Risks and rewards of rolling your own criminal justice data

  • Event: 2016 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Gabriel Dance of The New York Times; Kenan Davis of The Guardian; Steven Rich of The Washington Post; Jodi Upton of Syracuse University; Tom Meagher of The Marshall Project
  • Date/Time: Friday, Mar. 11 at 3:30pm
  • Location: Denver III & IV
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

**Moderated by Tom Meagher, The Marshall Project

Over the past year and a half, criminal justice has risen to the top of the national conversation in a way it hasn’t for decades. Yet even as public and open data in many areas have improved, we’ve found that in criminal justice the data is as bad as it’s ever been. In this session, journalists from four news organizations — The Washington Post, The Guardian, USA TODAY and The Marshall Project — will talk about how (and why) they built their own databases to fill the gaps and what they learned in the process.

Speaker Bios

  • Gabriel Dance is the deputy investigations editor for The New York Times. He primarily focuses on investigations into technology and the companies that control our information. @gabrieldance

  • Kenan Davis is head of interactive at The Guardian US. @kenandavis

  • Tom Meagher is the managing editor for digital and data at The Marshall Project, where he leads a team of designers, developers, visual journalists and data reporters covering the criminal justice system. A veteran reporter and editor, he's part of the team behind Klaxon, an open-source reporting tool for monitoring websites. @ultracasual

  • Steven Rich is the database editor for investigations at The Washington Post. He's worked on investigations probing the National Security Agency, tax lien sales, asset forfeiture, policing and college athletics. He has been a reporter on two teams awarded Pulitzer Prizes, in 2014 and 2016, and on a team awarded a Peabody in 2018. Steven is a graduate of Mizzou and Virginia Tech. He was elected to IRE’s Board of Directors in 2015. @dataeditor

  • Upton is Knight Chair in Data and Explanatory Journalism at Syracuse University. Her students have contributed to USA TODAY, CNN and other media. Her students also helped develop data for the Syrian Accountability Project, which tracks Syrian War casualties. Previously, she led an award-winning team of journalists and researchers at USA TODAY, covering data-driven topics including Medicare fraud, new economy jobs, mass killings and college football coaches’ salaries.

Related Tipsheets

  • Risks and rewards of rolling your own criminal justice data
    These slides and tipsheet introduce top-class criminal justice projects and give tips on how to build your own criminal justice database. https://github.com/tommeagher/cjcar16/blob/master/README.md

  • Risks and Rewards of Rolling Your Own Criminal Justice Data
    Over the past year and a half, criminal justice has risen to the top of the national conversation in a way it hasn’t for decades. Yet even as public and open data in many areas have improved, we’ve found that in criminal justice the data is as bad as it’s ever been. In this PowerPoint presentation, journalists from four news organizations — The Washington Post, The Guardian, USA TODAY and The Marshall Project — will talk about how (and why) they built their own databases to fill the gaps and what they learned in the process.

  • Risks and rewards of rolling your own criminal justice data
    Over the past year and a half, criminal justice has risen to the top of the national conversation in a way it hasn’t for decades. Yet even as public and open data in many areas have improved, we’ve found that in criminal justice the data is as bad as it’s ever been. In this tipsheet, journalists from four news organizations — The Washington Post, The Guardian, USA TODAY and The Marshall Project — will talk about how (and why) they built their own databases to fill the gaps and what they learned in the process.