The UK collaborative reporting project Bureau Local, established by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, has inspired German non-profit CORRECTIV to create a new outlet replicating the British model.
CORRECTIV.Lokal will focus on investigating local stories, bringing together a range of professionals who will collaborate on data projects.
“We are inspired by the success of the Bureau Local,” said David Schraven, publisher of CORRECTIV. “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.”
Bureau Local team will not be involved in running CORRECTIV.Lokal but will provide regular support and advice on investigative strategies.
Both teams met in the UK prior to establishment of CORRECTIV.Lokal to brainstorm the best ways to export the successful British model.
”We've been taking all their questions on board and documenting them,” said Megan Lucero, director of the Bureau Local, about the meeting. “The idea was that we will produce a blueprint of the Bureau Local, its foundations and its pillars.”
The Bureau Local plans on documenting how the model works for their German counterpart and use the findings as an example to encourage similar initiatives in the future.
"We get a lot of requests from people and organisations that are fascinated by the Bureau Local model and want to replicate it around the world," says Lucero.
In just 18 months, the Bureau Local has established a journalistic infrastructure enabling over 750 journalists, technologists, community-minded citizens and specialist contributors to work together to tell important local and national stories.
Lucero explains the organisation has a radical model of sharing, which means everything they do is open and the focus is not on producing an exclusive.
“Every time something is published, we also reveal all the data we used so anyone can replicate the investigation,” she said.
The collaborative network has published over 185 exclusive local stories and revealed the power new voters had in flipping seats ahead of the 2017 snap election, the cuts to domestic violence refuges across England, the councils heading toward financial crisis and through the building of its own database, the number of homeless deaths across the UK.
“It's nice to see that CORRECTIV has been able to take where we've got up to in 18 months and they are now able to hit the ground running from exactly where we are, rather than having to build up all that learning we did,” adds Lucero.
One of the first projects CORRECTIV.Lokal announced is ‘Who owns Hamburg?’, an investigation into the real estate market in the German town. The aim of this crowdsourced research is to bring more transparency into local property and land ownership.
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