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Sarah L. Ryley, Investigative & Data Journalist

I'm an investigative and data journalist for The Boston Globe and an adjunct assistant professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism’s M.S. in Data Journalism program. Starting in August, I’ll spend two semesters as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism taking MBA courses at Columbia Business School.


Prior to the Globe, I reported on the U.S. response to COVID-19 for the New York Times Opinion video team, the pandemic's disproportionate economic impact on women for The Fuller Project, law enforcement's failure to solve shootings for The Trace and BuzzFeed News, and from 2012 through 2017, I was the data projects editor at the New York Daily News, where I reported extensively on the NYPD’s abuse of the “broken windows” policing strategy to target people of color. I started my career in 2006 covering real estate and development for various New York publications.


My data-driven reporting has consistently exposed systemic injustices and sparked change, including greater oversight of gun dealers in Massachusetts, 19 new laws and other reforms to the NYPD’s “broken windows” policing strategy that reduced enforcement actions over low-level offenses by hundreds of thousands per year, and increased detective staffing for homicides and non-fatal shootings in several major cities. My investigative findings also helped free a Baltimore man from prison, jumpstart the construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park, and save an Underground Railroad home from eminent domain.


I've been recognized with 31 awards and honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2017 for a solo-bylined series I reported for the New York Daily News and ProPublica.


I'm passionate about sharing what I’ve learned with others — particularly the many ways journalists of all experience levels can infuse accountability and data reporting into their everyday work — and I have spoken at dozens of conferences, workshops, and university classrooms around the country.


I studied journalism at Wayne State University in Detroit and was named a distinguished alumna in 2018. Before discovering my love of reporting, I was a painter, community organizer, and waitress.

Photo by Edwin J. Torres



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