Fear of Rampant Crime Is Derailing New York City’s Recovery by Bloomberg

A data-driven investigation into the politicization and perception of crime in New York City. Although violent incidents are up since the pandemic began, crime is at decades-lows. Media coverage and the focus on violent crimes significantly outpaces the underlying trend.

I compiled historical crime data using the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program and NYPD monthly press releases to analyze crime and its perception before/since the pandemic. I used the MediaCloud API to query and collect NYC crime-related headlines. This was an essential part of our investigation into how the media can inflate fear over crime, in tandem with elected officials. I sourced all data, analyzed, sketched, and visualized it. I designed several iterations of graphics within the article to ensure they were concise, compelling, and would work with our central reporting lines.

This story became one of our most read and shared, especially well-circulated across Twitter. Civil rights attorneys including Scott Hechinger and Founder/Executive Director of Civil Rights Corp, Alec Karakatsanis, shared this article and several graphics from it. Congressional representative Ilhan Omar also shared the article.

This story and key graphics generated impactful discourse among media, politicians, professors, authors, and activists even prompting NYC Mayor Eric Adams to address it in a press conference. This story was recognized by the New York Times and the Global Investigative Journalism Network. Several reporters have since replicated the story within their home cities.