Writing / research

Among my recent work:

Virginia’s student privacy law may undermine census count | Virginia Mercury

In 2018, legislators barred Virginia’s public colleges and universities from disclosing students’ addresses without their written consent. Surprise! That means schools can’t give their student directories to the Census Bureau so that students can be automatically included in the 2020 census.

Census faces distrust, language barriers and a new deadline | Virginia Mercury

About 68% of Virginians have completed the 2020 census — the eighth-highest response rate among the states. But the statewide average masks vast differences among localities. The response rates range from 80% in the cities of Falls Church and Fairfax to 35% in Accomack County.

‘The bedrock of wealth inequality’: Data shows big racial disparities in mortgage loans and homeownership | Virginia Mercury

Nationwide and in Virginia, African Americans were more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be denied mortgage loans in 2019, according to new federal data. The racial disparities in loans and homeownership take on added meaning amid the national conversation about racial inequalities and institutional racism.

Guest columnist: Let’s rename military bases honoring Confederate officers | Virginia Mercury

Now that Virginia’s governor has announced plans to remove the 12-ton statue of Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, it’s time for government officials to train their sights on an even more imposing symbol honoring the Confederate commander: the U.S. Army base that bears his name about 30 miles south of the state capital.

Use the SMELL test to sniff out ‘fake news’ | Virginia Capital Connections Quarterly Magazine | PDF

The outbreak of the new coronavirus has spawned an “infodemic” of misinformation and disinformation. Just as we all have a responsibility to help prevent the virus from spreading, it’s incumbent on all of us to help prevent false information from propagating.

Guest columnist: Rename bases honoring Confederates | The Virginian-Pilot

At least 12 U.S. military bases, including four in Virginia, are named for Confederate officials who fought to maintain slavery. It’s time to rename those facilities — and to stop honoring figures who turned against the United States of America and defended a system that treated black people as chattel.

More than 1,000 U.S. news sites are still unavailable in Europe, two months after GDPR took effect | NiemanLab

Websites had two years to get ready for the GDPR. But rather than comply, about a third of the 100 largest U.S. newspapers have instead chosen to block European visitors to their sites.

Slow Journalism and the Out of Eden Walk | Co-authored with Don Belt
Published in the academic journal Digital Journalism and in the book Slow Journalism

Journalism does not get much slower than National Geographic’s Out of Eden Walk, a seven-year, around-the-world journey being undertaken by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Salopek. This article explains how Salopek’s Walk is a particularly useful and beautiful example of slow journalism that renders the oldest story in human history using innovative digital tools of the twenty-first century. It also offers university educators ideas on using the Out of Eden Walk as a teaching tool, by exposing classrooms to the literary and visual delights of the project while having students design and implement a narrative walk of their own.

People’s Republic of Taboos | The Chronicle of Higher Education

Reflections on my Fulbright teaching data journalism and social media at a university in China, and what happened when I changed my avatar on Weibo and WeChat to the Tiananmen Square “Tank Man.”



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