Conferences

Schedule

This is a preliminary schedule. Times and locations of panels are subject to change. Please continue to check back as we work to finalize the schedule.

Schedule details

  • Outside Event

    Follow the Money — Tracking Companies' Influence on Politics Free business journalism training before the conference

    Speakers: TBA

    Come to a free Reynolds Center workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 22, the afternoon before the CAR Conference. Bring the name of a company you follow to this workshop and learn how to track its efforts at political influence from two experts: New York Times reporter Ron Nixon and Sunlight Foundation editorial director Bill Allison. They will help you:

    — Find campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures by companies at the state and federal level
    — Tie company spending on candidates or lobbying to legislative or regulatory actions; and
    — Find corporate contributions to independent groups.

    For more information and to register for this free training, visit the Reynolds site. You must register in advance to attend this training.

    New York Central

    12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Panel

    Welcome

    Speakers: TBA

    Welcome to the conference! IRE staff will highlight key sessions and events that you won’t want to miss while in St. Louis. We’ll also give you a brief rundown on some of the resources IRE has to offer.

    Frisco/Burlington

    8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Tableau for Beginners

    Speakers: TBA

    Learn how to create beautiful, interactive data visualizations on short deadlines. No programming required.

    You'll learn everything you need to build data visualizations and publish them to your website just like a video. We'll teach you how to:

    — Connect to Excel files and other data
    — Create maps and charts
    — Format them beautifully
    — Make them interactive

    Tableau Public is a free tool for journalists. No previous experience with Tableau is necessary to take this class. Pre-registration is required for Tableau for Beginners. This session is now full.

    Grand Hall I

    9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

  • Demo

    Against All -Spanish- odds

    Speakers: TBA

    In Spain, "lobbying" is taboo, campaign contributions are a mystery and transparency an illusion. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and in the recent national elections, the president-to-be refused to answer any questions from the press. Journalist Mar Cabra and computer developer David Cabo will explain their tricks to make journalism and accountability work in such aharsh environment. David and Mar will be sharing some of their recent work, and welcoming the brainstorming of new ways around the system.

    Missouri Pacific

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Why learn programming: A reporter's perspective

    Speakers: TBA

    Learn how adding a programming language to your toolbox can make you a better reporter.

    Illinois Central

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    NewsCamp::Text as data

    Speakers: TBA

    A computational linguist describes key ideas in thinking about text as data that, through statistics, can help us understand the behavior of people and society. We'll show a range of examples that illustrate tradeoffs in statistical and computational complexity, linguistic sophistication, and weak vs. strong domain assumptions.

    New York Central

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Getting started: Digging deep with data journalism

    Speakers: TBA

    Are you new to data journalism or does this happen to be your first time at a CAR conference? If so, this session will help you get on track to make sure that you get the best experience possible from the 2012 CAR Conference. We’ll highlight sessions and give you tips for success during and after the conference.

    Frisco/Burlington

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    NewsCamp::Investigating text in the wild

    Speakers: TBA

    How investigative reporters have found stories buried in text and ways investigators in other industries have mined their documents.

    New York Central

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Free tools for wrangling data

    Speakers: TBA

    Before you get to enjoy the thrill of finding that smoking-gun pattern in some data for your big project, you have to deal with the drudgery of acquiring and cleaning up the data. Happily, a well-stocked and expanding toolbox of free services and applications exists to help you scrape data from websites, export it from clunky formats like pdf, and clean up messy, unstandardized variables.

    Illinois Central

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    How to track cheating in your local schools

    Speakers: TBA

    Erasing to the top — How to tell if school testing gains are legitimate or too good to be true.

    Frisco/Burlington

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Demo

    Bring your mapping dreams to fruition: Tricks to customize basic tools

    Speakers: TBA

    In recent years, Web cartographers have seen a nearly unprecedented leap in the tools available to us. But the question remains — how do we manipulate these tools to tell OUR stories, ripe with data? What can we do to make our maps stand apart from the pack? This session will demo some strategies, with minimal HTML and JavaScript, that anyone can use to bring life to the mapping dreams you have in your head.

    Missouri Pacific

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Social Media Sleuthing: Backgrounding people and companies

    Speakers: TBA

    Tips and techniques for using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media services to dig deep on individuals and organizations.

    Illinois Central

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    NewsCamp::Jam Sessions

    Speakers: TBA

    NewsCamp::From words to data and back

    Jam Sessions: Programming skills are required for this more loosely organized track. We'll begin by tackling python-based Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) and explaining what it can do. Attendees will work together on ways to apply more sophisticated text analysis using NLTK to their reporting.

    If you will be attending NewsCamp and the CAR conference, there is no extra charge for Newscamp but you must register for the hands-on portion. Space is very limited so please only sign-up if you plan on attending.If you plan on attending only NewsCamp, please contact Amy Johnston to register: amy@ire.org or 573-884-1444.

     


    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Jeffersonian/ Knickerbocker

    11 a.m. - 5:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    The art of requesting and negotiating data

    Speakers: TBA

    Getting any record can be a challenge, but wrangling data can introduce even more challenges. We’ll give you some tools and tips for getting data out of government agencies.

    Frisco/Burlington

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Demo

    From your computer to the web: Using Microsoft Cloud and Google Docs

    Speakers: TBA

    Let your audience search your data. Learn tricks on how newsrooms can use Microsoft Cloud and Google Docs to quickly and easily display dynamic information online without programming.

    Missouri Pacific

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    NewsCamp::Tools for unstructured text

    Speakers: TBA

    Reporters are used to working with rows and columns, but some of the best data available comes in the form of unstructured text. This session will give a sense of the tools and techniques critical for working with unstructured data, as well as their applications in the newsroom.

    New York Central

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    NewsCamp::Music Lessons

    Speakers: TBA

    NewsCamp::From words to data and back

    Music Lessons: Attendees will learn how to use tools for tackling unstructured data and text. These sessions will cover DocumentCloud, entity extraction, topic detection and more. Programming skills are optional for these classes, which will teach you tools you can bring back to your news organization.

    If you will be attending NewsCamp and the CAR conference, there is no extra charge for Newscamp but you must register for the hands-on portion. Space is very limited so please only sign-up if you plan on attending.If you plan on attending only NewsCamp, please contact Amy Johnston to register: amy@ire.org or 573-884-1444.

     

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Wabash Cannonball

    1 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Tableau for Pros

    Speakers: TBA

    Take your data visualization skills to the next level. In this class we'll push Tableau's capabilities further to create more complex visualizations. You'll learn how to:

    — Clean and format dirty data
    — Use multiple data sources in the same visualization
    — Build more advanced visualizations
    — Employ advanced interactive elements

    Tableau Public is a free tool for journalists. Class participants should have some experience with Tableau or have taken the morning beginner course. This session is now full.

    Grand Hall I

    1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

  • Panel

    Network analysis for news

    Speakers: TBA

    What is network analysis (aka social network analysis)? How can I use it in my reporting? We'll cover the basic concepts involved in analyzing the connections between people and organizations, and provide examples of how network analysis can be used – from documenting cronyism in the selection of a Grand Jury, to visualizing differences in the Twitter conversations surrounding the Occupy and Tea Party movements.

    New York Central

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Locating the story: The latest in mapping

    Speakers: TBA

    See how journalists are using geographic information system (GIS) mapping to plot trends and uncover hidden spatial relationships. Also, learn how open-source and commercial GIS programs compare.

    Illinois Central

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Demo

    CSVKit

    Speakers: TBA

    This suite of Python utilities is a Swiss Army knife for converting and working with comma-delimited text files. This demo will explain ways it can help you, from rearranging and trimming columns to generating stats and SQL statements to make tables.

    Missouri Pacific

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Integrating CAR: Story ideas for the whole newsroom

    Speakers: TBA

    Data based reporting shouldn't be just a tool for economics, transportation or crime reporters; it can be used in other parts of the room. From features to sports, we’ll talk about stories and techniques that can be used throughout the newsroom.

    Frisco/Burlington

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Health analyses for any newsroom

    Speakers: TBA

    All newsrooms can produce meaningful stories about health care in their own communities with a dose of data. This session will focus on Medicare and Medicaid data you can localize, how to track disciplined doctors in your state, and the care of vulnerable residents in nursing homes. You’ll leave with a handout listing online resources to explore and tips for both CAR beginners and longtime data users.

    Frisco/Burlington

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    CAR on a shoestring

    Speakers: TBA

    How to do CAR stories with limited resources. Panelists will offer tips for winning over your boss, carving time out of your overworked schedule, useful (and cheap!) tools and story ideas that can be done anywhere.

    New York Central

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Worth doing for money - turning good work into money

    Speakers: TBA

    News applications can be so much more than Infographics 2.0. This session will talk about examples about how news apps teams have transformed their work into something more: namely, products — including some that actually make money. We want this to be a discussion. Come with your thoughts on methods, ethics and ideas.

    Illinois Central

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Demo

    Data viz in 20 minutes: jQuery DataTables

    Speakers: TBA

    Use DataTables, an open-source jQuery plug-in, to post sortable datasets online within 20 minutes.

    Missouri Pacific

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Demo

    Get the most out of Google Fusion Tables

    Speakers: TBA

    Google Fusion Tables allows you to easily publish relatively large data sets. Learn how this free tool can help journalists create maps, graphs and timelines, mash-up different data sets and collaborate on data.

    Missouri Pacific

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Turning your stories into a tablet/phone app

    Speakers: TBA

    As news organizations dabble in new ways of finding revenue and journalists look to tell stories in new ways, what does a CAR story or project look like as a standalone app? We'll explore the emerging world as it relates to native apps, HTML5 apps, eBooks and other mobile-enabled formats.

    New York Central

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Free tools for Web scraping without programming

    Speakers: TBA

    Turning wild data on the Web into structured formats that are useful for analysis and presentation can be one of the toughest barriers to data journalism. We'll take a rapid-fire tour of free tools on the Web (which don't require programming) that can help — some tried and true, some recently in production.

    Illinois Central

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Data for business investigations

    Speakers: TBA

    We'll discuss concrete and essential tools for investigating business with data. This session will look at U.S. and global corporate data and navigating your way through the tangled (and incomplete) web with OpenCorporates.

    Frisco/Burlington

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Best visualization practices

    Speakers: TBA

    Data journalists are good at finding data, getting data, cleaning it and analyzing it, but what do you do when it comes to the visualization? Many of us are lost when it comes to color theory, type and legends. This session will walk you through ways to help you make the most of your visualizations.

    Illinois Central

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Year in CAR

    Speakers: TBA

    What were the big stories of the year? What were the most creative uses of data analysis? See what your colleagues have been up to and pick up some story ideas at the same time.

    Frisco/Burlington

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Excel 1

    Speakers: TBA

    Performing simple calculations and sorting.

    Wabash Cannonball

    9 a.m. - 9:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Fundamentals of programming in Python

    Speakers: TBA

    A crash course in basic programming that will walk you through the process of writing your first web scrape.

    Grand Hall III

    9 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Using data journalism to investigate the news

    Speakers: TBA

    Often journalists report on events as they happen. But when reporters start asking questions, following up on hunches and digging with data they often find there is more to the story. From serial killers to banks to overdoses, this session will help you understand how to use everything from statistical analysis to basic data skills to investigate the news.

    New York Central

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Demo

    PowerPivot and NodeXL: This is not your father's Excel

    Speakers: TBA

    Handle millions of calculations in a flash; join tables from different sources and do some cool network analyses with Excel, yes, Excel. A demo of free but extremely powerful analytic tools.

    Missouri Pacific

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Intro to SQLite

    Speakers: TBA

    SQL is the lingua franca of the database world. It'll let you get up close and personal with your data in ways that few tools can. SQLite is a popular, free and portable database manager. (If you use Firefox, you already have it installed!) This hands-on session will get you up and running, quickly creating your own SQLite databases and asking them to reveal their deepest secrets.

    Jeffersonian/Knickerbocker

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Introduction to SPSS

    Speakers: TBA

    Navigate SPSS using descriptive statistics and frequencies. Create basic counts and percentages to help you understand your data. Do crosstabs to show the data in different ways, and statistical tests.

    Grand Hall II

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Intro to Google Fusion Tables

    Speakers: TBA

    Google Fusion Tables allows you easily to publish relatively large data sets. Learn how to create maps, graphs and timelines, mash-up different data sets and collaborate on data using this free, point-and-click tool.

    Grand Hall I

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    How to edit a story made of software

    Speakers: TBA

    There's a lot to think about when it comes to news apps, but not all of it is coding. What story is it telling? Does it tell it consistently and in a fact-based way? Does the story it tells agree with the reporting? What's the lede, what's the nut (yes, apps have those).

    New York Central

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Free tools for data visualization and analysis

    Speakers: TBA

    Get an overview of more than 20 different free tools available for cleaning, analyzing, visualizing and displaying data, as well as a discussion and examples of how some of these tools have been used to develop and present data-based stories.

    Illinois Central

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Advanced Google Fusion Tables

    Speakers: TBA

    With Google Fusion Tables and the tiniest dose of Javascript, you can create a highly custom interactive in a matter of hours. In this hands-on session, learn how to turn election results into an interactive map that tells a story, including a crash course on combining Fusion Tables with Google's mapping API to let readers dive into the data themselves. Best of all, you can do the whole thing without being an expert programmer, though comfort with simple Javascript will help.

    Grand Hall I

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Demo

    Making friends with map projections

    Speakers: TBA

    An intro into the crucial but often intimidating world of map projections: What they are, why you have to care, and how you can use them to make maps from different sources play nicely together.

    Missouri Pacific

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Excel 2

    Speakers: TBA

    Calculating ratios and rates.

    Wabash Cannonball

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Mining data around the globe

    Speakers: TBA

    Databases in the US can help reporters in other nations uncover key stories in their countries, and data from abroad can shed light on US laws and businesses. From abuses in EU subsidy programs for businesses, to tracking dangerous imports, to the US exporting environmental problems, this panel will highlight the wide range of possibilities from exploring databases both here and overseas.

    Frisco/Burlington

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Intro to Simile Exhibit

    Speakers: TBA

    Hands-on session reviewing the publication tool Simile Exhibit to make presentations of data, timelines and maps.

    Jeffersonian/Knickerbocker

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Grand Hall II

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Intro to MySQL

    Speakers: TBA

    The world's most popular database is also free. As in beer. This class will get you up to speed on the same software that powers Twitter and is used around the world for high-level analysis of big datasets.

    Grand Hall III

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Demo

    Web scraping with Google docs

    Speakers: TBA

    Review methods for importing web data into the Google Docs platform. Learn to fetch external web data, create scripts to schedule fetches in batches and process the data. No programming skills required. Those familiar with the Microsoft Excel application will be familiar with many of the concepts. Experienced programmers can learn to develop web application proofs of concept, prototyping and fetching through API.

    Missouri Pacific

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Excel 3

    Speakers: TBA

    Learn pivot tables, filtering and more.

    Wabash Cannonball

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    SPSS: Using logistic regression

    Speakers: TBA

    Linear regression helps you find relationships between two or more variables, but when an outcome has only two possibilities, you need a different tool. That my friends, is where logistic regression comes in.

    Grand Hall II

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    What you need (and don't need) to do an election night map

    Speakers: TBA

    Election day is coming. If you think your site can't compete with the big national sites in covering your corner — or even all corners — of election night using live maps and data, you may be wrong. Come hear how some entrepreneurial sites did just that with existing staff and resources that are within the reach of even small newsrooms.

    New York Central

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Latest trends in open records battles

    Speakers: TBA

    Learn about the newest developments and trends that can help or hinder your attempts to get data and documents from government agencies, and that can provide protection — or leave you exposed — when your stories run.

    Illinois Central

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    OK, but where did that data come from? Data validation in the digital age

    Speakers: TBA

    We know "all data is dirty," but do you know it might not be valid or even how it came to be? Understanding the pedigree/genealogy/parentage of the data set is a crucial step prior to even cleaning the data, or analyzing it. This session will provide tips and methods to help you know if and when your data is legit and in appropriate context for your anticipated story.

    Frisco/Burlington

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Network analysis with NodeXL

    Speakers: TBA

    NodeXL is an add-in for Excel 2007 and 2010 that makes network analysis (aka social network analysis) simple and intuitive. You'll learn how to use the software by turning data from 2007 on voting patterns in the US Senate into an informative graphic revealing the chamber's underlying dynamics — and highlighting the few senators who broke the partisan mold.

    Grand Hall I

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Media Lawyers Brown Bag

    Speakers: TBA

    (Sponsored by Smallman Law PLLC and IRE)

     

    Here's your chance for an informal Q&A about legal issues. Bring your "hypotheticals" and your own lunch. Beverages and dessert will be provided.

    New York Central

    noon - 1:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Google Refine

    Speakers: TBA

    Learn how to use Google Refine to work with messy data, such as detecting and fixing inconsistencies; and transforming data from one structure or format to another. Use Google Refine when you need something: more powerful than a spreadsheet; more interactive and visual than scripting; more provisional / exploratory / experimental / playful than a database.

    Jeffersonian/Knickerbocker

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Access 1

    Speakers: TBA

    The purifying experience of filtering your data. Learn to select and sort data items you choose

    Wabash Cannonball

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Crime analyses for any newsroom

    Speakers: TBA

    A rundown of data-driven stories mined from the cops beat: analyzing the Uniform Crime Report, debunking most-dangerous-cities lists; studying officer-involved shootings; building a community-based crime report and integrating it into the news flow.

    Frisco/Burlington

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Mini-Boot Camp

    Speakers: TBA

    Kickstart your data skills with IRE's mini boot camp. This series of hands-on classes will introduce you to spreadsheets and databases with IRE's proven techniques. IRE’s current and past trainers will walk you through sorting, calculating and interviewing data. You'll come away with a solid base for using data analysis in your own newsroom. In addition, we'll provide you with our boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference.

    Only 36 seats are available and there is an additional $40 registration fee. Pre-registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration can be done online when you register for the conference. Sessions will be held on Friday and Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

     

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Grand Hall I&II *pre-registration only

    2 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    What to do when there is no data

    Speakers: TBA

    Just because there isn’t a database doesn’t mean you can’t do the story. Using sampling, surveys and other techniques can help you build your own database. We’ll give you some tips on how to build your own data.

    New York Central

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Demo

    PANDA Project show & tell

    Speakers: TBA

    PANDA wants to be your newsroom data appliance! Come learn what it can do for your organization and have a chance to ask questions and help guide the next six months of development.

    Missouri Pacific

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Collaborating with data: Challenges and payoffs

    Speakers: TBA

    Databases can and have provided dynamic starting points for collaborations among independent nonprofit newsrooms. This session will look at how to choose the right databases and how to begin a collaboration with data analysis.

    Illinois Central

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Build your first News App with Django

    Speakers: TBA

    This mini-boot camp will walk you through the process of taking a dataset from raw data and turning it into a searchable online database using the Python language and the Django Web framework.

    Only 18 seats are available and there is an additional $70 registration fee. Pre-registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Prospective attendees must register and fill out an application for this hands-on camp. Please click here to complete the preliminary application.

    If your application is not accepted to the training, your registration fee will be reimbursed. Sign-up is on the main conference registration form. 

    These classes will take place from 2- 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday afternoon.

    Grand Hall III *pre-registered attendees

    2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Access 2

    Speakers: TBA

    Summarizing databases with counting and summing.

    Wabash Cannonball

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Making sure you tell a story

    Speakers: TBA

    You have the data, the analysis, the graphics and the apps. But how well are you telling a story with them? This panel will examine ways to elevate your CAR work from mere data dump to something that informs and delights readers.

    Illinois Central

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Demo

    Reporters' Lab

    Speakers: TBA

    The Reporters’ Lab is out to make your job as an investigative reporter easier, and our team wants to show you how. Learn how the lab is curating the best products for your newsroom and see a test drive of some of our own open-source tools for analyzing historical data and annotating video. We also want to hear your suggestions for reporting problems you’d like us to solve.

    Missouri Pacific

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Capturing and analyzing Twitter feeds

    Speakers: TBA

    At peak times more than 12,000 Tweets are posted every second. 13.7 million were sent during the Super Bowl. With the Twitter API you can harness that raging river of noise and extract the signals that help you cover, communicate and explain the world around you. Oh, and we'll tell you how to get good leads.

    New York Central

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Failing government monopolies and looming alternatives

    Speakers: TBA

    For a century, building roads and delivering mail have pretty much been government monopolies. Taxes built roads; postage moved the mail. Both schemes fall way short these days. So roads are built, run and even owned outright by investors. That means tolls, even if governments are still  involved. And the Postal Service, facing big losses and shrinking volume, is begging for the chance to get into new businesses. If it does, businesses may get to do more mail work. Find out how to follow the money – and the data – across these new landscapes for roads and mail.

    Frisco/Burlington

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Advanced functions in Excel

    Speakers: TBA

    String functions, IF statements and other powerful tools you'll wish you had learned earlier.

    Jeffersonian/Knickerbocker

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    GeoCommons

    Speakers: TBA

    Can’t afford ArcGIS? Learning curve for QGIS too steep? Need to quickly analyze and present geographic data on deadline via the web? Take GeoCommons out for a spin in this hands-on demonstration of the online mapping service.

    Jeffersonian/Knickerbocker

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Lightning Talks

    Speakers: TBA

    Sometimes you don't need 45 minutes to explain a useful technique or interesting resource. Join your colleagues for a session of short (5-minute) talks about doing CAR, Web development or other related topics. Anyone can suggest an idea, and the most popular talks will be given at this session. We'll provide a computer with Internet access and a projector, and the rest is up to you.

    Propose a topic and vote for your favorites.

    Illinois Central

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Access 3

    Speakers: TBA

    How to join tables, matching information from one file to another.

    Wabash Cannonball

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Editing the CAR story

    Speakers: TBA

    Even veteran editors can find it imposing when they're responsible for assuring the accuracy of a CAR project. Get tips and advice on the best methods and practices for bulletproofing a story with a heavy data component.

    Frisco/Burlington

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    The Web as an investigative tool

    Speakers: TBA

    If you’re like most journalists, the Web has become one of your favorite places to go for backgrounding, digging and tip seeking. Imagine how much is out there that you haven’t heard about. With a careful strategy and knowing where to look you can make your time online more effective and efficient. This session will help you do all these things and point you to the latest sites you never knew you couldn’t live without.

    New York Central

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Mining federal contract data with the Federal Procurement Data System

    Speakers: TBA

    Learn how to acquire and attack federal contracting data. This session will help you discover different ways of searching and downloading federal contract data from Federal Procurement Data System and USAspending.gov; and it will compare the pros and cons of the two data warehouses to give a clearer idea about how to efficiently get the type of data you want. We also will focus on using data provided by NICAR to dig deep into government contacts — especially Pentagon deals — for trends and travesties.

    Missouri Pacific

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Intro to QGIS

    Speakers: TBA

    A hands-on introduction to using Geographic Information Systems using open-source software.

    Grand Hall II

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Web scraping without programming

    Speakers: TBA

    We'll walk through some in-depth tutorials of free tools that don't require you to know programming to bring structure to information you find on the Web, including OutwitHub and manipulating the distinct parts of a web page. We'll cover tasks as simple as grabbing all of the images off the page, and as complex as paging through a searchable database.

    Wabash Cannonball

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Own your own map stack: Open source maps from the ground up

    Speakers: TBA

    Life after Google Maps: From TileMill to QGIS, learn about open-source mapping options for displaying and geocoding your data.

    New York Central

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Tracking social media and turning it into investigations

    Speakers: TBA

    This session will look at examples and the best practices of building investigative stories from social media. The session will cover the challenges in collecting social media material, archiving, analyzing and verifying it.

    Frisco/Burlington

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Open gov - New data available from the transparency movement

    Speakers: TBA

    Transparency advocates inside and outside of government are pushing to make more data available. Lean how you can tap into this information for your analysis and web applications.

    Illinois Central

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    RegEx to the rescue

    Speakers: TBA

    Regular expressions, a mini-language used for matching patterns in text, can be found everywhere: from databases to text editors to programming languages like Python and Ruby. In this hands-on class, we'll demonstrate how to use regex in a variety of contexts to perform basic data-cleaning and querying.

    Grand Hall I

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Intro to SQL with Access (part 1)

    Speakers: TBA

    Structured Query Language, or SQL, is a powerful item to add to your data toolbox. This session will give you an introduction to using SQL to interview, sort, select and summarize your data. While the class is taught in Microsoft Access, this language is widely used and can be taken to other database managers with some minor tweaks.

    Jeffersonian/Knickerbocker

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Demo

    Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Q&A

    Speakers: TBA

    As the Knight-Mozilla News Technology partnership enters its second year, it has been rechristened Knight-Mozilla OpenNews and enters the new year with an expanded plan for building an ecosystem around news on the open web. With tons of entry points and places to collaborate, OpenNews wants YOU — to be a Knight-Mozilla Fellow, to help host hackfests, to teach an online class, and much more. Sit down with Dan Sinker, the Director of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews initiative, over coffee for a conversation about the 2012/13 plan.

    Grand Hall II

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Demo

    Getting started with GitHub

    Speakers: TBA

    Learn the basics of the coding equivalent of Facebook. With a learning curve of less than a couple of hours, you'll be storing, sharing and searching code with the best of 'em.

    Missouri Pacific

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Intro to SQL with Access (part 2)

    Speakers: TBA

    This is a continuation of the session from 9 a.m.

    Structured Query Language, or SQL, is a powerful item to add to your data toolbox. This session will give you an introduction to using SQL to interview, sort, select and summarize your data. While the class is taught in Microsoft Access, this language is widely used and can be taken to other database managers with some minor tweaks.

    Jeffersonian/Knickerbocker

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    American FactFinder 2

    Speakers: TBA

    Is American FactFinder a fiendish plot or a tool of the devil? Ron Campbell demystifies and defangs the Census Bureau’s data finder.

    Grand Hall I

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Federal stats for local stories

    Speakers: TBA

    The federal government keeps a treasure trove of data, but knowing where to find what you need can be daunting. This session will help show you the way and give you some ideas of how you can turn federal numbers into stories with local impact.

    Frisco/Burlington

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Intro to QGIS 2

    Speakers: TBA

    Connecting to external data, performing calculations and reprojecting files in QGIS, an open source GIS tool. Requires QGIS 1 or previous experience with GIS software.

    Grand Hall II

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Demo

    Navigating the storm: Using data to bolster the traditional weather story

    Speakers: TBA

    Weather stories are a fact of life for reporters across the country. Mountains of useful data, in all sorts of formats, is made readily available by the government and other independent agencies, but rarely used by newsrooms. Where to find it, how to use it to build interactivity into every day weather stories and how to use data to look beyond your typical "it rained yesterday" article.

    Missouri Pacific

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Unsession: What we should be teaching the next generation

    Speakers: TBA

    Where is the next generation of CAR reporters and news apps developers? Its clear that the unmet demand for data driven jobs won't slack off any time soon. What skill set divides current j-school graduates from succeeding in these jobs? How and where can j-school grads get these skills, and what is being done to ensure future grads will be prepared to dive into future data projects?

    Illinois Central

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    The ins and outs of internal APIs

    Speakers: TBA

    Dozens of public and private groups are opening up treasure troves of data using APIs, which are quickly becoming the new standard for shuffling data around the internet. Learn how easy it can be to get started building them for your own use, and get some tips from power users on how to make use of what's already out there.

    New York Central

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Getting data into Excel: From PDF to HTML

    Speakers: TBA

    In the real world, your key dataset probably isn't going to come in an easy-to-use package. This hands-on session will cover how to import data into Excel from a variety of formats.

    Wabash Cannonball

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Intro to R

    Speakers: TBA

    Run stats without paying a dime! R is free statistical software that does everything from simple regressions and correlations to beautiful charts, maps and visualizations. We’ll focus on importing data, running statistical tests, and looking for hidden relationships between variables.

    Grand Hall I

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Demo

    Dealing with real-time data

    Speakers: TBA

    Time flows through every news story - online, we zoom from long-running chronologies to minute-by-minute updates. Real-time sources pose problems in both the design and development of digital content. Here are a few ideas about how we can face these challenges.

    Missouri Pacific

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    TileMill

    Speakers: TBA

    We'll go from a public dataset and a blank canvas to a working interactive map using TileMill, an open source map design studio. This session will focus on how to use TileMill, how to style your map and how to get it on the web.

    Grand Hall III

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Lockdown - Make sure your information is secure

    Speakers: TBA

    In an age of increasing electronic surveillance by governments and corporations, journalists owe it to their confidential sources to be extra-careful about keeping their identities and other information absolutely secure. This session will explain how to use tools like anonymous servers, burner cellphones and cryptography programs to keep your data and contacts safe from prying eyes.

    Illinois Central

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Government CAR for any newsroom

    Speakers: TBA

    Budgets, audits, contracts, businesses, sweet deals and corruption are all part of government coverage. Whether you work in a large newsroom or one-person bureau, we'll show you how to use all the technology available to follow the money and produce quick hits and/or in-depth stories.

    Frisco/Burlington

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Rapid fire future: Quick talks on what's on the horizon

    Speakers: TBA

    Struggling to keep up? Want to know what's on the horizon but not ready for prime time yet? This panel, in short bursts, gives you a taste of tech and ideas on the cusp of becoming tomorrow's tools for journalists. Drones, learning machines, distributed computing and more, all on the horizon and maybe in your newsroom soon.

    New York Central

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    PowerPivot

    Speakers: TBA

    The session will cover importing and joining very large data sets as well as pivoting and filtering with slicers using PowerPivot, a free add-in for Excel 2010.

    Wabash Cannonball

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    CAR wash 1: How dirty is it?

    Speakers: TBA

    As anyone who has dealt with government data knows, it’s seldom perfect when we get it. These two sessions will give you some suggestions for integrity-checking your data to find the holes and how to fill them.

    Jeffersonian/Knickerbocker

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Web scraping

    Speakers: TBA

    Some of the most useful datasets are on the Web, and while they don't require FOIAs, you might need to do some work to get them into your spreadsheets. In this class, we'll take a look at techniques for mining data from the Web and making it useful.

    Grand Hall II

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Census.ire.org

    Speakers: TBA

    The Census provides a wealth of data, but finding exactly what you need, in the format you need it, can be complicated. Census.ire.org was developed by journalists, for journalists, and this session will show you how to use the free site to find key data, compare statistics from 2000 to 2010, and more.

    Grand Hall I

    11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

  • Demo

    Map graphics for video

    Speakers: TBA

    Learn how to use the wealth of freely available satellite imagery and other GIS materials to make high-quality video graphics on an affordable budget.

    Missouri Pacific

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Mini-Boot Camp part 2

    Speakers: TBA

    Note: This is a continuation of the Mini-Boot Camp classes that begin Friday, February 24 at 2 p.m. Pre-registration is required. To register, go to Friday's Mini-Boot Camp schedule and follow the registration link. For questions please contact training@ire.org

    Kickstart your data skills with IRE's mini boot camp. This series of hands-on classes will introduce you to spreadsheets and databases with IRE's proven techniques. IRE’s current and past trainers will walk you through sorting, calculating and interviewing data. You'll come away with a solid base for using data analysis in your own newsroom. In addition, we'll provide you with our boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference.

    Only 36 seats are available and there is an additional $40 registration fee. Pre-registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration can be done online when you register for the conference. Sessions will be held on Friday and Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

    Grand Hall I&II *pre-registration only

    2 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Integrating CAR into a daily beat

    Speakers: TBA

    It can be tough to do CAR and meet your daily story quota, but it can be done. We feature organizing tips, ways to improve efficiency and how to negotiate with your editor for CAR time. We also will highlight quick-hit CAR stories and ways to insert CAR nuggets into your daily stories.

    Frisco/Burlington

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    CAR wash 1 and 2: How dirty is it? and Cleaning

    Speakers: TBA

    As anyone who has dealt with government data knows, it’s seldom perfect when we get it. This session will give you some suggestions for integrity-checking your data to find the holes and how to fill them.

    Jeffersonian/Knickerbocker

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Wabash Cannonball

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Creative uses of web scraping

    Speakers: TBA

    Web scraping is more than just copying HTML files onto your computer for later reading. Knowing how to navigate a variety of website types and formats will let you create useful, structured data from complex websites.

    New York Central

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    What we can find out about elections

    Speakers: TBA

    Between microtargeted ads, near real-time disclosure of finances and troves of increasingly available data, the tools of the modern campaigns are much different than they used to be. Journalists need to catch up. This session explores ways to cope with the rapid developments in elections and how to build tools that will help uncover the story.

    Illinois Central

    2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Web Inspector

    Speakers: TBA

    Learn how to use the web browser's built-in web inspector to navigate the source details and structure of a webpage. The tool is most often used by web developers to debug and design sites, but it's equally useful for poking around and finding hidden data files

    Jeffersonian/Knickerbocker

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Demo

    Hacking the Census

    Speakers: TBA

    Almost every journalist has to deal with Census data at some point so we’re sharing the load. Come watch a series of 5-minute demos by journalists sharing tricks of the trade: bit of code, tools, shortcuts and backgrounders all the way up to full working apps. We’ll offer basic stuff any journalist can use in the first hour and work up to coding and programmer tricks in the second hour.

    Missouri Pacific

    3 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Predicting the news: Tell your readers what will happen, before it happens

    Speakers: TBA

    We often report on things that have already happened, but statistical techniques can predict events before they occur. See how knowing what will happen — or what should have happened — can reveal new kinds of stories.

    Illinois Central

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Automation and free text

    Speakers: TBA

    Data to text, and text to data. Some types of news stories are really dressed up data, such as financial reports and sports scores, and we'll take a look at the newsrooms and technologies that are already being used to produce these stories automatically. In the other direction, documents like financial disclosures or bulk incident reports contain useful data that can be extracted. Tools for reporting on large volumes of unstructured text are coming along slowly, but much is possible today.

    New York Central

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Hidden databases: Mining the private parts of public officials

    Speakers: TBA

    Tools to identify usernames and e-mail addresses used by politicians and others and how to use that data to track the subject’s digital footprint from dating sites, social networks, and even the documents that reveal the “private parts” of public officials. We'll also look at little-known data sources that reporters can request about their congressmen and women. You'll leave with a list of these data sources, where you can request them, and ideas for stories you can get out of them.

    Frisco/Burlington

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Wabash Cannonball

    3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    When data visualization does the heavy lifting

    Speakers: TBA

    The newest trends in getting data to tell the story – constantly updated or just better than words. Methods and examples using interactive graphics on the web for investigative journalism.

    New York Central

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    PANDA Project provisioning party

    Speakers: TBA

    Take home a present from your trip to St. Louis -- a PANDA for your newsroom! The PANDA Project team will walk you through the easy steps to set up a site on Amazon Web Services.

    Jeffersonian/Knickerbocker

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Getting to yes: Battling data pricetag inflation and other roadblocks

    Speakers: TBA

    What do you do when a government agency wants you to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for data? Panelists will offer up tactics for negotiating, examples of common problems that often lead to inflated price tags and some success stories.

    Illinois Central

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Wabash Cannonball

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Panel

    Environmental analyses for any newsroom

    Speakers: TBA

    Key federal environmental data sets: how to get them and navigate their endless caveats. Some possibilities for state environmental data — and what to do when regulators aren't tracking the data you need. Using visualization tools like Tableau Public and Google Fusion Tables to find stories in those messy data. One example we'll use is CPI/NPR's "Poisoned Places" 2011 investigation of coal-fired power plants; Lucas led CPI's data analysis for that story, and Golden produced a Wisconsin-specific viz.

    Frisco/Burlington

    4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

  • Hands-on

    Mini-Boot Camp part 3

    Speakers: TBA

    Note: This is a continuation of the Mini-Boot Camp classes that begin Friday, February 24 at 2 p.m. Pre-registration is required. To register, go to Friday's Mini-Boot Camp schedule and follow the registration link. For questions please contact training@ire.org

    Kickstart your data skills with IRE's mini boot camp. This series of hands-on classes will introduce you to spreadsheets and databases with IRE's proven techniques. IRE’s current and past trainers will walk you through sorting, calculating and interviewing data. You'll come away with a solid base for using data analysis in your own newsroom. In addition, we'll provide you with our boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference.

    Only 36 seats are available and there is an additional $40 registration fee. Pre-registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration can be done online when you register for the conference. Sessions will be held on Friday and Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

    Grand Hall I&II *pre-registration only

    9 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Data U: The databases you need to cover higher ed

    Speakers: TBA

    A wealth of information is at your fingertips when it comes to putting colleges in context for your readers. This panel touches on the resources at the national, state and campus level that you need to know about to make it happen.

    Illinois Central

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Mining the web for data and stories

    Speakers: TBA

    The Web is one of the first places we go for information, but so much of it is hidden deep beyond search engines’ eyes. This session will highlight strategies for finding data that can’t be found with a traditional search engine and will point you to the best sites for tracking down local, national and international data.

    New York Central

    9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

  • Hands-on

    Webscraping/data munging hackathon with Python

    Speakers: TBA

    An open session for help on any Python-related subject, from basic install questions to help on work or personal coding projects.

    Grand Hall III

    9 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    Storyboarding your ideas

    Speakers: TBA

    Don't leave the CAR conference without a battle plan for putting your new knowledge and skills to work back home. In this freewheeling group session, we'll discuss your story ideas, flesh them out, and develop strategies for doing them amid the daily demands of every newsroom. We'll talk about navigating office politics and help you develop a personal action plan.

    New York Central

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

  • Panel

    A day in the life of a News App: An intro to Internet infrastructure

    Speakers: TBA

    CAR reporters and News Apps developers have many similar skills. But what differences they do have can be illuminated through the lives of web applications. We'll discuss the specifics of how web apps do their thing, and in general about what you need to know about the internet to understand how web apps work.

    Illinois Central

    10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.