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Bureau Local to advise non-profit German investigative news outfit on how to replicate its collaborative model

A German non-profit investigative journalism outfit is preparing to replicate the collaborative reporting model established by the Bureau Local in the UK over the past 18 months.

Bureau Local was set up by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in March last year to work with local journalists around the country to help them dig into data and tell stories that might otherwise get missed due to dwindling time and resources in their own newsrooms.

The project has now inspired news outfit Correctiv to launch Correctiv Lokal, with Bureau Local to work with its German counterparts in an advisory capacity to help get the project off the ground.

The UK team (pictured) of six journalists, led by director Megan Lucero, also plans to make a public blueprint for other journalists to use.

David Schraven, publisher of Correctiv, said: “We are inspired by the success of the Bureau Local. It is a brilliant idea to combine local reporting on a multi-town basis with great data journalism at a national level.

“We hope our adoption of this model in Germany will be as successful as it has been in Britain.”

Schraven added that he hoped to grow his newsroom’s cooperation with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

“It is important to keep strong relationships between journalistic organisations in Europe,” he said.

“We need to understand what the real problems in Europe are and where the solutions could be. We need partnership.”

In the past 18 months Bureau Local has built a network of 750 people -many journalists, but also technologists, specialist contributors and “community-minded citizens” – who want to “commit an act of journalism”.

The network has published more than 185 local stories on issues such as the number of homeless deaths in the UK, cuts to domestic violence refuges across England, and councils heading towards financial crisis.

Bureau Local won the Innovation of the Year prize at the 2017 British Journalism Awards, with the judges praising them for finding a “new way to do things previously thought difficult or impossible, and a way of being efficient at a time when resources are in short supply”.

The launch of Correctiv Lokal, with support from the Rudolf Augstein Foundation, is due to be announced at the German Campfire Festival tomorrow.

Picture: Rob Stothard/TBIJ

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