Sandeep Junnarkar began his career by helping to build the earliest digital editions of The New York Times as a breaking news editor, reporter, and web producer. For The Times, he wrote articles that explored the intersection of technology and how it was reshaping major fields like medicine, psychiatry, and communications.
More recently, he conceived of and spearheaded The Hate Index, a website that compiles incidents of intolerance since the 2016 presidential elections. Visitors can filter the hate incidents by who, where, and how the hate occurred.
In 2017, he and his colleague Jere Hester received a grant from the NYC Media Lab to work on an augmented reality project called YOU ARE HERE – an immersive smartphone-based experience that uses AR to tell NYC stories, melding past and present from a street-level view.
He is also busy with a team building a groundbreaking tool called PathChartr, which would allow news and community organizations without coders to deliver personalized, relevant, and helpful information to users who are guided through interactive journeys, fueled by their answers to a series of questions.
In the past, Junnarkar received numerous journalism awards, including an Online Journalism Award for his investigative series on hackers’ frequent intrusions into banking systems and how that presaged the vulnerability of all our personal information online.
He was awarded a Knight Foundation/J-Lab New Voices grant for 2008-2010 to expand his Family Life Behind Bars project, which examined the impact on family relations and dynamics when one or more member of a family is incarcerated. He also headed the multimedia Lives in Focus series that documented the lives of HIV+ indigent children and adults in India.
More recently he led the Knight Foundation and Online Journalism Association-funded Stop the Mold project in collaboration with the New York Daily News to document the scourge of mold in NYC’s public housing.
Junnarkar has served as a judge for the National Magazine Awards and Online Journalism Awards. He has given talks or led discussions about Social Media and Online Journalism at The Council on Foreign Relations, Columbia University’s Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, and the Online News Association.
He was president of the South Asian Journalists Association from 2008 to 2010. He received a B.A. in Social Science from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.