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Placement with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism: Ioana Cerasella Chis

Ioana’s qualitative research project focuses on the stories of disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill gig economy workers’ experiences of waged and unwaged work within the context of post-crisis Britain. Between January and April 2022, she undertook a Placement as a researcher with Bureau Local, part of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).

Ioana was able to support a variety of TBIJ projects relevant to her PhD. The initial aims of the placement were met through direct practice, peer observation, thematic one-to-one meetings, and by attending skills-share events. Her expectations were exceeded both as regards her professional development, and in the opportunities presented to use her previous experience to inform TBIJ’s projects at their respective stages of development.

Ioana’s time with TBIJ has developed her thinking on numerous aspects of her research topic. Some of these are briefly summarised as follows, based on her report. But you will appreciate from the list the diverse and wide ranging benefits of the placement. Ioana commented on how her thinking has developed on, for example, the forms that impact can take through journalistic projects, gathering data and developing appropriate methodologies, collaboration and engagement with audiences, the role of journalism in society, aspects of storytelling, effectively communicating quantitative data, comparing academic and journalistic practices in relation to ethics, methodology, theory, and outputs, publicising data, how academic researchers and investigative journalists collaborate, the standards of rigour necessary for trustworthy news stories, remote team working, and identifying newsworthy projects that could benefit particular communities, and/or the wider public more generally.

On the impact of the placement on her research, Ioana says:

“This placement will have a positive impact on my PhD research and future career. I am now more aware of the work processes involved in producing news stories and lobbying institutions and I can more easily identify potential collaborators from outside the academy, to disseminate research-based reflections and findings. My appreciation of the craft and art of journalism has significantly increased during this placement, and I feel much more equipped to acknowledge, identify, and support rigorous journalistic work. This placement has also provided me with the opportunity to consider other career pathways outside academia. Regardless of what career I will seek to pursue after the end of the PhD, the transferrable skills gained during my time at The Bureau Local (TBIJ) will be a great asset for my future work.”

The very positive feedback Ioana received from TBIJ about the placement concludes with acknowledging how her constructive proposals on how they can make their work more accessible for those with reading and learning impairments have been discussed at a senior level and are in the process of being adopted there.

Two of the investigations Ioana supported during the placement were published in April:

· disabled-people-trapped-waiting-years-for-vital-home-adaptationLink opens in a new window ; and

· cornwall-to-newcastle-children-with-disabilities-forced-to-travel-hundreds-of-miles-for-schoolLink opens in a new window.

These investigations were covered by Channel 4 Link opens in a new windowand ITVLink opens in a new window, and local journalists from across the UK used the findings as the basis for developing their own local stories.

It’s great to see such positive impacts arising from the Placements Scheme. Congratulations to Ioana.




Tue 31 May 2022, 08:50


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