Ways I Can Help

Summary: Think I can help? Email me: dwillis@<google’s email product>

I have been extremely fortunate in my career in journalism, having worked at great organizations and with really good people. I know lots of folks and have had plenty of different experiences, and I’m in a position to use what I have learned to help others. This is a list of ways that I can help; if you see something here that would be useful to you, please email me.

There might be things I’m willing to do that aren’t listed here, but if it’s not listed here it might not be something I’m willing to do for free. However, do feel free to ask anyway – the worst I’ll do is not reply or say “no”. Journalism is about asking questions.

Ways I’m available to help anyone

  1. Answer specific questions via email about topics I know about. If you write me an email with a short, clear question, and I know the answer, I’ll try to answer in a fairly quick time-frame. If you’re curious about something related to campaign finance, or congressional data or election results or cricket, ask away. I’m not going to do original research for you, but I will try my best to point you in the right direction or take a look at your methodology.

  2. Introductions. I will provide introductions to people I know, if you tell me why you need the introduction and I believe it’s an introduction that the recipient would find valuable. Please include a brief paragraph about you that I can use when I send the email to the other person.

  3. Advice on job searches and interviews, particularly within the data journalism world, but I do know folks beyond that, so ask away about your situation. This includes questions about compensation/benefits or help with resumes and cover letters.

Ways I’m available to help underrepresented high school and college students in journalism

If you are from a background traditionally underrepresented in journalism - especially in data journalism - I will do more.

  1. Everything listed above, I will do particularly for you. Not sure if I can help? Ask anyway.

  2. If you are working on a story or a pitch or a presentation in an area I know about, I will review it for you. Again, if in doubt, ask.

  3. Data journalism skills advice. If you’re trying to figure out how to do accomplish some data journalism task, or looking for materials that will help you learn new skills, I will help you. My assistance could range from sending a list of useful links to working through a problem or even providing some basic training (likely to be remote, but ask). For specific coding questions, your best bet is Stack Overflow, but happy to tackle broader questions.

  4. OpenElections. If you’re a student looking for experience working with election data, there’s a chance that I can get some funding for an internship with OpenElections, a nonprofit I run that acquires, converts and publishes election results in the U.S. Summers are probably best for this, but ask anyway.