Join our new projects:
🔎 Is work working?
⚖ What goes on behind closed doors at our councils?
🌡 What are the systems that lead to health inequality?

Is work working?

This is the question we’re asking ourselves right now and the title of our new collaborative project we’re launching, following feedback from all of you.

The number of people in insecure work in the UK has risen steadily over the past decade with the growth of zero-hours contracts, an expanding gig economy and changes to the wider labour market. Those numbers are now set to rise significantly as the economic fallout of coronavirus forces many out of their previously stable jobs.

These issues have been of growing concern for many of you in this network following our work on homelessness and housing — that's why we are launching this initiative.

We’re kicking off with an open call to hear from anyone who wants to tell their story. You don’t have to be a journalist, just have an idea that you think we could investigate together. We’re partnering with The Daily Mirror to get the word out and host a series of online events and workshops, to support people to come up with ideas and develop them into a wide-scale investigation.

We hope this project will amplify the voices of those in insecure work who are living through the pandemic and seeing first-hand the urgent need to make that change happen. We’re looking for a wide range of collaborators and partners and hope that you join us.

Join the project:

👉 Read our blog for full details on the project
👉 Join our #jobs group chat in Slack to share stories and leads with other collaborators
👉 Sign up and get involved! We'll invite you to events - including our Open Newsroom on 4 December - and invite you to share your own stories and take part in our wider reporting on insecure work

Open Newsroom: What goes on behind closed doors at our councils?

On Thursday 19 November (from 1-2pm) our next Open Newsroom will tackle the question, what goes on behind closed doors at our councils? 

As usual, we’re opening our (digital) doors and looking for a wide range of people to join us in discussing the secrecy around local decision making, why transparency and accountability matter and what might be done to provide communities with the full picture when it comes to how their money is being spent. 

We feel it is a crucial time to talk about these issues. Just this week, Croydon Council issued a Section 114 notice - effectively announcing bankruptcy. We’ve also recently reported on allegations of fraud, law-breaking, and lack of accountability as council decisions come under scrutiny for gambling with public funds. 

Joining our reporter Gareth Davies on the panel will be: 

  • Sarah Ward, a journalist for Northants Live with in-depth experience of reporting on local authorities and the challenges that presents  

  • Rob Whiteman CBE, chief executive of The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), the body which sets the standards for management and governance of local authority finances 

  • Jacqui McKinlay, chief executive of the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny, an organisation which supports local authorities to improve their approach to transparency and accountability 

As well as hearing from our panel of experts, you will have a chance to share your own battles for transparency and scrutiny, and let us know why you think these values are so crucial. If you’d like to share your story ahead of time, simply email

Join us!
👉 Register for the online event here

Wait, there's more...

Our new health inequality team has kicked off!
Click here to find out more and get involved

Become our editor! The deadline has been extended to Monday.
Apply here

Congrats to everyone shortlisted for the British Journalism Awards!

We're thrilled to say the Bureau Local investigation into Thurrock council has been shortlisted for Businesses and Finance and Investigation of the Year. Our community organisers have also been recognised for their innovation in journalism. Read the full list here.

Don't forget your Bureau Local perks...

While this newsletter is sent out periodically, our day-to-day communication with each other happens on Slack - our online platform. Please join us! Here are a few great resources we offer on a regular basis:

  • DailyEvery morning at 10am we share the latest local data released by the government in the #data_feed channel. Join our #localpower, #health_inequality or #jobs channels to collaborate on investigations in those areas.
  • WeeklyFridays (1-2pm), we hold a Story Clinic in the #newsroom channel. This is a space where you can share stories or ideas you’re working on, maybe get some help or advice and definitely meet like-minded people who care about public-interest journalism. 
  • Monthly: We host an Open Newsroom discussion (on a new topic each month) via video.

The Bureau Local has been working to ‘Change the Story’ of our news industry and and shape the future of the Bureau Local along the way. This has culminated in a series of resources which will be guiding our work and we hope will be useful to you all as well.

Get in touch

Know about something we should dig into? Get in touch!

PGP: Public key here
Twitter: @bureaulocal 
Slack: #newsroom 

The Bureau Local team

About us

The Bureau Local has been set up by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and is a people-powered network setting the news agenda and sparking change, from the ground up. 

We're made up of reporters, data experts, community activists, open data champions and more, who are passionate about local journalism and the role it should play in holding power to account.

This newsletter gets sent out periodically. For day-to-day communication with the network, make sure you are on Slack - our network platform.
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