CBS News names chief of data journalism unit
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Kelly will take the role of vice president of data journalism for CBS News and Stations, and will report to Adrienne Roark, president of content development and integration for CBS News and Stations and CBS Media Ventures.
CBS recently announced the formation of the new team.
Kelly will assume his new role as of Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, and oversee a team of data journalists, working closely across CBS News and Stations and with CBS’s next-generation storytelling arm, the CBS Local News Innovation Lab, led by Chad Cross.
“Today, we’re thrilled to welcome John Kelly, a true pioneer and highly accomplished investigative journalist,” said Roark in a statement. “With his unparalleled talent for uncovering meaningful stories within data, John’s arrival marks a significant milestone in our commitment to delivering the most insightful and impactful news content. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of journalism, empowering our audience with knowledge that matters.”
Kelly joins CBS from ABC, where he led the data journalism program for both ABC News and the ABC Owned Television Stations. He collaborated on local and nationwide investigations across ABC’s eight local newsrooms and with ABC News, FiveThirtyEight, ESPN, National Geographic and other Disney partners.
“This is an incredible opportunity to collaborate with many of the finest journalists and storytellers in the industry,” said Kelly in the statement. “We will use data to power investigations that reveal challenges in our communities and help find solutions that improve people’s lives. I look forward to contributing to the next chapter of news excellence at CBS.”
Kelly has produced groundbreaking investigations for decades and has earned numerous awards, including two national and three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, two Pulitzer Prize finalists, the Scripps Howard Award for Public Service, Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, Broadcasting & Cable’s Award for Investigative Reporting and several online journalism awards, among many others. Three data projects he led made the Sigma Awards Shortlist of the world’s best data journalism in 2020, 2021 and 2022. In 2022, The Equity Report developed by Kelly and his data journalism team, was recognized among the finalists for Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards.
Previously, Kelly founded and led a nationwide investigative unit for USA Today Network’s 100-plus newspapers and television stations. Before USA Today, he was a senior editor at Florida Today and investigative reporter for The Associated Press.
He is a longtime member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, where he has mentored fellow journalists in investigative reporting and data journalism since the 1990s.