About

LADYZHETS_HEADSHOT_squareIf you have questions about COVID-19 data, you’ve come to the right place. I’m Betsy—an independent journalist working at the intersection of science/health and data/investigative reporting, based in Brooklyn, New York. I run the COVID-19 Data Dispatch, work part-time at the Documenting COVID-19 project, and am open for additional freelance work.

My work is currently focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, with an eye towards exploring data gaps, explaining complex issues, holding governments accountable, and exposing the failures of our current public health system. I’m also passionate about educating my fellow journalists, building community, and promoting data literacy and accessibility.

I founded the COVID-19 Data Dispatch in July 2020 in an attempt to make the wildly complicated world of pandemic data more accessible for other reporters, friends, and family members. The publication quickly grew into a trusted source for COVID-19 news and resources, and I started doing more interviews, analysis, and original reporting. In late 2020, I enrolled in the first cohort of the Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, with the COVID-19 Data Dispatch as my central project. Additionally, in winter 2021, I organized a series of virtual workshops on COVID-19 data, supported with an Idea Grant from the National Association of Science Writers.

In September 2021, I joined the Documenting COVID-19 project as a senior journalism fellow. This project obtains, publishes, and reports on COVID-related public records; it’s housed at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation and MuckRock. My projects there thus far have have included an investigation into Southwest Missouri’s Delta surge and the Uncounted project, a collaboration with the USA TODAY network.

Prior to my current position as an independent reporter, I worked as a data journalist at Stacker, where I launched and managed the publication’s Science & Health vertical. I also served as a volunteer Shift Lead for the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, working on the core Testing & Outcomes dataset and the COVID Racial Data Tracker. I graduated from Barnard College in 2019, with a dual degree in English (official concentration in Creative Writing) and Biology (unofficial concentration in Loving Trees).

Outside of data and writing, most of my neural power is spent overanalyzing movie soundtracks, dreaming of Costco free samples, and wondering when the next G train will arrive.

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Media appearances