Sandhya Kambhampati and Ryan Murphy Join Data Desk

Sandhya Kambhampati and Ryan Murphy Join Data Desk
Sandhya Kambhampati (left) and Ryan Murphy join the Data Desk.

As part of the rebuilding of the Los Angeles Times, Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine and Deputy Managing Editor Sewell Chan made the following announcement.

We are pleased to announce that Sandhya Kambhampati and Ryan Murphy are joining our Data Desk in May, on the strong recommendation of Ben Welsh, who leads the team.

Sandhya Kambhampati comes to us from ProPublica Illinois. Her work using data to document longstanding injustices was so thorough that even Chicago’s notorious political class couldn’t avoid responding with reforms. In 2017, she worked on an exposé of inequality in local property taxes that led to the county assessor being voted out of office, work for which she was honored as a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Last year, following her work analyzing disparities in Chicago’s parking-ticket system, all 14 candidates for mayor called for change and a new city task force was formed to find a fix.

Sandhya previously worked at the Chronicle of Higher Education and the E.W. Scripps Co. She is a leader in the data journalism field, seen earlier this month at the NICAR conference in Newport Beach, where she administered the gathering’s popular Lightning Talks. Here at The Times, Sandhya will help our readers better understand and explore this diverse region using data gathered by the U.S. Census and other surveys. That will include partnering with reporters to generate more ambitious coverage of California communities, as well as revitalizing Mapping L.A, our audience-informed effort to define and study local neighborhoods.

Ryan Murphy joins us after nine years at the Texas Tribune, where he is the deputy editor and lead developer for the newsroom’s Data Visuals team. During his time in Austin, Ryan has demonstrated an expansive arsenal of skills, his talents touching virtually every element of the Tribune’s report. His experience includes examples of data analysis, longform story design, database-driven applications, specialized newsroom tools and more.

He is also a consistent contributor to open-source software projects, which have strengthened both the Tribune and our industry at large. That includes an impressive tool for publishing complex interactive projects outside of the content management system — in a style similar to our “big builds.” Ryan’s skills position him to help us expand our options for interactive storytelling, lift the aims of our open-source software efforts and enhance our data-driven offerings during the 2020 primary season.