Local News data team beats national competition to scoop prize

Celebrating: The BBC’s Shared Data Unit

A data journalism team which works across regional journalism in the UK has been honoured at a financial journalism awards ceremony.

The BBC’s Shared Data Unit won the data journalism prize at the Wincott Foundation Awards this week.

Judges said the category was a tightly-contested one, with very high quality entries.

Judges said the Financial Times’ Data Team deserved a special mention for producing the single most impressive piece of data visualisation with its story on Europe’s gas crisis and the surge in prices.

But judges decided the winner was the BBC Shared Data Unit for its overall offering and its use of data to create more accessible coverage of a big topic — how Covid left councils with a £3bn financial black hole. The BBC team was Paul Lynch, Alex Homer and Sam Ferguson.

Pete Sherlock, who leads the team, said: “We’re really proud of this.

“We’re a small team. This week, we organised a UK wide conference, produced journalism that was used across the BBC and our partner network, and now we’re hugely honoured to win this prestigious award.”

The Shared Data Unit is part of the Local News Partnership, run by the BBC to support public interest journalism in the UK. The data unit produces stories which are used across the industry and also leads training and development in data journalism.

The Wincott Foundation seeks to contribute to the better understanding of economic issues, principally by supporting and encouraging high-quality economic, financial and business journalism, in the UK and internationally.

The Foundation believes that the media — print, broadcast and online — have an important role to play in reporting, explaining and commenting on economic and business developments. Accurate, objective and well-informed economic reporting and analysis in the media are essential ingredients of a well-functioning market economy.

The Foundation was set up in 1969 in honour of Harold Wincott, the most distinguished economic journalist of his day. The current chairman is Lionel Barber, a former editor of the Financial Times. Lionel is supported by a group of trustees who have backgrounds in business, journalism and academia.

  • In 2022, Behind Local News aims to celebrate local journalism in all its forms through our 365 Acts of Local Journalism Project. Lets us know what you think should be included. You can email us here or contact us via Twitter on BehindLocalNews or on Facebook here.

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