Data of disasters: Following the money

  • Event: 2018 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Matt Dempsey of Houston Chronicle; Omaya Sosa of Centro de Periodismo Investigativo de Puerto Rico; Lee Zurik of WVUE-New Orleans
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Mar. 10 at 10:15am
  • Location: Addison
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires caused record damage to U.S. cities in 2017. These panelists — veterans of some of the worst storms in history, Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Katrina — will cover resources to help you dig into the problems left in the disaster's wake, including disaster relief efforts, using databases and mapping to show the extent of damage in certain areas and neighborhoods, and how to follow the money.

Speaker Bios

  • Matt Dempsey is the data editor at the Houston Chronicle. He worked on projects involving wildfires, state pensions, and the chemical industry. His passion for public records frequently leads to disclosure of data from all levels of government. His series Chemical Breakdown won the 2016 IRE Innovation award and the National Press Foundation's "Feddie" award. His work was a key part of the Chronicle's 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist entry for Breaking News.

  • Omaya Sosa is an award winning journalist, entrepreneur, and adventurer with 20 years of experience. She is co-Founder of Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism. Her recent work on the underreported death toll of hurricane Maria has been republished and quoted by more than a dozen media outlets. Omaya is also co-Founder of NotiCel.com digital news outlet sold in 2016. Before her digital media life she worked at El Nuevo Día newspaper and radio news station Red 96. @omayasosa

  • Lee Zurik is an Evening News Anchor and Chief Investigative Reporter at WVUE-TV in New Orleans and Director of Investigations at Gray Television and Investigate TV.  Lee has been honored with many of journalism’s top awards including the Peabody, duPont, and IRE Medal.  Before Hurricane Katrina, Lee was a sports anchor/reporter. He taught himself to be an investigative reporter by reading IRE resources (books and tipsheets) and attending IRE conferences. 

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