Hey there! I'm Kayla Zhu.I'm a freelance data journalist, content writer and communications professional with a specialization in graphic design, data analysis and data visualization.Previously, I've worked as a reporter with the Investigative Journalism Foundation, a data journalist with the Local News Data Hub, a reporter with The Green Line, an intern in the Investigative Unit at CBC, a reporter at J-Source, and a communications assistant at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.I'm passionate about telling stories with data and design.

Hit me up here.

Here's some work I'm proud of.

For this story, I calculated the approximate licencing rate of Airbnbs across nine major Canadian cities by creating a dataset that includes the number of Airbnb listings and the number of active short-term rental licences in each city. I wrote about the various short-term rental regulations in each city, the impact of the proliferation of the short-term rental industry on the long-term rental market, what's working and what's not working in regards to regulation, and spoke to experts about how platforms and governments can work together together to ensure higher licencing rates.I used Python to clean the listings and licencing data, and then used spreadsheets and QGIS to analyze the data.

For the CVCA, I analyzed Canadian and international venture debt deal data using spreadsheet tools. Charts were created using Flourish. Venture debt data came from CVCA's proprietary deals database as well as Pitchbook data.In this story, I spoke to venture capital leaders to identify the motivations behind the rising trend in venture debt in Canada, summarized key insights from the analysis and visualized venture debt deals with interactive data visualizations.

Here's some of my graphic design work

And here's some more of my writing

A deep dive into the Reddit-Google data-sharing dealKosmos3/20/24Reddit, Google, IPO, data-sharing, SEO
Looking Into 2024: The Canadian VC and PE Market OutlookCanadian Venture Capital Association2/5/24venture capital, industry association, industry trends
A Deep Dive into Canada's Burgeoning Venture Debt MarketCanadian Venture Capital Association11/20/23venture debt, venture capital, industry association
Mining companies ramp up Ontario lobbying after new law gives minister “all the power”Investigative Journalism Foundation11/21/23mining law, lobbying, Ontario government
Muslims in Canadian prisons hit all-time high amid rising concerns about IslamophobiaInvestigative Journalism Foundation11/08/23overincarceration, correctional services, Islamophobia
‘People can't afford to live here anymore’: Small towns also feeling housing crunch from AirbnbInvestigative Journalism Foundation9/27/23Airbnb, short-term rentals, housing crisis, data journalism
Doug Ford only held pricey fundraisers in past year despite claims of low-cost eventsInvestigative Journalism Foundation7/26/23political donations, fundraisers Ontario PC party
Bell, Telus and CN Rail lobbying against anti-scab legislation promised by LiberalsInvestigative Journalism Foundation6/13/23anti-scab, strikes, unions, lobbying
Coca-Cola and the NHL fighting bill that would ban junk food ads for childrenInvestigative Journalism Foundation5/30/23food and beverage, lobbying
Private health clinics lobbying Alberta government for more money ahead of May electionInvestigative Journalism Foundation5/09/23Alberta politics, health care, lobbying
Half of Airbnbs in major Canadian cities appear to be operating without a licenceInvestigative Journalism Foundation4/18/23Airbnb, data journalism, short-term rental
Opposition parties challenge Ford for promoting his private healthcare donorsInvestigative Journalism Foundation3/28/23investigative, political donations, data journalism, ontario health care
Doug Ford’s donors keep benefitting from his private healthcare pushInvestigative Journalism Foundation3/21/23investigative, political donations, data journalism, ontario health care
Donations from affluent urban ridings grease the wheels of politics, new analysis suggestsInvestigative Journalism Foundation1/19/23investigative, political donations, data journalism
Contributed data analysis and research for Toronto Star/Investigative Journalism Bureau's investigation "Suspended"Investigative Journalism Bureau/Toronto Star6/20/22investigative, data journalism
Toronto in Two PandemicsThe Green Line4/01/22COVID-19, Toronto, health policy
"Not a number in someone's view count": How Toronto's cozy Twitch streamers create calming spaces to curb pandemic stressThe Green Line2/15/22Twitch, streamers, online communities
Reduced TTC service and existing delays heighten students’ commuting concerns around wait times, overcrowdingOn The Record12/10/21TTC, data journalism, commuting
Ryerson reviewing proposals for new academic building at Gerrard and MutualOn The Record11/25/21campus news, new building, RFP
Warmer winters, hotter summers: National and local storiesLocal News Data Hub11/10/21data journalism, climate projections, climate change
From green buildings to greenhouse gas emissions: breaking down the state of sustainability at RyersonOn the Record10/25/21GHG emissions, divestment, institutional sustainability
Apartment building conditions in Toronto Centre fall shortOn the Record10/20/21data analysis, apartment conditions
Naomi Klein says meaningful climate action must challenge capitalismOn the Record9/28/21climate action, capitalism
The Post-Pandemic Office: How businesses around the world are envisioning the new workplaceBrookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship9/16/21future of work, COVID-19, work from home
How students and recent alumni are creating their own journalism projectJ-Source5/27/21student journalism, journalism innovation
Overstory Media Group plans dozens of digital community news outlets in CanadaJ-Source5/03/21community news, journalism innovation
The evolution of mental health reporting standardsJ-Source3/27/21mental health, reporting guidelines
Indiegraf expands to the U.S with next news challenge cohortJ-Source3/18/21journalism innovation
Corus revenue down 10% in first quarter of fiscal 2021, expects recovery during yearJ-Source1/14/21Corus, Q1 financial report
How I found silver linings in the chaos of 2020Cold Tea Collective12/31/20year in review, 2020
Press Forward aims to give independent media a seat at the tableJ-Source12/18/20independent media
Drug policy and addiction media kit gives newsrooms a resource for better coverage of drug useJ-Source12/02/20drug use, addiction
Three trans and non-binary creatives to follow instead of J.K RowlingThe Eyeopener11/29/20trans creatives, transphobia
Black Press employees question keeping workers in offices as second wave hits B.CJ-Source11/19/20work from home, COVID-19
Gendered perspectives are key to creating safe transit environments for womenThe Eyeopener11/19/20gender, transit safety
Recent arrests of journalists covering land disputes accelerate concerns around police attempts to define, obstruct journalismJ-Source11/13/20journalism, Indigenous land rights
Ketchup and Soya Sauce is an intimate exploration of interracial relationships in CanadaCold Tea Collective11/06/20filmmaker profile, mixed race couples
Ryerson policy on Wi-Fi and technical issues during exams remains unclear for studentsThe Eyeopener10/31/20news story, Wi-Fi issues
Quibi collapse takes down programs at Canadian partner Bell MediaJ-Source10/29/20layoffs, journalism
APTN partners with 5 new organizations and networks to produce global indigenous reporting projectJ-Source10/26/20Indigenous journalism
From posts to protests: How social media makes social justice accessibleThe Eyeopener10/21/20feature, online activism
A Thousand Cuts: A documentary on the jeopardization of free press in the PhilippinesCold Tea Collective10/19/20filmmaker profile, Filipino journalism
The price is wrong on gendered workThe Eyeopener10/08/20feature, unpaid gendered work
Bringing the immigrant experience to screen with Warrior's Chen TangCold Tea Collective09/30/20actor profile
Aaron Chan on navigating Vancouver as a young, gay Asian creativeCold Tea Collective08/19/20author profile
We need to drop the model minority myth and respectability politicsCold Tea Collective07/23/20opinion piece
Ryerson researchers are contributing to global COVID-19 researchThe Eyeopener04/13/20COVID-19 research
Lack of women and non-binary people in computer science remains a systemic and social issueThe Eyeopener04/02/20women in STEM
Building Community and Fixing Toaster OvensTdot03/30/20feature, local business
Ryerson in talks with education firm Navitas on new international student programThe Eyeopener03/24/20international student program
Highlighting Ryerson research: Six faculty members and their accomplishmentsThe Eyeopener03/11/20faculty research
Ryerson's new law professors champion accessibility, diversity and technologyThe Eyeopener02/04/20Ryerson law school
The Art of the ResaleThe Eyeopener12/03/19feature, thrifting
Ryerson Ultimate makes historic appearance at national finalsThe Eyeopener11/05/19sports, ultimate frisbee
Waves (2019): Not Your Regular Coming of Age StoryThe Unaffiliated Press10/04/19film review
Protesters demand federal government provide accessible health care for uninsured migrantsThe Ryersonian02/17/19news, health care protest
Explaining Toronto’s Vegan RenaissanceThe Unaffiliated Press01/18/19feature, vegan food
Sunday Morning MahjongChinatown Today02/07/18personal essay

Graphic design + social media

I managed the Investigative Journalism Foundation's Instagram presence from December 2022 to November 2023, designing graphics to promote the IJF's articles, databases and raise awareness of the organization's mission.

Infographics for Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship

I designed a variety of illustrations, data visualizations and infographics for the BII+E social media posts, blog posts and reports using Adobe Illustrator.

Social media videos for Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship

This videos were created using recordings from a panel discussion hosted by Brookfield. I clipped highlights from the discussion, and added captions in our brand colours and the logo using Adobe Premiere Pro.

Monthly newsletter design and copywriting for the Design Fabrication Zone

Using Adobe Illustrator and Mailchimp, I wrote copy and designed graphics for the Design Fabrication Zone at Toronto Metropolitan University's monthly newsletter, promoting its members and raising awareness of the Zone's activities.