Becoming a “tech-literate” journalist

By Jake Kreinberg

ProPublica journalist Julia Angwin shares her thoughts on why stories with data resonate more strongly with audiences.

Editor’s note: At a recent conference at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, we spoke with ProPublica journalist Julia Angwin about the role research plays in the relationship between media and technology companies. To hear other perspectives from the conference, click here.

What role does research play in the relationship between media and technology companies?

Julia: I’m a huge believer in the fact that journalists should have real skills in as many areas as they can. The world we are living in is so technologically complex, financially complex that we need to have as many skills as possible to hold institutions to account.

So for my own purposes, I have an MBA so I can read financial statements. I know how to program and am a pretty tech-literate person, so I use a lot of those skills for analyzing big data and collecting my own data. And I think that’s the way of the future.

Those stories that you see that have a strong financial analysis and tech analysis are the ones that have much more resonance, because the people see the depth of the story and they realize that it’s not just an anecdotal account.

Jake Kreinberg

Jake is the text and multimedia product manager at The Associated Press and the former editor of Insights. He previously covered college sports as a reporter for AP and helped design its multi-year strategic plan. Have feedback about the blog? Contact us at

insights, tow center