View the full detailed program & schedule here.

Friday, February 19

(All times are in Eastern standard time)

9:45am – 10am ET Opening remarks
10am – 10:30am Amanda Cox – Keynote
10:30am -11:30am Paper panel: Politics
Contributed sessions I (see below)
11:30am- 12pm Deen Freelon – Keynote
12pm -1pm Paper panel: Countering noise
Contributed sessions II
12pm – 1:30pm Poster session
1:30pm -2:30pm Invited panel: Political forecasting meets journalism
2:30pm – 3:30pm Paper panel: Data and modeling
Contributed sessions III
3:30pm – 4pm David Rothschild – Keynote
4pm – 5pm Contributed sessions IV
5pm – 6pm Invited panel: Conveying a clear message and uncertainty with graphics
6pm Closing


We have a great lineup of speakers and participants who will be guiding us through discussions of data journalism through different lenses. View the full detailed program & schedule here.


Keynote Speakers

Amanda Cox

Amanda Cox is a data editor at the New York Times. Beginning as a graphics editor in 2005, she has played a central role in the development of the Times’s data visualization efforts. Cox now guides how Computer-Assisted Reporting, The Upshot, Graphics, Interactives, data and statistics interact across the newsroom. In 2009, she was awarded the National Design Award and the Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award from the American Statistical Association in 2012.

Deen Freelon

Deen Freelon is an associate professor in the UNC Hussman School of Media and Journalism. Focusing on political expression through digital media as well as data science and computational methods for analyzing large digital datasets, Freelon has written both extensive scholarly literature as well as research-grade software. He has served as principal investigator on grants from the Knight Foundation, the Spencer Foundation and the U.S. Institute of Peace.

David Rothschild

David Rothschild is an economist at Microsoft Research. Exploring questions of mapping and updating public opinion, the market for news, the effect of advertising, finance, and an economist take on public policy, Rothschild works at the intersection of Economics and Social Science. He is a fellow at the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia and the Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies.

Invited Panel: Political Forecasting Meets Journalism

Journalists are increasingly producing complex forecasting models to predict election results and other politically relevant outcomes. Such models hinge on available public opinion data and known regularities in political behavior, but presenting their predictions in easily interpretable ways is challenging. Panelists will share their experiences as journalists who are deeply involved in modeling and explaining political phenomena to help newsreaders and others make better decisions.

David Byler

Washington Post

David Byler is a data analyst and political columnist focusing on elections, polling, demographics and statistics. He joined The Washington Post in 2019. Before joining The Post, Byler was chief elections analyst and a staff writer at the Weekly Standard, where he covered House, Senate, gubernatorial and presidential elections using statistics and other quantitative tools. He previously worked as an elections analyst at RealClearPolitics.

Micah Cohen


Micah Cohen is FiveThirtyEight’s managing editor and previously wrote for FiveThirtyEight at The New York Times.

Natalie Jackson

Public Religion Research Institute

Natalie Jackson, Ph.D., is the Director of Research at PRRI. She has spent the last 15 years developing extensive expertise in the survey research process as well as quantitative political science. Her research on how people form opinions, as well as on the election polling and forecasting landscape has appeared in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. Natalie serves on councils for the American Association for Public Opinion Research and the National Capitol Area Political Science Association, and the Careers Diversity Committee for the American Political Science Association, and is on the editorial boards of Social Science Quarterly and PS: Political Science and Politics. In addition, she teaches graduate-level research methods at American University as an adjunct professor and is currently editing a book on nonacademic career options for social science PhDs. Prior to joining PRRI, Natalie held senior and management positions at JUST Capital, HuffPost, and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

Nick Diakopoulos (Chair)

Northwestern University

Nicholas Diakopoulos is an Assistant Professor in Communication Studies and Computer Science (by courtesy) at Northwestern University where he is Director of the Computational Journalism Lab (CJL). He is also a Tow Fellow at Columbia University School of Journalism as well as Associate Professor II at the University of Bergen Department of Information Science and Media Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech where he co-founded the program in Computational Journalism. His research is in computational and data journalism with active research projects on (1) algorithmic accountability and transparency, (2) automation and algorithms in news production, and (3) social media in news contexts. He is the author of Automating the News: How Algorithms are Rewriting the Media from Harvard University Press, and the co-editor of Data-Driven Storytelling, from CRC Press.

Invited Panel: Conveying a Clear Message and Uncertainty with Graphics

Traditional newspaper data graphics have used simplified charts to convey one or two core messages. However, most data and model predictions are subject to uncertainty. Responsible presentation of data to newsreaders calls for also communicating such uncertainty to support more informed decisions. The panelists will discuss the tension between goals of parsimony and narrative versus uncertainty and complexity, sharing strategies and examples from their own work.

Jen Christiansen

Scientific American

Jen Christiansen is senior graphics editor at Scientific American, where she art directs and produces illustrated explanatory diagrams and data visualizations. She began her publishing career in New York City at Scientific American in 1996, moved to Washington, D.C. to join the staff of National Geographic (first as an assistant art director/researcher hybrid and then as a designer), spent four years as a freelance science communicator and returned to Scientific American in 2007. Jen writes and presents on topics ranging from visualizing uncertainty, to her quest to learn more about the pulsar chart on Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album cover. She holds a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a B.A. in geology and studio art from Smith College. (Photograph by Liz Tormes)

Catherine D’Ignazio


Catherine D’Ignazio is an Assistant Professor of Urban Science and Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. She is also Director of the Data + Feminism Lab which uses data and computational methods to work towards gender and racial equity. D’Ignazio is a scholar, artist/designer and hacker mama who focuses on feminist technology, data literacy and civic engagement. She has run reproductive justice hackathons, designed global news recommendation systems, created talking and tweeting water quality sculptures, and led walking data visualizations to envision the future of sea level rise. With Rahul Bhargava, she built the platform, a suite of tools and activities to introduce newcomers to data science. Her forthcoming book from MIT Press, Data Feminism, co-authored with Lauren Klein, charts a course for more ethical and empowering data science practices.

Jessica Hullman

Northwestern University


Jessica Hullman is an Associate Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at Northwestern University, where she directs the MU Collective with Matt Kay, a lab devoted to improving visualizations and data interfaces by leveraging theory and empirical findings on judgment under uncertainty. She is also an Associate Professor in the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern. From January 2015 to July 2018 she was an Assistant Professor in the iSchool at University of Washington and an adjunct Assistant Professor at UW CSE, where she was a member of the Interactive Data Lab and the DataLab.

Alberto Cairo (Chair)

University of Miami

Alberto Cairo is the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami and director of visualization at UM’s Center for Computational Science. After a long career in journalism in Spain ( and Brazil (Editora Globo) he became a professor, consultant, and author. He has consulted for companies and institutions such as Google, Microsoft, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is the author of numerous books about visualization. The most recent ones are ‘How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter About Visual Information’ (2019), and ‘The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication’ (2016). His Twitter account is @albertocairo and his weblog is

View the full detailed program & schedule here.

Panel: Politics

Moderator: Meg Heckman, Northeastern University  (*presenter)

Daniel Muise, Homa Hosseinmardi, Baird Howland, Markus Mobius, David Rothschild and Duncan Watts.
Growing Separation in the Television News Audience: Evidence from Three Years of Nielsen Panel Data

Irena Fischer-Hwang, Dylan Grosz, Xinlan Emily Hu, Anjini Karthik and Vivian Yang.
Disarming Loaded Words: Addressing Gender Bias in Political Reporting

Victor Soares Bursztyn and Larry Birnbaum.
Thousands of Small, Constant Rallies: A Large-Scale Analysis of Partisan WhatsApp Groups

*Rahul Bhargava, Cindy Bishop and Ethan Zuckerman.
Mapping and Visualizing News Images for Media Research


Panel: Countering Noise, Bias & Uncertainty

Moderator: Sue Robinson, University of Wisconsin-Madison (*presenter)

*Sean Fischer, Kokil Jaidka and Yphtach Lelkes.
Topical Biases in Local News Curation: An Audit of Google News.

Brian Felipe Keith Norambuena, Michael Horning and Tanushree Mitra.
Evaluating the Inverted Pyramid Structure through Automatic 5W1H Extraction and Summarization

*Yea Seul Kim, Jake Hofman and Dan Goldstein.
Effectively communicating effect size.

*Daniel Trielli and Nicholas Diakopoulos.
How Journalists Can Systematically Critique Algorithms



Panel: Data & Modeling in the Newsroom

Moderator: Meredith Broussard, New York University (*presenter)

*Jeff Kao and *Jack Gillum.
Reverse-Engineering an Audio Aggression Detection Algorithm | How we tested and analyzed software that claims to spot aggression from your voice (ProPublica)

Jonathan Stray and Karen Hao.
Interactive Visualization of Fairness Tradeoffs (MIT Tech Review)

*Leonard Bronner, Al Johri and Jeremy Bowers.
Predicting Elections using Live Data at The Washington Post (The Washington Post)

*James Randerson, Karl Bjelland and Karl Roos.
POLITICO Pro Intelligence: A novel digital platform for customizable analysis of political, policy and legislative data


Contributed Sessions I — 10:30am – 11:30am

Covering COVID I

  1. Arkansascovid: How We Ran A COVID News Website Through a College Journalism Class

    – Rob Wells, Ph.D., Assistant Professor,  Univ. of Arkansas, Editor of
    – Katy Seiter, Graduate Student, Univ. of Arkansas, Assistant Editor,
    – Mary Hennigan, Student, Univ. of Arkansas, Assistant Editor,

  2. COVID-19 and a corresponding shift in collaborative data journalism
    – Cheryl Phillips, Big Local News

    – Ben Welsh, Los Angeles Times

  3. Covering COVID-19 with automated journalism: leveraging technological innovation in times of crisis
    –  Samuel Danzon-Chambaud, School of Communications, Dublin City University
  4. Documenting COVID-19, collecting unstructured and confidential data from FOIA
    – Derek Kravitz, Brown Institute for Media Innovation

    – Georgia Gee, Brown Institute for Media Innovation
    – Kyra Senese, Brown Institute for Media Innovation

Data Journalism Practices I

  1. Digital go-alongs: recounting individual journeys through personal data as journalistic stories
    – Francesca Morini, Södertörn University and UCLab, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

    – Jona Pomerance, UCLab, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
    – Anna Meide, UCLab, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
    – Tim Hönig, UCLab, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
    – Tạ Đoàn Vi Quân, UCLab, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
    – Marian Dörk, UCLab, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
    – Ester Appelgren, Södertörn University

  2. How Data Journalism Engages Audience
    – Avner Kantor, University of Haifa

    – Sheizaf Rafaeli, University of Haifa

  3. Newsroom Sensemaking: A Process Model for Epistemic Humility in Data and Computational Journalism
    – Charles Berret, University of British Columbia

    – Stephen Kasica, University of British Columbia
    – Tamara Munzner, University of British Columbia

  4. From No Prereqs to Data Storytellers: Borrowing from the Journalist’s Toolbox to Teach Students to Communicate with Data
    – Sara Stoudt, Smith College

Online news sources: Quality and Quantity

  1. How to be successful in social media? A causal analysis of 8 media’s news sharing practices on Twitter
    – Kunwoo Park, Soongsil University
  2. What the metrics say. Online news popularity on the web and social media pages of mainstream media outlets
    – Kenza Lamot, University of Antwerp
  3. Predicting quality in online journalism through explainable AI
    – Catherine Sotirakou

    – Hajo G. Boomgaarden
    – Constantinos Mourlas

  4. 365 Dots in 2018, 2019, and 2020: Quantifying Attention of News Sources
    – Alexander C. Nwala, Researcher, Observatory on Social Media, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

    – Michele C. Weigle, Web Science & Digital Libraries Research Group, Department of Computer Science, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
    – Michael L. Nelson, Web Science & Digital Libraries Research Group, Department of Computer Science, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA


Contributed Sessions II — 12pm – 1pm (two sessions will run until 1:15pm)

The new Data Journalism Handbook: preview, walkthrough and Q&A (Contributed Panel)

– Jonathan Gray, King’s College London
– Liliana Bounegru, King’s College London
– María Isabel Magaña, La Sabana University
– Pınar Dağ, University of Kadir Has / VOYD
– Kumar Sambhav, Land Conflict Watch
– Crina Boros, Freelance journalist & City University
– Catherine D’Ignazio, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
– Elliot Bentley, The Wall Street Journal
– Jonathan Stray, Partnership on AI
– Eddy Borges-Rey, Northwestern University
– Meredith K Broussard, New York University
– Stefan Candea, University of Westminster
– Caitlin Petre, Rutgers University
– Simon Rogers, Google News Lab
– Eva Constantaras, Data Nomads
– Eliana Vaca, Freelance Designer
– Cheryl Phillips, Stanford University
– Seth Lewis, University of Oregon/University of Oxford
– Wiebke Loosen, Hans-Bredow-Institut
– Chris Anderson, University of Leeds
– Paul Bradshaw, Birmingham City University / BBC

Reporting on Violence, Bias and Conspiracies

  1. Documenting police violence: a comparative study of the watchdog approach used in French, English and American data journalism projects.
    Rayya Roumanos, Bordeaux-Montaigne University (France)
    – Olivier Le Deuff, Bordeaux-Montaigne University (France)
  2. HateMap: Computational methods for monitoring hate incidents through online news media
    Clark Freifeld, Northeastern University
    – Yulin Hswen, University of California, San Francisco
    – Bryan Asare, Guilford College
  3.  VizPol: Real-Time Symbol Recognition for Field Reporting and Image Tagging
    – Ishaan Jhaveri, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University
    – Guangxing Han, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University
    – Svebor Karaman, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University
    – Xu Zhang, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University
    – Bhaskar Ghosh, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University
    – Nina Berman, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University
    – Susan McGregor, Data Science Institute, Columbia University
    – Shih-Fu Chang, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University
  4. RadiTube: A New Tool for Navigating Fringe YouTube Communities
    – Cameron Ballard, NYU Tandon
    – Erik van Zummeren, NYU ITP
  5. Investigating systemic bias in Canada’s prisons
    – Tom Cardoso, The Globe and Mail

Data Journalism Practices II

  1. Artificial Intelligence in Chinese Newsrooms
    Joanne Kuai, Karlstad University
  2. Exploring Together: How Might we Leverage Inter-organisational Collaboration for Journalism Innovation?
    Agnes Stenbom, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
    – Charlie Beckett, LSE POLIS/JournalismAI
  3. Using Data in Pursuit of Solutions Journalism
    Matthew Kauffman, Solutions Journalism Network
  4. News Discourse Patterns: A Roadmap for Computational Journalism
    Alexander Spangher, University of Southern California
    – Jonathan May, University of Southern California
  5. Datamations: Animated Explanations of Data Analysis Pipelines
    Xiaoying Pu, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States– Sean Kross, The University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
    – Jake M. Hofman, Microsoft Research, NYC, New York, United States
    – Daniel G. Goldstein, Microsoft Research, New York, New York, United States

Contributed Sessions III — 2:30pm – 3:30pm

Differential Privacy in the 2020 Census: Balancing Confidentiality and Data Utility (Contributed Panel)

– Maria Fillipelli, New America
– danah boyd, Microsoft Research
– Terry Ao Minnis, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC
– Cara Brumfield, Georgetown Center on Poverty & Inequality
– Jae June Lee, Georgetown Center on Poverty & Inequality

Covering COVID II

  1. The COVID-19 Infodemic: Twitter versus Facebook
    – Kai-Cheng Yang, Indiana University Bloomington
    – Francesco Pierri, Politecnico di Milano
    – Pik-Mai Hui, Indiana University Bloomington
    – David Axelrod, Indiana University Bloomington
    – Christopher Torres-Lugo, Indiana University Bloomington
    – John Bryden, Indiana University Bloomington
    – Filippo Menczer, Indiana University Bloomington
  2. Large Scale Social Media Data Analysis to Understand Depression During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    – Nusrat Armin, University of Mississippi
    – Dawn Wilkins, University of Mississippi
    – Mahmudul Hasan, University of South Carolina
    – Naeemul Hassan, University of Maryland
  3. Local news availability does not increase pro-social pandemic response
    – Sean Fischer, Annenberg School for Communication 
  4. Exploring the Information Landscape of News using Narrative Maps
    – Brian Keith Norambuena, Virginia Tech
    – Tanushree Mitra, University of Washington
    – Chris North, Virginia Tech

Trust and Misinformation

  1. Right and left, partisanship predicts (asymmetric) vulnerability to misinformation
    – Dimitar Nikolov, Observatory on Social Media, Indiana University, USA
    – Alessandro Flammini, Observatory on Social Media, Indiana University, USA
    – Filippo Menczer, Observatory on Social Media, Indiana University, USA
  2. Demonstrating Automated Disinformation
    – Alex Calderwood, Columbia University
    – Eric Bolton, Brown Institute for Media Innovation
  3. 78 Days – A Photographic Archive of Trust and Mistrust in our Digital Age
    – Jonathan Dotan, Stanford University
  4. The Citizen Browser Project — Auditing the Algorithms of Disinformation
    – Julia Angwin, The Markup
    – Surya Mattu, The Markup

Tools and assessment

  1. Ring signatures for anonymous sourcing in journalism
    – Jayshree Sarathy, Harvard College
    – Catherine Kerner, Harvard College
  2. Census 2020: A Computational Law Approach
    – Alexander Spangher, University of Southern California
    – Jonathan May, University of Southern California
  3. A Framework for Assessing Changes in the Local Media Environment
    – Joshua P. Darr, Louisiana State University
    – Matthew P. Hitt, Colorado State University
    – Johanna L. Dunaway, Texas A&M University
  4. 5 Ways to Introduce Design Justice to Your Newsroom
    – Ting Zhang, Columbia Journalism School

Contributed Sessions IV — 4pm – 5pm

Storytelling with Numbers amid a Pandemic and Toxic Misinformation (Contributed Session)

– Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein, Knology
– Uduak Grace Thomas, Knology
– Laura Santhanam, PBS NewsHour
– Jacklyn Grace Lacey, American Museum of Natural History

Covering COVID III

  1. Equity, Epidemiology, and Empathy: The Power of Data in the Midst of a Pandemic
    – Vilas Dhar, President at Patrick J. McGovern Foundation
    – Kate Miller, PhD, MPH, Senior Scientist at Ariadne Labs
    – Stuart A. Thompson, Graphic Director at the New York Times Opinion
    – Rebecca Weintraub, MD, COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Lead at Ariadne Labs and Physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  2. A pandemic in graphics: Covering coronavirus from a visual perspective research
    – Adrián Blanco, Columbia University, The Washington Post
    – Javier Sauras, Columbia University
  3. Visualizing the Pandemic: 1 Year Later
    – Dylan Halpern, Center for Spatial Data Science, University of Chicago
    – Marynia Kolak, Center for Spatial Data Science, University of Chicago
    – Xun Li, Center for Spatial Data Science, University of Chicago
    – Qinyun Lin, Center for Spatial Data Science, University of Chicago
  4. MISSING THEM, a data-driven COVID-19 memorial project by THE CITY nonprofit newsroom
    – Anjali Tsui, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism
    – Terry Parris Jr., THE CITY
    – Derek Kravitz, Columbia Journalism School

Summarization and Recommendation

  1. Is the human news worker becoming less journalistic? The changing role of gatekeeping in the age of computational journalism
    – Hannes Cools, University of Leuven
    – Michaël Opgenhaffen, University of Leuven
    – Baldwin Van Gorp, University of Leuven
  2. Proposal for Extractive Summarization Method of News Articles and Collaboration with Editors in Newsroom
    – Shotaro Ishihara, Nikkei, Inc.
    – Norihiko Sawa, Nikkei, Inc.
  3. Recommendation Horizon
    – Eric Bolton, Brown Institute for Media Innovation
  4. Persine: Reproducible research on algorithmic recommendation systems
    – Jonathan Soma, Columbia Journalism School