Announcing the News Editors' and Data Wranglers' Teams

Written by
  • Teodora Beleaga
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At OpenSpending, our restless community drives our work and so our volunteers are key to our activities. Today we are welcoming those joining the News Editors’ and Data Wranglers’ teams. Find out more about them and what they stand for in the short bios below. Many have already been at work, and you can follow their involvement on our Trello boards.

We will kick-off tonight (lunchtime or breakfast depending on your timezone) with an experiment, a live-blog of the first joint Hangout between the two teams. Tune in at 6pm GMT (or thereabouts).

News Editors

These guys run the blog and manage our social media presence. We are still recruiting News Editor volunteers so if you'd like to join the team apply here.

Burite Joseph, @BuriteJoseph

Independent media practitioner and entrepreneur with over five years of journalism and research experience, Burite runs ZHENOBIA, a media integration and multimedia content aggregation company. She also consults for SMS Media Uganda, Ultimate Media Uganda, East African Business Week and Daily Monitor.

Working with data is my new passion. I am a quick learner and teamwork is my steroid. </blockquote>

Anna Flagg,

Data journalist at the Center for Responsive Politics, Anna has a background in computer science, data visualization, design and data-storytelling.

I like working on projects that create awareness of issues important to the public. I'm excited to work with and learn from the Open Spending community. </blockquote>

Laura S. García,@laura_s_garcia

An experienced journalist, Laura has worked for more than ten years as a multi-media journalist in Spain. She has also taught Geography and History to high-school students. Laura speaks Spanish, Galician, English and a little Swedish.

I’m looking to improve my knowledge of open data, as I’ve always thought this to be the best way to offer a good journalism and a good education as well. </blockquote>

Karen Brzezinska, @westofwarsaw Also a professional journalist, Karen (Kati) worked for international news services specialising in equity, commodity and currency markets. Her background is in PoliSci (East European studies), and, while originally from midwestern US, her life experience lists Italy, Hungary (1989-1992) and The Netherlands (since 1992) as home-countries. Kati is fluent in English (US) and Dutch.

I'm interested in learning how open data can be used to enhance governance and education. </blockquote>

Dominic Kornu, @qaphui

An IT and Maths tutor from Ghana, with an interest in web and social media technologies, Dominic blogs at Qaphui’s Cafe and volunteers in his free time.

I am interested in learning how open data can be used to enhance governance and education. </blockquote>

Mehmet Koksal, @mehmetkoksal

Freelance journalist based in Brussels (Belgium) and conference interpreter, Mehmet also works as a fixer for the international press, including the French weekly Courrier int.. In his free time he volunteers for AJP and acts as a campaign manager for the EFJ.

Teodora Beleaga, @t30d0ra

A digital analyst and freelance data journalist based in London, Teodora is an alumna of City University’s Interactive Journalism MA and has completed work experience with The Guardian.

I joined the Open Spending project to share my data analysis skills and expand my understanding of fiscal transparency and government spending. </blockquote>

Maria Laverghetta

A freelance journalist and editor from Orlando (Florida), Maria works for Pearson Education and A graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications as well as the College of Music, Maria’s work focuses primarily on feature writing, editing and music.

I am continually trying to broaden my knowledge in this sector, more specifically at this juncture in finance and online education cultivation. </blockquote>

Miriam Ruhenstroth

A Science and technology freelance journalist based in Berlin (Germany), Miriam has a background in biological sciences. In 2011 she attended a summer school for data journalism (organized by Initiative Wissenschaftsjournalismus).

I found the field of data storytelling thrilling and joined OpenSpending, to learn more about it and participate for good. </blockquote>

Data Wranglers

The Data Wranglers work to add, clean and visualise data in OpenSpending. They help community members who need assistance. Some data wranglers focus on cleaning and analysing data whereas others work to visualise data using the OpenSpending API. We are still recruiting Data Wrangler volunteers so if you'd like to join the team apply here.

Concha Catalan, @conchacatalan

An English teacher and freelance journalist based in Barcelona (Spain), Concha is currently working on a project to open the autonomous government of Catalonia ( She also blogs at

I would like to add the data set of the autonomous government of Catalonia budget to OpenSpending. I am coming to terms with lots of new concepts. </blockquote>

Prakash Neupane, @nprkshn

OKFN Ambassador in Nepal and FOSS Enthusiastic, Prakash is working in social development empowering individuals and communities by using technology. He is an Open Data Researcher and Nepali Wikimedian, responsible for Wikimedia Education Program in Nepal. Find out more  about him here.

Pierre Chrzanowski, @piezanowski

A member of the French OKFN working in the field of Open Government Data, Pierre says he is really interested to work on Tax Heaven, Public Procurement and Aid Data.

I want to learn more about tools to analyse the data sets and how best to do storytelling. </blockquote>

Samuel S. Lee, @OpenNotion

Currently based in Washington DC, Samuel is a member of the World Bank Group Open Finances team. He loves data, innovation, transparency, photography and college football.

I am passionate about “open” and its potential to transform civic engagement, international development, and the world. I am particularly interested in realizing the potential of open financial information. </blockquote>

Adriana Homolova

A data journalism student with a passion for open culture, Adriana is a member of the Society for Open Information Technologies.

Sipos Zoltán

A Hungarian journalist working for an Internet news portal in Romania, Sipos specializes in investigative reporting.  His background includes philosophy, sociology and public policies. Sipos has experience working with data, filing FOI requests, and tackling spreadsheets.

I am trying to learn as much as I can about data journalism through online groups, MOOCs and books purchased from Amazon. My ultimate goal is to set up a small investigative / data journalism start-up in Romania. </blockquote>

Gabe Sawhney

A member of Better Budget Toronto Gabe joined the Team to bring transparency to his city’s budget.

I want to mobilize action (citizens, elected officials and policymakers) for better process, better clarity, better formats, and more transparency around city budgets. </blockquote>

Elaine Ayo, @eieayo

Statistician student based in Washington, DC Elaine has spent the last three years in Seoul, South Korea as a copy editor for an English news wire. Prior to that Elaine reported for her hometown paper, the San Antonio Express-News, in Texas.

Alessandro Martinisi

A PhD student in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Westminster, London, Alessandro shares an interest in Data-Driven Journalism. He has previously worked in South America (Brazil and Argentina) for a couple of years for the communication unit of the United Nations, UNPD, as a journalist and documentaries writer. He says it was a landmark experience.

I started this new pathway in January/February and soon I started to keep myself busy trying to understand the new journalistic practice in which all of us are engaged: Data-Driven Journalism. </blockquote>

Hans Loos

An IT and telecom freelance journalist based in Belgium, Hans studied sociology and has a passion for statistics.

I have started to learn to program and study R but without big results up till now. </blockquote>

Rochelle Sampy

Freelance journalist based in the UK, Rochelle is currently working for a B2B pharmaceutical publication. WIth a background in Law she previously worked with the Centre of Investigative Journalism where she first discovered data cleaning.

I would like to learn more about data wrangling in order to better my knowledge of its use for investigative journalism. </blockquote>