Summary of Experience
Educator specializing in teaching data and mapping analysis to university students and professional journalists. Editor of online computer-assisted reporting newsletter and book author. Open-government advocate and creator of web-based data catalog for citizens and journalists in Missouri. Award-winning investigative reporter.
B.A., Radio-Television-Film, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa., magna cum laude (1984)
Sept. 2011 to current:
Secretary, Board of Directors Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.
2010 to 2011:
- Led team that launched OpenMissouri.org catalog of databases held by state government agencies
- Developed and hosted open-government event, attended by more than 70 citizens and journalists
- Directed survey of 600 U.S. daily newspaper reporters about their use of online government data
- Teach computer-assisted reporting and data mapping to graduate and undergraduate students
- Developed class in data mapping
- Speak about CAR, data mapping and access to information to visiting professionals
- Guided development of Project Open Vault, newsroom collaboration to cover 2012 elections
- Member of graduate faculty
- Serve as mentor to Honors College fellows
- Member of campus Technology Evaluation sub-committee and journalism school search committees
Academic Adviser, National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, Columbia, Mo.
- Help direct database library, which employs three master’s graduate research assistants and regularly updates collection of 40 federal government databases
- Edit Uplink, NICAR’s online subscription-based newsletter
- Oversee EconoCheck, a resource for journalists reporting on economic statistics
- Coordinate and train at CAR and data-mapping boot camp seminars
- Analyze databases for news organizations
- Wrote Mapping the News: Case Studies in GIS and Journalism, a book showing how journalists have used mapping to uncover information in their reporting (ESRI Press, 2003)
- Wrote, with Prof. Brant Houston, a book chapter about CAR in What Good is Journalism? (University of Missouri Press, 2007)
- I have contributed articles to the IRE Journal, American Journalism Review, American Society of Newspaper Editors website and other publications
External speaking and training
I’ve spoken about access to information, investigative journalism and CAR at:
- IRE’s annual CAR and investigative reporting conferences
- National Freedom of Information Coalition’s FOI Summit
- University of Southern California
- Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University
- University of Kansas Department of Geography
- The Kansas City Star
- Missouri Press Association
- City Camp Colorado/News Foo
- Economic Observer Newspaper in Beijing, China
Computer software used
- Spreadsheets: Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice Calc (also teach)
- Database managers: Microsoft Access and MySQL (also teach)
- Geographic information systems: ESRI ArcGIS (also teach), Spatial Analyst and Quantum GIS
- Statistics: SPSS
- Content management systems: WordPress, Django and Rails
- HTML 5 + CSS3
Investigative Reporter, The Providence Journal, Providence, R.I.
- Served as CAR specialist on four-member investigative team
- Obtained databases from state, local and federal government agencies, analyzed them for stories and shared information with other journalists at the paper
- Reported and wrote about political corruption, organized crime, child lead poisoning and banking
- Analyzed data and reported stories for Census 2000
- Created custom database applications in Microsoft Access to share information with other members of the investigative team
- Helped conduct in-house CAR training
Computer-Assisted Reporting Editor, Database Reporter and Staff Writer, The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa.
- Helped establish CAR program and then directed it
- Supervised database reporter and trained others in the newsroom
- Helped develop internal web pages for news research
Reporter, The Baltimore Sun Suburban Editions, Bel Air, Md.
Copy Editor, Stringer Coordinator and Reporter, The Mercury, Pottstown, Pa.
Reporter, The Free Press, Quakertown, Pa.
- “Poisoned,” series in The Providence Journal about child lead poisoning (Shared). Community Service Award, New England AP News Executives Assn., for series website (2002); Sevellon Brown Award for public service, New England AP News Executives Assn. (2002); Publick Occurrences Award for superior achievement, New England Press Assn. (2002); Casey Medal, runner-up (2001)
- Providence Journal coverage of corruption in city hall (Shared). First Place General News, New England AP News Executives Assn. (2001)
- “Rhode Island on Trial,” series in The Providence Journal about corruption in governor’s office (Shared). Second Place General News, New England AP News Executives Assn. (1999); Publick Occurrences Award for superior achievement, New England Press Assn. (1998)
- “OSHA: Cracks in the shield,” series in The Morning Call about failure to protect workers (Shared). Second Place News Series Award, Pennsylvania News Publishers Assn. (1996)
- Articles in The Baltimore Sun uncovering state representative’s interest in planned asbestos dump (Individual reporting). First place Public Service Award, Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Assn. (1990); Excellence in Journalism, SPJ-Maryland Professional Chapter (1990)
Veteran investigative reporter and data journalist. Advocate for open government.
- Some federal agencies better http://t.co/5KUKflLeXl than others at posting data inventories http://t.co/WkPTuXBoza #opengov about 1 day ago
- Fun #opengov fact: Federal agencies were supposed to post data inventories starting more than 15 years ago. http://t.co/sTElyS2fff about 1 day ago
- IRE members get free premium CometDocs accounts. http://t.co/pNDeleic4B Convert those gnarly PDFs! @IRE_NICAR about 1 day ago
- Potential tripwires for journalists in new White House Open Data Policy. http://t.co/OMU62oG5vD about 1 day ago