Ben Welsh on Muck Rack

Ben Welsh Verified

Downtown L.A.
Database Producer — LA Times
As seen in:  LA Times
Covers:  energy, data, politics, money in politics, public safety

Database producer for the Los Angeles Times Data Desk. Editor and publisher of palewi.re and pastpages.org

Ben Welsh's Biography

I am a reporter, albeit an unconventional one.

I specialize in what is called computer-assisted reporting. Journalists in the past were often hack novelists. I'm a hack computer programmer. I use computers to collect, organize, analyze and present large amounts of information.

I work at the Los Angeles Times, a daily newspaper and 24-hour website based in Southern California.

I am also the editor and publisher of PastPages, an ...

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What tools and software do you use to do your job?

Python, PostGIS, Django, HTML, JavaScript

Did you work for your high school newspaper? If so, what did you do there?

No.

New packages deploy CAL-ACCESS apps with Docker, Chef

californiacivicdata.org — This morning we're releasing a set of open-source packages that aim to make it easier to deploy our tools for acquiring and analyzing CAL-ACCESS, the California Secretary of State's campaign finance database. django-calaccess-project-template is a custom template for initializing a preconfigured Django project with our applications already installed and ready to roll.

RAND Corp. report on LAFD hiring

documents.latimes.com — The controversial process for hiring firefighters at the Los Angeles Fire Department needs another overhaul, according to a new study released Thursday. The 150-page report, prepared for the city by experts at the Rand Corp., features a series of proposals to fix a hiring system Mayor Eric Garcetti rebooted last year amid concerns of nepotism and mismanagement.

Report calls for another overhaul in hiring of LAFD firefighters

latimes.com — The controversial process for hiring firefighters at the Los Angeles Fire Department needs another overhaul, according to a new study released Thursday. The 150-page report, prepared for the city by experts at the Rand Corp., features a series of proposals to fix a hiring system Mayor Eric Garcetti rebooted last year amid concerns of nepotism and mismanagement.

New LAFD class is nearly all male; 20% have relatives in the ranks

latimes.com — The first new class of Los Angeles Fire Department recruits since Mayor Eric Garcetti overhauled the city's firefighter hiring process this year is half white and nearly all male, according to data released Tuesday evening. One in five is related to an LAFD member.

Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate

documents.latimes.com — The White House released President Obama's long-form birth certificate to reporters on Wednesday, an extraordinary step in reaction to renewed questions from critics about whether he was born in Hawaii.

open a file, read it, print matching lines . palewire

palewi.re — A couple of friends out there are valiantly teaching themselves the Python programming language in their free time. Who are they? Hack reporters like me, picking up computer skills in a continuing quest to better sift, organize and analyze information. And, in the process, maybe keep our jobs.

Federal investigators probing elite LAFD fireboat unit

latimes.com — Criminal investigators with the U.S. Coast Guard are probing an elite group of Los Angeles firefighters at the city's port to determine whether federal licensing records were falsified for crew members assigned to large fireboats, The Times has learned.

Ferguson grand jury documents

documents.latimes.com — Search the documents released by the Missouri grand jury that decided not to indict Darren Wilson, a police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.

CAL-ACCESS app now supports PostgreSQL

californiacivicdata.org — A new version of our software for downloading campaign finance and lobbying data now supports the popular PostgreSQL database backend, thanks to significant contributions from a new volunteer. Version 0.1.0 of django-calaccess-raw-data is now freely available on the Python Package Index and GitHub.

Sheila Kuehl claims victory in L.A. County supervisor race

latimes.com — With preliminary election results showing her far ahead, former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl said her competitor in the race for Los Angeles County supervisor, Bobby Shriver, called Wednesday morning to concede the closely watched contest. "I think it's safe to say that I've won this race," Kuehl said.
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Jan 27, 2015

@kleinmatic I dunno I've always admired Yankees unchecked spending in pursuit of glory. Why not just pay him? es.pn/1CYX6Nv

Jan 26, 2015

Swaggy P: "Pretty much just give me the ball and get out of the way." nbclosangeles.com/blogs/triple-t…

Jan 26, 2015

ICYMI: Our California campaign cash project now packaged for Docker. Plz read my crap code, point, laugh, file ticket californiacivicdata.org/2015/01/26/hel…



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