Ben Welsh

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.

Elsewhere on the site you can find samples of work and my public-speaking engagements.

 •  Donors Choose
 •  Facebook
 •  Flickr
 •  GitHub
 •  GoodReads
 •  Google+
 •  Kickstarter
 •  Kiva
 •  Last.FM
 •  LinkedIn
 •  OpenStreetMap
 •  Reddit
 •  StackOverflow
 •  Twitter
 •  Untappd
 •  Programming with Python, JavaScript, Perl and Ruby
 •  Data analysis with pandas, Jupyter notebooks and other statistical tools
 •  UI development with JavaScript, CSS and HTML5 web standards
 •  Data visualization with D3 and other browser-based libraries
 •  Digital cartography with GeoDjango, PostGIS, QGIS and JavaScript UI libraries
 •  Database-driven web development with Django
 •  Database administration with PostgreSQL, MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server
 •  Deployment with Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Heroku and Google App Engine
 •  Getting all of the above done on deadline
 •  2017 Los Angeles Philharmonic's Hack Music LA, Finalist
 •  2012 California Newspaper Publishers Assn, Winner, Best Coverage of Local Government