Paul Bradshaw Profile picture
Jan 23 24 tweets 15 min read
🧵 It’s time for another roller-coaster thread digging into how one journalist has used company accounts* to get a great story.
This time it's a front page story by @Robert_Booth…
*Featuring: other useful open sources
2/ The first par is a lesson in concrete writing which has some key factual statements we can start unpacking:
💸 £21m in payments
🎩 He is the "boss"/"owner"
🔎 Multiple breaches of rules
How did the reporter arrive at those facts? The answer isn't as simple as you might think A multimillionaire dementia...
3/ How can we calculate how much a company boss earns? Normally a story like this relies on the company accounts' ‘notes to the accounts’ section on directors’ remuneration where payments to the highest paid director are disclosed. Those payments add up to £29m... Directors remuneration sect...Directors remuneration sect...
4/ (I pause at this point to say that the company accounts can be found on Companies House, in the 'Filing history' tab for the company: …… - you can check you have the right company by looking on their website for a company name & number)
5/ How do we know if the boss is the highest paid director at a company? In fact, we might not — and in the 2018 accounts it is explicitly stated that the highest paid director was *not* G G Sanders, the subject of Booth's story... Directors' remuneration sec...
6/ ...Booth therefore doesn’t include most of those director payments in his headline £21m. He only includes the 2017 payment — with the other potential £10m mentioned in the penultimate par.
So how is the extra £18.6m found..?… In addition to £18.6m in di...
7/ ...The other place to find money going to a company owner is dividends: payments made to people who hold shares in a company.
You can find them in various places in the company accounts: the cash flow statement, the notes to the accounts, and the directors’ report. Dividends in 2021 were £4.2...
8/ ...But how many shares does G G Sanders own? A good place to look for this information is on the last page of a company’s accounts, where the ‘controlling party’ is named.
Here is where we can find out that Sanders owns all the shares in each year — and the dividends Controlling party note to 2...Controlling party note to 2...
9/ ...The last page of a company's accounts also allows you to report that someone is the "owner" of the company.
Or: look on Companies House under the 'People' tab for a company — and then the 'Persons with significant control' tab …… Runwood Homes Limited: Pers...
10/ So public info in company accounts on dividends and remuneration provides a 'scale' story on exec pay for @Robert_Booth (more on that and other common data angles at…)
— But there's a lot more to learn from how the core story is fleshed out...
11/ It’s one thing to report the scale of executive pay at a company — but why does that matter? Here Booth uses company accounts to provide the context of the scale of public money given to the company — alongside the total 💰 going to directors Runwood also reported it ac...Accounts showing grants rec...
12/ 'Why does exec pay matter' part 2 is those breaches of rules. At the CQC website you can find reports for care homes — and calculate what proportion of an operator’s homes are below a certain standard.
Start at — but be patient...
13/ The LONG way to find all a provider’s care home CQC ratings is to:
1️⃣Search for one of the homes operated by the company at
2️⃣Click on the ‘Provided and run by:’ link
3️⃣Click on ‘services’ to see all the ratings
But... Bennett Lodge provided and ...Runwood Homes Limited page ...Runwood Homes Limited servi...
14/ ...Here's a search hack to get to a provider page on the CQC website: prefix your search with
And then add the keyword…
Note: the URL above will be shortened so use the one at the link in...
15/ (Or, if you're able to, use CQC data at… - thanks @owenboswarva)
@owenboswarva 16/ ...Individual reports are used in the article to provide more concrete descriptions of conditions in the homes - e.g.…… CQC inspection reports publ...Image
17/ But the paragraph that really caught my eye in @Robert_Booth’s article was this, on two £4m+ properties the executive owned. How did he get these..?… Sanders, 76, is described o...
18/ To trace a director’s property assets we might try Companies House again, and the director’s appointments page: most of this person’s directorships use the company address as the correspondence address, but there is an address in Essex… ……
19/ 🔎...Once you've got an address from Companies House, Streetview and Zoopla can help establish what sort of location it is. Streetview and Zoopla scree...
20/ ...But a correspondence address isn't proof that it's *owned* by the director in question.
To establish that, use the Land Registry to search for a property — once found, it's £3 to download the document which confirms it…
21/ ...Finding the second exec property is trickier — and here former MA Data Journalism student @Jarnavic steps in. He focuses on companies with a family connection: "In the filing history I found an address at a flat in London..."
@Jarnavic 22/ There's more open source wonder in @Robert_Booth's article, including the wages jobs are being advertised with (and how that compares to McDonalds) — but also, crucially, interviews and a (declined) right of reply… Care assistant jobs are cur...
@Jarnavic @Robert_Booth 23/ ...and the last paragraph of Booth's piece is worth ending with here: it's not always going to be so easy to find the same info for other companies receiving public money for social care.… Profitability among the lar...
@Jarnavic @Robert_Booth For more threads looking at stories using company accounts see… and…

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More from @paulbradshaw

Mar 15, 2022
You want 35 tips on interviewing for journalists? Here goes... THREAD. 🧵
1/ "For the first question, ask a gentle, wise question as it allows them to collect their thoughts and get ready to answer," says @PardeepKalirai #bcujournos
@PardeepKalirai 2/ "Stand out from other journalists - don't ask the same questions as it can bore the interviewee" #bcujournos
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Nov 26, 2021
🧵It's time for another journey into the world of telling stories through company accounts - this time Naomi Campbell's fashion charity is under investigation!
The story is here:… But how did the reporter find the details..?
2/ First up: the story *lead* doesn't come from company accounts, it comes from a press release:… — you can get email alerts about announcements from the Charity Commission here:… ...
3/ ...But a reporter could have found some good story leads on the supermodel's charity much earlier if they'd been looking, as the details of the story show...
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May 25, 2021
THREAD! I've reverse-engineered @jimwaterson's excellent article on sex-worker social media platform OnlyFans to show you how to find all sorts of stories in company accounts. Here's the article -… - now let's begin...🧵
2/ First, you need to locate the company behind OnlyFans. It's not called OnlyFans so you can either Google it, or look for an 'About' section on the site that leads you to the company - in this case, Fenix International Limited
3/ Search for the company on Companies House …… - the About page information on the director and address can be used to confirm that you have the right company
Read 30 tweets
Apr 30, 2021
Completing today's double bill on scrollytelling, it's great to be able to welcome another @BCUJournalism alumna to speak to MA students: @carolinebeavon on her "lockdown data story" 104 Days Later… #bcujournos
Succinctly expressed point by @carolinebeavon on the methodological issues of using social media to conduct surveys: "We're not gathering data at all - we're gathering testimonials". @Typeform was useful for this because people could upload files (recordings)
3/ ...but only one person uploaded an audio clip, so @carolinebeavon decided to contact respondents who left details to conduct interviews via Zoom in order to generate audiovisual material
Read 4 tweets
Apr 30, 2021
Really happy to be welcoming back MA Data Journalism alumna @oliviajlawlor from @f_l_o_u_r_i_s_h to @BCUJournalism to talk to current students as part of a double-header on scrollytelling today
I had no idea that @f_l_o_u_r_i_s_h had sports-specific #dataviz templates "to map a player's positions on a field/court" (via @oliviajlawlor)… #ddj
Also useful to consider @f_l_o_u_r_i_s_h's Stories feature as one way of creating animation that you can screencapture as a gif for social - e.g.… #ddj
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Mar 23, 2020
THREAD: As many journalism students are understandably concerned about their work during the disruption caused by #coronavirus, here is some of the advice I've been giving to my students...
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2/ Watch a range of news to see how professional journalists are adapting to limitations on the movement of their sources, colleagues, and themselves — as well as adapting to the news agenda being dominated by one story
Read 25 tweets

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