Derek Willis

The New York Times

Derek Willis is a news applications developer at ProPublica, focusing on politics and elections. He previously worked as a developer and reporter at the New York Times, a database editor at The Washington Post, and at the Center for Public Integrity and Congressional Quarterly.

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Derek’s work on Source


  1. Bedfellows
  2. Campaign Cash
  3. Fech
  4. Ifill
  5. statement


  1. Competition Be Damned
  2. How (and Why) ProPublica Got Into the Elections Game
  3. Scraping Nevada
  4. Introducing Bedfellows
  5. Introducing Clarify
  6. Return of the Code Convenings: Elections and Updates
  7. Derek Willis on Newsroom Innovation
  8. What “Open” Really Means for 538, Vox, and The Upshot
  9. Freeing the Plum Book
  10. The New York Times’ Election Results Loader

Articles by Derek

  1. COVID-19 story recipe: How to see what stocks members of Congress are dumping (or buying)

    Where to find the data, how to explore it, and questions to ask to reproduce the story for your community

    Posted on

    ProPublica used the Senate’s financial disclosures to find that not long after Sen. Richard Burr offered a positive assessment in public of the country’s ability to handle the coronavirus, he sold hundreds of thousands of (and potentially up to $1.7 million) dollars in stocks, a highly unusual series of trades for him. Here’s how you can reproduce the story for your community.

  2. How (and Why) ProPublica Got Into the Elections Game

    A Q&A with the team behind Electionland and the Election DataBot

    Posted on

    Yesterday morning, ProPublica announced two new projects: Electionland, a large-scale intiative to report on voting access and problems in the upcoming US elections, and Election DataBot, a comprehensive election-info data tracker and feed.

  3. Just One Thing: A Year in Review, Part I

    Appreciation of usefulness and bar-raising at the end of a long, complicated year

    Posted on

    As we did last year, we’ve asked a couple of dozen people from all around the news-nerd community to tell us about one thing—article, feature, app, tool, or something else entirely—that they loved in 2015. This week, we’re publishing their responses, from interactives to project management software. We hope you find here at least one thing that eases your work, inspires new angles on your stories, and helps carry you through to 2016.

  4. Scraping Nevada

    The Three Stages of Scraping and the Form from Hell

    Posted on

    Derek Willis breaks down the three stages of scraping (denial, annoyance, and acceptance) while confronting the election-results form from hell.

  5. Introducing Clarify

    An Open Source Elections-Data URL Locator and Parser from OpenElections

    Posted on

    An open source elections-data URL locator and parser for Clarity Elections results, from the team at OpenElections.

  6. Freeing the Plum Book

    Derek Willis mines government mobile apps to liberate data and issues a call to arms for collaboration

    Posted on

    Derek Willis mines government mobile apps to liberate data and issues a call to arms for collaboration.

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