In a significant move, BBC Local has announced the appointment of its first investigations editor, Gail Champion. Champion’s role will involve leading and developing top-notch investigative documentaries that cater to audiences across various platforms.
Gail Champion will assume the responsibility of running the central Investigations Team, which will be based in Salford and Birmingham, upon joining the team officially in the summer. Additionally, she will work closely with the newly formed multi-media investigation teams situated in each region. These teams will be managed by Senior Heads of Content Production, aiming to maximise the impact of the BBC’s original investigative journalism.
Previously serving in the UK Insight team within BBC News, Gail Champion managed a Leeds-based multi-platform team focused on under-served audiences. Her experience also includes working on the esteemed File on 4 investigative strands and overseeing the production of investigative podcasts for BBC Sounds.
Expressing her delight, Gail said, “I am delighted to be a part of the BBC’s significant new investment into original investigative journalism, which remains just as important as ever in our changing media landscape. I am looking forward to working with the BBC’s talented local teams around the country to harness their unique abilities and regional knowledge to investigate the stories that really matter to people wherever they live.”
Jason Horton, the Director of Production for BBC Local, highlighted the importance of this appointment, stating, “This is a crucial and exciting appointment leading a brand new team for us. Gail is a very experienced, award-winning editor with a proven track record of delivering high-quality agenda-setting journalism and is a really respected name in the industry. Her appointment will help us reinvent and refresh what we do on all platforms in BBC Local while delivering stories that matter to audiences across England.”
BBC’s initiative to appoint an investigations editor follows the announcement made last year regarding changes to its local services. This involved the development of a network of new local investigations teams comprising more than 70 journalists working on original stories throughout the country.
These teams will produce locally-rooted investigations that will be accessible through television, radio, BBC Sounds, and the iPlayer. This initiative presents an exceptional opportunity for remarkable local journalism and content to be widely seen and heard across the BBC platform.