Machine learning and investigative reporting

  • Event: 2019 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Meredith Broussard of New York University; Emilia Diaz-Struck of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists; Jeff Ernsthausen of ProPublica
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Mar. 7 at 3:30pm
  • Location: Salon D
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Has your editor ever asked for a couple of examples? What if you could use machine learning to find some of those examples and investigate a real phenomenon? 

Join reporters who have used machine learning as a tool in investigative reporting. You’ll hear about how we used machine learning to find patients whose deaths were potentially linked to medical devices; tracked fake news and identified illegal ads on Facebook; investigated potential campaign finance fraud; and did financial muckraking in the tax records of a global financial corporation. 

We’ll answer important questions like: What is machine learning? What kind of stories could it help with? and What do you need to take into account to get started? 

Speaker Bios

  • Meredith Broussard is an assistant professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. Follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via

  • Emilia is ICIJ’s research editor. She has taken part in cross-border projects such as ICIJ's Implant Files, Paradise Papers and the Pulitzer winner investigation Panama Papers. She has been a professor at the Central University of Venezuela and a contributor for the Washington Post, the magazine Poder y Negocios, Venezuelan media El Universal, El Mundo and, which she co-founded. She was previously the investigative reporting coordinator at IPYS Venezuela.

  • Jeff Ernsthausen is a data reporter at ProPublica. He joined ProPublica from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he worked as a data reporter on the investigative team. Prior to his time in journalism, he worked as an economic analyst and researcher at the Federal Reserve.

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