John D. Harden is a data reporter for The Washington Post where he explores topics such as government accountability, the impact of crime on local communities and how gentrification shapes urban centers. He began working at the Post in 2018. By using tools such as R and QGIS, Harden takes datasets, analyzes them and turns them into narratives that reveal the stories hidden deep in spreadsheets. Before joining the Post’s data team he worked in Houston at the Houston Chronicle on the metro desk. He was a part of the Pulitzer Prize finalist team that covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. In Houston, Harden’s award-winning work spanned many subject areas including mapping Houston’s racial divide, crystal meth use in the city and Texas’s immigration patterns. He has shown where jobs are lost in urban areas and where farms are lost in rural ones. Outside of the newsroom, he often mentors college students, providing career advice and tips to strengthen their writing and reporting. He’s a member of IRE and a regular speaker at conferences and workshops.
Harden is a Texas native and has worked for several Texas publications including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Denton Record-Chronicle. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington and a former editor of the student-run newspaper, The Shorthorn.