Documenting COVID-19 is a collaborative open-records project started at Columbia University's Brown Institute for Media Innovation to host local, state and federal document sets related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It combines documents requested by the Brown Institute and other newsrooms and journalists. Additional funding for this project comes from FRONTLINE PBS, Columbia Journalism School's Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, the Fund for Investigative Journalism and National Geographic.
The Documenting COVID-19 website was developed by Tim Robertson of Good Digital Culture. Its fiscal sponsor is the public-records website and foundation, MuckRock.
Two projects — the Algorithms Project and the Examiners Project — began with support from the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University as part of the Covid Public Info project. It included contributions from team members including JSK Fellows Garance Burke and Matt Kiefer, as well as MuckRock and Outlier Media, and partner newsrooms around the country.
Derek Kravitz, project lead
Derek Kravitz is working on grant-funded initiatives in 2020-21 through Columbia and Stanford's Brown Institute for Media Innovation. He is also an instructor for the Columbia Journalism School's Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, where he teaches research and reporting skills. From 2016 to 2019, he was the research director at ProPublica, the New York-based investigative nonprofit newsroom, and, for the past decade, has worked as a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press and The Washington Post. Kravitz is a two-time Livingston Award finalist — for work with The New Yorker and ProPublica — and projects he edited or reported have won prizes from the George Polk Awards, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, the Online News Association, Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Deadline Club. He has also been apart of three teams that have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Researchers and journalists on this project come from academic graduate school departments at Columbia University and as post-graduate fellows through the site's fiscal sponsor, MuckRock:
Dillon Bergin, senior journalism fellow
Dillon Bergin is an investigative journalist who specializes in data and public records. He is a former Report for America corps member with Searchlight New Mexico. From 2019 to 2020, he was a Fulbright Germany Journalism Fellow. His work has been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The New Republic and Searchlight New Mexico. He is currently based in Philadelphia. Email: email@example.com
Betsy Ladyzhets, senior journalism fellow
Betsy Ladyzhets is an independent science, health and data journalist currently focused on COVID-19. She runs the COVID-19 Data Dispatch, a publication that provides news and resources on pandemic data. She's previously worked as a data journalist at Stacker, where she managed the outlet's Science & Health vertical, and volunteered for the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic. Her work has appeared in Science News, MIT Technology Review, Popular Science, Slate and other publications. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mohar Chatterjee, senior research and data fellow (Computer Science and Journalism, 2021)
Mohar Chatterjee is a dual master's degree student in Computer Science and Journalism at Columbia University. Chatterjee focuses on computational journalism, investigative reporting and building better softwatre tools for both. She previously worked at The Washington Post's Newsroom Engineering Team. Her work has been published in The Post, KQED, the Detroit Free-Press and The Atlantic's COVIDS Tracking Project. Chatterjee graduated in 2019 from the California Institute of Technology with majors in mechanical engineering and business economics and management. She expects to graduate from Columbia in May 2022. Email: email@example.com
Eric Fan, senior research and data fellow (Computer Science and Journalism, 2021)
Eric Fan is a dual-degree Journalism and Computer Science graduate student at Columbia University. With a focus on data journalism and investigative reporting, Fan's work has appeared in Forbes, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Chicago Sun-Times. He is graduating from Columbia in May 2022. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Smarth Gupta, research and data fellow (Computer Science, 2021)
Smarth Gupta is a master's Data Science student at Columbia University. His focus areas include data storytelling, analytical research, anomaly detection and forecasting. Gupta completed his bachelor's degree from IIT Kanpur, majoring in economics with minors in machine learning and computer systems. Previously, he was an editorial board member of IIT Kanpur's student journalism publication, Vox Populi. Email: email@example.com
Riya Chadha, design fellow (Architecture and Related Services, 2021)
Riya Chadha is an architect currently pursuing a master's degree in architecture and urban design at Columbia University. She founded a nonprofit, The Adda Experiment, that focuses on equal opportunity to social spaces. As part of the Documenting COVID-19 project, Chadha is working with various stakeholders to understand their needs along with building a data collection framework and facilitating future collaborations. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org