In-depth analysis of evictions patterns in New York City before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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.
A look at the ongoing legal fallout of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, with "plane map" graphics showing the geographic relationships between defendants and prosecutors and defenders.
Analysis of rental housing affordability in America's largest cities. The typical renter can only afford to live in six of America's 50 largest cities, based on data from the Census bureau and listings site RENTCafé.
Map allows readers to view over 7,500 corporate-owned single-family rental properties in Phoenix, Ariz., see corporate SFR density statistics for all of Phoenix's ZIP codes, and filter properties by specific corporate owners. Based on Maricopa County public records—data processed and geocoded in Python with the Google Geocoding API, and visualized with the Mapbox GL JS API.
In many states, judicial salaries lag behind those of attorneys, adversely affecting retention and diversity on the bench across the country. Hex map of the United States, with slider and tooltip line charts tracking judicial salaries from 2013 to 2023, built with D3.js.
Ben Jay is a Brooklyn-based web developer and journalist, specializing in data visualization and reporting. He's currently a graphics editor at Law360. 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, online trivia, and hanging out with his wife, Emily, and their cat, Luna.
His work has appeared in The New York Times, CNBC, 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.
September 2020 to Present
Graphics Editor – Produce longform and quick-turnaround interactive graphics for a major legal news service. Collaborate with reporters, editors and researchers to refine graphics ideas for stories and assist with data analysis and cleaning. Special focus on graphics for Law360 Pulse legal industry surveys, Law360 Real Estate Authority, and Access to Justice. Work on website layout and photo/image management.
October 2019 to July 2020
Data Reporter, Grow – Reported and wrote data-driven stories for Grow, a personal finance blog. Areas of coverage included real estate, housing, family finance and budgeting, the financial impacts of Covid-19, retirement, investing and car buying.
June 2018 to February 2019
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.
NYC Evictions Creep Up As Housing Courts Get Busier: https://www.law360.com/articles/1513877
• Feature on the state of evictions in New York City as covid-era tenant protections expire. Evictions are slowly but steadily climbing now that the statewide eviction moratorium has lapsed, but Emergency Rental Assistance Program applicants still enjoy some protections.
• Worked with reporter to analyze executed eviction warrant data from NYC's Department of Investigation, develop a methodology for filtering evictions with multiple warrants, and visualize evictions and case stats over time and by ZIP code.
'Flooded': Jan. 6 Caseload Draws Nationwide Legal Effort: https://www.law360.com/articles/1449133
• Feature on the ongoing nationwide legal effort to prosecute and defend the January 6th capitol rioters, as part of Law360’s “One Year Later, Fallout From Jan. 6 Riot Continues In Court” package.
• Worked with reporter to clean and analyze data on hundreds on 1/6 prosecutions, and link defendants to public defenders, prosecutors and federal judicial districts in two “flight map” visualizations.
NYC Water Tank Inspection Results 2015-2017: https://www.cityandstateny.com/policy/2018/05/lax-oversight-dubious-testing-in-water-tanks-pose-health-risks/178440/
• 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.
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, Datawrapper, Mapshaper, 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.