Girish Gupta

Girish has a background in physics, two decades of full-stack programming experience and his investigative and multimedia reporting from Venezuela, the Americas and Middle East has been published by everyone from Reuters to the New Yorker. His analytical mind, grit and ability to get things done have allowed him to land in many difficult, remote places with no money or contacts and make things happen. As well as deep reporting, he has created products and startups, advised government and enjoys playing music, keeping fit and always satiating his curiosity.

Girish started teaching himself to code at eleven, assembling computers, writing software and building database-driven websites from scratch. A popular music site he created in his early teens, in 2000, was listed by MTV as one of the then nascent web’s top twenty sources.

He was the first person in his family to go to university and began studying math, physics, chemistry and geology at Cambridge though, not excited by the medieval city’s social life, moved on to Manchester where he focused on physics. His interests lie broadly on the theoretical end of the spectrum—spacetime, quantum mechanics and particles. His Master’s project, the abstract to which was published, was a simulation of the heart to investigate atrial fibrillation.

As a reporter, Girish was based primarily in Venezuela for nearly a decade where he produced groundbreaking investigations, covered daily clashes and reported on a humanitarian crisis. From Caracas, he traveled the world—often its most hostile environments: Colombia, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, Mexico and many others—and reported across TV, photos, radio and text.

On finishing his Master's, Girish had bought a one-way ticket to become a foreign correspondent. As a freelancer, he investigated diamond smuggling from illegal jungle mines in the Amazon, Glencore profiting from a Colombian paramilitary massacre and, separately, the killing of wildcat gold miners there. He worked with some 40 news outlets and stood up to sloppy reporting, slow payments and unpaid work in his own industry—as his career began, not just at its height. As a Senior Correspondent at Reuters covering Venezuela, Girish demonstrated—always with documents—high-level, multi-billion-dollar government corruption, military missile inventories, exaggeration of electoral results and that the country’s Chief Justice was arrested on suspicion of murder.

He went beyond traditional media by bringing math and code to journalism, automating story-writing and, wanting to properly understand the roots of Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis, creating software to provide thousands of people with live and historic data on the country’s dire economy.

He expanded the Venezuela Econ platform into a company, Data Drum, which offered automated, clean and elegant global macroeconomic data.

In Mumbai, he created a data science unit at a public policy non-profit that advised government in applying computing to everything from urban planning and mapping to data governance and the COVID-19 response.

Now, as Chief Technology Officer at Stanford-conceived, France-based startup Deepnews, Girish is building a machine learning algorithm to help identify quality journalism.


Photo: Oil wells set ablaze by Islamic State before fleeing Qayyara, Iraq. January, 2017.