This day-long workshop on Thursday, Feb. 23, will give you a practical understanding of how to approach information that comes in inconvenient, unstructured forms: tweets, e-mails, reports, videos and other records. You’ll learn the basics of unstructured data analysis and tools you can use to lasso your records. Join us for NewsCamp, and you too can learn from the best in the business &mdash whether you’re a rank beginner, or experienced designer/developer. 

We’ll tackle subjects ranging from how to think about unstructured data to entity extraction and topic detection. The program begins in the morning with small group discussions led by some of the top experts in the field. The program continues in the afternoon with hands-on training designed to give attendees a way to get started right away, whether they are rank beginners or experienced developers.

Whether you are a journalist with an interest but no technical background or an experienced developer or programmer, you’ll walk away from NewsCamp with new knowledge and skills you can use right away.

Expected speakers and trainers include:

  • Noah Smith, Carnegie Mellon
  • Sarah Cohen, Duke University/Reporters’ Lab
  • Chase Davis, Center for Investigative Reporting
  • More speakers will be added as they are confirmed


Hands-on sessions will include two tracks, depending on your current experience level:

Music Lessons: Programming skills are optional for these classes, which will teach you tools you can bring back to your news organization. Topics are expected to include:

  • DocumentCloud
  • Entity extraction
  • Topic detection

Jam Sessions: Programming skills are required for this more loosely organized track. We’ll begin by tackling 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.


See the complete the list of panels on Thursday’s conference schedule.


The afternoon hands-on sessions for NewsCamp, music sessions and jam lessons, are now full. The morning panels are still available to attendees, space permitting in each room.  

Register online for the CAR Conference and NewsCamp.