Paul Bradshaw

Course Leader for MA Data Journalism

Paul Bradshaw leads both the MA in Data Journalism at Birmingham City University, and works as a consultant data journalist in the BBC England data unit.

  • Expert
  • Course Leader
  • Active in Industry
  • Journalism


I am course leader for the MA in Data Journalism, as well as a data journalist with the BBC Data Unit. I have written a number of books about data journalism and online journalism, and worked with a number of media organisations in the UK and internationally.


I've won a number of awards as a data journalist, and been recognised in a number of lists of 'influential people' in online and data journalism. I've published a number of books in the field and over a dozen book chapters and journal papers. I'm regularly invited to speak at industry events around the world, contribute articles and book chapters on data journalism and online journalism, and speak in the media. The Online Journalism Blog is widely read in the industry and the Online Journalism Handbook is a key book on journalism courses around the globe. I've written on a number of areas including surveillance and security, and ethics in data journalism, but most recently I have been particularly interested in the potential of artificial intelligence in journalism.

Industry connections

I worked for six years with the BBC England Data Unit since its formation in 2015, and since 2021 have been working with the BBC Shared Unit. In the past I've worked with organisations including The Guardian, the Balkan Investigative Reporters Network and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. I regularly write for the Global Investigative Journalism Network and for, and have trained journalists at dozens of organisations including The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, The Telegraph, The Mirror, Eurostat and the Office for National Statistics.

Former students

I'm immensely proud of my students. They've gone on to be pioneers in a number of fields, including Sky's first data journalist; the founder of Indonesia's data journalism network; the founder of a project opening up data in Cuba; and an open source intelligence expert in Yemen with the cutting edge verification project Bellingcat. My former students have written front page stories at The Guardian and The Times, and chapters for academic books about investigative and data journalism; they work in all three of the BBC's data teams, and they've won awards for investigations and campaigns that changed lives.

Standout projects

Winning the CNN MultiChoice award for a cross-border investigation into Nigerian player trafficking has to be the greatest recognition. That story was a particular source of pride, but even more so was an investigation into the Olympic Torch Relay that involved collaborating with people in different countries, working with The Guardian, and drawing on a wide range of journalism techniques. It's great to be able to draw on those lessons in teaching. More recently it's been great to be involved with the formation of the BBC England Data Unit and its sister Shared Data Unit, both based here in Birmingham. Going out of my comfort zone has often provided other highlights too: winning funding from Channel 4's 4iP fund to set up the investigative journalism crowdsourcing site Help Me Investigate back in 2009 gave me experience of news enterprise and innovation, and I've organised events from JEEcamp (journalism entrepreneurship) to Data Journalism UK.