Master Classes

Hone your writing, interviewing and editing skills with our new CAR Conference Master Classes. Veteran reporters and editors will share their tips and strategies during these half-day workshops. Space is limited for these small-group classes.

How to register: You can register for these workshops when you complete your conference registration. Already registered for the conference and want to add a Master Class? You can do so through your member profile, for information on how to do this, email [email protected]

Cancellations must be sent via email to [email protected] All cancellations must be in writing. There is a $15 processing fee for each class until February 15. Refunds will not be given for cancellations after February 15 due to the limited seating in these classes.

Leading the data team

Thursday, March 7, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Price: $35

Instructors: Janet Roberts, Reuters; Troy Thibodeaux, The Associated Press

Room: Crystal Cove

Experienced data journalists will share practical tips on how they’ve led their teams and convinced higher-ups to integrate data into the newsroom. Our instructors will show how they made it into leadership and how they excelled once they got there.

Topics will include:

  • How to lead a team to create their best work
  • Handling expectations from management
  • Carving out a career path in leadership when you’re known for your data skills
  • Making data journalism a core principle in your newsroom
  • Managing your time and the time of your team

This class is ideal for data journalists who are looking to break into leadership and need guidance on how to get there or existing leaders who need tips on how to lead effectively.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.


Self-editing & bulletproofing the data story

Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 5:45 p.m.

Price: $35

Instructors: Kimbriell Kelly, The Washington Post and Shawn McIntosh, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Room: Crystal Cove

Data-driven stories can overwhelm a writer juggling data and storytelling and leave even the best editors feeling out of their depth. In this half-day workshop, we’ll focus on the core data editing and bulletproofing skills every journalist should have, whether you are a hands-on data journalist or an editor supervising this work.

Two data journalists, Atlanta Journal Constitution’s deputy managing editor Shawn McIntosh and Washington Post investigative reporter Kimbriell Kelly, will share lessons they have learned writing and presenting data-driven stories. You will receive tips and strategies from an editor’s and reporter’s point of view, including:

  • Common data errors — How to spot and fix them
  • Using a data diary to track your methodology
  • Practical strategies for bulletproofing and fact-checking your data analysis and findings
  • Going beyond numbers — Using data to find human sources and characters for stories
  • Untangling the writing and avoiding reader turnoffs
  • Managing up — Working with an editor who doesn’t speak data
  • Managing the numbers as deadline approaches

Whether you want to get better at editing yourself or others, we’ll have tips and resources for you. No data experience is required for this workshop.

Bring questions and examples as there will be plenty of time for discussion.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.


Telling the data story across platforms

Friday, March 8, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Price: $35

Instructors: Josh Hinkle, KXAN/NBC Austin; Lisa Pickoff-White, KQED Public Radio

Room: Crystal Cove 

No matter your media type, a successful data story or investigation requires the ability to connect with audiences on several platforms, including broadcast, digital and social media. But with limited time and resources, it can be challenging to develop and execute a plan that cuts across media.

We’ll cover:

  • Identifying which platforms to use to tell your story
  • Techniques for making data and documents work across platforms
  • Developing a project team and getting buy-in from newsroom leaders
  • Common challenges and red-flags — dealing with marketing/promotions departments, ensuring accuracy across platforms and measuring success

This session is good for reporters, editors and producers. We’ll talk about the roles each person plays in this process, and provide tips to take back to your team. Please come with a story you’re investigating to workshop as well as your laptop.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.


Design thinking for journalists

Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 5:45 p.m.

Price: $35

Instructors: Angelica McKinley; Lena Groeger, ProPublica

Room: Crystal Cove

Anyone can improve the design and usability of a journalistic project (from a basic story page to an interactive graphic) with a few simple fixes. Even if you have zero experience in design and concepts like ” alignment” and “responsiveness” seem like technical jargon, this session is for you. We’ll go through our favorite design rules of thumb, covering everything from typography to interaction to accessibility, and apply them to real-life examples in the news and beyond.

We’ll also cover:

  • Thinking like a user
  • Designing for inclusiveness
  • Ambiguity in design
  • How and when to break the rules

By the end of this workshop, you’ll be able to recognize poor designs and identify how to fix them, and you’ll be on your way to creating your own designs with better organization, unity and clarity.


Mastering the interview

Saturday, March 9, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Price: $35

Instructor: Ken Armstrong, ProPublica

Room: Crystal Cove

When it comes to interviewing, some reporters are naturals. ProPublica’s Ken Armstrong isn’t one of them. He’ll share the (many) mistakes he’s made and what he’s learned from them. This workshop will move from getting the interview, to conducting the interview, to capitalizing on the interview when it’s time to write.

Topics will include:

  • How — and when — to land a tough interview
  • The power of silence
  • The power of sincerity
  • Interviewing people who have been hurt, and interviewing the people who hurt them
  • How to interview someone who won’t talk to you (and yes, this can be done — sort of)

We will venture, ever so briefly, into the mysterious realm of emotions (open mind, open heart). We’ll challenge some of the conventional wisdom surrounding interviewing (pure hooey, some of it). And we’ll watch outstanding interviewers at work, studying what they do — and, more important, what they don’t do.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.


Writing the data-driven narrative

Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 5:45 p.m.

Price: $35

Instructor: Sarah Cohen, ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and T. Christian Miller, ProPublica

Room: Crystal Cove

You’ve gathered and analyzed data, talked to human sources and now you’re ready to write. If you’re new to data-driven storytelling, this workshop is for you.

Sarah Cohen is the Knight Chair in Journalism at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and a former editor at The New York Times and The Washington Post. T. Christian Miller is a reporter at ProPublica, where his coverage of sexual assault was recognized with a 2016 Pulitzer Prize. Together they’ll share tips and techniques for writing data-driven stories that pack an emotional punch.

Topics include:

  • Understanding narrative
  • Reporting for story — How to gather the details and scenes that will make your numbers come to life.
  • Focus and framing – Finding your way through all that material
  • Communicating data – Deciding how many numbers to include and putting them in context
  • Self-editing tips and techniques

We’ll look at examples of successful stories, pulling back the curtain to see how they came together.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.