Lehigh to Host Top Data Journalists in Virtual Panel Discussion

Five veteran journalists to address the increasingly important role of data journalism in communicating important social issues to the public.

Story by

Mary Ellen Alu

Covid map

Five veteran journalists from The Washington Post, the Associated Press, Politico and The Atlantic will come together Tuesday, March 9, as Lehigh hosts a virtual panel discussion on the increasingly important role of data in communicating critical social issues to the public.

The “Data Journalism in the Years of Challenges” event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by Lehigh’s Department of Journalism and Communication and the Institute for Data, Intelligent Systems and Computation (I-DISC). The discussion will be held from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Megan Hoyer

Megan Hoyer, The Washington Post

“In the recent years, amid chaos and disruptions, data journalism drove the reporting for the most significant social issues, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the 2020 presidential election, from the protests against social injustice to the [Jan. 6] insurrection that stormed the Capitol Hill,” said Haiyan Jia, assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Communication. Jia will moderate the discussion.

“Data has played an increasingly important role in discovering new insights, conducting in-depth investigations, revealing global trends, telling the stories of individuals and communities, enabling fact checking, and shaping public discourse.”

Troy Thibodeaux

Troy Thibodeaux, The Associated Press

She said the panelists will address issues and topics that include how to obtain reliable, factual information in today’s challenging times. Panelists also will address “what role the news organizations, the public and other stakeholders should play toward restoring trust, combating misinformation (and worse, conspiracy theory) and building a mutual understanding,” she said.

Additionally, the journalists will share their perspectives on how universities can better prepare students with data literacy and skills.

Panelists include:

Meghan Hoyer, data director at The Washington Post

Hoyer leads a team of data journalists whose work ranges from long-term investigations to breaking local news.

Andrew McGill

Andrew McGill, Politico

Troy Thibodeaux, data science and news applications editor, The Associated Press

Thibodeaux leads a team of data journalists based around the United States who work with reporters, editors and visual journalists to find and tell stories from data. He also oversees teams working on newsroom tools and automation efforts.

Andrew McGill, editor of the Interactive News team at Politico

McGill focuses on using data and graphics to tell stories, and building products that connect the news to readers’ lived experiences.

Alexis Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic

Alexis Madrigal, staff writer and co-founder of The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic.

Robinson Meyer, staff writer and co-founders of The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic

Meyer has covered science, politics and technology for the magazine since 2012.

Robinson Meyer

Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic

He is the author of The Weekly Planet, The Atlantic’s weekly email newsletter on climate change, and he helped establish Planet, The Atlantic’s climate section. He is a visiting fellow in journalism at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, and he is a two-time winner of the SEAL Award in Environmental Journalism.

More information and the link to register for the event can be found here.

Story by

Mary Ellen Alu

Related Stories

Sean Carberry

‘Passport Stamps’: Lehigh Grad and Former War Correspondent Recounts his Experience

Sean Carberry ’91 writes about his time overseas in his new book, “Passport Stamps: Searching the World for a War to Call Home.”

Jennifer Midberry

Lehigh Professor to Study the Harms of Gun Violence Reporting

Former photojournalist Jennifer Midberry teams with trauma surgeon and epidemiologist to analyze how gun violence reporting can harm survivors and communities.

Illustration of website pages

A Search Engine for Datasets

Haiyan Jia and a team of Lehigh researchers works to create a dataset search engine prototype that allows users to find data online regardless of domain.