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New batch of regional journalists seconded to BBC data unit

A new team of regional journalists have started secondments at a project being run as part of the BBC’s local democracy reporting scheme.

Aisha Iqbal, political reporter for the Yorkshire Evening Post, and Bev Holder from the Stourbridge News, have joined the shared data journalism unit, which is aimed at developing data journalism expertise in the regional news industry.

Aisha and Bev have been joined on the Birmingham-based placement by ITV central health correspondent and presenter Nancy Cole.

The material produced by the unit is made available to the BBC and to external organisations that are part of the corporation’s Local News Partnership.

From left: Aisha Iqbal and Bev Holder

From left: Aisha Iqbal and Bev Holder

So far the unit has generated around 300 stories through sharing content with media outlets across the UK.

The first batch of external journalists to work within the unit were Claire Wilde, from the Bradford Telegraph & Argus, Paul Lynch, from Northampton Chronicle & Echo, and Annette Belcher, from the Birmingham Mail.

A rolling intake of seconded reporters from local news outlets will continue to staff the unit from August 2018, when the new batch’s placement finishes.

David Holdsworth, BBC controller of English Regions, said: “The Shared Data Unit is a real pioneering project which is already enjoying huge success with numerous stories being picked up by media outlets across the country.

“Our first external recruits have done a fantastic job in using their data journalism skills to deliver strong stories and they have also helped to shape the programme.

!I’m delighted to welcome Nancy, Aisha and Bev on board and am confident they will continue to build on the success of the unit.”