NICAR Meetups

Organizing a social event? Looking for something to do outside of conference sessions? You’re in the right place. 

IRE offers this forum as a service to attendees, but the organization is not responsible for these events. Please direct event-specific questions to the organizers listed below.


I’m organizing an event…

Please fill out this form telling us about your event. It can be as formal as a happy hour or bar crawl, or something informal like a running club or game night. We’ll review your information and add it to the list below.

If you have questions or need to modify information you’ve already submitted, please contact Sarah Hutchins at


I’m looking for something to do…



Meet-up for lunch

For the first time, IRE will coordinate lunch meet-up groups. Whether it’s your first or tenth NICAR conference, we hope you’ll enjoy meeting new people, sharing ideas and networking at the restaurant of your choice.

When: IRE representatives will be on hand from 12:30-1 p.m. daily in the NICAR Commons space.

Where: Your choice! We’ll place you in groups and you pick the place. The IRE-Chicago group has put together their recommendations for places to eat, and Justin Myers built a handy app to help you choose.


Game Night

People playing games. If you’re bringing a game and looking for players, add yourself to the list at

When: After the conference, every night. Dates and times are determined by the availability of the person who brings the games.



DJNF #NICAR18 Chicago Alumni Mixer

Dow Jones News Fund alumni attending #NICAR18 and from the Chicago area are invited to join us Wednesday, March 7 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for an alumni mixer at Timothy O’Toole’s Pub, 622 North Fairbanks Court, Chicago, IL. 

Please RSVP by Friday, March 2.


NICAR Pregame

Meet up Wednesday night to say hi to friends and colleagues. We have conversation-starter cards! Beverages! Snacks! (The latter two are on a cash basis, wherein you provide the cash.)

When: Wednesday, March 7, from 7-11 PM

Where: Hotel bar/lounge area

Contact: Kristin Hussey,



Columbia Journalism School catch up

Catch up with the J-School in Chicago! 

If you’re going to the CAR in Chicago, or you live in the area or find yourself near there, please join us for a J-School meet-up. 
Join Giannina Segnini, Knight Chair in Data Journalism and Director of the M.S. In Data Journalism Program; Jonathan Soma, Director of The Lede Program; and other J-School representatives. Drinks and apps on us! Please RSVP.

Have a friend that might be interested in the J-School? Feel free to bring them along. We’d love to meet them. Hope to see you there!

Where: Sienna Tavern, 51 W. Kinzie Street, Chicago, IL 60654

When: Thursday, March 8, 7-9 PM

Contact: Lauren Schaefer, Associate Director of Events,


Public Newsroom #54: The Chicago Data Collaborative

The Chicago Data Collaborative ( launched in January with a mission to collect criminal justice data “from public agencies, organize and document that data, and link the data together.”

This week at the Public Newsroom the Collaborative is seeking feedback from reporters, community organizers and others who would like access to their data or join the initiative. Attendees will have a chance to talk through opportunities and challenges to using this data within newsrooms as well as on the ground.

This workshop is co-sponsored by OpenNews and is a special after event for the Computer-Assisted Reporting (CAR) Conference for data journalism. OpenNews is a nonprofit network for developers, designers, journalists, and editors who want to collaborate on open technologies.

About the workshop hosts: The Chicago Data Collaborative is a cooperative effort by newsrooms, academics, and nonprofit researchers to help each other understand our criminal justice system.

This event is part of City Bureau’s #PublicNewsroom programming, a series of free, weekly workshops and discussions aimed at building trust between journalists and the communities they serve while shaping a more inclusive newsroom.

For more info on past and future Public Newsroom workshops and to become a sustaining member of City Bureau, visit

When: Thursday, March 8, from 6-8 PM

Where: Build Coffee: 6100 S Blackstone Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60637

Cost: Free

Contact: Erika Owens,


News researchers and friends

News researchers, librarians, archivists and friends will meet and greet at the Welcome Reception.

When: Thursday, March 8, from 6-7 PM

Where: Grand Ballroom III

Cost: Free

Contact: Margot Williams,


Second City comedy club outing

Join us for an informal group outing at Chicago’s famous Second City comedy club, located about 2.5 miles from the hotel. Fill out the web form at ( (even if you are a maybe). Buy your own ticket for GA seating to the 8 p.m. Main Stage show – Dream Freaks Fall from Space – at (tickets are $31). Meet there or meet in the lobby to travel as a group via public transportation or Uber. You will be emailed with updates once you fill out the form.

When: Thursday, March 8 from 8-10:15 PM

Where: Second City, 1616 N Wells St., Chicago

Cost: $31 per ticket

Contact: Rich Exner, / please register your interest at



College Newspaper Network

I would like to meet anyone (students, professional journalists, and college professors) involved in publishing student newspapers on a college level. I am currently the faculty advisor in the university’s student newspaper. I believe sharing our experiences related to data journalism and student newspaper publication will be great for the future of college student newspaper.

When: Friday, March 9, from 12-1 pm

Where: Hotel lobby

Contact: Jae Sik Ha,


Nerd Night at the Design Museum

We’ve rented the whole Chicago Design Museum for the exhibit “Hey, Play, Games in Modern Culture.”

RSVP here so we have enough snacks:

When: Friday, March 9, from 7:30-9:15 pm

Where: Chicago Design Museum, 108 N State St, 3rd Floor

Cost: FREE, thanks to NYT, NU Knight Lab & OpenNews

Contact: Rachel Shorey,


Breakfast with OpenNews Source

Come to the Knight Foundation space and have breakfast on us, drink hotel coffee, and talk docs and articles with Source’s editors and assorted other OpenNews folks.

When: Friday, March 9, from 8-9 AM

Where: Armitage/Belmont, 4th floor of the conference hotel

Cost: Free

Contact: Lindsay Muscato,



Solutions Journalism meetup

Just a place for people interested or already involved in solutions journalism. It’s nothing official, but a place for us to get connections and talk about SoJo!

When: Saturday, March 10, at 7 p.m.

Where: Hotel Lobby, 444 N Michigan Ave Chicago, IL 60611

Cost: Free

Contact: Julie Christie,


Mizzou Meet-Up

Catch up with other Mizzou alum, professors, etc. Talk about journalism.

When: Saturday, March 10, from 5:30-7:30 pm

Where: Hotel lobby/bar area

Cost: Free

Contact: Madi Alexander,


Data Drinks #NICAR18!

At great request following the success of Jacksonville, let’s #DataDrinks again!

After an amazing week of panels and workshops, let’s meet up for few informal Saturday drinks and discover the independent breweries scene in Chicago. It will be a great opportunity to introduce each others, networking, exchange opinions, twitter handles and projects for the future.

Let’s all meet at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap: the closest place to the Conference Hotel – > The place gathers all the best beers of the city and it is also famous for claiming to have ‘the best’ chicken wings.

Tweet me up for questions: @danict89 😉

Join us, won’t you?

Good Maps walking route (7mins):

When: Saturday, March 10, from 7 PM – midnight

Where: Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, 41 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611

Cost: Free

Contact: Daniele