SARAH L. RYLEY  Investigative & Data Journalist

REPORTING & EDITING EXPERIENCE:​​

Freelance |  New York, February 2020 - Present

Freelancing and working on book proposal. Reported on the U.S. response to Covid-19 for several New York Times Opinion Video mini-docs, which are still in production, and analyzed the pandemic's economic impact on women for The Fuller Project.

 

The Trace, investigative & data journalist  |  New York, April 2017 - February 2020

Produced data-driven investigations on policing. My investigation with BuzzFeed News on law enforcement’s failure to solve shootings helped free a man from prison, prompted the Baltimore Police to put more detectives on shootings, and was recognized with three awards. Won public records battles with numerous agencies for data and documents that had never been released, most of which I made public and has since been used by scores of researchers, journalists, policymakers, and advocates.

 

New York Daily News, data projects editor  |  New York, October 2012 – April 2017 

Juggled roles as investigative reporter, courts editor, data projects editor, and Sunday desk editor. My work triggered 22 laws, new oversight units, and official investigations; helped dismantle “broken windows” policing; and was recognized with 19 awards, including the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for a solo-bylined series done in partnership with ProPublica. Started as courts editor, then was tapped to create and lead a four-person data projects team. In that role I coordinated all aspects of print and web production, contributed data analysis and reporting, and ran data bootcamps.

 

The Daily, investigative journalist  |  New York, November 2010 – October 2012

Produced quick-turn investigations. My series immigration visas relied on dozens of federal sources and was the subject of a congressional hearing and IG investigation. Other stories contributed to the indictment of a corrupt small-town mayor, uncovered the return of second mortgages through government-backed financing, and tied key figures in the Jerry Sandusky molestation coverup to a troubled senior housing project.

 

Freelance |  New York, March 2008 - November 2010

Wrote for The Real Deal, New York Post, Brownstoner, The Huffington Post, and Anderson Cooper 360. My trend pieces on New York real estate and development were consistently on The Real Deal’s most widely read list. My first-ever analysis of 100 years of booms and busts in Manhattan real estate won them a national award and became part of the curriculum for an NYU Stern School of Business course. I also uncovered a predatory one-stop scheme that was looked at by the feds. 

 

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, journalist  |  New York, September 2006 – March 2008

Reported daily news and enterprise stories, wrote a weekly real estate column, and edited and laid out the weekly Brooklyn Record. Primarily dug into Brooklyn's billions of dollars in redevelopment projects. I routinely broke stories that impacted government decisions, including helping to save an Underground Railroad home from eminent domain and hastening the construction timetable of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Detroit News, reporting intern, business desk | Detroit, May 2006 – August 2006

Averaged two articles per week for the award-winning business desk, including five front-page enterprise stories and a series on how the immigration debate could impact Michigan’s economy. Offered full-time position.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, reporting intern | New York, May 2005 – September 2005

Covered major development projects, politics and local culture. Averaged an article per day, frequently scooping larger outlets. Took all photographs for my articles. Offered full-time position.

The Oakland Press, reporting intern | Troy, Mich., February 2005 – May 2005

Part-time internship on the features desk. Averaged four articles per week, including enterprise articles, profiles, and general assignment news. Wrote four front-page articles, including enterprise stories on wetlands destruction and medical bankruptcy.

​TEACHING EXPERIENCE:

CUNY Graduate School of Journalism | New York, September 2017

Taught a data bootcamp for CUNY J+, the continuing education arm of the journalism school.

The New School, part-time lecturer | New York, January 2016 – May 2016

Taught an investigative reporting lab class for a WNYC project on the judicial selection process. 

Guest lectures: Columbia University, New York University, Hunter College, Wayne State University 

EDUCATION:

 

​Wayne State University | Detroit, Journalism, B.A.

Named a distinguished alumna in 2018. Interned at the Detroit News, Oakland Press and Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Editor-in-chief, managing editor and opinions editor for student daily. Awarded a journalism scholarship. 

Michigan State University | Lansing, Mich., Environmental Policy

Agnes Scott College | Atlanta, English & Comparative Religion

SKILLS:

Advanced: R (cleaning, analysis, mapping, charts), FOIA, Research, Excel, Tableau

Intermediate: HTML, CSS, SQL

AWARDS & HONORS:

- 2020, Deadline Club/SPJ, The Les Payne Award for Coverage on Communities of Color, "Free to Shoot Again"

- 2019, Online News Association, Innovation in Data Journalism, finalist, "Free to Shoot Again"

- 2019, February Sidney Award, "Free to Shoot Again"

- 2018, Wayne State University Arts Achievement Awards, Distinguished Alumna

- 2017, Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, "Nuisance Abatement"

- 2017, James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, "Nuisance Abatement" 

- 2017, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Print/ Online - Large, finalist, "Nuisance Abatement"

- 2017, National Association of Black Journalists, Online Project, finalist, "Nuisance Abatement"

- 2017, MOLLY National Journalism Prize, honorable mention, "Nuisance Abatement"

- 2017, Deadline Club/SPJ, Minority Focus Omnibus Award, finalist, "Nuisance Abatement"

- 2017, Deadline Club/SPJ, Local Reporting, finalist, "Nuisance Abatement"

- 2017, John Jay/ Harry Frank Guggenheim criminal justice reporting fellow

- 2016, ONA, Knight Award for Public Service, finalist, "Nuisance Abatement"

- 2016, May Sidney Award, "The NYPD is running stings against immigrant-owned shops, then pushing for warrantless searches"

- 2016, Newswomen’s Club of New York, online depth reporting, "Nuisance Abatement"

- 2016, New York State Associated Press Association (NYSAPA), first prize, depth reporting, "Fight for their Future"

- 2015, Deadline Club/SPJ, Minority Focus Omnibus Award, "Broken Windows"

- 2015, NYSAPA, first prize, depth reporting, "Broken Windows"

- 2015, NYSAPA, first prize, continuing coverage, "Eric Garner"

- 2015, NYSAPA, second prize, depth reporting, "They died at the hands of cops"

- 2014, Newswomen’s Club of New York, Nellie Bly Front Page Award, "Beyond Broken"

- 2014, Newswomen’s Club of New York, best multimedia package, "The Homicide Project"

- 2014, NYSAPA, first prize, online presentation, "Stop-and-Frisk"

- 2014, NYSAPA, first prize, depth reporting (editor), "Stain on the Badge"

- 2011, National Association of Real Estate Editors, first prize, commercial real estate, "100 Years of Booms and Busts"

SPEAKING & WORKSHOPS:

 

- 2019, National Institute of Computer Assisted Reporting (NICAR) conference, "R1: Intro to R and R Studio", "R2:  Data Analysis and Plotting in R" and "Turning Data Into Human Stories"

- 2018, Columbia University, Freedom of Information Requests Brown Bag

- 2018, Columbia University, Public Data Day, "An Introduction to Public Data"

- 2018, Wayne State University, Master Class

- 2018, NICAR, "I'm Entitled to a Spreadsheet, Darnit!" and "Intro to OpenRefine"

- 2017, Columbia University, "2016 Pulitzer Seminar: Exposing injustices around the world"

- 2017, Hunter College, "Not the Enemy of the People: The Future of Local Investigative Reporting"

- 2017, United Nations, "Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media's role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies"

- 2017, NICAR, "Building Your Own Database", "Data Analysis with Tableau" and "The Art and Science of the data story comment request"

- 2017, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) watchdog workshop, "Intro to Data Journalism"

- 2016, Harvard, Justice & Poverty Project Media Workshop

- 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Bridging the Divide panel "Nuisance Abatement And Broken Windows"

- 2016, IRE conference, “Rolling Your Own Data”

- 2016, NICAR, “Lightning Fast Data Analysis with Tableau"

- 2015, NICAR, “Lightning Fast Data Analysis with Tableau I & II”

- 2014, Newsroom, data training workshops in Excel, Access and OpenRefine

OTHER ACTIVITIES:

- Ceramics & sculpting, student (BKLYN CLAY, ClaySpace TC, The Art Students League of New York), 2020 - present

- CHiPS Soup Kitchen, waitress & kitchen worker, 2019 - present

- PADI-certified scuba diver (Zanzibar, Colombia, Belize, Cuba, The Bahamas), 2014 - present

- Hiking (Kashmir, Colombia, Belize, China, Myanmar, Chile, Japan, USA)

- Unified for Global Healing, volunteered with a medical relief and art therapy group in Haiti, 2010