Bureau of Investigative Journalism

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism


The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is an independent not-for-profit organisation. Established in April 2010, the Bureau is the first of its kind in the UK, where philanthropically funded journalism is rare.

Our team of journalists bolsters original news by producing high-quality investigations for press and broadcast media with the aim of educating the public and the media on both the realities of today’s world and the value of honest reporting.


The Bureau was formed and is funded on the assumption that investigative journalism is indispensible to democracy. As such the Bureau’s aim is to pursue and encourage journalism in the public interest.

The Bureau works hard to further this cause and has spoken widely at events including: The Swedish Investigative Journalism Conference; Danish International Media Festival and the European Investigative Journalism Conference.

The Bureau believes that as newsrooms struggle with reduced resources, alternative funding models are crucial to the survival of public interest journalism. The Bureau is campaigning for journalism in the public interest to be allowed charitable status in the UK, to broaden avenues of funding.

Our Work

Based at City University, London, the Bureau works in collaboration with other groups to get its investigations published and distributed. To date, we have worked with BBC File On FourBBC PanoramaBBC NewsnightChannel 4 DispatchesChannel 4 Newsal Jazeera Englishthe Independentthe Financial Timesthe Daily Telegraphthe Sunday TimesLe Monde and numerous others.

Major Investigations include

Covert Drone War, a full dataset of all know US drone attacks in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Our analysis has changed the public’s understanding of US actions and revealed that under Obama over 3,000 people, including more than 500 civilians, have been killed by drones. Our findings have been published widely from the New York Times to Pakistan’s Dawn, commented on in a General Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, drawn on in the London High Court and used in an ACLU filing.

Our investigation Lobbying’s Hidden Influence looked at lobby groups representing unsavoury regimes, their workings and disclosed links between lobbyists and officials. Our work has also analysed how many members of the UK’s upper house have business and city interests. An investigation into the funding of the conservative party showed the power and influence of the financial lobby. Our work has added weight to the campaign for a statutory lobbying register in the UK.

Our comprehensive study of Deaths in Police Custody found that over 11 years, 333 people died in the UK in police custody, yet not one single police officer has been charged. Our findings scrutinised this issue and led to the UK’s police regulator launching a root and branch review.


Since it launched the Bureau has secured over 47 front-page stories and has produced a number of award-winning web, radio and TV reports.

These include winning the Amnesty International Digital Awards two years running, firstly for our investigation into the Iraq War Logs and latterly for our work on Deaths in Police Custody.

In 2011 the Bureau won the Thomson Reuters reporting Europe Award for a BBC 4 radio programme on Europe’s Missing Millions, and the investigation into drone warfare was shortlisted for  the Foreign Press Association Awards.

And in 2012 the Bureau and its journalists have been shortlisted in four categories at the first Press Gazette British Journalism Awards, which emphasise journalism in the public interest.

The Bureau’s Chris Woods is up for Investigation of the year for his work on drone warfare.  Nick Mathiason is short listed for the Business journalist of the year award for his work on the financial lobby.  Emma Slater’s raft of work has earned her a place on the shortlist for New journalist of the year award and the Bureau as an entity is up award for an Innovation of the year award.


The Bureau was initially granted core funding from The David & Elaine Potter Foundation.

Most of our work is distributed to newspapers for free while TV commissions bring in some funds to cover costs. Any money earned by the Bureau is reinvested in our journalism.

See, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, About.