Andi Egbert

The Press Cohort (Minnesota)

Andi Egbert (Minnesota)

In early April 2020, when the CDC was not providing any COVID-19 mortality data by race and ethnicity, Senior Researcher Andi Egbert and the small team of the Research Lab at American Public Media developed the “Color of Coronavirus” to monitor and trumpet racially inequitable deaths by state and across the nation.

They began scouring state websites, building a database, and producing regular web updates that continued over the course of the next year—to underscore the widely disproportionate toll that the virus was having on communities of color, stealing beloved family and community members at two to three times the rate of white residents.

Andi led the Lab’s efforts in imaging the project; data collection, standardization, visualization, and analysis; narrative-writing, age-adjusting the mortality rates; giving media interviews and connecting with many partners.

Rich with interactive features that make plain the cruel landscape that resulted from the virus’ intersection with systemic racism, Color of Coronavirus has been widely cited by local, national, and international media outlets; referenced in congressional testimony and academic journals; and incorporated into health practitioner training and college curricula. The project’s valuable data file has also been utilized by hundreds of researchers, practitioners and policymakers seeking to document and alter the inequitable toll of the virus.

A few words from those who nominated Andi:

“Andi led the APM Research Lab’s Color of Coronavirus, which was the first project to consistently track COVID-19 mortality rates by race and ethnicity, showing huge disparities in the impact of the pandemic. This work has been cited in the halls of Congress, academic journals, many leading national and international news outlets, and has been used by advocates seeking to change and improve our collective response to COVID-19.”

Dillon Richards

The Press Cohort (Oklahoma)

Dillon Richards (Oklahoma)

Dillon Richards is a reporter with ABC 5 Oklahoma City (KOKO) who has been covering COVID-19 in his state since the first few cases were disclosed.

Dillon tackled some of the most emotional and raw human stories throughout the pandemic through his data and reporting.

Now, he reports daily on vaccine distribution, providing Oklahomans with information about whether they qualify, where to make appointments, where vaccines are/are not in supply, and more.

In 2018, Richards won an award from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters for a story about first responders to a heroin overdose.

Richards is originally from south Florida and went to high school and college in Georgia. He earned a degree in Digital and Broadcast Journalism from the University of Georgia. He interned at WMAZ-TV in Macon, Georgia.

A few words from those who nominated Dillon:

“Dillon does an amazing job keeping us updated here in Oklahoma City, along with Kassie. Completely appreciate their details keeping us in the know.”

Click here to follow Dillon on Twitter

Jo Ingles

The Press Cohort (Ohio)

Jo Ingles (Ohio)

Jo Ingles covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and most recently, the COVID pandemic. Jo has looked at the data, asked tough questions of state leaders and has explained the various facets of the pandemic for listeners and viewers.

After working for more than a decade at WOSU-AM, Jo was hired by the Bureau in 1999. Her work has been featured on national networks such as National Public Radio, Marketplace, the Great Lakes Radio Consortium and the BBC. She is often a guest on radio talk shows heard on Ohio’s public radio stations. In addition, she’s a regular guest on WOSU-TV’s “Columbus on the Record” and WBNS-TV’s “Face the State.” Jo also writes for respected publications such as Columbus Monthly and Reuters News Service.

She has won many awards for her work across all of those platforms. She is currently the president of the Ohio Radio and TV Correspondents Association, a past board member for the Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association and a past president for the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters. Jo also works as an instructor at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Here are some of Jo’s articles covering COVID-19:

Why New COVID Death Total Is So High | The Statehouse News BureauThe state’s coronavirus website shows 752 deaths since Tuesday, the last time the numbers updated. But Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud says 428 of those are Ohioans who died out of
Ohio Is Changing The Way It Handles COVID-19 Death Data | The Statehouse News BureauDr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the chief medical officer for ODH, used a diagram to explain the current reconciliation process, which involved the agency’s employees taking steps to speed up the reporting of the death
DeWine Gives Hint Of When Mask Mandate, Other Health Orders Will Be Lifted | The Statehouse News BureauA year after the Arnold Sports Festival became the first major event canceled because of coronavirus, DeWine says Ohioans have made great progress by wearing masks, social distancing, and getting
The Whys And Hows Behind The Metrics For Lifting Health Orders | The Statehouse News BureauGov. Mike DeWine says he’ll lift the mask mandates and other health orders when Ohio’s coronavirus cases drop to 50 cases per 100,000 Ohioans over a
More Ohioans Are Eligible For COVID-19 Vaccines | The Statehouse News BureauStarting Thursday, more Ohioans will be eligible for COVID vaccines. That’s because nearly a half a million more doses will be available this
Federal Mass Vaccination Site Coming To Cleveland | The Statehouse News BureauGov. Mike DeWine says he’s excited about the new clinics because they will allow more people to be vaccinated quickly. “Mass vaccination clinics have always been part of our plan, but adequate supply is necessary for larger sites, so it was crucial that we first established local provider sites in all 88 counties to ensure that every citizen in every community has a provider nearby,” said …

A few words from those who nominated Jo Ingles:

“Jo has continued thru her Twitter feed and on radio/television to post data and relevant news about the pandemic. I am most familiar with her Twitter postings geared toward understanding the raw data. “

Click here to follow Jo on Twitter
Read Jo’s Statehouse News profile and stories here

Chris Cuomo

The Press Cohort (New York)

This page is under construction. Check back later.

Chris Cuomo (New York)

A few words from those who nominated Chris:

“He cares strongly for the health being of all Americans especially New Yorkers He wants Covid to leave by all means so that everyone including me can regain their normal activities.”

Disclosure: Chris Cuomo is ineligible to be a finalist due to his previous work with one of our judges.

David Montgomery

The Press Cohort (Minnesota)

We are working to complete our profiles for the more than 500 nominees submitted during the month of February. If you’d like to add to this profile, please email us at:

David Montgomery (Minnesota)

David Montgomery is a data journalist at Minnesota Public Radio News where he tracks and visualizes COVID-19 data for MPR’s audience on a daily basis in articles, radio appearances, and on his popular Twitter feed.

He also launched a COVID-19 data newsletter where he interprets the latest trends in Minnesota’s COVID-19 outbreak and vaccination campaign for thousands of subscribers.

David’s primary goal is to help readers interpret and contextualize the daily barrage of often-contradictory statistics, laying out what the data says, what it doesn’t say, and when it’s just too unclear to draw responsible conclusions.

A few words from those who nominated David:

“Making data understandable via radio – when you can’t actually see the charts or graphics – is pretty darn hard. David does an excellent job leading us with his updates.”

Click here to follow David on Twitter

Karen Kasler

The Press Cohort (Ohio)

Karen Kasler (Ohio)

Karen Kasler manages a team of four journalists who cover the Ohio Statehouse for the state’s public radio and TV stations.

Every single member of Karen’s team was nominated more than once, a testament to her ability to not only analyze and communicate complex data regarding COVID-19, but also to build and lead a team that does data journalism right.

“The idea that I’m doing calculations and dealing with stats and data – and enjoying it – would STUN my high school math teachers,” Karen joked, noting how much work went into giving the numbers and then telling the stories behind those numbers.

She’s been tracking confirmed cases and deaths since March 9, 2020, investigating issues related to data integrity within the state. She covers everything from schools, to nursing home deaths, to vaccination issues, and changes in state policy.

She posts a data update for Ohio to her Twitter page every day at about 2 PM CT, as soon as the state’s data comes out.

“Through radio and TV stories, we’ve talked to doctors and experts about COVID deniers and nursing home staff rejecting the vaccine, to families devastated by loss and workers who can’t get unemployment benefits, and to struggling business owners and to lawmakers about public safety versus the push to “open up Ohio”.

Her stories always put data front and center, adjacent to the scientific and political voices swirling around information access and transparency.

“I’ve been tracking nursing homes for a while,” she said. “At one point, more than 70% of deaths were in those facilities. The state hasn’t made it easy because they count deaths before April 15 and after April 15 separately.”

“Since I’m a broadcast journalist, I have to make all the data simple for a listening/viewing audience. So here’s how I highlight the most important data on hospitalizations/testing/vaccines from the state’s website:”

“One other thing about Ohio,” Karen added, circling back to the issues of government leaning into anti-science radicals posing as experts or even journalists.

“While our governor was initially aggressive about shutdowns, he’s gotten pushback from his fellow Republicans in the legislature – some of whom are straight-up conspiracy theorists. They’re enabled by this guy (Jack Windsor). As the pandemic started, he ran a wedding venue. He suddenly decided he was an “investigative journalist” and infiltrated the governor’s daily press conferences – much to the frustration of actual journalists.”

Karen’s teammates who have been nominated include Andy Chow, Jo Ingles, and Dan Konik.

Karen Kasler (left), Jo Ingles (center) and Andy Chow (right) were all nominated as COVID-19 Data Heroes for their work with the Ohio Statehouse News Bureau.

A few words from those who nominated Karen and her team:

“Karen Kasler manages a team of truly talented individuals. I don’t know if she has a background in statistics or math, but she has managed to make sense of all these numbers for us. She doesn’t just throw the numbers at us like some people – she puts them in context so we understand what they mean for our lives. And she has mentored two people that could equally be considered for your award. But as the leader, you have to nominate Ms. Kasler!”

“Andy has done an exemplary job, along with colleagues Jo Ingles and Karen Kasler, providing data and analysis on the coronavirus crisis in Ohio, as well as how it affects listeners’ lives. His deep involvement with the issue has made him a trusted household name around the state.”

“Jo has continued thru her Twitter feed and on radio/television to post data and relevant news about the pandemic. I am most familiar with her Twitter postings geared toward understanding the raw data. “

Click here to visit Karen’s Twitter

Mary Landers

The Press Cohort (Georgia)

We are working to complete our profiles for the more than 500 nominees submitted during the month of February. If you’d like to add to this profile, please email us at:

Mary Landers (Georgia)

Mary Landers tackled some of the toughest issues to cover as a journalist during COVID-19 – issues of inequality that led to and exacerbated how minority communities were impacted, inequity in vaccine distribution, and racial and ethnic experiences and vulnerabilities.

“The pandemic has been data-driven news from the beginning,” Mary said. “Which states have cases, how many, what percent of the population is that, how many people have died. I’ve tried to make sense of this data at a local level when I can for our Savannah Morning News readers so that they can take appropriate actions to protect themselves. Data drives how we cover the pandemic.”

“For example, when we reached 200 COVID deaths in our county I described the demographics of those who died and profiled ten of those people,” Mary said. “Data also drives what we cover. I’ve kept an eye on issues like the settings hardest hit by COVID — prisons and nursing homes — and written local stories about outbreaks in these places.”

One of the most challenging issues Mary covered during COVID-19 related to vaccine hesitancy among Black communities in Savannah, and the dark history behind those attitudes.

A few words from those who nominated Mary:

“I believe Mary Landers is a data hero due to her diligent work towards providing the community with accurate COVID numbers. And she doesn’t stop there, she has also provided data on how Covid has disproportionately impacted black people and POC in the Savannah area. She also created data to see which zip codes were receiving the most Covid vaccines and how economically wealthier areas were receiving more shipments.”

“For the last year she has dedicated her life to providing people with Covid numbers, information, data and even helped sign people up for the vaccine herself.”

Click here to follow Mary on Twitter

Chris Vanderveen

The Press Cohort (Colorado)

Chris Vanderveen (Colorado)

Chris Vanderveen isn’t a math guy. His spreadsheets are messy, at best. But at some point, in the late spring of 2020, he found himself trying to help people who wanted more than complicated charts and numbers.

They wanted context.

In essence, they wanted to know, “What’s it all mean?”

Chris, an investigative reporter at Denver’s KUSA-TV, turned his twitter account into a daily, one-stop shop for Coloradans interested in knowing more about what the virus was up to in the state.

There, generally around 4pm, people could get info on patient counts, case counts, positivity and deaths.

With the help of his ridiculously simple graphics (arrows drawn via mouse), Chris turned the state’s daily data dump into a way for people to watch and analyze the trends. His daily updates have turned into a daily watering hole monitored by state health officials and twitter newbies alike.

On Twitter, he’s snappy and sharp. He doesn’t tolerate nonsense, and gets a lot of flack for it. He promotes science and research, and engages in discussion with those seeking answers — while shutting down those who propagate fringe ideas. With his signature red-pen, talent for graphics and video, and propensity for facts, Chris delivers information the way it was meant to be — with honesty.

A few words from those who nominated Chris:

“In Colorado, Chris Vanderveen has been my go-to. Great job reporting numbers and also providing “what does it all mean” analysis.”

“Keeps us updated with relevant rates, graphs, and context. Great resource!”

Click here to follow Chris on Twitter

We are working to complete our profiles for the more than 500 nominees submitted during the month of February. If you’d like to add to this profile, please email us at:

Megan Messerly

The Press Cohort (Nevada)

Megan Messerly’s 40th post in her weekly “Coronavirus Contextualized” series is the epitome of high-quality data reporting.

Megan Messerly (Nevada)

Whatever data is out there, Megan pulls in, analyzes and, as the title suggests, puts into context.

Her work for the Nevada Independent put her at the top of the pack in our Press Cohort, and rightfully so – her work manages to take the wealth of data that could be overwhelming and make it easily consumable, understandable, and accessible.

“It is not possible to independently calculate the test positivity rate based on test encounters because the state only reports the number of positive cases, not the number of positive test encounters,” her latest post noted. “However, the state does provide this number, calculated as an average over a 14-day period with a seven-day lag. As of Wednesday, that number was 11.3 percent, down from a high of 21.7 percent on Jan. 13. In September, before cases started to increase, the test positivity rate was 6.1 percent — meaning that test positivity is still nearly double what it once was.”

In her own words:

“In early March, when Nevada announced its first two cases of COVID-19, there was nowhere to turn for reliable data. The data lived scattered among various state and county websites and press releases.”

“So, I created The Nevada Independent’s first COVID infographic — which lived in our weekly live blogs — nearly a week and a half before the state set up its data portal. Since then, I’ve detailed and analyzed the latest COVID data in Nevada in my “Coronavirus Contextualized” series, which has published almost every single week since April 1.”

“In June, I transitioned the infographic into a full-fledged data page, which I, by myself, have updated multiple times a day, every single day, since then, including weekends and holidays.”

“I do want to give a shout out to my colleagues, who helped me with data collection for the first couple of months of the pandemic, and to our chief technology officer CJ Keeney, who helped me set up the backend of our data collection process and who is always there to answer any questions I have when something goes awry.”

View a sample of Megan’s work below

Click here to read the above article.
Click here to read the article

“To me, I think the most important part of my reporting, whether the graphics, the “Coronavirus Contextualized” series, or other individual stories I’ve written, has been providing clear information to Nevadans — not only keep them informed about the reality of the situation in our state, but to help them make educated decisions about what steps they are going to take personally to respond to the pandemic. I’m so grateful to everyone who has followed along for the last year!”

A few words from some of those who nominated Megan:

“Megan has reported our daily case, test positivity and hospitalization numbers, as well as the corresponding graphs, every day through the pandemic. She gives cliffs for every conference call of our state COVID team. She’s accessible and puts up with all the crap that the anti-maskers can give her.”

“Megan originated the “Coronavirus in Nevada” site early in the pandemic and has been the main staffer to keep this data site populated. We, as users, know that it is reliable and up to the hour with the latest data. And it’s very comprehensive, especially with the county by county statistics. Plus, her Twitter account and health newsletter keeps us informed on statements from health officials and where we can get vaccinated. Living in a rural county with no TV station, I would have felt so underinformed without her. She is Las Vegas-based, but does a wonderful job with informing residents of other counties, including little old Elko Co. where I live. And the best part is that she still maintains her beat covering politics and other health issues. A tireless journalist with a VERY appreciative Twitter following. We never want her to leave Nevada Indy, but when she gets interviewed by national media, we are reminded that someone will make her an offer she can’t refuse.”

Click here to follow Megan on Twitter

Click here to see some of Megan’s reporting.