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 and

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?


Audit of LAFD EMS billing — The Los Angeles Fire Department should change the way it bills people who call 911 for medical help, according to an audit released Wednesday.

City should collect more revenue from LAFD 911 callers, audit says — The Los Angeles Fire Department should change the way it bills people who call 911 for medical help, according to an audit released Wednesday. The 97-page report, issued by City Controller Ron Galperin, urges fire officials to develop new ways to recover millions of dollars spent each years to provide medical rescues.

The 2015 CAL-ACCESS challenge — Four ways to dig deeper into California campaign cash at this week's Stanford symposium, Corruption: Who plays, who pays? Who is bankrolling the most powerful politicians in America's largest state? What are special interests lobbying to stuff in California's $150 billion budget? Despite a complex and costly set of regulations, there's no easy answer.

LAFD's latest recruits are primarily white and overwhelmingly male — A second class of recruits hired after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's overhaul of the city's firefighter hiring process is primarily white and overwhelmingly male, marking little progress toward the mayor's pledge to diversify the Fire Department. The 54 recruits, who are scheduled to start training at Terminal Island on Monday, include only two women.

California lawmaker calls for stricter firefighter EMT requirements — State Sen. Isadore Hall III (D-Compton) called for a new state law Friday requiring all firefighters and other emergency rescuers in California be certified as emergency medical technicians. His proposal follows a Los Angeles Times investigation that found nearly 1 in 4 firefighters in the Compton Fire Department lacks a valid EMT card, a key credential required by other local fire agencies.

Nearly 1 in 4 Compton firefighters are working without an EMT permit — Nearly one in four Compton firefighters is working without a permit to perform emergency medical care, a key credential required by other local fire agencies, a Times investigation has found. Out of 74 firefighters at the Compton Fire Department, 17 lack a valid EMT card, according to city records obtained via the California Public Records Act.

California secretary of state refuses to open arcane data systems — The office of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has refused our request for the computer code that accurately extracts data from the state's campaign finance and lobbying activity database. Last year, we began an effort to create open-source software to make it easier to access and understand a raw copy of the database, known as CAL-ACCESS, published online by Padilla's predecessor.

Lessons from the first California Code Rush — Last week our team converged on the annual National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference (NICAR) in Atlanta. We brought with us our California campaign finance code, dozens of open tickets, a pile of prizes and a weird idea. The pitch was simple. Submit a patch, win a prize.

2015 Los Angeles city primary election results — Below are complete results from Tuesday's Los Angeles primary. Candidates with more than 50% of the vote will win, otherwise the top two vote getters will advance to the general election in June.

LAFD failed to inspect hundreds of hazardous sites, state says — The Los Angeles Fire Department has failed to properly inspect hundreds of hazardous sites scattered across the city, exposing the public to increased risks from potential spills and mishandling of toxic substances, according to a state report released Friday.
More Articles →
Apr 26, 2015

The discreet Scientology tent on the edge of #DTLA's Fiesta Broadway, where woman in Lego sunglasses takes first test

Apr 26, 2015

OH: "I prefer not to think about who will eventually...kick my ass.”…

Apr 26, 2015

Finally watching Boyhood. These are some real life raps.

Apr 25, 2015

@jeremybowers Yes, but I need to reach news orgs where they are.

Apr 25, 2015

@jeremybowers Dodgers are on, tho it's Steiner tonight. Considering writing my first Wordpress plugin. Any pointers.

Apr 25, 2015

@jeremybowers Living on the west coast means drinking imported ouzo and not even remembering what that is

Apr 25, 2015

Cubs likely to stick with batting their pitchers in the 8th slot for the foreseeable future…

Apr 25, 2015

Hit Papa Christo's market on Pico, the most Greek place I've seen in LA

Apr 25, 2015

With high winds kicking up sand, surfers are migrating away from the Pacific here in Venice as dozens of pelicans sweep out to sea.

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