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Samarth Bansal

I am Samarth Bansal, a journalist and computer programmer based in India. My articles have appeared in the Hindustan Times, The Hindu, India Today, Mint, HuffPost India, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Rest of World, and Quartz.

I am trained as an engineer: I studied mathematics and scientific computing at IIT Kanpur. My love for statistics, computer science, social science, writing and public affairs accidentally led me to a journalism job. I was a staff reporter in the data journalism teams of The Hindu and Hindustan Times in New Delhi before branching off to work independently in 2019. In 2018, I spent five months reporting for the investigative team of the Wall Street Journal in New York, as part of the Alfred Friendly Press Partners fellowship.

Journalism is not, and has never been, perfect. But rigorous, fact-based, data-informed and thoughtful reporting can help us understand the impossibly complex world we live in—and that's the goal of my reporting.

I love reading non-fiction, dancing, and traveling frugally; nerding out on statistics, moral philosophy, epistemology, technology, human nature and health; thinking about the future of news and journalism; listening to people's stories.

Featured Posts

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#3: The Wire’s TekFog investigation: A futile search for evidence

The failures in this reporting—despite best intentions—point to a critical, underlying problem with Indian journalism today.

#3: The Wire’s TekFog investigation: A futile search for evidence
Members Public

#2: Five books on thinking clearly

Hi, this is Samarth. Welcome to The Interval, a fortnightly newsletter to think deeply about the truth-seeking process and forces that distort it. You can read more about it and sign up here. Your email address Sign up for The Interval Please check your inbox and click the link to

#2: Five books on thinking clearly
Members Public

#1: Inside a fictional education revolution

In 2017, Rajasthan was both the best and the worst Indian state in terms of learning outcomes. How did that happen?

#1: Inside a fictional education revolution
Members Public

Welcome to The Interval

Hi there, this is Samarth, and I am writing to announce my new project. It’s called The Interval, a fortnightly newsletter to think deeply about the truth-seeking process and forces that distort it. Let me explain. Six years of professional journalism has taught me how hard it is to

Welcome to The Interval
Members Public

Inside the five-year battle food companies have fought to resist stricter labelling norms

India’s food regulator proposed changes in labeling rules to empower consumers: if the quantity of fat/salt/sugar exceeds a specified threshold, food packets would have a front-of-pack warning label. But this policy is not moving, following fierce opposition from the industry. My interviews with scientists, government officials, independent

Inside the five-year battle food companies have fought to resist stricter labelling norms
Members Public

Thoughts and observations on data journalism in India

Today, I complete five years in journalism: one year at The Hindu (my first job, straight out of university), two years at the Hindustan Times—which overlapped with a five-month fellowship at the Wall Street Journal—and two years as a freelancer. 'Data journalist' was my official job description in

Thoughts and observations on data journalism in India
Members Public

Inside India’s booming dark data economy

India’s booming dark data economy: spyware, detectives, data brokers, scammers—all that and more. Thanks to lax privacy laws and high consumer demand, details on everything from how you shop to who you date are all for sale. Read the story on Rest of World.

Inside India’s booming dark data economy

Recent Posts

Members Public

#3: The Wire’s TekFog investigation: A futile search for evidence

The failures in this reporting—despite best intentions—point to a critical, underlying problem with Indian journalism today.

#3: The Wire’s TekFog investigation: A futile search for evidence
Members Public

#2: Five books on thinking clearly

Hi, this is Samarth. Welcome to The Interval, a fortnightly newsletter to think deeply about the truth-seeking process and forces that distort it. You can read more about it and sign up here. Your email address Sign up for The Interval Please check your inbox and click the link to

#2: Five books on thinking clearly
Members Public

#1: Inside a fictional education revolution

In 2017, Rajasthan was both the best and the worst Indian state in terms of learning outcomes. How did that happen?

#1: Inside a fictional education revolution