Hello. My name is Ben Welsh. I’m a native Iowan living in Los Angeles.
I am a journalist, albeit an unconventional one. I specialize in what some people call computer-assisted reporting, and some others call data journalism. Journalists in the past were often hack novelists. I'm a hack computer programmer. I write code to collect, organize, analyze and present large amounts of information.
I am the editor of a team called the Data Desk at the Los Angeles Times, a 24-hour website and daily newspaper based in Southern California. Before working at The Times, I worked on investigative projects at The Center for Public Integrity and helped produce long-form documentaries for cable channels like CNN.
I am also the publisher of PastPages, an archive dedicated to the preservation of online news, and a co-founder of the California Civic Data Coalition, a network of developers dedicated to opening up public data.
My education includes a master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism — where I worked at the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR). I received my undergraduate training at DePaul University in Chicago. I frequently teach practical computer programming skills to journalism students and professionals.
Projects I've contributed to have been awarded The Pulitzer Prize, the Library of Congress' Innovation Award, a Knight News Challenge grant and numerous other prizes for investigative reporting, digital design and online journalism.
My work has been favorably mentioned by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Columbia Journalism School, the Columbia Journalism Review, the Poynter Institute, Nieman Journalism Lab, ProPublica, The Huffington Post, O'Reilly Radar, Mashable, alternative weeklies, real estate blogs, conservative talk radio and the foreign press.