We’re excited to announce that Lam Thuy Vo, a seasoned journalist who marries data analysis with on-the-ground reporting to examine how systems and policies affect individuals, will be joining The Markup as a reporter. This fall, Lam will also be starting a new job as an associate professor of data journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where she is currently a data journalist in residence.
Lam brings with her an incredible wealth of experience. In addition to her role at the Newmark J-School, she is currently an Information Futures Lab Fellow at Brown University and an AI Accountability Network Fellow for the Pulitzer Center. Previously, she was a journalist at BuzzFeed News, The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera America, and NPR’s Planet Money.
Lam has told stories at the intersection of economics, technology, and society for more than a decade and has documented how power imbalances, when baked into systems, adversely impact those who are already living on the margins. She has documented how excessive “quality-of-life” complaints led to the overpolicing of minorities and the raids of Black-owned businesses. She has looked into how changes in immigration enforcement drove immigrants into the arms of fraudulent lawyers. And she has reported on the powerful role that technology has played in the surveillance of teens, the policing of protesters, and the perpetuation of anti-Muslim hate by Myanmar politicians.
Her work as a reporter, storyteller, and leader in the field has won or been nominated for more than 30 awards. Among the organizations that have recognized her work are the Overseas Press Club, the Online News Association, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, and the Poynter Institute.
Lam has also worked as an educator, scholar, and public speaker for a decade, developing newsroom-wide training programs for institutions like Al Jazeera America and The Wall Street Journal; workshops for journalists across the U.S. as well as from Asia, Latin America, and Europe, and semester-long courses for CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. She’s brought her research about misinformation and the impact of algorithms on our political views to institutions like Harvard, Georgetown, MIT, Columbia, and Data and Society. In 2019, she published a book about her empirical approach to finding stories in data from the internet for No Starch Press.
She is also committed to helping her industry become more diverse. She co-administers a Slack community for journalists of color and co-created a resource guide for journalists of color looking for career growth, salary data, demographics breakdowns of newsrooms, and training opportunities.
A German-born Vietnamese immigrant to the U.S., Lam made her way to New York City via London, Berlin, Hong Kong, and Oakland and has adopted continuous learning as a way of life. She taught herself how to code by making data visualizations about breakups; she learned how to use a hammer drill to build inclusive rock climbing routes on the sides of the Rocky Mountains; and she will always mosey her way into the kitchens of “aunties” and “uncles” who are willing to show her how to make their favorite home-cooked meals.
Lam joins The Markup on March 1, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome her. Please join us in congratulating her at @lamthuyvo.