Data-Driven Community Journalism

A new training and mentorship programme for community journalists

The ‘Open Data’ movement - pushing both national and local government to publish data - aims at improving transparency and accountability, helping communities hold to account those that represent them. Unfortunately, a lack of expertise in analysing that data, has often meant that translation of greater transparency into greater accountability has not materialised.

There has however, been significant engagement with government data from communities, especially the not-for-profit and community-owned media organisations, that are busy plugging the gaps left by the UK’s under-pressure local news industry.

During 2015-2016, trainers from the Centre for Investigative Journalism travelled across the country providing free training in investigative skills to many of these organisations, and while we introduced participants to data journalism techniques, the scope of the workshops didn’t allow for more than an overview.

We’re extremely grateful to the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and very happy to announce a programme of training and responsive mentoring that will build on the work we delivered last year.

The Data-Driven Community Journalism programme will provide training, expertise and project-specific support for up to 10 community journalists to scope, investigate and produce their data journalism projects.


Who can apply?

Due to the nature of the funding, places are restricted to community-owned or not-for-profit media outlets who work to represent the interests of specific communities. That can be broadly defined and includes local, regional, ethnic, cultural or interest-based communities; we are not able to give places to those working in for-profit news. For any journalists that would not qualify on this basis but are interested in learning data journalism skills, please see our calendar of scheduled training.

If you have a team of journalists at your outlet who are working on a data project and would like to participate in the programme as a team, that’s fine, but you will be required to complete one application form each.



What are we looking for?

We will be supporting impactful stories that:

  • Hold those in power to account
  • Address issues that matter to communities
  • Have concrete positive impacts on people’s lives
  • Build support for community media outlet
  • Extend the reach of representation within the community



Applications must be received by 5pm 9 April 2018 and successful applicants will be informed via email by 16 April.

Workshop One: Scoping your project, data collection - w/c 23/4/18

Mentoring: Data analysis - through May

Workshop Two: Troubleshooting, data presentation - w/c 4/6/18

Follow up half day: Writing up and further troubleshooting - w/c 23/7/18


Is there financial support available?

No, we will be providing training only. However, we have partnered with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Bureau Local who are awarding funding for impactful local data stories. The next opportunity to apply for support from the Bureau will be in June 2018. For more details, please see their call for applications and tick the box at the end of our form if you'd like to be referred.