I wrote computer programs to scrape each Online News Association conference speaker's Twitter followers and influencer scores before and after the conference, and measured which session hashtags were most tweeted about, then visualized the results. David Fahrenthold, Brian Stelter, Nikole Hannah-Jones and Amy Webb were among the most influential conference-goers.
The Online News Association conference's 199 speakers have a combined 4 million unique Twitter followers, according to my analysis of their Twitter accounts. Among my other findings: Nieman Lab is their most-followed account, The New York Times is the most-followed news outlet, and Donald Trump has the 149th-most-followed account, trailing Barack Obama (6th), Hillary Clinton (28th), Edward Snowden (120th) and Neil deGrasse Tyson (141st).
The University of Oregon athletic department provides its employees free cars to drive for personal use. The program, in theory, should be free, because the cars are provided by local auto dealerships as gift-in-kind. But according to my analysis, the department promises employees far more cars than it actually has, so the majority of employees — including the athletic director himself — collect lucrative monthly stipends in lieu of actual cars.
NBC 7 Investigates - KNSD
After writing a computer program to scrape the San Diego County restaurant inspection database, I found thousands of restaurants 'A' letter grades on routine inspections, despite inspectors finding up 10 violations, including those that pose imminent health hazards. The health department said this was a good thing, but experts disagreed, and an analysis of other jurisdiction's grading systems showed it was far easier to achieve an 'A' in San Diego than elsewhere.
NBC 7 Investigates - KNSD
I wrote a computer program to scrape the advertising platforms Weedmaps and Leafly and found hundreds of marijuana delivery services operating illegally in San Diego County. While many of those businesses are working to become licensed, San Diego police have begun cracking down on them, saying they present problems for law enforcement and a danger to the public.
I analyzed San Diego police calls for service data and found police in 2017 are performing increased numbers of "homeland security checks" — or proactive measures to provide increased security for particular places and people — particularly at the Islamic Center, Jewish Community Center and Muslim Community Center. A San Diego police spokesman says the locations they perform checks "just depends on what’s happening in the world today.”
In this story with Sarah Alvarez, I wrote computer programs to scrape court records the 36th District Court of Michigan website and exposed a controversial "pay-or-stay" system in Detroit. According to the data, in two months alone, taxpayers paid to jail 256 residents who didn't pay traffic tickets. They were jailed an average of four days, costing taxpayers $600 apiece, though in most cases their fines totaled half that amount.
My analysis of defendant's address field in thousands of Eugene Municipal Court records found the homeless in Eugene received roughly 35 percent of all tickets for minor crimes in 2016, despite accounting for no more than 2 percent of the population. The records show police repeatedly ticketed numerous homeless individuals for trespassing, illegal camping, disorderly conduct and violating park rules.
Media pick-ups: Willamette Week
When then-athletic director Pat Kilkenny decided to revive the baseball program and drop wrestling in 2009, he projected it to turn a profit within five years. But an analysis of the program’s financial transparency reports show its annual budget deficit has increased every year since 2009, tickets are down nearly 50 percent, and administration salaries now exceed the entire income of the program.
My analysis of a database of more than 100,000 elder abuse complaints found the average fine for a substantiated cases was only $98, making it less expensive for long-term care facilities to break the rules than provide proper care. The analysis revealed flaws in a penalty structure that had been rarely updated since 1977 — until after this story, by Kelly Kenoyer and I, was released.