As WBEZ’s news applications editor, Matt breaks down large and complex datasets into stories that matter to Chicagoans.
Prior to joining WBEZ, Matt worked on an R&D team at the Washington Post, where he developed and supported products to automate public records requests and analyze large document collections for investigative projects. He also reported on voting rights litigation leading up to the 2020 election and designed a database to track Jan. 6 criminal filings, supporting the Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting on the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Matt was a 2020 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, where he prototyped tools to monitor civil and human rights. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, he started a collaborative research project to collect medical examiner records around the United States and support local newsrooms measuring the virus’s impacts on their communities.
Previously, as data editor of the Chicago Reporter, Matt and his colleagues compiled and published a database of police misconduct lawsuits settled by the city. Their reporting was cited in a Justice Department report and won an award for innovation in investigative journalism from Investigative Reporters & Editors. He has also worked for Crain’s Chicago Business and various suburban newspapers owned by the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune. He spent a few years as a software engineer and developed an open-source project, FOIAmail, that helps newsrooms manage large-scale public records request campaigns. He’s a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University.