Megan Lucero: There is a time and moment to listen to our communities

Megan Lucero has seen it all. The former head of data at The Times and The Sunday Times is now directing her attention to local data journalism as the head of the Local Data Lab at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. In a (second) discussion with the Interhacktives, Megan talks about her decision to leave The Times, how she envisions the Lab’s future, the importance of collaborative data journalism at a local level.

“I left purely from the idea of it [the Local Data Lab] is really what journalism needs and what data journalism should be contributing to,” she says.

“I left the Times really happy with how we got on there,” she continues. “We brought data investigations into the heart of the newsroom. We went from being a sort of Excel help-desk to actually being integrated into news investigations, big-time front pages […] I was very happy to leave knowing that I was leaving a really strong legacy. But I left because I believe that this is really, really important”.

Megan is referring to the Local Data Lab, an arm of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, who have set out to “fill the voids” after many newsrooms cut provisions for investigative journalism in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. “Investigative journalism is expensive: it takes time it takes a lot of people and a lot of [economical] resources,” she explains.

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