Big Local News is excited to announce it is collaborating with the New York Times Local Investigations Fellowship to provide data journalism and analysis support and training for the inaugural class of fellows.

The program, led by Dean Baquet, the former executive editor of The New York Times, provides local journalists the opportunity to produce “signature investigative work focused on their state or region that will be published by The Times and made available for free for co-publication by local newsrooms,” according to a news release by The Times today that announced the first cohort of fellows.

“There was so much talent out there and so many good ideas. These were hard choices. But this is a remarkable group of reporters,” said Mr. Baquet in the release. “And their work will have an impact on their communities.”

Big Local News data journalists will support the work of the fellows by helping them obtain and analyze data for their projects and provide ongoing training in investigative data techniques throughout the process.

The BLN team combines many different skills that have helped move forward numerous accountability stories. We specialize in large-scale data collection using public records requests and web scraping, building workflows for processing data, analyzing datasets and collaborating with journalists and researchers. The Big Local team also offers a quarterly virtual office hours program, where any local reporter and editor can connect via Zoom with the Big Local News journalists for advice, hands-on training and more.

“Being able to help with the important local journalism that will come out of The New York Times Local Investigations Fellowship is exciting and core to our mission,” said Cheryl Phillips, founder and director of Big Local News.

Prior to joining Stanford in 2014, Phillips spent 12 years working as a data journalist at The Seattle Times and has worked in local newsrooms around the U.S. “Local impact is best achieved through local accountability journalism, this is exactly the kind of work we hope to help foster.”

Big Local News got its start through generous support from John and Laura Arnold, a Stanford JSK Journalism Impact Fellowship, multiple grants from the The Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Stanford and Columbia Universities and support from the Google News Initiative.

About Big Local News

From its base at Stanford University, Big Local News gathers data, builds tools and collaborates with reporters to produce journalism that makes an impact. Its website at offers a free archiving service for journalists to store and share data. Learn more by visiting our about page.