David Eads

David Eads is a news applications developer at ProPublica Illinois, where he combines journalism with software development. Ever since he built the website for his high school newspaper in 1996, Eads knew he wanted to work at the intersection of media and technology. He moved to Chicago for college in 1999, studying physics at North Park University. During school he helped found the Invisible Institute, where he also maintained a blog about Chicago public housing called The View From The Ground. He later helped create FreeGeek Chicago, a community-based computer recycling organization and the Supreme Chi-Town Coding Crew, a weekly workshop to teach data journalism. He’s also worked on visual journalism teams at the Chicago Tribune and, most recently, at NPR Visuals.

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David’s work on Source


  1. Elex
  2. Lunchbox
  3. python-elections
  4. Tarbell


  1. How NPR Transcribes and Fact-Checks the Debates, Live
  2. Introducing Lunchbox
  3. Fellows + Code Convening = New Open Source Tools
  4. Data Journalism Community, Why and How Do We Do This Work?
  5. Ultralight CMSes Head to Head
  6. How We Made Finding Care
  7. Meet Tarbell
  8. The GEN Newsgaming Hackathon

Articles by David

  1. How ProPublica Illinois Uses GNU Make to Load 1.4GB of Data Every Day

    We’ve open-sourced our code for loading Illinois campaign finance data.

    Posted on

    The process for loading Illinois campaign finance data used to take hours. Learn how Make helped cut that down to less than 30 minutes.

  2. Introducing Elex, a Tool to Make Election Coverage Better for Everyone

    This new collaboration from the New York Times and NPR needs your help

    Posted on

    End the elections arms race” has become a rallying cry in American data journalism. Many newsrooms spend tremendous resources writing code to simply load and parse election data. It’s time we stopped worrying about the plumbing and started competing on the interesting parts. We decided it was time we put some code against our beliefs – our contribution is a tool we’re calling Elex. And it needs your help, too.

  3. Data Journalism Community, Why and How Do We Do This Work?

    David Eads and Supreme Chi-Town Coding Crew want to get us talking

    Posted on

    David Eads wants to start a conversation about the power of data-driven journalism to engage and teach new developers, and he needs your feedback.

  4. How We Made Finding Care

    The grand prize winners of Chicago MigraHack on their entry

    Posted on

    The Chicago MigraHack, held earlier this month, focused on the use of technology and open data to produce innovative apps and information tools on immigration and related topics. Nine teams participated, and we spoke with two members of the team that produced Finding Care, winner of the prize for best storytelling with data visualization.

  5. Meet Tarbell

    Introducing a very simple content management system from the Tribapps team

    Posted on

    Introducing a very simple content management system from the Tribapps team (and friends).

  6. The GEN Newsgaming Hackathon

    The Chicago Tribune team reports back

    Posted on

    Last weekend, ten teams participated in a competition to develop newsgames at Editors’ Lab New York, a hackathon organized by the Global Editors Network and The New York Times. Combining the fantastical and playful aspects of gaming with hard news is a hard problem and there are few examples of well-conceived and executed newsgames. Thanks to the hack day, there are now a few more.

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