New location strengthens ties and opens up intern opportunities
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) has strengthened its ties with City after moving into a new office only a corridor away from the journalism department.
Until February, the Bureau was situated several streets away from the student body in City’s Myddelton Building.
As a not-for-profit organisation, part of the bureau’s remit is to foster investigative journalism. Since its founding in 2010 it has given City students priority for internships and sent senior staff to guest lecture.
However, from its new vantage point in the College Building the bureau hopes to play an even larger role in students’ work.
Rachel Oldroyd, managing editor, said: “If we manage to encourage two or three more people who’ve gone through the journalism school to move into investigative journalism, that’s a job well done.
Geoge Brock, a trustee of the bureau and the former head of City’s journalism department, said: “It’s a win-win situation. The bureau has access to bright, inquisitive, enthusiastic young journalists, and City students get real-world experience in a challenging but ultimately very rewarding area of journalism.”
Suzanne Franks, who heads the undergraduate programme, said: “We are hoping that the BIJ will provide meaningful and interesting workplace opportunities for our students, and give them a taste of what serious investigative journalism involves.”
The bureau currently has three recent City graduates in their team of 11. Vic Parsons and Jack Serle did the Science MA, while XCity Award nominee Tom Warren came from the Investigative MA.
Vic Parsons, who interned one day a week at the bureau while she was a student, said: “I came with a project that I wanted to work on and found it’s a very supportive, nourishing environment.”
In the past, the bureau has acted as a stepping stone for City alumni to gain jobs in larger organisations. James Ball worked there after graduating from the Magazine MA, before becoming special projects editor of The Guardian.
The bureau has been talking to not-for-profit investigative journalism organisations in the US, where they are more common, to learn about how they operate.
Joaquin Alvarado, CEO at the Center for Investigative Reporting in California, which works with the journalism school at the University of California, Berkeley and the Knight Fellowship at Stanford, said: We have a really special dynamic that is only possible if you work closely with universities. Having an intergenerational newsroom allows new ideas to circulate.”
The bureau is especially keen to mentor students in specific areas, such as video, podcast, data journalism, animation and infographics, to find new ways to tell stories.