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CAR guides: A student's plan for Louisville

A year or two ago, thanks to Hacks/Hackers, IRE and the University of Missouri, I became really interested in how I can use data and technology to make me a better reporter. I’ve made some progress since then, but at the end of the day, I’m still a beginning reporter who is looking for tools I can use. Here are some sessions I’m planning to take advantage of at NICAR next month:

  • Sessions that I will walk out of with a list of tools I can start using immediately, like “Dig deeper with social tools” and “Searching the global deep web for better data and information.”
  • Car Guides
    There's a lot to choose from at CAR. So we asked a variety of journalists -- students, beat reporters, veteran data crunchers and programmers -- to tell us what they're excited about this year. Tomorrow, hear from Kate Martin, government reporter for the Skagit Valley Herald.

  • Sessions that are more lecture- than tool- oriented, but still apply to me, like “Legal issues, access and big data” or “The great divide: Investigating income inequality.”
  • And ones that any reporter could use, but might be especially helpful to a newbie, like “Data viz on a shoestring” and “CAR on the beat.”

On the other hand, since I decided to focus on my reporting rather than coding skills for the weekend, I’ll have to miss out on sessions that teach you to do cool things like build news apps. Since I’m a beginner, sessions that seem to have a coding prerequisite probably wouldn’t help me as much as I would like, either.

As someone just starting out in the workforce, a cannot-miss for me is the networking breakfast for the CAR mentoring program on Friday morning. I went last year and it was even more helpful than I expected, so I’d definitely recommend it. Keep in mind spots are limited and you have to sign up online by February 7th.

Samantha Sunne is a student at the Missouri School of Journalism.

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