Charles Boutaud

Based in: Hackney, London, England

Charles works at the intersection of data journalism and software development. He leads the work on building the tools to collect, analyse and open the data that support our investigations. He is passionate about making the available, accessible by sourcing data from various sources and synthesising it into evidence and actionable pieces of information for collaborators and the wider public.

At the Bureau Local, Charles works closely with each member of the team from scoping to publication, making sure no byte is left unturned along the way. Charles joined the Bureau Local from Trinity Mirror’s data unit having covered a wide range of issues for the group’s many local papers.

When looking for “news”, Charles likes to go to the “source” by trawling through the links, spreadsheets and data shared by the #opendata community. He also supports the Hackney Citizen, his independent local paper.

Gareth Davies

Based in: Lancashire, England

Gareth is an award-winning reporter who specialises in public interest and investigative journalism. As the chief reporter of the Croydon Advertiser, a weekly newspaper in London, he won 10 awards in five years, including Weekly Reporter of the Year at the Regional Press Awards a record four times.

Since joining the Bureau in 2017 Gareth has focused on the local government funding crisis and its impact on communities. This includes a data-led investigation revealing which local authorities were heading for financial collapse, the public spaces such as libraries and communities centres being sold off and the increasingly risky methods councils have turned to in order to generate extra revenue, including billion pound investments in property.

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

Vicky Gayle

Based in: Wednesbury, West Midlands, England

Vicky began her journalism career at community magazines in Birmingham before ending up in Colchester, where she worked as a news reporter at the Daily Gazette and other weekly titles in north Essex. After a secondment with the BBC’s Shared Data Unit in 2018, she returned to Newsquest where she co-led its first Data Investigations Unit.

She has reported on deaths of ex-offenders under probation supervision, inequalities around deaf people accessing mental health care and racism in the UK deaf community. She was also Black Ballad’s West Midlands commissioning editor for its Black Women in Britain project.

Vicky grew up reading The Birmingham Mail and The Phoenix newspaper. Nowadays, news comes from many sources including WordPress blogs and newsletters that arrive in her inbox.

Rachel Hamada

Based in: Edinburgh, Scotland

Rachel is one of the founders of Scottish investigative journalism cooperative The Ferret.

Based in Edinburgh, she has worked as a journalist for 16 years, with a particular interest in social justice and marginalised communities. She has worked as community organiser with the Bureau Local for over two years, recently running the Change the Story project, which looked at reimagining local news with an emphasis on collaboration, inclusion and power building.

She is a big supporter of media cooperatives and new media platforms, such as the Bristol Cable, Manchester Meteor, Gal-Dem and Black Ballad, and Free Press and Press On in the US, that are opening up and rethinking journalism and who it is for.

Shirish Kulkarni

Based in Glascoed, Wales

Shirish has more than 25 years’ experience in journalism – initially in TV newsrooms at ITN and Sky, before returning home to Wales to go freelance. 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.

He’s currently working on the Bureau’s People’s Newsroom initiative, leading on the design of a community journalism project, with the Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team in Swansea. Alongside his part-time work at Bureau Local, he’s also researching innovative forms of news storytelling and is part of Collective Cymru, the team producing “Galwad” – Wales’ project for Unboxed: Creativity in the UK.

Shirish is a supporter of the innovative work being done by publications reimagining journalism to make it more inclusive, representative and grounded in community, care and connection. He’s a big fan of Greater Govanhill, the Bristol Cable and Cwmbran Life.

Megan Lucero

Based in: Walthamstow, East London, England

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 was part of the award-winning Sunday Times Insight report that revealed the widespread use of blood doping in the Olympics.

As the director of the Bureau Local, Megan built the Bureau Local’s collaborative, bottom-up investigations team and has overseen its collaborative investigations since 2017. This has resulted in more than 500 local, investigative stories and was done in partnership with 1,500 collaborators across the UK. Megan is currently leading on the Bureau’s People’s Newsroom initiative, a programme supporting the creation and sustainability of community journalism projects.

Megan is a fan of community-owned news outlets such as the Bristol Cable and is a member of her local paper, Waltham Forest Echo. She’s inspired by initiatives reimagining journalism and building community power such as Media 2070 and Tiny News Collective.

Maeve McClenaghan

Based in: Cheshire, England

Maeve is an experienced investigative journalist who has written for Buzzfeed UK, the Guardian, the BBC, Vice News, and others. She has worked with whistleblowers, leaked documents, large datasets and vulnerable sources. She joined the Bureau Local from Greenpeace’s Energydesk in 2017. Maeve has won many awards for her journalism including the Bar Council’s Legal Reporting Award, the Royal Statistical Society Award and the Insight Through Journalism Award. She has been nominated for the Orwell Prize three times.

At the Bureau Local, Maeve specialises in homelessness, housing and employment. She ran the Bureau Local’s award-winning #MakeThemCount and #LockedOut investigations, is the author of No Fixed Abode (a result of her homelessness reporting) and is the creator and host of the Tip Off podcast.

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

Emiliano Mellino

Based in: Portsmouth, England

Emiliano is a journalist and organiser. Prior to joining the Bureau Local, he held a number of roles, including head of communications, at the IWGB, a grassroots trade union. In 2018 he helped outsourced workers organise a series of strikes at the University of London that led to a commitment by management to bring workers in-house on improved terms and conditions. As a freelance journalist, he has written exposés on fintech, media and food companies.

Emiliano has enjoyed reading the Camden New Journal ever since they covered his bizarre encounter with Jeremy Irons at a picket line. He is also a fan of the Bristol Cable’s cooperative model, rooted in local communities.

Emily Wilson

Based in: Brighton, England

Emily spent 17 years at ITN’s Channel 4 News, most recently running their award-winning home news operation. She was instrumental in increasing their UK-wide reporting, supporting the launch of a bureau in Glasgow and expanding high-impact, award-winning journalism in Manchester, Nottingham and Cardiff. She worked as a producer in Washington DC for four years and has spent time as a producer in Westminster and on the science beat. She previously worked at BBC News as a producer and output editor on the Today programme, PM, the World at One and Broadcasting House. She is a big fan of local journalism cooperatives like the Bristol Cable and the Manchester Mill, and she reads the Brighton Argus and Brighton and Hove News – her local member of the Independent Community News Network. She grew up reading her various home-town newspapers: the Ayrshire Post and the Ayr Advertiser, and before that the Hamilton Advertiser.