Expected Sessions

Here’s a look at some of the sessions we’re planning for Chicago. Please note that these sessions are preliminary and subject to change. We’ll be adding more to the list in the coming days.


Expected tracks

Diversity: In our communities and in the newsroom

  • Investigating inequality
  • Using data to track hate
  • How to hire and retain a diverse workforce
  • Mining data for hidden stories in hidden communities
  • Education civil rights data: The good, the bad, the dirty
  • Women in the newsroom
  • Journalists of color in the newsroom


Election/politics track

  • Wagging the dog: Using campaign finance data to cover the midterm elections
  • The congressional data you don’t use
  • Non-traditional influences on the 2018 election
  • Foreign influence in the Trump era
  • Finding voter fraud: It’s easy if you don’t try
  • Finding the Story: Election Administration
  • OpenElections hackathon


Design track:

  • Intro to D3 (Hosted by the Society for News Design)
  • Intermediate D3 (Hosted by the Society for News Design)
  • Using the Datawrapper charting tool (Hosted by the Society for News Design)
  • What the worst user interface ever can teach you about design (Hosted by the Society for News Design)
  • User testing: Gathering insight to make better stories (Hosted by the Society for News Design)
  • Design for non-designers
  • Which chart should I use and why?


Security track:

  • Securing data and communications
  • Risky research: Investigating on the deep web
  • Infosec reporting
  • Beyond Signal: The latest secure messaging apps
  • Cryptoparty
  • Security tools for journalists
  • Securing your devices for border-crossing



Hacking your first NICAR

Getting started: Introduction to CAR and the conference

What the hell is D3? And other questions you’re afraid to ask

Emerging tools in CAR

Year in CAR

Enhancing workflows and ensuring replication

Lessons from academics

The only one in the newsroom

Career talk for young journalists

How to avoid rookie mistakes

Turning your documents into data

Beyond the nerdbox

Building happy cross-functional teams

Bulletproofing your data story

Career roundtable

Automated content production using neural networks

Exciting natural processing language

Evolving forms and the future of live coverage

Time, location and context

Ethics of remote sensing

Getting started with machine learning for reporting

Algorithmic accountability

Quick-turn data stories

Putting your town under a microscope — and keeping it there

Embrace the data! How to turn data into characters in your story

Google News Lab

Social media sleuthing

Design for non-designers

Which chart should I use and why?

Bringing your investigative reporting to life using animations and illustrations

Data visualization in the upside down

Uncovering environmental hazards faced by urban children

Paradise Papers

Finding international data

I’m entitled to a spreadsheet, dang it

Demographics beyond the Census

Saving data journalism

Local news innovation showcase

Creating a data culture that lasts

30/60: Best free data storytelling tools

International lottery project


Shoot us straight: Correctly using data and docs on guns

Digital mindset for storytelling

Using the College Scorecard (Sponsored by Lumina)

Media lawyers brownbag

Data of disasters: Following the money

Uncovering inequity in property taxes

Additional panels that cover topics including:

Criminal justice/incarceration


Climate change

Health care

Investigating immigration


Using data to cover sexual harassment

Sports data

Police accountability

Women in the newsroom

Journalists of color in the newsroom



Unless otherwise noted, these classes do not require any additional fees or registration. They will be offered first come, first served.

Classes labeled (pre-registration)($) require additional fees and sign-ups.


Excel 1: Getting started with spreadsheets

Excel 2: Using formulas for stories

Excel 3: Pivot tables

Importing data into Excel

CARwash: Data cleaning in Excel

R 1: Intro to R and RStudio

R 3: Gathering and cleaning data in R

R 2: Data analysis and plotting in R

QGIS 1: Importing and displaying geographic data

QGIS 2: Building your first map

Mining data from the social web

SQL 1: Exploring data

SQL 2: Grouping and summing data

SQL 3: Joining tables

Stats 1: An introduction

Stats 2: Linear regression

Stats 3: Logistics regression

Python 1: The fundamentals

Python 2: Data analysis using pandas

Python 3: Data cleaning and useful functions in pandas

Python: Let’s scrape a website

Google Sheets: Scraping without coding

Google Sheets: Advanced scraping using coding

Google Sheets: Using advanced functions

Exploring Data Quickly With VisiData

Python: Writing tests for your code

Python: Getting started with machine learning

Javascript 1: Fundamentals and syntax

Javascript 2: Hello D3!

Javascript 3: Easy breezy beautiful live D3 maps

Javascript: Reactive frameworks without fear

Javascript: Build a Leaflet.js map

Javascript: Writing reusable chart modules in D3

Geocoding addresses

R: Collecting and analyzing Twitter data

Reproducibility and RMarkdown: How to use R regularly in your newsroom

R: Statistics

R: Machine learning and data models

Unleash the data: Tools and tricks for taming PDFs

Using OCR to extract data from PDFs

Hitchhikers guide to APIs

Regular expressions for the rest of us

Csvkit & other command line tools for reporters

Command line for reporters (Unix)

Graph databases with Neo4j


Google Fusion Tables


Build a chatbot

Searchable text tables in an hour or less



Advanced SQL

Beyond 1M rows: Joining and large data in Excel

Cleaning in SQL

Stats in Excel

Finding the story: Immigration

Finding the story: Open policing data

Serverless applications for the newsroom

Accessing Amazon’s public datasets

Creating your first satellite image

Animated video for storytelling

GitHub for journalists

Excel for business & economics

Install party (open lab)

Data rescue party (open lab)

Show where the story is happening with maps in Tableau Public (Hosted by Tableau) (pre-registration only)

Finding and telling data stories with Tableau Public (Hosted by Tableau) (pre-registration only)

Overview of data journalism curriculum for universities (Hosted by Tableau) (pre-registration only)

Interactive data graphics in Tableau Public (Hosted by Tableau) (pre-registration only)

Techraking 21: Bootstrapping the News (Sponsored by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting) (pre-registration only)

PyCAR (pre-registration only) ($)

Intro to R (pre-registration only) ($)

MapCamp: QGIS *(pre-registration only) ($)

How to find stories in data using visualization (pre-registration only) ($)

Exploring the Tidyverse in R (pre-registration only) ($)

First Python Notebook: Rapid data analysis in the newsroom (pre-registration only) ($)

Digging into data for stories: A crash course (pre-registration only) ($)

Upping your Excel game (pre-registration only) ($)

Level up your Python game: Refactoring your code (pre-registration only) ($)

First graphics app (pre-registration only) ($)




Accessing and using nonprofit data

Digging through the web

Datakit: A pluggable toolkit for managing the data project lifecycle

Introducing the L.A. Times Map Maker: Make maps faster


Tracking Trump’s conflicts of interest

Find model legislation


New Census FactFinder