Conrad Walters teaches Data Journalism. He worked as a reporter and editor in the US and Australia during a 40-year media career. In 1995, he built the first website for The Australian and was its founding online editor.
Conrad then worked in digital media at Fairfax, where he oversaw development of the company’s Walkley Award-winning Sydney Olympics website. He later worked directly for The Sydney Morning Herald, where he was part of the launch team for the Herald’s iPad app.
While there, he won a second Walkley Award for his role in a project that scrutinised parliamentary perks. In 2013, he became the Herald’s first Data Editor. Conrad has a master’s degree in Creative Writing and is co-author of Journeys on the Silk Road.
Give us a quick run down on your background?
I spent 40 years in journalism, first in print, then as a pioneer of online and interactive journalism. I built and edited the first website for The Australian newspaper. I was the project manager for Fairfax's Sydney Olympics website, which won a Walkley Award. I was also part of the launch team for tablet edition of The Sydney Morning Herald and subsequently became the Herald's first Data Editor.
How did you get into the industry?
I earned a Bachelor's degree in Communications in the United States and worked as a reporter and photojournalist for a rural paper that published twice a week. After a few years, I moved to a business publication before making the leap to a metro daily in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1988, I swam solo across the Pacific Ocean to work as a sub-editor at The Sydney Morning Herald.
What is the biggest difference in the industry since you were at university?
Technology. It has accelerated the news cycle and the revolutionised the ability to follow a breaking story.
What do you do when you are not teaching?
I do volunteer work involving data for a state politician and am one of the top three Border Collie walkers across all of Sydney's inner west.
What do you enjoy about teaching at Macleay?
The opportunity to share some hard-learned lessons about a journalism in general and data journalism in particular.
What subjects do you teach at Macleay?
Data Journalism and Introduction to Tequilla.
What is the best advice you give your students?