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About the conference

Looking to learn skills that will help you and your newsroom thrive? Join IRE and NICAR in Baltimore for our annual conference devoted to computer-assisted reporting, Feb. 27 to March 2, 2014 at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards. 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.


Travel information

The conference will be held at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards.  The discounted room rate is available until February 7, 2014, 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


Thursday night activities

Howl at the Moon

Looking for a way to have fun and mingle with fellow NICARians at the conference? We’ve got the answer for you Thursday night: Howl at the Moon dueling piano bar is offering a special discount for NICAR attendees. The first 100 conference attendees between 7-9 p.m. will receive free admission to the 8 p.m. show and two drinks (domestic beer, wine and house liquor) for $1. Your conference badge will be required to obtain the discount.  

Bring your friends, have a great time and please be sure to thank “Howl at the Moon” for offering a discount to NICARians.  

Location: Howl at the Moon, 22 Market Pl, Baltimore, MD 21202.  **Located in Power Plant Live

Tableau Public Happy Hour

Join the Tableau Public team for happy hour at the James Joyce Pub on Thursday evening 2/27 from 6:30 – 8:30pm. Talk data to one of our analysts over drinks and snacks on us while supplies last. Remember to wear your NICAR badge for entry and bring your business cards with you to network with your peers.

Location: James Joyce Pub, 616 South President St. Baltimore, MD 21202


TechRaking 5ish: Bootstrapping the News

Wednesday, February 26, 2014: Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor

1-5 p.m. Beers at 5 p.m. $50 per person, limited seating

Give us four hours and your laptop, and we’ll send you into NICAR with a fully-functioning data-crunching machine and the knowledge to use it.

One of the biggest hurdles to learning programming is the often bewildering process of setting up your computer. Veteran data crunchers and programmers from The Center for Investigative Reporting will give you a virtual playground on your personal laptop that will allow you to explore all the tools you’ll gather throughout the conference. In this four-hour workshop, we’ll introduce crucial programming concepts and tools and — most importantly — why we use them.

You’ll walk into conference sessions with a laptop loaded with many of the tools presenters will be talking about, and a leg up as you continue developing your skills once you’re back home.  At the end of the day meet your fellow beginners over beers and with a visit from the FOIA Machine robot. 

Additional details including registration for the event can be found on the special training page


Business Journalism Training

Free pre-conference workshop on Feb. 26: Detecting Corporate Fraud. 

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will offer a free pre-conference workshop from 2-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26. In this free workshop, journalists will learn techniques for digging – with an eye for fraud – into U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings and other disclosures. Instead of spending weeks scouring aimlessly through hundreds of pages of corporate documents, reporters will gain an understanding of what key financial information is available, where to look in the documents to quickly identify trouble spots and how to recognize when crucial details are missing.

Instructors Theo Francis of The Wall Street Journal and Roddy Boyd of the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation, will teach you how to track and understand key markers – from risk disclosures to cash generation to atypical pay structures that might encourage fudging the books – to develop the arsenal of reporting tools needed to root out corporate crooks. You’ll leave knowing where to find the information the fraudsters are trying to hide.

Sign up for this free workshop.