I am a graphics-, coder- and creative data-journalist based in Berlin.
I’ve just joined Stanford University’s Starling Lab as Director for Special Projects.

📬 Contact

  • ✉️ basile-at-basilesimon-dot-fr 🔐 PGP
  • 📞 +49 172 253 9671 (Signal/Telegram)
  • 🔗 @basilesimon on some social platforms

👔 Past employment

My journalism career started in the UK, where I worked for large broadcasters, newspapers, and agencies.

  • Graphics editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Reuters
  • Senior interactive journalist, The Times and The Sunday Times
  • Newsroom developer, The Times and the Sunday Times
  • Coder-journalist, BBC News Labs

I also co-founded Airwars, a non-profit monitoring organisation exposing the harm done to civilians by air conflicts.


Portfolio

For Prototype Fund:
The Digital Evidence Toolkit

Public/private 50,000€ grant for the r&d of proof-of-concept techniques highlighting the uncertain legal framework of digital evidence admissibility and chain of custody.

🔗 See the piece
👉 Read all about it

Typescript Svelte Grant

For Global Witness:
The “Pipedown” map

A short contract bringing to life the dataset on which GW’s campaign was based, modular once again, and published both from the CMS and as a standalone.

🔗 See the piece
👉 Read all about it

Visualisation Cartography D3 Svelte NGO

For Reuters:
Brexit through machine learning

A data-driven experiment looking at how Brexit splits the Tories. Don’t miss the even-nerdier, machine learning-driven complement.

🔗 See the piece
👉 Read all about it

Visualisation R Data modelling Scraping

For The Times & Sunday Times:
90% of all British crimes are unsolved

Collaboration with the Data team to bring this multi-week exclusive analysis of police data to life in just over two days.

🔗 See the piece

Visualisation D3 React

For Christmas:
Pen plotter maps

Pen-plotted bicycle journeys on postcards, from a minimal implementation of GPX in R.

👉 Read all about it

Visualisation R Pen plotter
Fire devastates Notre Dame
reuters.com
Extrajudicial killings in Egypt
reuters.com
Reading the Brexit Tea Leaves
reuters.com
Not Far Ahead - Tour de France
reuters.com
Spain Votes
reuters.com
Brexit's Super Saturday
reuters.com
The EU's Top Jobs
reuters.com
Airtrikes on Saudi Aramco
reuters.com
Fire on Gran Canaria
reuters.com
The Rukban Camp
reuters.com
Divorce survey
thetimes.co.uk

Open source work

Fortunately I was able to open-source some of the work I have done:

deptoolkit

An archiving software demonstrating chain of custody based on an immutable ledger

on github

noaastorms

An R package to download, parse and clean historical storms data from the NOAA

on github

d3-grid

A fork in d3v4 of the beloved d3-grid

on github

twitter-tools

A Python toolkit to monitor deleted tweets, automate screenshoting, and archiving

on github

The Times' Dataviz catalogue

A public resource of data viz code and designs, a la Storybook/ FT Visual Vocabulary

on github

🎓 Academic work

Before I joined Stanford, I had the privilege of teaching the Advanced Data and Coding module on the MA in Interactive Journalism course at City University. We ran through an introduction to programming, statistical methods, R data analysis and modelling with ggplot.

All my teaching notes are available on Github.

I have done some studying myself:

  • Master of Arts in Multimedia Journalism - Univ. of Westminster (UK)
  • Masters in Political Science and Sociology - High European Studies Institute (France)
  • BA Private Law, minor Political Science - Univ. Lyon III (France)

🏅 Awards

Award of Excellence, 2019, Society of News Design

  • The Brexit Rift Splitting the Conservative Party
  • Not Far Ahead

Long list, 2019, Kantar Information is Beautiful

  • Reading the Brexit Tea Leaves
  • The Brexit Rift Splitting the Conservative Party
  • Not Far Ahead

🎙 Talks and publications

  • “Working with data in the newsroom”
    in The Data Journalism Handbook (Amsterdam University Press, 2021)
  • “Career paths for news nerds (or lack of them)”
    International Journalism Festival 2018, Perugia
  • “Airwars.org: a field report,two years on”
    Hacks/Hackers Berlin 2017
  • “Airwars: strike by strike”
    Dataharvest 2016, Brussels + Hacks/Hackers Berlin
  • “Hackers trying to stay relevant: linked data and structured journalism at the BBC”
    csv,conf,v2 2016, Berlin
  • “Passion > compensation”
    Sud Web 2016, France
  • “Hacking the newsroom”
    International Journalism Festival 2016, Perugia
  • “BBC News Labs, Linked Data, Datastringer: the Hacks and Hackers paradigm”
    Computation + Journalism Symposium 2014, New York City
  • “Algorithms in Journalism: danger or opportunity?”
    Assises du Journalism 2014, France