Louise Lief

A journalist who sought to democratize data

Investigative Reporting Workshop


Earlier this year, some of the nation’s top data journalists flew to Washington to pay their respects to one of their own. My Investigative Reporting Workshop colleague David Donald, former data editor at the watchdog journalism nonprofit Center for Public Integrity, died in December after battling cancer. His colleagues gathered to celebrate his life and remarkable professional achievements.

Before he became ill, Donald and his colleagues had been developing a new, more democratic vision for data journalism, one that would invite the public into the process. His efforts came at a critical moment, as the integrity of data is being tested in a post-truth world.

I met Donald at the Workshop. He, Chuck Lewis, the workshop’s executive editor, and I shared an interest in making data journalism’s tools and techniques more available to the public and other disciplines.


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