About The Scoop
This site is owned and operated by me, Derek Willis, and is not affiliated with nor a representation of my current employer or any past (or future) employers. Since being launched in 1998, The Scoop has largely focused on journalism, computer-assisted reporting and web development and in 2003 I decided to make those the exclusive topics of this site. My personal site is dwillis.net. None of my sites speak for my employer; they contain my views only.
As for me
I was born in Pennsylvania, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in rhetoric and communications and attended graduate school at the University of Florida. I began my journalism career at The Palm Beach Post, working in the news library and then as a reporter and technology coordinator. From 1998-2003 I covered Congress and elections for Congressional Quarterly. In February 2003 I joined The Center for Public Integrity as a writer/data specialist working on state and federal projects, where a report I co-authored was honored with a Sigma Delta Chi award by the Society of Professional Journalists. In November 2004 I became the Research Database Editor at the Washington Post; in February 2007 I became Database Editor at washingtonpost.com, and in November 2007 I became an Interactive Developer with The New York Times, working mostly on political and election-related applications and APIs.
I am co-editor of CQ’s Federal PACs Directory, published in 1998, and of Unstacking the Deck, a guide to covering campaign finance published by Investigative Reporters and Editors. I’ve been a member of IRE since 1995 and have spoken at numerous conferences and training events around the nation on using the Internet and campaign finance data. I have served as an adjunct faculty member at The George Washington University, Northwestern University and Georgetown University. I live outside Washington, D.C., with my wife, daughter and two cats. Email me at dwillis AT gmail DOT com.