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Computational Journalist

Job ID: 11458
Job Views: 524
Location: New York, New York, United States
Postal Code:
Job Category: Online | New Media
Employment Type: Full time
Posted: 06.07.2024

Job Description

We are seeking a computational journalist to join our data team to use their technical knowledge, as well as emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and large language models, to help us investigate the world and unlock stories that would otherwise be out of reach. 

Journalism experience is a plus, but we especially encourage applications from people with quantitative/research backgrounds, such as statistics, data science, AI and machine learning. Ability to code well is a must.

Ultimately, we’re looking for someone who would pitch us on ideas that use technology to do things we hadn’t dreamed of doing. That could be renting a boat to test the WiFi networks at Mar-a-Lago, having students scream into black-box hardware or using the power of programming to fingerprint and cluster propaganda videos.

This person will be a reporter on the data team and an evangelist in our newsroom for the use of technology in news gathering and data analysis.

In this role, you will:

  • Write software, as well as stories, with an accountability lens.
  • Conduct analyses that detect bias, influence and other harms.
  • Reverse engineer “black boxes” to understand how algorithms and systems work, as we did with the Compas algorithm in our “Machine Bias” story.
  • Explain our work and make it reproducible by writing engaging methodologies
  • Work with reporters and other data team members to brainstorm and execute lines of investigation.
  • Acquire, clean, bulletproof and spot-check data that underpins our investigations.
  • Wrangle data, including the unstructured, messy kind.
  • Scrape websites, including stubborn ones.
  • Consume APIs, including poorly designed ones.

We’re looking for someone who has some of following skills:

  • Experience working on data projects in a newsroom or has done statistical or data-scientific analysis in academia or in another research setting.
  • Experience working with AI and machine learning — including generative AI, large language models and other forms of machine learning.
  • The ability to build data pipelines and conduct rigorous analysis.
  • Fluency in modern and widely supported software languages.
  • An aptitude for and genuine interest in developing your journalism skills.
  • A deep desire to work on important accountability stories and an eagerness to help dig for the truth to help spur reform.
  • The ability to clearly identify lines of reporting that could lead to impact and a talent for translating complex topics clearly and compellingly to our audience.
  • The self-discipline to work independently, as well as an eagerness to work with teammates on collaborative projects.
  • A solid understanding of the tools of data analysis, such as database management systems, statistics software like R, Google BigQuery, Python/pandas, Jupyter Notebooks, etc.

This position is full time with benefits. The team is distributed, so remote applicants anywhere in the U.S. are welcome. For those who prefer working from an office, our headquarters are in New York City, and we have offices in Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and Berkeley, California.

The expected salary range for this position is $120,000 to $140,000.

This is a good-faith estimate of what we expect to pay for this position. The final salary figure will take into account a person’s experience, accomplishment and location. ProPublica is committed to paying its staff equitably, and these ranges should not be considered career salary limits or caps.

We will begin reviewing applications as we receive them, but we will continue to consider candidates as long as the posting remains live on our site.

Questions? Send an email to

No phone calls, please.

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