NICAR13 photo booth

NICAR13, from from IRE/NICAR on Vimeo.

About the conference

Looking to learn skills that will help you and your newsroom thrive? Join IRE and NICAR in Louisville for our annual conference devoted to computer-assisted reporting, Feb. 28 to March 3, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Louisville. Come and learn about tools you need to dig deeper into stories and give readers, viewers and your online audience the information they're demanding.

The CAR conference offers something for everyone, from beginners to those on the cutting edge of digital reporting. We'll offer everything from the basics on using spreadsheets, databases and online mapping to data science and the latest technological advances. You'll come away with, story ideas, plenty inspiration and tools to help you overcome typical data hurdles. Learn from the best in the business in panel discussions and during hands-on training sessions. Bypass the budget issues in your newsroom by taking classes in free software. Get a look at what the biggest names in data-driven reporting are using to make a major impact online.


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. Read the post to help you make the most out of the conference.


Travel information

The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Louisville.  The discounted room rate is available until February 1, 2013, or until our room block is full (whichever comes first).  Our room block has sold out prior to the deadline the past few years, so make your reservation early. More travel and lodging info


ArcView mapping sessions

Those interested in taking the mapping classes (to qualify for the Esri ArcView software) must show up for the Friday morning session beginning at 7:30 a.m. at Keeneland. Slots in the class will be distributed until they are gone. If more than 24 people want to take the course, additional slots will be handed out for the Sunday morning sessions at that time. If 24 or fewer people show up on Thursday, there will not be a Sunday class. (Sunday sessions would begin at 9 a.m. and end by 11:30 a.m.)


A Night on the Town

Louisville's famed 4th Street Live.

Join your fellow CAR colleagues Thursday at Sports and Social Club for a night of competitive bowling and see which team wins the night’s best score. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., you can grab a drink and socialize or form a team and bowl.

Tickets for the event are $30 per person and include: (2) complimentary drink tickets and 2 hours of bowling, including shoes.  Drink tickets can be used to purchase well drinks, domestic and imported beer, house wine or soda.  A full dinner menu will be available. 

This is a great opportunity to get out and socialize with fellow journalists, have fun and show your competitive spirit.  

Sports and Social Club (427 South 4th Street) is located in Louisville’s famed 4th Street Live, just steps away from the Hyatt Regency Louisville.

Purchase tickets

Business Journalism Training

Free Pre-Conference Workshop on Feb. 27: Breaking Local Stories with Economic Data

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will offer a free workshop from 2-5 p.m. on Feb. 27: Breaking Local Stories with Economic Data. Government data offer unparalleled opportunities to distinguish your reporting with trend stories about what’s happening in your local economy. Especially this year, with the release of the every-five-year Economic Census, journalists will have a unique opportunity to track changes in their local community from 2007 — before the recession — to 2012. Instructors Paul Overberg of USA Today and Jeannine Aversa, late of The AP, now with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, will provide you with a road map to finding and delivering at least 15 local enterprise stories from government economic data. Examples will be specific to the Louisville region, but applicable anywhere. Sign up here for this free workshop.


Free hands-on sessions from Caspio

Caspio is offering several hands-on sessions. Pre-registration is required for these sessions.

Visualize your data with Tableau Public

Free hands-on data visualization training. Visualize data fast and publish it interactively to the web without programming with Tableau Public. Tableau Public will host two, four-hour hands-on training sessions Thursday, Feb. 28, at the CAR Conference. The sessions — one for beginners and one for more experienced users — will cover the basics of using Tableau to quickly create data visualizations and post them to your website as well as more advanced features of this free software.

Learn more about the training sessions and how to reserve a seat.


NewsCamp: Data science for nerdy journalists

Level Up your data skills using R and Data Science! This day-long, hands-on class is taught by Hadley Wickham, author of the ggplot2 R plug-in, Assistant Professor of Statistics at Rice University, and developer at RStudio.

You'll learn intermediate to advanced R and get an understanding of the techniques and methodologies of data science that you can bring back to your newsroom and impact your work right away. You'll need a good foundation in stats. Before the class we'll provide videos and exercises that cover the basics of R so we can hit the ground running.

Preregistration is required for this session. Participants are expected to have experience with a programming language, an understanding of statistics up to linear regression and a solid foundation of work in spreadsheets, database managers, data cleaning etc. Learn more

Speaker reprint and tipsheet information

When sending reprints or tipsheets, please follow the shipping directions at this link, to avoid the risk of your box getting misplaced or lost. Don’t forget to email an electronic copy to so it can be added to the IRE Resource Center.


You got your hands on a great data set. Now what?

By Glynn A. Hill

Four journalists discussed tips for reporting out a data story at the 2015 CAR Conference in Atlanta. Steve Myers, visiting professor at Texas Christian University and special projects editor at The Lens, facilitated the panel. Speakers included James Ball, a special projects editor at The Guardian; Andy Lehren, a reporter for The New York Times; and Kendall Taggart, a reporter on the investigative team at BuzzFeed News.

So you have that data set. Now what? The next step, they said, is understanding what you have, which demands the following:

  • Read every part of the data set ...
Read more ...

Journalists share tips, stories about getting started in the industry

Want to know how some of the biggest names in journalism got where they are today? We did. So we asked some of our 2015 CAR Conference Knight Scholars to interview conference attendees and share pieces of their conversations for our blog.  


Rikke Østergård Hansen

Rikke Østergård Hansen, Danish Broadcasting Corporation

Before Rikke Østergård Hansen began working as a live reporter for the Danish Broadcast Company, she was a freelancer in Syria. Reporting overseas was a job she'd dreamed about since she was 15 years old.

Personal experience drew her to attention to the Middle East ...

Read more ...

Watchdogging law-breaking law enforcement

By Kasia Kovacs

Ask anyone the biggest news story of the past year, and chances are you’ll hear some variation of "Ferguson" or "police shootings."

It’s a hot topic, and not without reason. After the shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., the police chokehold that killed Eric Garner in New York, and the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was killed while playing with a fake gun in Cleveland, Ohio, the ensuing protests and public outcry were palpable around the world.

As reporters, we have a responsibility to hold those who abuse power accountable. One of ...

Read more ...

Humans of NICAR: Madison Feller

Madison Feller

By Keytron Hill

Three questions for Madison Feller, a journalism student at the University of Missouri and volunteer at the 2015 CAR Conference.

Q: What do you love about journalism?

A: I'm not a hard news reporter, it's just not for me, but I love feature stories and longer stories. I just love sharing people's lives. 

Q: What's your dream job?

A: I want to be a features editor for a women's magazine. A lot of people underestimate women magazines, but I think they're going in a great direction and I want ...

Read more ...

My code-free adventure designing an interactive game

Screenshot of Tierra Smith's interactive newsgame. Click to view larger.

By Tierra Smith 

As a first-timer to the CAR Conference and someone previously unfamiliar with data journalism, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by Saturday of NICAR15.

I was dropped into a whole new world where everyone was speaking a totally different language. I felt myself constantly clutching my notepad and scribbling down "new words" like "D3." I was determined to figure out what everything meant.

Then I found "Create your own interactive newsgame without coding." The hands-on class was prefect for someone interested in data journalism, but who doesn ...

Read more ...