Vignesh Ramachandran is a story producer at ProPublica Illinois, focused on digital production, visual storytelling, design and editorial workflow. He is also interested in exploring issues surrounding race, criminal justice and technology. Before he joined ProPublica, he was a founding member of the Stanford Computational Journalism Lab and managing editor of Bay Area local news startup Peninsula Press (in partnership with SFGate and KQED). As part of the Stanford Open Policing Project, he worked with an interdisciplinary team of journalists, researchers and social scientists to gather 130 million traffic stop records from more than 31 state police agencies. In 2017, the Stanford team published findings about a large-scale analysis of racial disparities in police stops, and the data was released for journalists’ use in their own local newsrooms across the country. He has also reported and written for NPR, The Marshall Project, OZY, The Juggernaut, Knight Foundation, Stanford Engineering, Mashable and NBC News Digital.
The journalistic principles are the same as they are at publications like ours, but college and high school newspapers sometimes encounter roadblocks covering their own campus.
Hundreds of children and teens in state care are held each year in psychiatric hospitals for weeks or months at a time — even though they have been cleared to leave.
Public records laws and enforcement aren’t perfect. Your demand for improving them matters.
Solid sources and some healthy skepticism can help.
For a Chicago newbie, learning about a city begins with books, buildings and, especially, people. One thing I’ve figured out: I need a snow shovel.