First-ever comprehensive inspection map of NYC's estimated 10,000+ rooftop water tanks, showing widespread neglect around the city. Based on FOILed inspection records from the NYC DOHMH and land use data from the NYC Department of Buildings' PLUTO database. Built with the Google Maps JS API.
Find any Twitter user's worst tweets! Scrapes and filters out "ratioed" tweets, which have more "replies" than "likes," a common metric popularly used to glean the (low) quality and (lack of) popularity of any given tweet. Built with Django.
For when really want to take off, but you don't know how many planes are in line ahead of you. Maps out average taxiing times for domestic flights at every airport in the United States, using US Bureau of Transportation Statistics data, dating back to 1995. Built with D3.js.
Cross-references the locations of several dozen cannabis-related raids by the LAPD and California Department of Consumer Affairs against poverty levels throughout Los Angeles. Built with the Mapbox GL JS API and D3.js.
Newmark J-School Capstone Project, December 2018
Vacation planning web app. Flatiron School Full Stack Web Development Immersive final project, April 2017. Built with React/Redux and Ruby on Rails.
Ben Jay is a Brooklyn-based web developer and journalist, specializing in data reporting. After working for a number of years as a writer and photographer, Ben enrolled in Flatiron School's web development bootcamp, and later applied the technical skills he learned there to journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where he earned his Master's Degree.
He strongly believes in the power of data as a reporting tool, and strives to use data and interactives to tell stories in new and unique ways, without sacrificing their essential news value. His favorite topics to cover include politics and government administration, health and science, and the areas where they intersect. When he isn't parsing CSVs, he enjoys cycling, drinking overpriced beer, and hanging out with his fiancée, Emily, and their cat, Luna.
His work has appeared in The New York Times, City & State New York, Deadspin, Cannabis Wire, Gothamist, Cannabis Wire, Edible, Serious Eats, DNAinfo, Village Voice and others. He's also a skilled event photographer and photojournalist.
Cannabis Wire (Civil Media)
June 2018 to Present
Freelance Developer – Build internal reporting tools and provide data-oriented stories for an online startup covering cannabis policy and economics in the U.S. and around the world. Tools allow editors to monitor cannabis-related legislation and government rules, as well as social media statements from public officials, in real time.
Freelance Journalist and Photographer
December 2009 to Present
City & State New York
January 2018 to May 2018
Data Intern/Freelance Contributor – Reported on data-oriented political stories in city and state governments, focusing on public pension fund investments, congestion pricing, New York state’s budget, lobbying, and water tank inspections. Scraped and analyzed government databases. Assisted staffers with data-related story elements.
September 2014 to November 2017
Contributing Writer/Photographer – Wrote, photographed and pitched hard news and feature stories. Covered food, arts, local politics and events. Attended community board meetings for story ideas and research.
The Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC
March 2015 to August 2016
Production Assistant – Produced and researched segments, wrote interview preps, vetted and booked guests, screened on-air callers, coordinated with publicists, worked in control room during live daily radio show.
August 2012 to May 2013
CBS News National Desk Broadcast Associate, Page – Researched and disseminated news leads and stories. Assisted producers and engineers with crew and correspondent assignments. Wrote nightly competition logs.
NYC Water Tank Inspection Results 2015-2017: https://cityandstateny.com/new-york-city-water-tank-inspection-results
• First-ever centralized directory of NYC’s rooftop water tanks, which provide much of the city’s water.
• Visualized tank inspection data from a FOIL request and building data from the city’s PLUTO land use database.
• Displays any Twitter user’s “ratioed” tweets. Scraped tweets using Django API. Rendered JSON output with Lodash.
• Ratioed tweets have far more replies than likes or retweets, and are considered to be uniquely bad or tone-deaf.
• Visualized taxiing times for domestic flights across the United States, dating back to 1995.
• Parsed CSV data from the federal Department of Transportation using Ruby. Visualized data using D3.
Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY (New York, NY)
M.A. Journalism, December 2018
SUNY Geneseo (Geneseo, NY)
B.A. International Relations, May 2012
Flatiron School (New York, NY)
Full Stack Web Development Immersive Program, February to April 2017
Software: Excel, Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom, Premiere, After Effects, Illustrator, Final Cut Pro, Pro Tools, Hindenburg, DAVID Systems
Additional: Photography, Writing, Research, Audio production and editing, Video production and editing
References available upon request.