Dana Chinn enjoys exploring ways data can be used to hold people and institutions accountable. Her data journalism courses currently delve into the fatal shootings by California law enforcement officers in the Washington Post Fatal Force database.
She is also examining the role of journalism in establishing what’s needed to make government datasets more accurate, accessible and usable. By tracking the state of open data in Los Angeles County, she hopes to challenge governments to think critically about how they measure open-data success.
In her previous role as director of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center Media Impact Project, she led several grant-funded media-metrics research projects. Believing that traditional mass media audience metrics are hampering the news industry’s potential to survive, she consulted with news organizations and nonprofit organizations to apply best practices in e-commerce metrics to media. Together with Professor Mike Lee at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and top e-commerce metrics vendors, she conceptualized and designed a media metrics data repository to gather and analyze large datasets of media audience behavior across platforms.
She is the faculty adviser for the USC student chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. Previously at USC Annenberg, she directed the Convergence Core Curriculum, the first iteration of USC Annenberg’s multiplatform curriculum. She also developed interdisciplinary programs such as the Mobile News Incubator, which brought together journalism, engineering and business faculty and students. She is proud to have mentored USC Annenberg’s first Google News Lab Fellows.
Her professional experience includes management and consulting positions in online planning and operations, strategic planning, marketing and finance at Gannett, the Los Angeles Times and Media Insight Group. She has an undergraduate degree in journalism and an MBA from USC.
USC Media Impact Measurement System Data Repository Technical Overview, author (USC, 2016).
Open Data LA: The State of Open Data in Los Angeles County — A Framework, co-author (USC, 2015).
Understanding Media Metrics, editor (Media Impact Project).
JOUR 322: Introduction to Investigative and Data Journalism
JOUR 490x: Directed Research
JOUR 590: Directed Research