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 am the editor of the Data Desk, a team of reporters and computer programmers in the Los Angeles Times newsroom. We work with reporters and editors to collect, organize, analyze and present large amounts of information.

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 my work and my public-speaking engagements.

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 a co-founder of the California Civic Data Coalition, a network of journalists and computer programmers dedicated to opening up public data, and the leader of PastPages, an open-source effort to archive digital news.

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.

 •  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 and Heroku
 •  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