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BXRoberts.org

Um Yes, Hello ...

Brando Roberts

I'm an independent data journalist with a focus on open source software development and applying computational techniques to local watchdog journalism. I'm based in Washington State and currently specialize in consulting for news organizations. You can find some of my selected work here and my resume here.

My recent work includes developing a Datasette-based data warehouse for Newsday as part of their Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge grant and an ongoing investigation into law enforcement misconduct in WA. I've also done various projects with ProPublica (Electionland, Nonprofit Explorer and Collaborate), Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Associated Press, the New Zealand Department of Conservation, Dictator Alert and By The Bay.

Aside from my consulting work, I've worked with small/local nonprofit newsrooms, developed a next-generation web scraping tool and presented research at Computation + Journalism Symposium 2019). Got a wild idea for an investigative project? Contact me! I love to collaborate.

Back in 2013, I was doing data journalism at The Austin Bulldog, an investigative non-profit based in Austin, Texas. I wrote tools to automate routine investigative tasks like full background investigations of political candidates, scraped large datasets, and wrote distributed grid searches. I led research on a 6-month local tax-evasion story (part1) (part2). Our work resulted in the recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes and the closing of the tax loop-hole. This is when I first saw the power of applying new techniques to old journalistic problems. That same year I was a finalist in the CIJ/IRE’s "Follow the Money" campaign finance data mining contest and I spoke at NICAR 2013 in Louisville, KY. I slept on the roof of an abandoned building on the first night because I couldn't afford a hotel. Then it snowed. That's how badly I wanted to be there.

When I'm not near a computer, you can usually find me at Seattle 2600 or walking my rescue pitty, Kisses, and her other adopted siblings.

Contact

Email is the best way to contact me: . If you prefer encrypted communications, my key is below. I also use twitter @bxroberts and I have a (very low volume) mailing list for updates about projects I'm involved in:

PGP Key

You can encrypt mail to me using my public key. (NOTE: I have a new key as of Nov 1, 2021 with ID 0x91ECCA231535C682. Here's a version of my new key signed with my old key, in case you have my old key.)

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