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Grant Smith – data journalist

I am an award-winning journalist with nearly a decade of professional experience, including six years as a data
reporter at a metro daily newspaper. I taught a web development course at the University of Memphis for the
past four years. I brew a fine beer.
 Experience
The Commercial Appeal at Memphis, Tenn.
data reporter

I analyze databases and use GIS mapping for investigative stories and develop
interactive search tools and visualizations for the web.

I also do general assignment reporting and write a bi-weekly data column.

Occasional web producer, editing stories, photos, video, social media

Developed a new online story budgeting tool and helped transition our website
CMS from Django/Ellington to EndPlay.

Developed a homicide tracker map and database

Member of the “four-platform” newsroom change committee

Winner of the 2012 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award
for investigative reporting for “Cash Crop,” an investigation of an oft-abused tax
subsidy program for farmland.

Tennessee AP Managing Editors Award: First place for multimedia for “Withers:

Green Eyeshade Awards: “Withers: Exposed” won first place for best online
public service journalism and “I'm Al Qaeda” won second place for best public
service reporting online.

Sept. 2008 to

Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
data reporter, freelance

Analyze data for investigations and develop interactive data visualizations,
which have appeared in the Miami Herald, the Florida Times-Union and the Lakeland

Sept. 2010 to

City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism
adjunct instructor

I teach Fundamentals of Interactive Journalism, in which students learn some
coding, mapping and the fundamentals of multimedia storytelling.

Oct. 2014 to

University of Memphis School of Journalism
adjunct instructor

I taught Web Publishing I, which introduces students to web development.

Jan. 2010 to May

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
intern reporter

As a member of the award-winning watchdog team, I used computer-assisted
reporting to produce enterprise projects and watchdog stories, maintained databases.

Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism Competition: “Race gap found in pothole

June 2008-Sept.

patching” won second place for best investigative story or series
Gannett News Service
intern reporter

Analyzed Environmental Protection Agency data for an investigation of sewer
system enforcement and infrastructure failure. The final package of stories, graphics
and a searchable database, appeared in USA Today, the Nashville Tennessean and the
Indianapolis Star.

Assisted other reporters with their projects, developed a searchable database for
the GNS Intranet and other newsroom tasks.

Jan. 2008-April

National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting
data analyst

Maintained government databases and fielded calls from journalists across the
country who needed a database or help with their analysis.

Compiled a new database for the library and helped update the handbook for
Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data analysis and reporting.

GIS analysis for TV station investigating sex offender residences near bus stops.

Aug. 2007-Dec.

The Columbia Missourian
assistant city editor, enterprise reporter
 Worked on long-term reporting projects that required thorough research,
computer-assisted reporting and collaboration with other reporters as an
enterprise reporter (Aug. ’07-Dec. ’07).

Wrote a Five Ideas column, in which the newspaper solicits reader input and
debate about controversial issues covered that week.

Mentored student reporters on the higher education and faith beats to develop
their reporting and writing skills while an assistant city editor (May ’07-Aug. ’07).
Helped with story idea generation and attended budget and beat meetings. Assigned
breaking news stories and edited stories from each beat for the upcoming edition.

Posted news stories on the Web, and issued breaking-news bursts on the Web
and to subscribers’ cell phones.

Held one copy editing shift per week for five months.

Kept a weekly blog about my reporting activities and our ongoing discussions
about how to produce higher quality journalism.

May 2007-Dec.

coordinator, web developer

Citizen-journalism coordinator on the K12 education beat and part of an effort
to increase the papers' engagement with its community.

Designed the Schoolhouse Talk blog, a K12 information center for residents. It
allows readers to submit their own content to supplement reporter-generated content.

Designed a blog for a contributor on the art of cobbling, and solicited citizen
contributions on a variety of subjects.

Aug. 2007-Dec.

The Dominion Post
reporter, copy editor, designer

Reported full time on higher education and health care.

Proofed stories and designed pages.

Produced a daily wire budget and proofed the paper as it rolled off the press.

July 2004-June

The Charleston Daily Mail in W.Va.
intern reporter

Covered government and a bit of everything of interest in a neighboring county.

As a Morgantown bureau reporter I filed stories about events and people that
were of interest to the entire state.
U92, university radio station

As a reporter, I wrote, edited and read news stories live on air.

Sept. 2002-Dec.
2002; May 2003Aug. 2003

The Daily Athenaeum
managing editor, news editor, associate news editor, campus calendar/comics
editor, reporter, columnist

As managing editor, I was responsible for the all-student newsroom staff, which
produced an award-winning daily newspaper.

Covered the university departmental and administration beats as a reporter.

Best Reporter Award (fall 2001-spring 2002), Publisher’s Teammate Award (fall
2003-spring 2004), Best All-Around Employee award (2002), Senior Service Award

Sept. 2000-May

 Education
University of Missouri at Columbia, Mo.
Masters of Arts in Journalism

Studied computer-assisted and investigative reporting

Attended Investigative Reporters & Editors' GIS Mapping Data for News
Stories Boot Camp (Aug. 2007)

Teaching assistant for Principles of American Journalism (Aug. 2006-May
2007); graded student work, helped students review for exams and administered an
online discussion board.
West Virginia University at Morgantown, W.Va.
Bachelor of Science

Journalism major; international and comparative politics minor

Contributing author “Cancer Stories: Lessons in Love, Loss & Hope,” WVU
Press 2005

Society of Professional Journalists student chapter president fall 2002-spring

Member, School of Journalism Student Fees Committee

Edgar Maya Model Organization of American States delegate Washington,
D.C., 2004
 Activities
blogger and web developer

I developed this homebrew and beer news website with two friends with whom
I brew beer. We keep the Memphis area appraised of beer-related events and blog
about homebrewing. The site was featured in the book “Food Lovers' Guide to
West Virginia Press Association
Freedom of Information Act auditor

Oct. - Nov. 2000



April 2010 to


Conducted a FOIA audit at the Preston County Sheriff's Office, Board of
Education and County Commission
Kearns Fellowship

Traveled to Budapest, Hungary, to cover the opening of the first Holocaust
museum in Eastern Europe for The Charleston Daily Mail.
Economics of Cuba

Spent 10 days in Cuba studying its economics and culture as a capstone to a
college course.


Boy Scouts of America
Eagle Scout

Held the positions of lifeguard, senior patrol leader and junior assistant
scoutmaster, quartermaster, assistant senior patrol leader

For my Eagle Scout project, I extended a popular mountain bike trail and
designed and constructed a proper switchback to prevent erosion and silt-related
problems downstream. The switchback is still effective more than a decade later.


March 2003

 Training, Certification, Skills

Expertise or familiarity with HTML/CSS, SQL, Access, Excel, FoxPro, Navicat, DocumentCloud,
GIS, ArcView, QGIS, Javascript, Quark, InDesign, Python, R-Studio, Wordpress

Usually attend the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting conference.

Additionally attended: IRE 2014; Society of Professional Journalists regional conference,
Morgantown, W.Va., April 2005; SPJ region IV conference, Cleveland, Ohio, April 2003; SPJ national
conference, Tampa, Fla., Sept. 2003; Military Reporters and Editors, Washington, D.C., Nov. 2002;
Investigative Reporters and Editors, Charleston, W.Va., Sept. 2002; Institute of Humane Studies,
Arlington, Va., July 2002/Feb. 2003; College Media Advisers, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 2003
 References
Available upon request