Notes from the Field

Hi, I’m Anthony DeBarros. Thanks for stopping by!

These days, I’m director of product development at DocumentCloud, the open-source platform journalists use to analyze, annotate and publish source documents. Thanks to a Knight Foundation grant, I joined the team at Investigative Reporters and Editors in early 2015 to help create the next generation of DocumentCloud and work on a path to its sustainability. Track our progress at DocumentCloud’s blog.

I do limited work as a digital media consultant, helping organizations that want to build digital news products for desktop and mobile, expand their knowledge of the digital media landscape, and grow skills in data-driven analysis and visualization. Services include guidance on technical options, budgeting, staffing, workflow and team-building, analysis and visualization techniques, and insight into media trends. If you need help, I’m glad to talk.

My career has long spanned journalism, tech and data analysis. From 2012-2014, I was director of interactive applications at Gannett Digital, the product development arm of Gannett (before it split up). Our team built interactive news apps and tools for journalists. We worked on bigger, company-wide efforts such as election resultsinvestigative projects and even the first major news foray into Virtual Reality. On any given day, I might find myself configuring a server, leading a product development discussion, writing code to munge data, or editing an app built by one of my teammates.

Before that, I spent 15 years at USA TODAY, first as a database editor for health, religion, travel and entertainment in the Life section. In 2008, I became the senior database editor heading the newsroom’s data journalism efforts. The topics we covered ranged from Census analysis to cheating on school tests to work on the multiple-award-winning investigation Ghost Factories.

Before joining USA TODAY, I spent a decade at the Poughkeepsie Journal, a historic newspaper covering New York’s mid-Hudson Valley. I started as an obit writer and police reporter. Later, I covered local government, became a copy editor, assistant city editor and features editor and wrote many features about the musicians who played the local concert scene. In the early 1990s, my interest in computing led to me to launch a personal tech section and take our first steps in what used to be called computer-assisted reporting. I also launched one of the news industry’s earliest online ventures — a dial-up service called the Poughkeepsie Journal Bulletin Board System.

I’m twice a graduate of Marist College, where I also taught journalism. There’s more on LinkedIn.

Outside of work, I’m a husband, father, musician, gardener, occasional poet and, at heart, an analog guy. When I’m not working, I’m most often enjoying time with my family, the guitar, music, chess, bicycling, film, art, poetry and systematic theology.

Thanks for reading!

About this site

This site’s been online since 2009. I write mostly about coding and journalism with some personal blogging thrown in. All material is mine; any reproductions of my published work are owned by the respective copyright holders and are displayed for portfolio purposes only. Opinions do not reflect the opinions of my employers past or present.

Currently, I’m hacking on a WordPress theme I forked from LESS. Body font is PT Sans, and post headlines are Arvo, both from Google Web Fonts. (The old theme I built for this site is still available on Github.)

Web hosting is by WebFaction.