Individual Portfolio: Derek Willis

Individual Portfolio: Derek Willis

Organisation: ProPublica (United States)

Publication Date: 04/10/2017


Size of team/newsroom:large


Derek Willis’s portfolio of work from 2016.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

Derek Willis is one of the news industry’s biggest experts on congressional and politics data. His work this year created a panoply of resources for researchers, concerned citizens and journalists that help them to understand more about our political system: -Represent is an exhaustive look at each member of congress; arguably the most complete anywhere. -Derek was one of the lead National Reporters on Electionland. -Derek, along with Ken Schwencke and Lena Groeger, built the main news applications that we published with Electionland: The Election DataBot and How Does Your County Vote.

Technologies used for this project:

For these projects, Derek relied mainly on the Ruby and Python programming languages. Represent was built using the Ruby on Rails web application framework, with some JavaScript for mapping purposes. ElectionBot and How Does Your County Vote? were built using the Django web application framework and made extensive use of application programming interfaces (APIs) from ProPublica, FiveThirtyEight, Google and the Huffington Post. For the story on campaign donations, Derek used a Python library first created at The New York Times.
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