Elbert Wang

Category: Young journalist

Country/area: United States

Organisation: The Wall Street Journal

Organisation size: Big

Cover letter:

Elbert Wang is in his first year with the award-winning Wall Street Journal graphics team. In that time, Elbert has distinguished himself as a passionate visual reporter who engages audiences on a variety of socially important issues. 

Mr. Wang came to the Journal from the Texas Tribune, where he was a fellow on the data-visuals team. Before that, he was an intern on the interactives team at the San Francisco Chronicle. He is a graduate of Brown University, where he studied Computer Science and Classics.

Mr. Wang is interested in distilling data into graphics and visualizations and in digging into the numbers to understand the people behind them. These three projects are examples of the breadth of Elbert’s talents:

“What Happens if SAT Scores Consider Adversity?” Charts median SAT against Adversity scores, letting readers look up individual schools.

“The Nest Egg Game” is an interactive that guides readers through the impact of various financial choices

“Tracking Shootings in America”  is a deep dive into the statistical details of shootings in America

Description of portfolio:

Increasingly, readers crave stories that are smart, visual, and interactive. Stories that allow them to see the entire story in a chart, play with the data themselves, ans immerse themselves in a story rather than just read it. Mr. Wang’s work pushes these boundaries of how we tell stories on the web, in different mediums, and on different devices, helping place readers in his stories and engaging them on important topics that affect their lives.

For “What Happens if SAT Scores Consider Adversity,” Mr. Wang produced a data-visualization project that shows how students’ socioeconomic status affects SAT scores. The project also includes a lookup tool that allows readers to see how their own high school performed and its corresponding adversity score, shedding light on how College Board measures and compares high schools’ performance and adversity.

In “Tracking Shootings in America,” Mr. Wang presented a database of mass shootings in several different ways: as a traditional map of locations, as an extremely tall timeline, and, at the top of the article page, as a wall of the shootings described in plain language by the FBI, showing that in America, mass shootings happen anywhere, at any time. The visuals allow readers to meditate on the sobering reality of shootings in America.

“The Nest Egg Game” allows readers to map their personal financial journey through ten milestones. Mr. Wang’s project allows readers to simulate how their financial decisions affect their long-term savings and retirement. A fictional “egg” persona makes a serious topic less intimidating and more whimsical. Ultimately, the project aims to give readers a better sense of how they compare with average Americans and thus to better prepare for retirement. The Nest Egg Game project is part of the Journal’s “The New Rules of Money”  package about the financial challenges facing young adults.

Tools used: 
Mr. Wang primarily relied on Google Spreadsheets and Python for data analysis, as well as HTML, CSS and JavaScript (particularly d3.js) to produce interactive data visualizations online. React.js was used for the “Nest Egg Game.”

Project links: