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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

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

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

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

Lessons learnt from my 52-week workout streak

Today, I have hit a personal milestone: cult.fit app informs me I have been regular with my workouts for 52 weeks in a row — meaning, over the last year, I exercised every single week without exception. From being a high school student who preferred to bunk the sports period

Lessons learnt from my 52-week workout streak

Why I am relearning statistics

I have finally started what I had been thinking of doing for at least two years now: relearning statistics. I am a freelance journalist/programmer, and I control the volume of work I want to hold at any point. To make time for this academic pursuit, I consciously reduced my

Why I am relearning statistics

I don’t know how to resolve the tension between the desire to enjoy the world, the curiosity to understand it and the rage to change it

I wrote this note in my journal on the morning of 16, February 2021, recalling the events of the previous day. A young environmental activist was arrested, and it triggered a series of thoughts laying bare the inner conflicts I often deal with. I don’t have any meaningful way

I don’t know how to resolve the tension between the desire to enjoy the world, the curiosity to understand it and the rage to change it