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Sarah L. Ryley, Investigative & Data Journalist

Hi, I’m an investigative and data journalist for the Boston Globe and an adjunct advisor at Columbia Journalism School.


My reporting and data analysis have directly led to dozens of new laws, official investigations, and other reforms. At the Globe, my reporting on loopholes in the state’s gun laws led to several bills currently pending in the state legislature, an ATF sweep of 80-plus gun vendors, and numerous other impacts. At The Trace, my investigation with BuzzFeed on law enforcement’s failure to solve shootings helped free a man from prison. And as the data projects editor at the New York Daily News, I reported and led numerous short- and long-term investigations on the NYPD that triggered sweeping reforms to its “broken windows” policing strategy and reduced summonses and arrests by hundreds of thousands per year.


My work, both solo and as a team member, has been recognized with 25 honors and awards, including the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for a solo-bylined series I reported with the New York Daily News and ProPublica.


I’m also passionate about sharing what I’ve learned with others — particularly the many ways journalists at all skill levels can infuse “data” into their work. My favorite topics to teach are on building a reporting database, the architecture of government databases, R, and FOIA.


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

Photo by Edwin J. Torres



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