2018 CAR Conference

Join IRE and NICAR in Chicago for our annual conference devoted to data journalism, March 8-11, 2018 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. 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 Computer-Assisted Reporting 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 visualization and the latest technological advances. You'll come away with story ideas, plenty of inspiration and tools to help you overcome typical data hurdles. Bypass the budget issues in your newsroom by taking hands-on classes in free software. Get a look at what the biggest names in data-driven reporting are using to make a major impact online. Learn from the best in the business in discussions and during hands-on training sessions.

The conference begins Thursday, March 8 at 9 a.m. and runs all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sessions will end by 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 11.

For more information and to register, visit here.

Time and place

Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018 - Sunday, Mar. 11, 2018

Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
540 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611


Registration information

Registration for this event is open! Click here to begin.

Hurry! Registration closes on Sunday, Mar. 11 at 12:30pm.


Schedule details

  • Special Event

    CAR Conference Registration (Wednesday)

    CAR Conference registration will be located on the 7th Floor of the Chicago Marriott Downtown Mag Mile. 

    7th Floor Registration

    1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Special Event

    CAR Conference Sales (Wednesday)

    Stop by the CAR Conference sales table and browse our merchandise, including the IRE bookstore's most popular titles and shirts with the winning design from the T-shirt contest.

    7th Floor Foyer

    1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Outside Event

    Techraking 21: Bootstrapping the news (Sponsored by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting)

    Speakers: Michael Corey of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Emmanuel Martinez of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Eric Sagara of Big Local News

    Register for this event here.

    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 programmers and data crunchers from Reveal 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.

    Target audience: People with no or minimal exposure to programming who need a jumping off point to get their feet wet so they are prepared for programming classes at the conference.
     
    Requirements to attend: Laptop with administrative privileges
     
    Minimum technical specifications: Windows: Version 7 or higher; Mac: OS 10.9 (Mavericks) or higher. 4 GB of RAM, 15 GB of free hard-drive space. English layout keyboard strongly preferred. (Other layouts may work, but we've had trouble with certain characters in the past and our ability to provide tech support will be limited.)
     
    Participants will walk away with a fully functioning dev machine (on their personal laptop) that includes: VirtualBox, Ubuntu/Xbuntu, Bower, csvkit, Django, Fabric, Git, Grunt, Ilene, Jupyter, MySQL, Node.js, NPM, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, PANDAS, pyenv, Python, QuantumGIS, R, RBENV, Rails, Ruby, SQLite, Tabula, virtualenv/virtualenvwrapper.
     
    *Basic Schedule*
    *1-5 p.m.*
     
    I. Programming: Why should you care?
    II. What we're about to install
    III. Installing VirtualBox and Ubuntu
    IV. Brief overview of stuff you got with your install
    V. Using your new powers
    A. Navigating the command line
    B. Updating/installing software with apt
    C. Working with open-source software
    D. Basic version control (git)
    E. How to get help
     
    Register for this event here.
     

    Denver/Houston/Kansas City

    1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Outside Event

    Reporting with data for business and economics (Hosted by Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism)

    Speakers: Sarah Cohen of ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism; Robert Gebeloff of The New York Times

    Reporter Sarah Cohen, the Knight Chair in Data Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication & Robert Gebeloff, The New York Times, will present data sources you can use to bolster your business and economic stories in this pre-conference workshop, sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.

    Business and financial figures continue to play an important role in stories on different beats throughout the newsroom. Cohen will demonstrate how to work with sources readily available to reporters, from government websites like bea.gov to tools like Social Explorer. You’ll learn what’s in different data sets, how to get them, what you can pull from them, what questions to ask of the data and ideas for stories on the business beat and beyond.

    Clark

    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Special Event

    CAR Conference Registration (Thursday)

    CAR Conference registration will be located on the 7th Floor of the Chicago Marriott Downtown Mag Mile. 

    7th Floor Registration

    7:30 am - 6:00 pm

  • Special Event

    CAR Conference Sales (Thursday)

    Stop by the CAR Conference sales table and browse our merchandise, including the IRE bookstore's most popular titles and shirts with the winning design from the T-shirt contest.

    7th Floor Foyer

    7:30 am - 6:00 pm

  • Special Event

    Armitage

    7:30 am - 8:15 am

  • Panel

    Hacking your first NICAR

    Speakers: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR; Denise Malan of IRE and NICAR

    Welcome to the CAR Conference! This short introductory session is designed for anyone new to NICAR, or anyone wanting to learn a few tricks about making the most of these four days -- without getting overwhelmed. IRE's executive director and senior training director will give their tips about how to keep up with the latest conference news, find time to network with fellow journalists and collect resources that you'll use long after the conference ends.

    Grand Ballroom II

    8:30 am - 8:50 am

  • Hands-on

    Exploring the tidyverse in R (intermediate) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speaker: Hadley Wickham of RStudio

    Spend a day with RStudio's Hadley Wickham as you learn how to use tidyverse. This collection of R packages will help you make your data journalism more efficient, stronger and fun. Learn how to import, clean, analyze and plot data for your stories. If you've used packages like dplyr, tidyr, readr, ggplot2, tibble and purr, or would like to learn more about how these work together, this class is for you.

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

    Workshop prerequisites: You should be comfortable working with R and RStudio. You should also be familiar with basic data analysis. 

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Purdue/Wisconsin

    9:00 am - 5:45 pm

  • Conversation: Intro to BayesDB: Open-source AI that can help journalists search messy multivariate data

    Speaker: Sara Rendtorff-Smith of MIT

    Over the past ten years, researchers at MIT have been developing an open-source probabilistic AI software called BayesDB. BayesDB has the potential to allow users to answer a broad class of data science questions interactively, in seconds or minutes, without requiring statistical programming. Our team is currently working to understand how BayesDB can help journalists, with or without programming skills, identify and build their story. Specifically, we are in the process of developing tools for spreadsheet search, predictive modeling and time series forecasting.

    Come and learn more about our open-source probabilistic AI software and help provide feedback on how we can adapt BayesDB tools to better suit the needs and workflow of investigative journalists.

    Halsted

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Excel 1: Getting started with spreadsheets

    Speaker: Emily Hopkins of The Indianapolis Star

    In this introduction to spreadsheets, you'll begin analyzing data with Excel, a simple but powerful tool. You'll learn how to enter data, sort it, filter it and conduct simple calculations like sum, average and median. 
     
    This session is good for: Data beginners.

    Michigan/Michigan St

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Special Event

    Exhibitors & Recruiters Hours (Thursday)

    Be sure to stop by the 7th floor and visit with the exhibitors at this year's CAR conference. Details on specific exhibitors can be found by clicking on the exhibitors icon. 

    7th Floor Foyer

    9:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Panel

    Getting started: Introduction to CAR and the conference

    Speakers: Kimbriell Kelly of The Washington Post; Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR

    Are you new to data journalism or does this happen to be your first time at a CAR conference? Is it time to up your game but you're not sure how to take the next step? If so, this session will help you get on track to make sure that you get the best experience possible from the 2018 CAR Conference. We'll highlight sessions and give you tips for success during and after the conference. 

    Grand Ballroom I

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Google Sheets: Using advanced functions

    Speaker: Olga Pierce of University of Nebraska - Lincoln

    Google Sheets has finally matured as a useful tool for advanced journalism tasks. Learn advanced uses like joining tables, conducting statistical tests, making simple linear regressions and using Sheets as a backbone for web applications.

    This session is good for: People who are familiar with advanced data journalism techniques but need a portable and collaborative solution.

    Indiana/Iowa

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    How and why to make your data analysis reproducible

    Speakers: Hannah Cushman of DataMade; Ryann Grochowski Jones of ProPublica; Hannah Recht of Bloomberg News; Jeremy Singer-Vine of BuzzFeed News

    You understand how you processed your data. Does your editor? Your reader? You, in six months? Without a replicable approach to extracting, transforming and loading data, we are often frustrated in our efforts to share or update our work. Join us for a panel discussion of reproducible data workflows. We’ll talk about why we use standardized processes for collecting, cleaning and analyzing data, and share practices that work for us. We’ll also discuss strategies for smart human intervention (i.e. reporting, logging and documentation) in automated workflows.

    Addison

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Outside Event

    Interactive data graphics in Tableau Public (Hosted by Tableau)

    Speaker: Scott Teal of Tableau Software

    Learn how to create beautiful, interactive data visualizations on short deadlines. No programming required. You'll learn everything you need to build data visualizations and publish them to your website just like a video. We'll teach you how to:

    •Connect to Excel files and other data

    •Create maps and charts

    •Make them interactive

    •Publish them on your site

    Tableau Public is a free tool for journalists. No previous experience with Tableau is necessary to take this class. Laptops will be provided. This is a free training, however you must be registered for the CAR Conference to attend this class.  Limited seats are available.  There may be a few seats available on-site.

    Great America

    9:00 am - 10:30 am

  • Hands-on

    PyCAR (intermediate) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Tom Meagher of The Marshall Project; Jacob Quinn Sanders of Factal; Eric Sagara of Big Local News; Sara Simon of The New York Times; Anna Flagg of The Marshall Project; Moiz Syed of The Intercept; Elaine Wong of CBC/Radio-Canada; Aaron Williams of The Washington Post

    This hands-on workshop will teach journalists basic programming concepts using the Python language. The daylong class will introduce language basics and useful libraries in the course of a typical reporting project: scraping data from the web, inserting it in a database and analyzing the results.

    Although the class is geared toward beginners, we'll assume that you're comfortable with databases and SQL and that you've hopefully seen a command line since the days of DOS. 

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

    Workshop prerequisites: Attendees should have familiarity with the command line and be comfortable with databases and SQL.

    This class takes place on Thursday, March 8 from 9 am - 12:30 pm and continues Friday, March 9, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Registration for this session reserves your seat for both days of this workshop and attendees are expected to attend both sessions to complete the workshop.)

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Lincolnshire

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Maps made easy

    Speakers: Derek Eder of DataMade; Regina Compton of DataMade

    At DataMade, a civic technology company in Chicago, we love building, thinking about and learning from digital maps. In this session, we’ll share some of our favorite tools for mapping data, giving emphasis to Derek Eder’s Fusion Tables Searchable Map Template. Open source and easy-to-use, the Fusion Tables Template facilitates the creation of a searchable, filterable map from any spreadsheet or shapefile. We will give a step-by-step overview of the template and demonstrate some of its key features: address search, geolocation, the ability to easily add additional search filters, and hover and popover interactivity for point details. Time permitting, we will also introduce Carto and the CartoTemplate, a streamlined, customizable code source — and a close sibling to Fusion Tables. Participants can come prepared with their own mappable data, or they can use data provided by DataMade.

    *Please note: You must bring your own laptop to participate in this class.

    This session is good for: Anyone with beginning JavaScript and HTML knowledge and an interest in digital maps.

     

    Grace

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    PostgreSQL

    Speaker: Anthony DeBarros of The Wall Street Journal

    In this session, we’ll cover some lesser-known but incredibly useful features of PostgreSQL, a free, open-source relational database system named 2017 DBMS of the Year by DB-Engines. You’ll learn how to analyze spatial data with PostGIS, automate tasks with triggers, use Python and R in SQL functions, and discover PostgreSQL’s powerful full-text search engine. 

    This session is good for: People who have familiarity with SQL, but beginners are welcome.

     

    Sheffield

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Searchable, interactive data tables in an hour or less

    Speaker: Saurabh Datar of Boston Globe Media

    In one hour, learn how to go from a simple Excel/Google spreadsheet to a searchable, interactive data table using the popular jQuery library datatables. 

    This session is good for: Anyone who has been frustrated with trying to put their data online in a usable format.Some basic HTML experience is helpful but not required.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Time, location and context: Analyzing and presenting location-based/geographic data

    Speakers: Victor Hernandez of independent journalist; Stephen Jefferson of Bloom; Joe Yerardi of The Center for Public Integrity

    This diverse panel of experts will explore how the realm of big data, particularly geographic data, poses opportunities and challenges for today’s newsrooms. Are newsrooms and journalists ready for the growth of geographic and location-based data that will impact how news can be told and received? This panel will answer this question by addressing the nuances of coding geographic and location-based data for a variety of contexts from app and CMS development to story presentation; the challenges in analyzing big datasets that are geographic or location-based in nature; and the overall geodata mindset needed in journalism today. Attendees will also come away with a handout of tips and techniques related to working in this geo-context.

    Grand Ballroom III

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Demo

    Using OpenCorporates to investigate companies

    Speaker: Mollie Hanley of OpenCorporates

    OpenCorporates is the largest open database of companies in the world, enabling simple, powerful searching of over 137 million companies (and counting). Their data is core infrastructure for journalists, alongside NGOs, governments and businesses working to uncover company information. In this session, they'll be opening up their knowledge and presenting tips and tricks to allow you to make the most of your investigations.

    Clark

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

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

    Speakers: Elizabeth Lucas of Kaiser Health News; Jill Riepenhoff of InvestigateTV

    Ever wondered what people are talking about at this conference? What exactly is D3 and why  would you want to use it? What is the difference between Ruby, Python and Javascript? And why is there a J in front of Query? Welcome to our no-judgment, starting-at-step-zero session even NICAR veterans can use. We'll review tech concepts and jargon you'll likely hear at NICAR this year and explain what they mean, why they're useful and point you to the sessions that can teach you the terms you now understand.

    Grand Ballroom II

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Demo

    Beyond Signal: The latest secure messaging apps (Security Track)

    Speaker: Martin Shelton of Independent

    To help ensure the safety of your sources and to empower you to get strong tips, in this session we examine a variety of secure channels that news organizations can offer on confidential tip pages, as well as the relative tradeoffs of these tools.

    This session was planned in collaboration with the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

    Clark

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Conversation: Data blitz

    Speaker: Jeremy Singer-Vine of BuzzFeed News

    Like lightning talks, but for data. Five presenters will guide you through their favorite underappreciated datasets.

    Halsted

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Deep dives for radio and podcasts

    Speakers: Jon Collins of Minnesota Public Radio; Odette Yousef of WBEZ Public Radio; Aaron Mendelson of KPCC - 89.3

    You've filed the FOIA. You've talked to sources and gathered the documents. You've collected the numbers and done the analysis. Now – how to bring it all together into masterful audio stories that won’t make your audience’s eyes glaze over? In this session we are going to discuss the strategies we've used when going deep on tough stories to create compelling stories for podcasts and radio.

    Grand Ballroom II

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Education civil rights data: The good, the bad, the dirty (Diversity Track)

    Speakers: Alex Harwin of Education Week Research Center; Jennifer LaFleur of Investigative Reporting Workshop; Kameel Stanley of USA TODAY Network

    Panelists with a range of expertise will discuss the federal civil rights dataset, how to make the most of it and avoid the pitfalls. We also will talk about how to use state data to tell stories about disparities in schools. This session will provide lots of story ideas, so come with questions!

    Addison

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Excel 2: Using formulas for stories

    Speaker: Jennifer Smith Richards of Chicago Tribune

    Much of Excel's power comes in the form of formulas. In this class, you'll learn how to use them to analyze data with the eye of a journalist. Yes, math will be involved, but it's totally worth it! This class will show you how calculations like change, percent change, rates and ratios can beef up your reporting.

    This session is good for: Anyone who is comfortable navigating Excel.

    Michigan/Michigan St

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Finding the story: Opioid data

    Speakers: Ryann Grochowski Jones of ProPublica; Charles Ornstein of ProPublica

    As the opioid abuse crisis has taken hold across the U.S., stories about addiction, overdoses and deaths have become relevant in almost any community. This session will lead you through data that can help you quantify the seriousness of the issue in your community and find individual stories that can help you put a face on the crisis.

    This class is good for: People comfortable working in Excel.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Github for journalists

    Speaker: Max Harlow of Financial Times

    We'll cover Github's basics features  — repositories, commits, branches, pull requests and issues — using a recent data-driven story as a case study. The goal is for you to leave the class and be able to use GitHub on your own for your next story.

    Please note: You will need to bring your own laptop to participate in this class. You will also need to have created an account at GitHub.com and install GitHub Desktop prior to the class

    This session is good for: Journalists who want to collaborate on data analyses, back up their work and share their methodology with (nerdy) readers.

    Grace

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Google Sheets: Scraping without coding

    Speaker: Samantha Sunne of independent journalist

    Yes, you can scrape data without using code -- in fact, all you need is Google Sheets! We'll be using Excel-type formulas (don't worry if you don't know what those are, either) to make simple scrapers that automatically pull data into Google Sheets. It’s the best way to get around clunky websites and unhelpful PIOs!

    This session is good for: Beginners who want to start using data for their stories.

    Indiana/Iowa

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Uncovering inequity in property taxes

    Speakers: Christopher Berry of The University of Chicago; Matt Clark of Newsday; Jason Grotto of ProPublica Illinois; Cheryl W. Thompson of NPR

    Are tax bills in your area based on accurate and fair assessments? Are lower-income homeowners or those from mostly minority communities being overtaxed? Inequity in property taxation is a huge problem that traditionally has gotten little attention. Learn how to use data to tackle this vital issue and turn the numbers into compelling stories.

    Grand Ballroom III

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Unleash the data: Tools and tricks for taming PDFs

    Speaker: Chad Day of The Associated Press

    This class will cover basic approaches for getting text out of PDF documents using powerful and freely available tools. Participants will be introduced to basic concepts and walked through tackling common challenges encountered with tricky PDF documents.

    This session is good for: People who are unfamiliar with PDF-to-text tools or would like to learn how these tools can be used for extracting difficult text from images embedded in a PDF document.

    Sheffield

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Year in CAR

    Speakers: Sarah Hutchins of IRE and NICAR; Brett Murphy of USA TODAY Network; Marianne Bouchart of Data Journalism Awards

    What were the big stories of the year? What were the most creative uses of data analysis? See what your colleagues have been up to and pick up some story ideas at the same time. 

    Grand Ballroom I

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Outside Event

    Show where the story is happening with maps in Tableau Public (Hosted by Tableau)

    Speaker: Ben Jones of Tableau Software

    Maps are where it’s at, and with the addition of spatial file support you can viz outside the box too. In this session you will learn different methods for building maps in Tableau Public. We will teach you how to:

    •determine what kind of mapping data you’re looking at

    •take advantage of spatial file support in Tableau Public

    •beautify maps with built-in and Mapbox-supported backgrounds

    •integrate maps into your dashboards

    •utilize design and layout best practices to make sure that your visualization looks polished and professional

    Tableau Public is a free tool for journalists. Some familiarity with the product is recommended; a beginner session earlier in the day should prepare you enough for this session. Laptops will be provided. This is a free training, however you must be registered for the CAR Conference to attend this class.  Limited seats are available.  There may be a few seats available on-site.

    Great America

    11:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Automated content synthesis using neural networks

    Speakers: Nicholas Diakopoulos of Northwestern University; Emily Withrow of Quartz; Ben Zhao of The University of Chicago

    Neural network technology is rapidly advancing to be able to synthesize new content, whether that be videos, images, audio or texts, that is at times almost indistinguishable from human-authored content. This session will provide a state-of-the-art overview of capabilities in this space, as well as discussion and debate about potential application in journalism and challenges that synthesized content poses for tasks like reporting and fact-checking. Attendees of the session will come away with a better understanding of where the technology is headed and how it could affect journalism in the near future. 

    Grand Ballroom III

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Conversation: Learn from my fail

    Speakers: Saurabh Datar of Boston Globe Media; Brent Jones of St. Louis Public Radio; Maggie Lee of independent journalist

    Come talk about times when you fell short in any phase of a project: Did you overlook something when planning? Use the wrong dataset? Analyze it incorrectly? Visualize it terribly? Or did you do everything correctly up until publication, and then fell flat when promoting it or dealing with your audience’s reception? Or maybe you've got a touch of impostor syndrome. We all fail from time to time, so we might as well learn something from it.

    Halsted

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Diversity in the newsroom: Tips on hiring and retaining a diverse workforce

    Speakers: Yolanda Martinez of The Wall Street Journal; Tracie Powell of Democracy Fund; Mark Rochester of Detroit Free Press; Mizell Stewart III of USA TODAY Network

    Nearly everyone agrees that diversity improves coverage, so why are many newsrooms so far behind in hiring and keeping talented journalists of various races and backgrounds? Hear advice and discover key tactics and practices that improve the odds of building and maintaining a diverse staff. See how diverse newsrooms benefit readers, viewers and the entire community.

    Grand Ballroom I

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Excel 3: Pivot tables

    Speaker: Kimbriell Kelly of The Washington Post

    A look at the awesome power of pivot — and how to use it to analyze your dataset in minutes rather than hours.

    This session is good for: Anyone familiar with formulas, sorting and filtering in Excel or another spreadsheet program.

    Michigan/Michigan St

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Finding the story: Open policing data

    Speaker: Cheryl Phillips of Stanford University

    Researchers at Stanford University examined the records from more than 60 million state patrol stops in 20 states between 2011 and 2015. The study found that police stopped black drivers more often than white drivers relative to their share of the driving-age population, but that Hispanic drivers are stopped less often than whites.

    This workshop will help journalists adapt the data and produce stories from it. While the data analysis by Stanford covers 20 states, researchers say they have found consistent trends that speak to national issues and have released data for 30 states. The project is currently collecting data from county and city jurisdictions and expects to process, normalize and release that data as well.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    From climate change to homelessness: Using housing data on any beat

    Speaker: Aaron Terrazas of Zillow

    Housing data can tell rich stories beyond the ups and downs of the real estate market. Join Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas and learn how housing data can enrich and inform stories about culture, policy, inequality and much more. Aaron will demonstrate how to use free, online, local and national housing metrics.

    In this session, you will:

    - Find out what data is freely available and how to download it in a usable format, down to the ZIP code or neighborhood level.

    -  See how housing data can be used to tell stories about the real human impact of policies and major events affecting your readers.

    - Learn about mixing housing data with other data sources to give insights into important conversations around topics like childcare costs and job opportunities.

    Sheffield

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Google Sheets: Advanced scraping using coding

    Speaker: Samantha Sunne of independent journalist

    Earlier, we scraped data with Google Sheets using formulas and some fancy copying and pasting. This time, we're building more flexible and powerful scrapers by actually writing code inside a Google Sheet. We'll use Google Apps Script, similar to JavaScript, to scrape data into Sheets to make it ready to be shared and analyzed.

    This session is good for: Reporters who need techniques to scrape more difficult sites.

    Indiana/Iowa

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Demo

    IPUMS and microdata - Diving deep with Census

    Speaker: Robert Gebeloff of The New York Times

    We'll explore census microdata and, in particular, the wonderful IPUMS site. We'll show how to use microdata, including common pitfalls, and the reasons why it's worth the trouble.

    Clark

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Life after Code: The Computational Journalism Workbench

    Speaker: Jonathan Stray of Columbia Journalism School

    Workbench is a new data journalism tool that combines scraping, cleaning, monitoring and visualization. In this hands-on, no-coding tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the Workbench for several different newsroom tasks. Create embeddable charts that update when new data is released, monitor a variety of data sources for changes and build sharable, reproducible workflows to clean and explore data. No coding necessary, but programmers are welcome to come learn how they can build new modules to empower other journalists.

    *Please note: You must bring your own laptop to participate in this class.

    Grace

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Putting your town under a microscope -- and keeping it there

    Speakers: Kate Howard of Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting; Matt Kiefer of The Chicago Reporter; John Diedrich of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Ever wonder how other journalists manage investigations and the inevitable series of follow-ups that come with them? This panel will discuss practical and technical tips for zooming in to the smallest levels of your beat and monitor every budget line item, census tract or lawsuit you need to report the story -- and how to follow the story to the end.

    Grand Ballroom II

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    The only one in the newsroom

    Speakers: Tim Broderick of Modern Healthcare Magazine; Alexandra Kanik of Louisville Public Media; Lisa Pickoff-White of KQED Public Radio

    When you have a certain skill - like using Excel - you’ll tend to seek out the kinds of stories where you can exercise that skill. But if you’re the only person in the newsroom with that skill, you’re the ONLY PERSON doing those stories. 

    We’ll share our experiences as a lone person helping to grow the skills of their fellow reporters and editors through techniques such as code-clinic hours, co-programming, cheat sheets, tutorials and other (*shudder*) documentation. These practices are useful for staffs large and small, for organizations that want to increase their staffs' data skills or for a lone web developer who just wants to take a week off.

    Addison

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Outside Event

    Finding and telling data stories with Tableau Public (Hosted by Tableau)

    Speaker: Ben Jones of Tableau Software

    Got a dataset and an impending deadline to write a story on it? Find the scoop and convey it with beautiful, interactive visualizations in a serial narrative using Tableau Public. It’s a fast, easy to use, and free tool for journalists. Visualizations will publish using any CMS and no programming is required. 

    We’ll teach you how to:

    •Connect to Excel files and other file types

    •Rapidly explore and analyze datasets with ease

    •Make eye-catching visualizations to share your findings

    •Add interactivity and arrange them in a serial narrative to engage and sustain your audience’s attention

    No previous experience with Tableau is necessary to attend. Laptops will be provided. This is a free training, however you must be registered for the CAR Conference to attend this class.  Limited seats are available.  There may be a few seats available on-site.

    Great America

    1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Panel

    Building happy cross-functional teams

    Speakers: Becca Aaronson of The Texas Tribune; Joe Germuska of Northwestern University Knight Lab; Emily Ingram of Chartbeat

    As more newsrooms adopt a product mindset, the culture clash between traditional editorial workflows and Agile development processes often comes to a head. Learn how tech-forward newsrooms are building cross-functional teams and the lessons they've learned along the way.

    Grand Ballroom I

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Conversation: Recycle dataviz: Invest time in elements you can reuse or update quickly

    Speakers: Jayme Fraser of independent journalist; Kai Teoh of The Spokesman-Review; Rachel Alexander of Salem Reporter

    Ideas for maps, charts and databases that you can build once but use often: school test scores, unemployment rates, building permits, highway deaths, public salaries, calculators showing the effect of tax bill proposals, etc. These can be daily stories you have to write every year, a recurring topic you want to highlight or a standalone accountability page. This discussion is open to all skill levels and job descriptions, especially "lonely coders" who feel like it’s tough to find time for this kind of work. Let's come up with ideas that have a long-term life rather than disappearing once the story is done.

    Halsted

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Demo

    Demo: Security tools for journalists (Security Track)

    Speaker: Jorge Luis Sierra of Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers

    This demo aims to teach journalists with any knowledge base how to identify their unique threat model and develop a security protocol — regarding secure communication, data storage and browsing — accordingly. From addressing low-hanging fruit to mitigating sophisticated threats, the tools discussed in this session will introduce journalists to essential concepts in digital security and privacy.

    This session was planned in collaboration with the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

    Clark

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Panel

    Finding hidden stories in hidden communities (Diversity Track)

    Speakers: Mary Hudetz of The Associated Press; Bernice Yeung of ProPublica; Sarah Cohen of ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism; Robert Schoeffel of Bayerischer Rundfunk

    Don’t settle for “it can’t be done.” Although some undercovered communities might seem a mystery, they don't have to remain that way. This session will discuss how to find and cover hard-to-reach communities such as Native Americans, immigrants and people living in fear of racism and hate. 

    Addison

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    JavaScript 1: Fundamentals and syntax

    Speaker: Annie Daniel of The Texas Tribune

    Functions, "for loops" and objects: They can be confusing at first, but once you master these and other JavaScript coding conventions, you'll be able to build fancy data visualizations and more. In this class, you will learn the basic fundamentals and syntax of the JavaScript programming language. No coding experience is necessary.

    This session is good for: Beginners who want to start building things for the web.

    Lincolnshire

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    Mapping in Excel with ArcGIS maps for Office

    Speakers: Robby Deming of Esri; Chris Vaillancourt of Esri

    Charts and graphs are a great way to start to tell your story, but what happens when you want to go further? With ArcGIS Maps for Office, you can create maps, perform analysis and gain new understanding without ever leaving Excel. Come to this session to learn how you can visualize your data in new ways that will capture your audience’s attention. 

    With this session you will get hands-on experience with ArcGIS Maps for Office and complimentary access to ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Maps for Office so you can continue your visualization journey long after you leave the conference.

    Sheffield

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    Python 1: The fundamentals

    Speakers: Nausheen Husain of Chicago Tribune; Cecilia Reyes of Chicago Tribune

    An introduction to the Python programming language for absolute beginners. This class will cover basic fundamentals and syntax to prepare you for more advanced classes with a focus on data processing and analysis.

    This session is good for: People who are comfortable working with data in spreadsheets or database managers and want to make the leap to programming.

    Indiana/Iowa

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    SQL 1: Exploring data

    Speaker: Helena Bengtsson of Sveriges Television

    Learning to manipulate data is a bit like learning a new language. Actually, it is a language, called structured query language (SQL). This session is an introduction to using SQL to zero in on your data by viewing slices and chunks of it and putting it into a useful order so you can spot the stuff you need to get started toward a story. We'll use SQLite and DB Browser, a free database manager.

    This session is good for: People with some experience working with data in columns and rows, in spreadsheets or database managers.

    Michigan/Michigan St

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    Stats 1: An introduction

    Speaker: Holly Hacker of The Dallas Morning News

    Statisticians need to really understand their data (and so do you!) before they begin running analyses. As a result, statistical software packages such as PSPP and SPSS have many powerful tools to summarize your data. You're going to love them. We'll take a look at the structure of data in PSPP, do data transformations and run some basic statistical tests.

    This session is good for: People who have familiarity with Excel and some database software. We've got a *lot* of ground to cover in this hour.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    What the worst user interface ever can teach you about design (Hosted by the Society for News Design) (Design Track)

    Speaker: Sarah Slobin of Reuters

    You understand the data. You've wrangled the map. You know what the story is. Where does information design come into that process? Design is logic, but like anything else, if no one explains it to you it can be a complete mystery. 

    Just like learning a few key words when you travel to another country, there are a few design principles that can help you think about how to present your data or how to tighten your design for your reader. In this reprise of her popular talk from NICAR17, Sarah Slobin from Quartz will look at the worst design ever and share some ways to look at a user interface. Once you know them these ways of LOOKING, you'll never be able to unsee them.

    *Please note: You must bring your own laptop to participate in this class.

    Grace

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Panel

    Which chart should I use, and why? Information design for the human brain! (Design Track)

    Speakers: Darla Cameron of The Texas Tribune; Anna Flagg of The Marshall Project

    We'll explore how research into the ways people estimate numbers will change how you think about choosing charts to tell your stories. And, no, it doesn't mean everything is a bar chart.We'll also discuss your problem charts and brainstorm improvements.  Bring ideas for hard-to-visualize concepts and data.

    Grand Ballroom II

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Panel

    Who’s who and what’s real on social media

    Speakers: Steve Myers of Nieman Fellow; Molly Young of The Oregonian/OregonLive

    Explore techniques to find witnesses, expert sources, user-generated content and story ideas across social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Learn a workflow to help you figure out whether images and content is real, third-hand or flat-out fake.

    Grand Ballroom III

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Panel

    Beyond the numbers: Turn data into characters in your story

    Speakers: Michael Berens of Thomson Reuters; Louise Kiernan of ProPublica Illinois

    Hear from two master storytellers about their proven approaches to finding real people in data and developing them into powerful characters. They’ll provide tips on how to find certain types of characters in a data-driven enterprise story and advice on what you need to gather to bring those characters to life in print and online.

    Grand Ballroom III

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Conversation: Women in the newsroom (Diversity Track)

    Speaker: Disha Raychaudhuri of NJ Advance Media

    This session will be an off-the-record discussion about being a woman in the newsroom. Some topics we'll bring up will include: Why is it that most of the people graduating from J-Schools are women yet newsrooms are still male-dominated? Why are women less likely to get promoted and feel way more undervalued in their work? Also, why newsrooms are so behind in having decent maternity policies?

    Halsted

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Panel

    Data visualization in the upside down (Sponsored by Mapbox)

    Speakers: Kennedy Elliott of National Geographic; Martin Stabe of Financial Times; Daniele Palumbo of BBC News; Armand Emamdjomeh of The Washington Post

    Does north always have to be at the top of maps? Do timelines always have to run left-to-right? Spurred by the needs of responsive design, many newsrooms have been experimenting with unconventional orientations for data visualizations. This panel will explore how standards and conventions are just standards and conventions, when and why to break them — and when not to.

    Addison

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Demo

    Getting started with StoryMap

    Speaker: Zach Wise of Northwestern University Knight Lab

    This demo will teach storytellers some best practices for telling stories that have a strong location context. StoryMap is not limited to map tiles, we will go over how to use gigapixel images instead of a typical map and also how to use your own custom maps. 

    Clark

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Panel

    Investigating hate when the data isn’t there (Diversity Track)

    Speakers: Duaa Eldeib of ProPublica Illinois; Melissa Lewis of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Nadine Sebai of Capital Public Radio; Ken Schwencke of ProPublica

    How can we report on victims of bias-motived crimes when half of them don’t report the crimes to police, and when they do, police frequently fail to mark them down as such? Come listen to how we’ve done it (or tried to).

    Grand Ballroom II

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    JavaScript 2: Hello D3!

    Speaker: Ashlyn Still of Reuters

    We’ll cover the basics of getting started with D3, even if you’ve never used it before. Then we’ll take several real datasets and use them to create a few basic charts.

    This session is good for: People with a basic grasp of JavaScript syntax who are interested in building data visualizations for the web.

    Lincolnshire

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Overview of data journalism curriculum for universities (Hosted by Tableau)

    Speaker: Cheryl Phillips of Stanford University

    Do you want to start teaching data journalism to university students or do you want to take your current program to a new level? Could your newsroom benefit from helpful tutorials and example files? With the current climate of news, journalistic integrity is more important than ever. Telling stories with data is an effective way to ensure the facts are being shown in a compelling way. Visual analytics bring complex stories to life for readers – a skill the next generation of journalists must be prepared for.

    Join this session to learn more about:

    •The importance of teaching aspiring journalists data literacy

    •The new Introduction to Data Journalism course curriculum, including learning objectives and module components

    •A hands-on walk through of the content and examples

    •The process for accessing the ready-make materials

    Some experience with Tableau Public is recommended. Taking one of the earlier Tableau sessions should suffice. Laptops will be provided. This is a free training, however you must be registered for the CAR Conference to attend this class.  Limited seats are available.  There may be a few seats available on-site.

    Great America

    3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Hands-on

    Python 2: Intro to data analysis using Pandas

    Speaker: Fedor Zarkhin of The Oregonian/OregonLive

    Imagine rolling Excel and MySQL into one tool that also allows you to track your code and share it. That’s Pandas in a nutshell. There’s a lot more you can do with it, of course, but this will be a good start. We’ll learn how to slice and dice our data and extract basic stats. Specifically, we’ll cover loading the data, filtering, sorting, joining and grouping data. 

    This class is good for: People who are comfortable with Excel and are familiar with the basics of SQL and Python.

    Indiana/Iowa

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    QGIS 1: Importing and displaying geographic data

    Speakers: Christine Jeavans of BBC News; John Walton of BBC News

    Not all datasets need to be mapped, but some do! This mapping class is perfect for beginners looking to learn the basics of visualizing geographic data. We'll go over how to find publicly available data, prepare it for mapping, join datasets and use the open-source mapping software, QGIS.

    This session is good for: People who have geographic data in a spreadsheet or file that they would like to plot on a map.

    Sheffield

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Security tools for journalists (Security Track)

    Speaker: J.M. Porup of CSO

    This hands-on class aims to teach journalists with any knowledge base how to identify their unique threat model and develop a security protocol — regarding secure communication, data storage, and browsing — accordingly. From addressing low-hanging fruit to mitigating sophisticated threats, the tools discussed in this session will introduce journalists to essential concepts in digital security and privacy.

    This session is good for: Anyone interested in securing their devices. Bring your own laptop and phone to the workshop.

    This session was planned in collaboration with the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

    Grace

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    SQL 2: Grouping and summing data

    Speaker: Ron Nixon of The Associated Press

    If you know how to write a basic SELECT statement in SQL but are looking to make calculations, then this is the session for you. Learn to count how many times certain records appear in a database, and sum totals across records. These skills can come in handy whether you're covering campaign finance or boating licenses. We'll use SQLite and DB Browser, a free database manager.

    This session will be most useful if: You took “SQL 1: Exploring data” or are familiar with “SELECT” and “WHERE” statements in SQL.

    Michigan/Michigan St

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Stats 2: Linear regression

    Speaker: Jeff Kelly Lowenstein of Grand Valley State University

    Go beyond counting and sorting. Learn how (and when) to measure relationships, level playing fields and make predictions.

    This session is good for: People who took “Stats 1: An introduction” and want to know how to apply what they learned, or are comfortable with summary statistics and PSPP or SPSS and new to stats. Familiarity with spreadsheets and database managers is recommended.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Panel

    Wielding data to investigate police misconduct

    Speakers: Andrew Fan of Invisible Institute; Gina Kaufman of Detroit Free Press; Philip Stinson of Bowling Green State University; MaryJo Webster of Star Tribune

    Learn how to harness data to uncover police misconduct — both on and off the job — in your community, and how to investigate whether the regulatory policies and organizations meant to stop bad behavior are actually working. Panelists will share their experiences fighting for data and building their own databases to watchdog law enforcement, and provide tips for you to do similar work in your community.

    Grand Ballroom I

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Panel

    All charts lie. Some lie more than others

    Speaker: Alberto Cairo of University of Miami

    Most journalists and the public believe that charts, graphs, maps and infographics are “intuitive,” “easy to understand” and perfect for a time when “nobody reads anymore.” They also buy into clichés such as “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This talk will dispel all these myths and, in the process, provide some guidance on how to design better visualizations that tell a more accurate story.

    Grand Ballroom II

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Build a chat bot

    Speaker: Emily Withrow of Quartz

    Learn how to build a chat bot from Emily Withrow, who has been writing, designing and building bots in the Quartz Bot Studio for the past year. She'll show you how to plan your bot, write the interaction model in RiveScript, power the bot with Dexter and get it working in Facebook Messenger or other platforms. 

    *Please note: You must bring your own laptop to participate in this class.

    This session is good for: Anyone. No previous programming experience necessary.

    Grace

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Conversation: More bibles, fewer priests: Tools for running self-managing teams

    Speaker: Brian Boyer of Spirited Media

    A lot of managers see themselves at the center of the team’s universe — the linchpin, making the decisions every day. And that’s a great way to burn out, stifle the growth of your teammates and totally avoid thinking about the important stuff, like the future. So, forget that! Let’s talk about the tools and techniques you can use to make yourself non-essential. (This session is also good for non-managers who have bosses that are making poor choices.)

    Halsted

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Demo

    Datakit: A toolkit for data projects

    Speakers: Angeliki Kastanis of The Associated Press; Serdar Tumgoren of Stanford University

    This session will provide an overview of Datakit, a tool built by The Associated Press to manage the lifecycle of data projects. We’ll cover how we use Datakit to bootstrap project code, share work with colleagues and publish data projects. Attendees will have a chance to try the tool themselves and will learn how to customize Datakit for their own projects or strip it down for parts.

    Clark

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Panel

    Early career straight-talk: A Q&A on all things jobs and internships

    Speakers: Madi Alexander of Bloomberg Government; Aditi Bhandari of ----0000 Institution Not Present 0000----

    Get honest advice and input from journalists who once had the same questions you have now. We’re planning small, mentor-led group discussions on international work, graduate school and fellowships, networking and more. This session is geared toward early-career journalists and students, though anyone of any career level is welcome.

    Addison

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Panel

    Getting started with machine learning for reporting

    Speakers: Peter Aldhous of BuzzFeed News; Chase Davis of Star Tribune; Anthony Pesce of Los Angeles Times; Rachel Shorey of The New York Times

    Many tasks in investigative journalism boil down to classification problems. Is my police department cooking its crime stats by assigning incident reports to the wrong categories? Of the thousands of planes in the air each day, which ones might be involved in government surveillance? How can we identify political ads on Facebook? 

    Drawing on examples including the LA Times' investigation into the misclassification of violent crimes by the LAPD, BuzzFeed News' identification of spy planes operating in U.S. airspace, and ProPublica's tracking of political ads on Facebook, we'll consider practical questions like: I'm not a data scientist, I'm a reporter. What's in it for me? What type of story or reporting task can machine learning help with? When is machine learning *not* the answer? Which algorithm should I choose? How can I structure my data to give the algorithm more to work with?

     

    Grand Ballroom I

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    JavaScript 3: Easy, breezy, beautiful D3 maps

    Speakers: Carla Astudillo of NJ Advance Media; Erin Petenko of NJ Advance Media

    Learn how to create an easy D3 map by getting shapefiles ready into nice, reusable TopoJSON, making it into a nice map and connecting it to your data. You can then have these maps ready for future use by just switching out a few variables.

    This session is good for: People who have a basic grasp of JavaScript syntax and have been exposed to the D3 library at some point.

    Lincolnshire

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Python 3: Data cleaning and visualization with Pandas and Matplotlib

    Speaker: Andrea Suozzo of Seven Days

    Now that you’ve got a handle on Pandas, it’s time to jump into some advanced topics. You know how to import a dataset, but what happens when you load the data and nothing looks right? We’ll walk through cleaning up a dirty dataset with Pandas. Then we’ll jump into the fun part: visualizing the data you’ve analyzed with Matplotlib.

    This session is good for: People who can load and perform basic summary and grouping functions in Pandas.

    Indiana/Iowa

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    QGIS 2: Building your first map

    Speaker: Alexandra Kanik of Louisville Public Media

    Dive even deeper into data mapping in this continuation of QGIS 1. This class will cover joining data tables to maps, aggregating point data for easier analysis and preparing geographic data for display online. It is strongly recommended that you take QGIS I immediately preceding this session, but it is not a strict requirement.

    This session is good for: People who have taken QGIS 1: Importing and displaying geographic data, or are already familiar with the basics of QGIS.

    Sheffield

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    SQL 3: Joining tables

    Speaker: Elizabeth Lucas of Kaiser Health News

    Learn how to join tables, matching information from one file to another. We'll use SQLite and DB Browser, a free database manager.

    This session is good for: People who are familiar with counting, summing or “GROUP BY” in SQL and want to add another tool to their SQL skill set.

    Michigan/Michigan St

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Stats 3: Logistic regression (in PSPP)

    Speaker: John Perry of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Linear regression helps you find relationships between two or more variables, but when an outcome has only two possibilities, you need a different tool. That, my friends, is where logistic regression comes in.

    This session will be taught in PSPP and is good for: People who took “Stats: An introduction” or are comfortable with summary statistics and PSPP or SPSS. Familiarity with spreadsheets and database managers is recommended.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Special Event

    Welcome reception

    Kick off the conference with a welcome reception on Thursday night beginning at 6 p.m. Meet up with friends you have not seen since last year and welcome new attendees. Each attendee will receive one drink ticket for beer, wine, soda or bottled water.

    Grand Ballroom III

    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

  • Special Event

    Kane/McHenry

    7:30 am - 8:45 am

  • Special Event

    CAR Conference Registration (Friday)

    CAR Conference registration will be located on the 7th Floor of the Chicago Marriott Downtown Mag Mile. 

    7th Floor Registration

    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Special Event

    CAR Conference Sales (Friday)

    Stop by the CAR Conference sales table and browse our merchandise, including the IRE bookstore's most popular titles and shirts with the winning design from the T-shirt contest.

    7th Floor Foyer

    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Hands-on

    First Python Notebook: Rapid data analysis in the newsroom (beginner/intermediate) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Ben Welsh of Los Angeles Times; James Gordon of Reynolds Journalism Institute; Cheryl Phillips of Stanford University

    Ben Welsh, James Gordon and Cheryl Phillips teach data analysis with Python. Their 6-hour, hands-on tutorial will guide you through an investigation of money in politics.

    You will learn:

    1) Just enough Python to execute an analysis with the powerful pandas data analysis library, one of the most popular open-source tools for working with large data files.

    2) How to record, remix and republish your work using the Jupyter Notebook, a browser-based tool emerging as the standard for reproducible research in the sciences.

    3) Most important of all, how these tools increase the speed and veracity of your journalism.

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

    Workshop prerequisites: If you've tried Python once or twice, have good attitude and know how to take a few code crashes in stride, you are qualified for this class.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Great America

    9:00 am - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    How to find stories in data through visualization (intermediate) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Alberto Cairo of University of Miami; Mark Hansen of Columbia Journalism School; Olga Pierce of University of Nebraska - Lincoln; Rachael Tatman of Kaggle

    Working with data is a kind of interview - it is a complex back-and-forth, drawing out the expressiveness of data. The process is often visual, depending heavily on a sequence of graphical displays, "visualizations." This three-hour workshop will focus on the concepts and skills you need to use data visualization effectively as part of your reporting practice - to conduct a data interview. You will learn how to spot trends, highlight changes over time, identify outliers, make meaningful comparisons, and describe important patterns in your data - all through the effective use of visualization strategies. This class will be based in the R language, and distributed through Jupyter notebooks. These pre-built examples can later be customized to suit your own projects when you return to your newsroom.

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Attendees must bring a laptop and charger to the training.

    Workshop prerequisites: You should be comfortable working with data and not be scared of code, though no previous coding experience is necessary.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Grace

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Beyond 1M rows: Using and joining large datasets in Excel

    Speakers: Joseph Chirilov of Microsoft; Leo Zhao of Microsoft; Callie Neylan of Microsoft

    *Please note: This session will be a demo only.

    The old restriction of 1 million rows in Excel no longer applies. Get and Transform in Office 2016 allows you to connect to large data sources, query them and even merge tables straight from your spreadsheet. We will be looking at visualizing this data in Excel with Pivot Charts.

    Indiana/Iowa

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Building and telling a bulletproof data story

    Speakers: Sandhya Kambhampati of Los Angeles Times; Tisha Thompson of ESPN

    Whether you’re the lone data-cruncher in your organization or the manager of a big-time newsroom, we’re going to share techniques everyone can use to ensure they’ve got bulletproof data. We will first go over questions everyone should ask to avoid dangerous mistakes and assumptions, and then give tips on how to incorporate that data into a compelling story.

    Grand Ballroom II

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Conversation: Journalists of color in the newsroom (Diversity Track)

    Speaker: Disha Raychaudhuri of NJ Advance Media

    Join an honest, off-the-record discussion on the challenges of being a journalist of color in newsrooms, which are mostly dominated by white people. And how can we, as JOCs, try to fix it from the inside?

    Halsted

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Demo

    Digging through the web

    Speaker: Gary Price of INFOdocket

    In this fast-paced session, you'll learn a variety of research techniques and free resources. From backgrounding a person to retrieving an archived multimedia interview, to one-click web scraping, this session will give you tools you can put to use immediately.

     

    Clark

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Special Event

    Exhibitor & Recruiter Hours (Friday)

    Be sure to stop by the 7th floor and visit with the exhibitors at this year's CAR conference. Details on specific exhibitors can be found by clicking on the exhibitors icon.

    7th Floor Foyer

    9:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Panel

    How to find reporting leads and publishable facts in text data you already have

    Speakers: Jeff Ernsthausen of ProPublica; Jeremy Merrill of Quartz; Youyou Zhou of Quartz

    Let's discuss some published projects that have extracted useful, newsy information from big piles of text data — so you can use similar techniques. We'll walk you through real-world examples of every step of the process: gathering text data, dividing it into chunks the computer can understand, analyzing it with fancy or simple techniques and the challenges you'll face in analyzing, bulletproofing and presenting what you find. This session isn't quite a hands-on, but the panelists will discuss the tools, practical techniques and tricks they used to transform giant piles of text into publishable insights and reporting leads. These techniques are often called "natural language processing," but we're going to keep it practical: no obscure mathematical formulas, guaranteed!

    Grand Ballroom III

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    MapCamp: QGIS (intermediate) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: David Herzog of IRE and NICAR; Jennifer LaFleur of Investigative Reporting Workshop

    Learn how to uncover interesting news stories by mapping data with geographic information system (GIS) software during our intensive mini-boot camp.

    IRE and NICAR trainers conduct this hands-on training using the latest version of QGIS, open source-software that runs on all platforms. We will look at noteworthy stories that have used mapping and show you how to uncover stories using census and other data. You’ll learn how to display data geographically; import and query data; geocode to merge databases with addresses into maps. In addition, we'll provide you with our boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference. 

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

    Workshop prerequisites: Participants should have basic knowledge in using relational database programs such as Microsoft Access, MySQL or SQLite.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Sheffield

    9:00 am - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    PyCAR (cont'd) *pre-registered attendees only

    This is a continuation of PyCAR from Thursday, March 8. 

    Lincolnshire

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Python 1: The fundamentals (repeat session)

    Speaker: Michelle Minkoff of The Associated Press

    An introduction to the Python programming language for absolute beginners. This class will cover basic fundamentals and syntax to prepare you for more advanced classes with a focus on data processing and analysis.

    This session is good for: People who are comfortable working with data in spreadsheets or database managers and want to make the leap to programming.

    Purdue/Wisconsin

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    R 1: Intro to R and RStudio

    Speaker: Ronald Campbell of NBC Owned Television Stations

    Jump into statistics with R, the powerful open-source programming language. In this class we’ll cover R fundamentals while exploring Cook County and Chicago through Census data.

    This session is good for: People with a basic understanding of code who are ready to go beyond Excel.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Securing data and communications (Security Track)

    Speakers: Camille Fassett of Freedom of the Press Foundation; Martin Shelton of Independent; Jorge Luis Sierra of Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers

    Are your sources’ identities at risk? Are you handling sensitive information? Do you need to protect your data from digital espionage? Do you need to encrypt your communication with editors and sources? Are you under technical attack? This session will introduce you to a digital security toolbox that can help you store, send and receive sensitive information. 

    This session was planned in collaboration with the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

    Grand Ballroom I

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Unleash the data: Tools and tricks for taming PDFs (repeat session)

    Speaker: Kevin Crowe of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    This class will cover basic approaches for getting text out of PDF documents using powerful and freely available tools. Participants will be introduced to basic concepts and walked through tackling common challenges encountered with tricky PDF documents.

    This session is good for: People who are unfamiliar with PDF-to-text tools or would like to learn how these tools can be used for extracting difficult text from images embedded in a PDF document.

     

    Michigan/Michigan St

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Wagging the dog: Using campaign finance data to cover the midterm elections (Election/Politics Track)

    Speakers: Denise Roth Barber of National Institute on Money in State Politics; Christopher Schnaars of USA TODAY Network; Ken Schwencke of ProPublica

    The 2018 midterm elections are shaping up to be epic battles at the national and state levels. Learn how to search and analyze state and national campaign finance data, follow money trails and develop stories that go beyond the numbers.

    Addison

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Demo

    30/60: 30 tools for storytelling in 60 minutes

    Speaker: Jeremy Caplan of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

    Buckle up for a fast-paced tour through today’s most useful digital tools for journalists. This session will guide you through a carefully curated list of apps, sites, services and resources, mostly free. You’ll see examples of the tools in action while learning what they do, how they’re useful and why and when to use them. Join in to update your toolkit and take away a guide to share with colleagues and friends.

    Clark

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Advanced SQL

    Speaker: Jennifer Peebles of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    If you feel comfortable with the Structured Query Language basics that IRE teaches in its boot camps — SELECT, FROM, WHERE, GROUP BY — but are ready to see what else SQL can do, this session is for you. We will cover more advanced ways of manipulating and questioning data, such as UPDATE queries, joins, writing sub-queries and other neat tricks. We will use SQLite in the class. 

    This session will be most helpful if: You are comfortable with counting and summing in SQL.

    Purdue/Wisconsin

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Bring your investigative reporting to life using animation and comics

    Speakers: Susie Cagle of ProPublica; Ranjani Chakraborty of Vox Media; Hilke Schellmann of The Wall Street Journal

    Got court transcripts of a particular riveting moment during a trial or first-hand accounts of abuse in a nursing home? This panel will show you new ways animation and comics can bring documents and important moments of your investigation that happened behind closed doors to life. Comics and animation can also help newsrooms attract a younger audience, who are naturally drawn to visual journalism and love to share exceptional work on social media. We will show how illustrations and motion graphics work and what best practices visual journalists have developed in their newsrooms. We will also tackle ethical pitfalls. And you will learn what you need to do to produce your own illustrations and explainer videos. This session requires no prior knowledge. 

    Addison

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    CARwash: Data cleaning in Excel

    Speaker: Mark Nichols of USA TODAY Network

    Dirty data lurk everywhere: in text files, spreadsheets, databases and PDFs. We'll walk you through some examples of the most common types of dirty data, point out telltale signs of data illness and explain how you can whip data into shape using some simple tools and methods.

    This session is good for: People with some experience working with data in columns and rows, in spreadsheets or database managers.

    Michigan/Michigan St

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Conversation: Starting a new investigative team with a data focus

    Speakers: Jill Riepenhoff of InvestigateTV; Lee Zurik of WVUE-New Orleans

    Learn from our mistakes. Raycom Media created a brand-new national investigative team with a focus on data. Oh, and we are located in SD, Ohio and New Orleans AND hiring!

    Halsted

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Evolving forms and the future of live coverage

    Speakers: Hamilton Boardman of The New York Times; Alastair Coote of Guardian Mobile Lab; Tiff Fehr of The New York Times; Tyler Fisher of Temple University

    Breaking news formats have evolved and so have reader devices and preferences. Both The New York Times and The Guardian — through its Mobile Innovation Lab — have broadened their breaking news formats and experimented with new forms. In this session, we’ll review our current story forms and discuss the pros and cons, then share lessons from early experiments from the future of live coverage.

    Grand Ballroom III

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Hitchhikers guide to APIs

    Speaker: David Eads of ProPublica Illinois

    In this hands-on session, you will use Postman to interrogate a web API. David Eads of ProPublica Illinois will guide you through the process of constructing a magic URL that will tell you how Chicago’s violent crime in 2016 compares to other years.

    This session is good for: Beginners. If you’ve ever thought about what goes on in the location bar of your browser, have an eye for patterns, or want better ways to answer your reporting questions, you’ll have a blast.

    Indiana/Iowa

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Misinformation on social media: Can technology save us?

    Speaker: Filippo Menczer of Indiana University

    As social media networks become major channels for the diffusion of news and information, they are also increasingly targeted for abuse and manipulation. This talk overviews ongoing efforts in network analytics, data mining, and modeling to understand the spread of misinformation online and offline. Filippo Menczer of Indiana University will present machine learning methods to detect astroturf and social bots, as well as theoretical models to study how fake news and fact-checking compete for our collective attention. These efforts will be framed by a case study in which, ironically, his own research became the target of a coordinated disinformation campaign.

    This work was conducted with collaborators at the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research (cnets.indiana.edu) and the Indiana University Network Science Institute (iuni.iu.edu). This research is supported by the National Science Foundation, McDonnell Foundation, Democracy Fund and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of these funding agencies.

    Grand Ballroom II

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    R 2: Data analysis and plotting in R

    Speaker: Peter Aldhous of BuzzFeed News

    We'll use the tidyverse packages dplyr and ggplot2, learning how to sort, filter, group, summarize, join, and visualize to identify trends in your data. If you want to combine SQL-like analysis and charting in a single pipeline, this session is for you. 

    This session is good for: People who have worked with data operations in SQL or Excel and would like to do the same in R.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Risky research: Investigating on the deep web (Security Track)

    Speakers: Neena Kapur of The New York Times; Margot Williams of The Intercept; Kevin Collier of BuzzFeed News

    Doing research for in-depth investigations can be dicey, digitally-speaking. Learn how to compartmentalize your internet-based research while keeping your identity private, your computer clean and your data safe.

    This session was planned in collaboration with the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

    Grand Ballroom I

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Conversation: Collaboratives and cooperatives

    Speaker: Forest Gregg of DataMade

    If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. If we work together, we can save money and take on more ambitious projects, but cooperation with competitors is hard. In this conversation, we will share experiences of folks who have attempted to build cooperative data efforts amongst organizations — what has worked and what hasn't.

    Halsted

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Data journalism that breaks the filter bubble

    Speakers: Anjeanette Damon of Reno Gazette-Journal; Eva Constantaras of Internews; Adriana Gallardo of ProPublica

    Too often, data journalism falls into the trap of preaching to the converted — informing elite, liberal, white audiences on issues they already understand pretty well. This panel will look at three case studies of how journalists harnessed data, innovative storytelling and audience engagement to expose injustices faced by marginalized communities and bring those communities into the policy debate. 

    Grand Ballroom II

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Demystifying data science

    Speaker: Hadley Wickham of RStudio

    Sometimes, you'll hear data journalism described as magic, when in reality, it can be hard work. RStudio's Hadley Wickham talks about overcoming some of the challenges in working with data, how simple it can be to start working with data in your stories and how you can be a better data journalist and data scientist.

    Grand Ballroom III

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Finding the story: Immigration

    Speaker: Angilee Shah of Public Radio International

    There are some 320 million people in the U.S., and 43 million of them were born abroad. About 11 million people are undocumented and over 5.1 million children have at least one undocumented parent. 860,000 people have applied for temporary legal status because they were brought to the U.S. without proper documentation as children. Over 500,000 people are waiting for their cases to be heard in immigration courts. Some 270,000 people in the U.S. came as refugees. On any given day, about 40,000 people are in immigration detention.

    The numbers surrounding immigration can be daunting and hard to track down. In this session, we’ll go through some of the most useful datasets available and talk about some of the data that’s a bit tougher to find. We’ll talk about how to use that data to get leads on local and national stories — and what to do when the government is not providing data about its immigration actions.

    This session is good for: Anyone. No technical skills are needed for this workshop, though a little bit of comfort with math and some perseverance will help. 

    Indiana/Iowa

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Demo

    Foreign influence in the Trump era (Election/Politics Track)

    Speaker: Sarah Bryner of Center for Responsive Politics

    The Center for Responsive Politics will share its new and improved tools for tracking foreign lobbying. We’ll describe the best way to review the complicated web of foreign influence, including data on lobbying activities, donations from Russian-American citizens and dark money groups with foreign ties 

     

    Clark

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Injustice in the drug world: Investigating Big Pharma, rehab scams and racial bias in the courts

    Speakers: Michael Braga of GateHouse Media; Teri Sforza of The Orange County Register; Ed Silverman of STAT

    Drug companies are charging outrageous, eye-popping prices for lifesaving drugs: $475,000 for a cure to childhood leukemia, $202,000 for cystic fibrosis medicine, $35,000 to tame muscular dystrophy. Around the world, governments are wrestling with how to respond. Meanwhile in Southern California, a different kind of dilemma is plaguing the “Rehab Riviera.” Treatment facilities are recruiting addicts from across the country, bilking their insurance companies and spitting them back into the streets without an ounce of cure. And in Florida, racial bias reigns in the war on drugs. Black defendants get harsher punishment for drug crimes than their white counterparts and far less access to treatment for their addictions. See how reporters used data and more traditional skills to cover these stories. Learn about the hidden dangers in data and where to look for stories of your own.

    Grand Ballroom I

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Inside the sausage factory: An inside look at government data making

    Speakers: Josh Kalov of Kalov Strategies LLC; Hunter Owens of Policy Club; Rebecca Williams of White House OMB OFCIO

    What lives behind the records request? This session will bring together three experts in government data collection and use to discuss how governments collect, use and distribute data.  

    Each of the three panelists has extensive experience collecting and using data at either the local, state or federal level. With that, they will discuss why data is collected, how to track down data, what formats are used and other nuances of the governmental data making process. 

    Addison

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    OpenRefine

    Speaker: Sarah Ryley of The Trace

    We'll go over how to use OpenRefine for common data cleaning problems, such as parsing and cleaning names and addresses, combining and breaking apart fields and more as time allows.

    This session is good for: People with at least some Excel experience.

    Purdue/Wisconsin

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    R 3: Gathering and cleaning data in R

    Speaker: Caelainn Barr of The Guardian

    Learn how to use R to scrape data from web pages, access APIs and transform the results into usable data. This session will also focus on how to clean and structure the data you've gathered in preparation for analysis using tidyverse packages.

    This session is good for: People who have used R and have a basic understanding of how to retrieve data from APIs.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Stats 2: Linear regression (repeat session)

    Speaker: Ryan McNeill of Reuters

    Go beyond counting and sorting. Learn how (and when) to measure relationships, level playing fields and make predictions.

    This session is good for: People who took “Stats 1: An introduction” and want to know how to apply what they learned, or are comfortable with summary statistics and PSPP or SPSS and new to stats. Familiarity with spreadsheets and database managers is recommended.

    Michigan/Michigan St

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Trust and technology: Tools to battle misinformation and build engagement (Sponsored by Knight Foundation)

    Speakers: Hamdan Azhar of PRISMOJI; Ed Bice of Meedan; Cathy Deng of independent journalist; Cameron Hickey of PBS; Darryl Holliday of City Bureau

    Misinformation continues to spread and trust is declining. But there are new tools and dynamic projects that are bringing fresh vision to these issues. A year ago, an open call was launched for ideas to address concerns about the spread of misinformation. The winning prototypes that emerged are pushing to improve engagement, strengthen media literacy and ensure accuracy. 

     

    Armitage/Belmont

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Special Event

    Media lawyers brown-bag

    Speakers: Maggie Mulvihill of Boston University; Matt Topic of Loevy & Loevy; Katie Townsend of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

    During the media lawyers brown-bag, between 12:45 and 1:45 p.m. on Friday, March 9, bring your lunch and your questions for a personal discussion with a panel of media lawyers and FOIA-savvy speakers. We'll provide drinks and dessert.

    Addison

    12:45 pm - 1:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Digging into data for stories: A crash course (beginner) *pre-registered attendees only

    **Speakers are IRE/NICAR Staff

    Kickstart your data skills with IRE's original mini-boot camp. This series of hands-on classes will introduce you to spreadsheets and databases with IRE's proven techniques. IRE's experienced trainers will walk you through sorting, calculating and interviewing data. You'll come away with a solid base for using data analysis in your own newsroom. In addition, we'll provide you with our boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference. 

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

    Workshop prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this workshop and beginners are welcome. This workshop is good for those wanting to get started analyzing data for stories.

    Workshop times are Friday, March 9, 2:15pm - 4:30pm; Saturday, March 10, 2:15pm - 5:45pm; Sunday, March 11, 9:00am - 12:30pm. Registration for this session reserves your seat for all days of this workshop and attendees are expected to attend all sessions to complete the workshop.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Michigan/Michigan St & Purdue/Wisconsin

    2:15 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Panel

    2,000+ data points on 7,000+ colleges: How to make stories & sense of the College Scorecard (Sponsored by Lumina Foundation)

    Speakers: Sarah Butrymowicz of The Hechinger Report; Kim Clark of Education Writers Association; Andrew Kreighbaum of Inside Higher Ed

    The College Scorecard, conceived in response to the negative effects of high-profile college rankings, provided the public for the first time with information about the earnings of graduates who attended a school as well as their typical student loan debt and repayment rates. A vast federal database underlies the tool, including fields breaking down outcomes for socioeconomic and demographic groups at each school. This panel will walk through what’s what in the database, as well as how to clean it, analyze it and turn it into stories, from quick hits to in-depth projects.

    Addison

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Conversation: Journalism residency fellowships

    Speakers: Soo Oh of The Wall Street Journal; James Thomas of The New York Times; Tyler Dukes of WRAL-Raleigh

    Imagine taking time off from the newsroom to spend a fully paid academic year at a university. While you're there, you join your cohort of other journalists in auditing college classes, meeting with news industry leaders and learning from each other. The opportunities that arise from access to a university and time out of the news cycle can transform the way you approach your work and the journalism industry.

    This session is geared toward journalists who are wondering whether a fellowship is right for them right now, what the application process is like and what kinds of experiences fellowships offer. Journalists who have done residency fellowships are encouraged to join and share their experiences.

     

    Halsted

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    GitHub for journalists (repeat session)

    Speakers: Kendall Taggart of BuzzFeed News; John Templon of BuzzFeed News

    We'll cover Github's basics features  — repositories, commits, branches, pull requests and issues — using a recent data-driven story as a case study. The goal is for you to leave the class and be able to use GitHub on your own for your next story.

    Please note: You will need to bring your own laptop to participate in this class. You will also need to have created an account at GitHub.com and install GitHub Desktop prior to the class

    This session is good for: Journalists who want to collaborate on data analyses, back up their work and share their methodology with (nerdy) readers.

    Grace

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    Intro to D3 (Hosted by the Society for News Design) (Design Track)

    Speakers: Darla Cameron of The Texas Tribune; John Muyskens of The Washington Post

    We’ll cover the basics of getting started with D3, even if you’ve never used it before. Then we’ll take several real datasets and use them to create a few basic charts.

    This session is good for: Anyone interested in D3 and design.

    Lincolnshire

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Demo

    Life after FactFinder

    Speakers: Ronald Campbell of NBC Owned Television Stations; Paul Overberg of The Wall Street Journal; Ally Burleson-Gibson of U.S. Census Bureau

    Just when you had finally learned American FactFinder’s many foibles, the Census Bureau is shutting the site down. We’ll introduce you to its successor, data.census.gov, take you on a test drive and dish some tricks and secrets we’ve discovered. The new site will become the main source for census information in June.

    Clark

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    R: Statistics

    Speaker: Steve Reilly of USA TODAY Network

    Learn how to use R to spot trends and identify relationships in data using social science theories and methods. In this session, we will use R for statistical significance tests, cross-tabulations and linear regression.

    This session is good for: Anyone who is comfortable working with spreadsheets and database managers and wants to learn how to do basic statistical analysis. Some experience with R will be helpful.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    Regular expressions for the rest of us

    Speaker: Amanda Hickman of Factful

    By the end of this class, this expression -- ^[A-Za-z0-9._-]+@[[A-Za-z0-9.-]+$ -- will actually make sense to you.

    This session is good for: People who want to learn how to conduct advanced searches on their text files using regular expressions.

    Indiana/Iowa

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Panel

    Super session: Free Google tools for data analysis and visualization

    Speaker: Marco Tulio Pires of Google

    Use this super session (1 hour and 45 minutes) to dive deeper into free Google tools for your data-driven reporting. Learn the latest tricks and tips for tools such as Google Sheets and Google Maps, and also new tools like Cloud Data Studio and Cloud Dataprep. You'll leave equipped with new skills you can put to work the moment you return to the newsroom or classroom. No previous knowledge required!

    Grand Ballroom I

    2:15 pm - 4:15 pm

  • Panel

    Super session: How emerging technologies can aid your storytelling

    Speakers: Padraic Cassidy of Reuters; Marc Lavallee of The New York Times; Simon Rogers of Google; Sanette Tanaka Sloan of Vox Media; Emily Withrow of Quartz

    These days, staying up to date on new tools and separating reality from science fiction can feel like a full-time job… on top of everything else we have to do. In a series of lightning talk-style presentations, we will walk through what emerging tools we’re using and excited about, why it’s worth making the case for experimentation, even in a small newsroom, and how to incorporate new tools into your workflow, your newsroom and your user experience.

    Grand Ballroom III

    2:15 pm - 4:15 pm

  • Panel

    Super session: Investigating racial inequality (Diversity Track)

    Speakers: Teresa Cordova of University of Illinois - Chicago; Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times Magazine; Ron Nixon of The Associated Press; Susan Richardson of The Center for Public Integrity

    This super session (1 hour and 45 minutes) will provide a roadmap to investigating inequality, with relevant data sets and story ideas for any community and any platform. Hear from leading experts on emerging topics and trends, with practical advice for producing stories with impact. Learn how to frame stories in the proper historical context and find key sources to breathe life into your data findings.

    Grand Ballroom II

    2:15 pm - 4:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    CAR throwback

    Speakers: Jennifer LaFleur of Investigative Reporting Workshop; Cheryl Phillips of Stanford University; Aron Pilhofer of Temple University

    Let's party like it's 1998! Jennifer LaFleur, Cheryl Phillips and Aron Pilhofer take us through a time warp and teach data journalism as it was done in the 1990s. Boot up Windows ’98, crank up FoxPro 2.6 and let’s get on Al Gore’s Information Superhighway. Expect classic NICAR datasets, dated references and lame jokes. Along with the history lesson, they will provide some of the same data integrity tips that are vital to data journalism.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Conversation: Meet the authors

    Speakers: Hadley Wickham of RStudio; Anthony DeBarros of The Wall Street Journal; Alberto Cairo of University of Miami

    Join Alberto Cairo, Anthony DeBarros and Hadley Wickham for an informal author meet and greet.

    Halsted

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Panel

    Game on: Covering the multibillion-dollar sports industry

    Speakers: Jill Riepenhoff of InvestigateTV; Christopher Schnaars of USA TODAY Network; Jodi Upton of Syracuse University

    From kid leagues to college, lots of money and shifting rules make the playing field tough for anyone trying to uncover the rougher side of sports. Little League organizations have virtually no oversight of their finances or rules. High school athletic associations are nonprofit groups that lord over millions of teenage athletes and can loft hefty punishments against students, most of whom never will play in college. And at colleges, TV money has tripled athletics revenue, which has warped spending at a lot of schools, enriching coaches and marketing agencies alike. 

    But name and likeness lawsuits, helmet safety issues, Title IX lawsuits, player pay and other issues have started demanding a piece of that money. At the same time, bribery scandals, academic fraud, sexual assault and other problems can make you wonder if anyone’s really in charge. Here's what you need to know about the changing landscape and where to find documents and data to help uncover these important local sports stories.

    Addison

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Intermediate D3 (Hosted by the Society for News Design) (Design Track)

    Speakers: John Muyskens of The Washington Post; Denise Lu of The New York Times

    We will build on D3.js basics by exploring more complex chart forms, covering functions for fetching and manipulating data, and introducing transitions and interaction. We will write working code together and break down how some of our favorite examples of D3 charts work.

    This session is good for: People who have some experience with D3.

    Lincolnshire

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    MySQL

    Speaker: Jack Gillum of ProPublica

    Plenty of data these days comes in large or relational tables that require a good database manager, beyond what Excel and even Access can offer. MySQL is a free, powerful and popular open-source tool, and with it you can transform and analyze almost any data set. In this class, we will introduce you to MySQL and how it works. Please note that we cannot help you install it here.

    This session is good for: People with some experience working with data in columns and rows and who are familiar with SQL.

    Indiana/Iowa

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Demo

    Tips for harnessing new IRS nonprofit data

    Speakers: Andrea Fuller of The Wall Street Journal; Todd Wallack of The Boston Globe

    Did you know the IRS recently started uploading most nonprofits' annual financial filings to the web in electronic format? We'll give you an overview of how to download the filings and extract key fields into a database. We'll also cover some of the tricks and pitfalls in working with the new IRS data.

    This session will be most useful if: You are either familiar with basic programming or can track down a programmer later to help.

    Clark

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    User testing: Gathering insight to make better stories (Hosted by the Society for News Design) (Design Track)

    Speaker: Clarisa Diaz of WNYC - New York Public Radio

    Is your story clear? Do people see that search field? Does that button work the way you think it does? Find out how to answer these questions by talking to a few outside people. It’s easy, it’s cheap and it works. Bonus: Bring a project you’re working on and learn how to test it.

    *Please note: You must bring your own laptop to participate in this class.

    Grace

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Special Event

    Lightning Talks (Sponsored by the Knight Foundation)

    Speaker: Sandhya Kambhampati of Los Angeles Times

    Sometimes you don't need 45 minutes to explain a useful technique or interesting resource. Join your colleagues for a session of short (5-minute) talks about doing CAR, Web development or other related topics. 

    The talks will be:

    1. Sensor Journalism in the Age of Trump’s EPA -- Kelly Calagna
    2. HELLO WORLD: How the English language failed international data journalism -- Jonathan Soma
    3. Good Copy Editors Make Good Data Journalists  -- Justin Myers
    4. We Need Multiple Career Paths for News Nerds -- Matt Dempsey
    5. Immigrants working in the news industry -- Kai Teoh
    6. The news nerd guide to forming a union -- Jon Schleuss
    7. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst -- Alexandra Kanik
    8. I can’t believe it’s not georeferenced! How we made a scrolly eclipse map with rubber bands, screenshots and math. -- Denise Lu
    9. Real Talk: Alcohol, Journalism and What I Did About It -- Rachel Alexander
    10. I designed and built a dining room table; here's what it taught me about data -- Steven Rich

     

    Grand Ballroom I & II

    4:45 pm - 6:00 pm

  • Special Event

    Philip Meyer Award Presentation

    The presentation of the 2017 Philip Meyer Journalism Awards will take place on Friday at the 2018 CAR Conference in Chicago. The awards recognize the best uses of social research methods in journalism and are named in honor of Philip Meyer, author of “Precision Journalism” and retired Knight Chair in Journalism and UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communications. 

    Three awards are given annually — a first, second and third place — to recognize the best work using techniques that are part of precision journalism, computer-assisted reporting and social science research. The awards are: $500 for first, $300 for second, and $200 for third.

    Grand Ballroom I & II

    6:00 pm - 6:15 pm

  • Special Event

    Philip Meyer Award Reception

    Join fellow CAR attendees in celebrating the Philip Meyer Award Winners at a reception Friday night with light hor d'oeuvres and a cash bar beginning at 6:15 p.m. in Salon III.

    Grand Ballroom III

    6:15 pm - 7:30 pm

  • Special Event

    CAR Conference Registration (Saturday)

    CAR Conference registration will be located on the 7th Floor of the Chicago Marriott Downtown Mag Mile. 

    7th Floor Registration

    8:30 am - 6:00 pm

  • Special Event

    CAR Conference Sales (Saturday)

    Stop by the CAR Conference sales table and browse our merchandise, including the IRE bookstore's most popular titles and shirts with the winning design from the T-shirt contest.

    7th Floor Foyer

    8:30 am - 6:00 pm

  • Panel

    The IRE services you don't know about

    Speakers: Lauren Grandestaff of IRE and NICAR; Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR

    You've entered IRE contests, you've attended trainings, you're at this conference. But, did you know that you can hire IRE to do research for your stories? Did you know that the NICAR Data Library staff can help you clean data and analyze it for you? Learn more about everything IRE does for you.

    Addison

    8:30 am - 8:50 am

  • Hands-on

    First graphics app (intermediate) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Dana Amihere of KPCC - 89.3; Armand Emamdjomeh of The Washington Post; Ben Welsh of Los Angeles Times

    This six-hour mini-boot camp will walk you through the process of building a standalone story from a dataset. You will get hands-on experience in every stage of the development process, writing JavaScript, HTML and CSS using the cutting-edge tools favored by graphics departments at America's largest news organizations. You won't stop until you've deployed a working application onto the World Wide Web.

    Your teachers will be Ben Welsh, data editor at The Los Angeles Times; Armand Emamdjomeh, graphics reporter at The Washington Post; and Dana Amihere, interactive editor at The Dallas Morning News.

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

    Workshop prerequisites: If you have a good attitude and know how to take a few code crashes in stride, you are qualified for this class.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Indiana/Iowa

    9:00 am - 5:45 pm

  • Panel

    Algorithmic accountability

    Speakers: Robert Arthur of independent journalist; Robert Brauneis of The George Washington University; Nicholas Diakopoulos of Northwestern University; Karrie Karahalios of University of Illinois

    Algorithms are increasingly used throughout the public and private sectors, making decisions that impact people’s lives in myriad ways. Algorithmic accountability reporting is an emerging set of methods for investigating how algorithms exert influence and power in society. In this session we’ll detail concrete investigations in this domain and discuss strategies, methods and techniques for pursuing algorithmic accountability reporting.

    Grand Ballroom III

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Conversation: Security guidelines for your newsroom (Security Track)

    Speakers: Kevin Collier of BuzzFeed News; Rachel Jackson of Transparentem

    How do the top newsrooms tackle digital security? What are the best practices for protecting news teams, even those with shoestring budgets? And once you have a plan, how do you train journalists to stick to it?

    Halsted

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Special Event

    Exhibitor & Recruiter Hours (Saturday)

    Be sure to stop by the 7th floor and visit with the exhibitors at this year's CAR conference. Details on specific exhibitors can be found by clicking on the exhibitors icon.

    7th Floor Foyer

    9:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Hands-on

    Intro to R (intermediate) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Ryann Grochowski Jones of ProPublica; Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR; Olga Pierce of University of Nebraska - Lincoln

    Ryann Grochowski Jones and Olga Pierce of ProPublica, along with Charles Minshew of IRE/NICAR, will introduce you to R, a free, powerful open-source programming language, that will add statistical heft to your reporting. By the end of this three-hour session, you will be able to take raw data, import it into R, and start your analysis. Topics will include basic data importing, working with directories, reading in data, installing packages, creating simple visualizations, and how to clean, explore and sort your data. We'll also talk about how to find help when you're stuck.

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

    Workshop prerequisites: This session will be most helpful if you’re comfortable working with data and you’re ready to take your skills to the next level.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Purdue/Wisconsin

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Level up your Python game: Refactoring your code (intermediate/advanced) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Jeremy Bowers of The New York Times; Serdar Tumgoren of Stanford University

    You’ve written a few Python scripts that get the job done, but the initial euphoria has worn off. Your code is hard to read. Bugs are cropping up. And you can’t always explain your process or results to an editor — or yourself. There must be a better way, but the path forward is not clear.

    If you’ve had that itchy feeling, this three-hour, hands-on workshop is for you. This class will explore Python language features that will help you write readable, reliable and reusable code.

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Attendees must bring a laptop and charger to the training.

    This class is for intermediate Python programmers. We expect you’re already using Python for work and have a working development environment. We won’t be covering how to set up your machine or get started. If this describes your need, perhaps enroll in PyCAR instead.

    Workshop prerequisites: Experience with basic Python language features like variables, data types, conditionals and functions are required.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Grace

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Upping your Excel game (intermediate) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speaker: MaryJo Webster of Star Tribune

    If you've found yourself struggling in a spreadsheet, thinking that whatever you were trying to achieve seemed harder than it should've been, then this is the class for you. We’ll learn about various tools and functions in Excel that come in handy when you need to re-structure or otherwise get your data ready for analysis. We'll cover string functions, logical functions, date functions, reshaping data, merging data using lookup functions and perhaps a few other nifty tricks if time allows. This is an intermediate Excel class intended for those who have mastered the basics, such as sorting, filtering, pivot tables and using functions. It is a fast-paced class intended to introduce you to these tools. You'll walk out with practice data and a 20-page tipsheet that covers in detail everything we do in class, plus other great Excel tips.

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training. 

    Workshop prerequisites: You should have prior experience using Excel or Google Sheets, and be comfortable with introductory-level spreadsheet skills, such as sorting, filtering, SUM and AVERAGE functions, calculations such as percentage change or percent of total, and how to use Pivot Tables.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Michigan/Michigan St

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Demo

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

    Speaker: Jon Schleuss of Los Angeles Times

    The Los Angeles Times' Map Maker was created and released to help journalists make locator and other maps faster. Whether it's a quick web locator map or a more detailed map of, say, all the rides at Disneyland, the Map Maker allows you to download both images and vector files to create better maps faster. Jon Schleuss from the Times will demo how to install, use and customize Map Maker for your newsroom.

    Clark

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Investigating immigration

    Speakers: Pam Dempsey of The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting; Reade Levinson of Reuters; Sarah Macaraeg of USA TODAY Network; Maria Zamudio of APM Reports

    Move beyond routine stories about immigrants and immigration by digging deeper on key documents and data that might be new to you. You’ll learn where different datasets are located at the local, state and federal level as well as how to use alternative data sources to cover immigration. We’ll also discuss the ethical implications involved in covering such a hot-button topic. Regardless of where you live or work, you'll learn a variety of fresh story ideas and tips for producing watchdog stories about immigration that make a difference in your community.

    Grand Ballroom I

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Mining data from the social web

    Speaker: Lam Thuy Vo of BuzzFeed News

    From President Donald Trump’s Twitter account to fake news — social media platforms have become a major source of news.

    This session will give journalists the ability to harvest information from the social web in structured and automated ways. Participants will learn how to collect information from Facebook pages and Twitter accounts via scraping and APIs and turn them into spreadsheets. Attendees should have their own Twitter and Facebook accounts and create app IDs for API access in advance of the session. 

    This session is good for: People who have a basic grasp of programming concepts. You do not need to be proficient in coding. 

    Great America

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Quick-turn data stories

    Speakers: Greta Kaul of MinnPost; Nicole Vap of KUSA/9News Denver; Francisco Vara-Orta of IRE and NICAR; Dave Sheingold of independent journalist

    Sometimes you get the luxury of time to think about a data-based story – and sometimes you don’t. Four reporters talk about what they learned from turning a data story around on a tight deadline, how best to prepare for quick turnarounds and what they’d do differently.

     

    Grand Ballroom II

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    R 1: Intro to R and R Studio (repeat session)

    Speaker: Sharon Machlis of International Data Group

    Get a hands-on look at R, the powerful open-source programming language specifically designed to analyze data. In this class we'll explore Chicago municipal salary data, plus get a sneak peek at a couple of other cool things R can do in just a few lines of code. 

    This session is good for: People who are comfortable working with data in a spreadsheet or database, and won't be afraid of typing into a command line.

    Sheffield

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Social network analysis with graph databases - Neo4j

    Speakers: Meredith Broussard of New York University; William Lyon of Neo4j

    Graph databases are optimized for working with complex and connected data. Social media data is a great example of a complex dataset where the connections in the data are often as important as the discrete data points, making it a great use case for a graph database.

    In this hands-on workshop we will cover how to model, import and query Twitter data using the Neo4j graph database. We will focus on learning the property graph data model and how to use Cypher, the query language for graphs, to write queries that can help find stories in the data. We'll use a dataset of tweets from Twitter accounts tied to Russia that were released as part of the House investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election.

    This session is good for: Those with some basic familiarity with databases and data analysis. We will start at an introductory level for those new to graph databases.

    Lincolnshire

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Stats in Excel

    Speaker: Norm Lewis of University of Florida

    You don't need a special statistics program to run simple statistical analysis. In this session, you'll learn how to compute some basic statistics in Excel and figure out what they mean.

    This session is good for: People who already are comfortable with using functions in Excel.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    The congressional data you don't use (Election/Politics Track)

    Speakers: Michael Beckel of Issue One; Carrie Levine of The Center for Public Integrity; Daniel Schuman of Demand Progress; Derek Willis of ProPublica

    Although voting and bill data are readily available, there are other types of congressional data that might come in handy. We’ll talk about what they are, how to get them and the list of caveats for them.

    Addison

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Command line for reporters (Unix)

    Speaker: AJ Vicens of Mother Jones

    Too often in data journalism we forget about the basics. And it doesn't get as basic as the command line. Even knowing a little will make your job easier. Mother Jones reporter AJ Vicens will run through some simple commands, dive into working with spreadsheets and show you some handy tools he frequently uses at work.

    This session is good for: People who feel intimidated by the command line on their computer, but want to explore the power of command line tools.

    Lincolnshire

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Conversation: Civic tech and data journalism: Better together

    Speakers: Derek Eder of DataMade; Katie O'Shea of Chi Hack Night

    How can data journalists benefit from becoming involved in the civic tech community? How does the civic tech community benefit from data journalists’ involvement?  Join this session, led by organizers of Chi Hack Night (a weekly civic tech event in Chicago), to discuss what the two communities each bring to the table and what their collaboration, from data analysis and visualization to FOIA and collective impact, can achieve. 

    Halsted

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Creating your first satellite image

    Speaker: David Yanofsky of Quartz

    In this hands-on training, you’ll  learn how to find, download, combine and turn data captured by satellites into ready-for-publication images. You’ll learn three ways to do this by using point and click tools, command line and Google Earth Engine. 

    This session is good for: Someone who has never worked with satellite imagery before or wants a refresher.

    Great America

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Data of disasters: Following the money

    Speakers: Matt Dempsey of Houston Chronicle; Omaya Sosa of Centro de Periodismo Investigativo de Puerto Rico; Lee Zurik of WVUE-New Orleans

    Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires caused record damage to U.S. cities in 2017. These panelists — veterans of some of the worst storms in history, Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Katrina — will cover resources to help you dig into the problems left in the disaster's wake, including disaster relief efforts, using databases and mapping to show the extent of damage in certain areas and neighborhoods, and how to follow the money.

    Addison

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Finding the story: Election administration (Election/Politics Track)

    Speaker: Derek Willis of ProPublica

    After every federal election, the Election Assistance Commission compiles data from states on how that election was administered and run, including details on voter registration, turnout, voting methods and more. This session will guide attendees on using the data to examine election administration in their states.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Gaming the lottery: Anatomy of a global investigation

    Speakers: Yaffa Fredrick of World Policy Journal; Jeff Kelly Lowenstein of Grand Valley State University; Daniel Simmons-Ritchie of Harrisburg Patriot-News; Allison Donahue of Grand Valley State University

    Few activities are more deeply ingrained into daily life than purchasing a lottery ticket. In November 2016, a group of journalists from Africa, Europe, the U.S., Australia and Latin America met to discuss undertaking an investigation into the the global lottery industry.We have carried out the project since then, bringing to light a series of unsavory elements of the industry that generated nearly $300 billion in revenue in 2014. Published in radio, online, print and television outlets, the project has had impact in four states in the U.S. as well as in South Africa. 

    Grand Ballroom I

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    How to responsibly report on sexual misconduct

    Speakers: Ellen Gabler of The New York Times; Jason Hancock of The Kansas City Star; Lam Thuy Vo of BuzzFeed News; Bernice Yeung of ProPublica

    For decades, sexual misconduct was a subject shrouded in secrecy, marred with stigma and often shrugged off as a personal matter. But the national discourse around sexual misconduct following the revelations of the Harvey Weinstein scandal has brought new attention to the subject.

    As more women and men step forward to share their stories, how can reporters find responsible ways to report on sexual harassment, assault and misconduct? What are the best ways to verify claims and ensure that stories are fair? How can reporters contextualize sexual harassment in numerical ways when data is scarce or hidden behind NDA agreements and cabinets of HR departments? 

    From creating one's own datasets to triangulating people’s accounts, panelists will discuss approaches to uncover, enumerate and recount stories of sexual harassment and assault.

    Grand Ballroom II

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    R: Statistics (repeat session)

    Speaker: Jeff Larson of The Markup

    Learn how to use R to spot trends and identify relationships in data using social science theories and methods. In this session, we will use R for statistical significance tests, cross-tabulations and linear regression.

    This session is good for: Anyone who is comfortable working with spreadsheets and database managers and wants to learn how to do basic statistical analysis. Some experience with R will be helpful.

    Sheffield

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Thinking like a data reporter on the criminal justice beat

    Speakers: Corey Johnson of Tampa Bay Times; Joe Mahr of Chicago Tribune; Alysia Santo of The Marshall Project

    This panel will lay out proven strategies and resources for locating and obtaining important records and databases that shed light on the true performance of criminal justice agencies locally and nationally. The group will also suggest story ideas and trends and share techniques for overcoming unnecessary secrecy.

    Grand Ballroom III

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Demo

    Under pressure: Real life in real time with breaking news

    Speaker: Stephen Stock of NBC Bay Area

    It’s become one of the hottest sessions at every CAR Conference. How would you and your newsroom fare in digging out little-known facts and information under the pressure of a breaking news deadline? One of the best ways to get better is to practice. 

    This is a real-life scenario where you can learn to break news without leaving your computer. The skills learned in this session can also be used for turning daily general assignment stories when there’s not breaking news. This session regularly fills up and the tipsheet that comes with it is in high demand. If you’re interested, get there early to get a seat.

    Clark

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Animated video for storytelling

    Speaker: Kavya Sukumar of Hearken

    Often complex ideas in a story don't get the attention they deserve because, let’s face it, you are allowed only one lede. Short animated videos are a great way to remedy this. They can bubble up interesting content in an easily shareable form that works on most devices. In this session, learn to create and publish your own animated video from scratch. 

    This session is good for: Beginners new to making videos as well as for people with some experience in video production looking to add animation to their skill set.

    Great America

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Career roundtable

    Speakers: Ellen Gabler of The New York Times; Matt Goldberg of NBCUniversal; Corey Johnson of Tampa Bay Times; Francisco Vara-Orta of IRE and NICAR; Susan Batt of WTHR-Indianapolis

    Looking for advice on how to take the next step in your career? Get practical tips from panelists who will talk about their own experiences and discuss what employers are looking for.

    Grand Ballroom III

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Collaboration with scientists and academics as a reporting tool

    Speakers: Sharad Goel of Stanford University; Sinduja Rangarajan of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Sam Roe of Chicago Tribune

    Scientists, academics and investigative journalists have a lot in common. Both develop deep knowledge of their subjects over long-spanning careers and care about accuracy, fairness and making an impact through groundbreaking discoveries. This panel will discuss what academics researchers and journalists can learn from each other, how they can effectively work together by harnessing complementary skills and successfully collaborate to push the boundaries of research and reporting while maintaining the highest standards.

    Addison

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Conversation: How the internet works

    Speaker: Melissa Lewis of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

    In this session, we’ll talk a little about the physical infrastructure of the internet (and how it differs from the web) and how information is transmitted from one machine to another. There will be an optional component where you can run commands from your computer that help illustrate these points, but you’ll also just be able to follow the presentation!

    Note: This session will be a useful precursor to the "Python: Let’s Scrape a Website" hands-on sessions.

    Halsted

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Demo

    DocumentCloud for investigations

    Speaker: Aron Pilhofer of Temple University

    Get to know the suite of tools that DocumentCloud offers to help you better organize, analyze and present public documents.

    Clark

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Finding needles in haystacks with fuzzy matching

    Speaker: Max Harlow of Financial Times

    Fuzzy matching is a process for linking up names that are similar, but not quite the same. It has become an increasingly important part of data-led investigations as a way to identify connections between public figures, key people and companies that are relevant to a story. This class will cover how fuzzy matching typically fits into the investigative process, with some story examples. Max Harlow, who developed the CSV Match command line tool, will show you how to run some of the different types of fuzzy matching on some real datasets, including the pros and cons of each.

    This class is good for: Anyone frustrated by the joys of matching dirty data. It helps to be familiar with the command line but is not necessary.

    Lincolnshire

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Python 2: Intro to data analysis using Pandas (repeat session)

    Speaker: Fedor Zarkhin of The Oregonian/OregonLive

    Imagine rolling Excel and MySQL into one tool that also allows you to track your code and share it. That’s Pandas in a nutshell. There’s a lot more you can do with it, of course, but this will be a good start. We’ll learn how to slice and dice our data and extract basic stats. Specifically, we’ll cover loading the data, filtering, sorting, joining and grouping data. 

    This class is good for: People who are comfortable with Excel and are familiar with the basics of SQL and Python.

    Sheffield

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    R 2: Data analysis and plotting in R (repeat session)

    Speaker: Bill Alpert of Barron's

    We'll use the tidyverse packages dplyr and ggplot2, learning how to sort, filter, group, summarize, join, and visualize to identify trends in your data. If you want to combine SQL-like analysis and charting in a single pipeline, this session is for you. 

    This session is good for: People who have worked with data operations in SQL or Excel and would like to do the same in R.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Uncovering environmental hazards faced by urban children

    Speakers: Molly Peterson of independent journalist; Dylan Purcell of The Philadelphia Inquirer; Chris Zubak-Skees of The Center for Public Integrity

    Decaying, pollution-choked schools, old homes with lead paint, toxic soil left behind by shuttered factories and even urban heat islands — all environmental dangers faced by children. This panel will show how to uncover these lurking dangers in your own communities by analyzing often-overlooked data sources and, when data is lacking, doing your own testing. 

    Grand Ballroom I

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Using data and records to investigate voting (Election/Politics Track)

    Speakers: Jessica Huseman of ProPublica; Doug Moore of St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Ryan Thornburg of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Voting is a private act that produces a ton of public records. We'll talk through what those records are, how you can get them and what you can (and can't) use them for. We'll also talk about ways advocates use this data badly and what you should know before you report on lawsuits and accusations of voter fraud. You'll leave this session with plenty of ideas to cover the act of voting during the 2018 midterm.

    Grand Ballroom II

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Digging into data for stories (cont'd-Saturday) *pre-registered attendees only

    This is a continuation of Digging into data for stories: A crash course from Friday, March 9 for pre-registered attendees of this class.

    Michigan/Michigan St & Purdue/Wisconsin

    2:15 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Conversation: Cultural heritage data? Computational use, needs, and opportunities

    Speakers: Thomas Padilla of University of Nevada - Las Vegas; Laurie Allen of University of Pennsylvania

    The purpose of this session is to spark conversations about how library, archive and museum collections and data can optimally support data-driven journalism. Session organizers aim to discuss experiences attendees have had working with cultural heritage data. Based on that conversation, we hope to discuss features and capabilities that libraries, archives and museums might develop to encourage computational use of cultural heritage data.

     

    Halsted

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    Google Sheets: Scraping without coding (repeat session)

    Speaker: Samantha Sunne of independent journalist

    Yes, you can scrape data without using code -- in fact, all you need is Google Sheets! We'll be using Excel-type formulas (don't worry if you don't know what those are, either) to make simple scrapers that automatically pull data into Google Sheets. It’s the best way to get around clunky websites and unhelpful PIOs!

    *Please note: You must bring your own laptop to participate in this class. You also need to have a Google account.

    This session is good for: Beginners who want to start using data for their stories.

    Grace

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Panel

    Infosec reporting (Security Track)

    Speakers: Kate Conger of Gizmodo; J.M. Porup of CSO; Martin Shelton of Independent; Kevin Collier of BuzzFeed News

    As “The Cyber” becomes a larger part of everyday existence, certain reporters have begun to cover the world of hackers, vulnerabilities and information security as their regular beat. How do the best reporters cover the topic with enough digital savvy to get the facts straight, while writing with enough clarity and even intrigue to hold the audience?

    This session was planned in collaboration with the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

    Addison

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    JavaScript: Writing reusable chart modules in D3

    Speakers: Sarah Frostenson of POLITICO; Jeremy C.F. Lin of POLITICO

    Tired of making the same line chart again and again? We’ll teach you how to write your own reusable chart module in D3, adhering to the basic principles outlined in Mike Bostock’s post Towards Reusable Charts. This session is for advanced users of D3 and will talk about how to write code that can work with any dataset. We’ll also address how to use node’s module syntax as a framework for organizing your code.

    This session is good for: Advanced users of D3. 

    Lincolnshire

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Panel

    Local news innovation showcase

    Speaker: Chase Davis of Star Tribune

    So often the most celebrated examples of innovation in digital, visual and interactive journalism come from teams with uncommon access to resources and talent. You know the ones: The New York Times, The Washington Post, any number of digital-first startups — often on the coasts — that continually set the industry standard for digital innovation.

    This panel isn't about those newsrooms. Instead, it will showcase the creative digital storytelling happening in local and regional newsrooms, where time and resources are scarce. The panel will be framed as a series of short talks and examples and will include an ability for local journalists who cannot attend NICAR to present their work as well.

     

    Grand Ballroom III

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    Python: Let's scrape a website

    Speaker: Melissa Lewis of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

    This hands-on training will illustrate how Python can be used to grab a lot of data from a website at once, whether by pulling content from a page or interacting with forms. You’ll want to be comfortable writing loops in Python, though you won’t necessarily need to be able to write a function from scratch!

    This session is good for people who feel comfortable with Python’s data types and control flow (if/else, loops). Experience with HTML is a plus but not necessary.

    Note: It would be useful to attend the commons session "How the Internet Works" in advance if you’re not familiar with the topic already.

    Sheffield

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    R: Collecting and analyzing Twitter data

    Speaker: Michael Kearney of University of Missouri

    This session would provide an in-depth introduction to working with Twitter's REST and Stream APIs to gather and analyze publicly available Twitter data. The session will provide an overview of the available APIs along with step-by-step examples of searching for tweets and users; retrieving user timelines, favorites, followers and friends; looking up statuses and users; and live-streaming statuses via keyword tracking, following users and random sampling. Featured in the session will be the rtweet package, the updated successor package to the popular [but deprecated] twitteR package.

    You will need a Twitter account for this class. You will be shown how to create a Twitter app, but can also learn about the process at: http://rtweet.info/articles/auth.html

    This session is good for: Anyone interested in collecting, analyzing, or understanding the strengths and limitations of Twitter data. You don't need a working knowledge of APIs.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Panel

    Shoot us straight: Correctly using data and docs on guns

    Speakers: Matt Drange of The Information; Nick Penzenstadler of USA TODAY Network; Kim Smith of University of Chicago Crime Lab

    Shotspotter? Federal Firearms Licenses? Trace data? We’ll help you sort out what data and documents you should routinely gather for reporting on guns, where you’re wasting your time and when it’s time to build from the ground up. We’ll cover common pitfalls and how to accurately cover the gun industry, firearm violence and regulatory agencies. You’ll leave with: sample data on guns, tips on finding sources and tips on reliable data streams.

    Grand Ballroom I

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Panel

    The offshore world: Doing investigations from big data leaks

    Speakers: Helena Bengtsson of Sveriges Television; Emilia Diaz-Struck of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists; Brant Houston of University of Illinois; Fabiola Torres of Ojo Público

    This session will focus on the tools and methodologies that have evolved in big data projects, especially from the Panama Papers to the Paradise Papers. The speakers will discuss the challenges in file formats and number of sources, approaches to data analysis and visualization and scraping Securities and Exchange Commission files as a part of the process. The session also will include a presentation of two investigations into the offshore business connections with environmental topics and the insurance industry.

    Grand Ballroom II

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Demo

    Tracking Trump's conflicts of interest

    Speakers: Alexander Howard of Sunlight Foundation; Hilary Niles of independent journalist

    The Sunlight Foundation has been tracking President Donald Trump's conflicts of interest since he was elected in 2016. The resulting database — nearly 2,000 records long, with well over half of them confirmed and active concerns as of this writing — is free and open to the public. Come learn how we assembled the data and how you can put it to use. 

    Clark

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    Using OCR to extract data from PDFs

    Speaker: Miguel Barbosa of CitizenAudit

    This class will cover basic approaches for getting text out of PDF documents using powerful and freely available tools. Participants will be introduced to basic concepts and walked-through tackling common challenges encountered with tricky PDF documents.

    This session is good for: People who are unfamiliar with the PDF to text tools or would like to learn how optical character recognition (OCR) tools can be used for extracting difficult text from images embedded in PDF document.

    Great America

    2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Panel

    Beyond the “nerd box:” How to explain methodology better

    Speakers: Evie Liu of Dow Jones; Jeff South of Virginia Commonwealth University; Stephen Stirling of NJ Advance Media

    You’ve done all the data crunching and reporting, now it’s time to sit down and explain how you did it. Feeling overwhelmed by too many information and worried nobody would read it? We’ve all been there. Some of us call it the “nerd box”, but we certainly hope the methodology section could reach beyond nerds. In this panel, a few experienced data journalists will talk about their approach to explaining the methodology and how we can improve to make it better. Topics we’ll touch on include: How to assure the visibility of important caveats and avoid confusion? How to set realistic expectation on readers’ data literacy? How to accommodate readers with different levels of interest? Is there any other way to describe methodology other than lengthy text? How to include the methodology for non-digital mediums like broadcast, radio, print or even social media? Join us for a rewarding discussion.

    Grand Ballroom I

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Conversation: Bootstrapping a small team

    Speakers: Jon McClure of POLITICO; Lily Mihalik of POLITICO

    Starting from scratch. We'll cover how to find talent, integrate with the newsroom and our open source approach to team policies, mission, and workflow.

    Halsted

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Csvkit, a command-line tool for reporters

    Speaker: Christian McDonald of University of Texas

    Ever struggled with large data sets? Or need to quickly join or merge datasets without the benefit of a database? We will show you how to harness the awesome power of csvkit to wrangle large datasets on the command line. It's easy to use, fast and powerful. It's a must in every data journalist's toolbox.

    This session is good for: People who want a solution for working with multiple CSV files without having to open Excel or to join or merge files without a database.

    Lincolnshire

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Panel

    Demographics: Beyond Census

    Speakers: D'Vera Cohn of Pew Research Center; Tim Henderson of The Pew Charitable Trusts; Paul Overberg of The Wall Street Journal

    Demographics are life, and the way we live shapes everything else we write about. And it's not just Census numbers: When it comes to demographic data, the Census Bureau isn't the only game in town. Many institutions and agencies run surveys or programs that can be mined for details about people and housing. This session is a look at little-used sources and techniques that will give you better insight and story ideas.

    Grand Ballroom III

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Panel

    Digital mindset for storytelling

    Speakers: Robert Benincasa of NPR; Rich Gordon of Medill School of Journalism; Amaya Verde of Univision

    From the very beginning of an idea, what are the best ways to develop stories with a digital mindset? Learn key workflows, strategies and tools for gathering all of the pieces needed to tell a compelling story online. Hear about special considerations for data-driven stories and how to avoid overwhelming readers with numbers and stats. We'll discuss tools, platforms and best practices for digital storytelling, and show examples of how content can drive decisions about images, data visualization and narrative approaches.

    Addison

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Google Sheets: Scraping without coding (second repeat session)

    Speaker: Samantha Sunne of independent journalist

    Yes, you can scrape data without using code -- in fact, all you need is Google Sheets! We'll be using Excel-type formulas (don't worry if you don't know what those are, either) to make simple scrapers that automatically pull data into Google Sheets. It's the best way to get around clunky websites and unhelpful PIOs!

    *Please note: You must bring your own laptop in order to participate in this class.

    This session is good for: Beginners who want to start using data for their stories.

     
     

    Grace

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Panel

    I'm entitled to a spreadsheet, dang it!

    Speakers: Steven Rich of The Washington Post; Sarah Ryley of The Trace; Annie Waldman of ProPublica

    Public records requests for data come with their own unique set of challenges — from agencies that insist their databases can only export documents, to those that will only send a fraction of the fields that are disclosable under the law. We’ll give you tips on writing rock-solid public records request for data, and how to respond to the common excuses used to deny these requests. Topics will include: Common sources that prove the agency has a database and can export data; statute, case law and language to make it more likely you’ll receive data (versus a PDF, or even worse, scans of redacted printouts); how to negotiate the confidentiality issues that come with medical and educational data; and managing the mass FOIA request project. We’ll provide a sample data request, a few good war stories, and links to helpful resources.

     

    Grand Ballroom II

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Python 3: Data cleaning and visualization with Pandas and Matplotlib (repeat session)

    Speaker: Geoff Hing of APM Reports

    Now that you’ve got a handle on Pandas, it’s time to jump into some advanced topics. You know how to import a dataset, but what happens when you load the data and nothing looks right? We’ll walk through cleaning up a dirty dataset with Pandas. Then we’ll jump into the fun part: visualizing the data you’ve analyzed with Matplotlib.

    This session is good for: People who can load and perform basic summary and grouping functions in Pandas.

    Sheffield

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Python: Intro to machine learning

    Speakers: Forest Gregg of DataMade; Jean Cochrane of DataMade

    In this session, we'll show you how to use machine learning to save you lots of time in the cleaning and preparation of data — deduplication, entity extraction, parsing and classifying. 

    This session is good for: People who regularly do data cleaning now with python.

    Great America

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Demo

    Quackbot tool for Slack

    Speaker: Aron Pilhofer of Temple University

    Learn how to put a new tool called Quackbot to work for you in Slack. DocumentCloud and Quartz created Quackbot as a fully hosted and friendly interface to open-source tools. Learn tricks such as grabbing screenshots from web pages, finding reliable data on key topics and directing the Internet Archive to save a copy of any specific web page.

    Clark

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Setting up a reproducible data analysis workflow in R

    Speaker: Andrew Tran of The Washington Post

    You will save time, produce better results, create more trusted analyses, reduce risk of errors and encourage collaboration by implementing reproducible data analysis workflow techniques for data journalism. We will be going over R Notebooks and RMarkdown to weave together narrative text and code to produce elegantly formatted PDFs and HTML for sharing. We will walk through hosting these reports and raw data files on GitHub Pages. We will discuss best practices on how to structure your projects and repos. And if there is time, you will learn how to turn specific scripts into generalized functions to be used in future analyses.

    This session is good for: R users interested in improving their workflow

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Conversation: Journalism educators roundtable

    Speakers: Mark Horvit of University of Missouri; Mindy McAdams of University of Florida

    If you teach a data course or are thinking about starting one, join us for a conversation about what works best when working with students. Bring examples of what you've tried that's really worked or what you're planning to implement that you're excited about. We hope everyone will leave with new ideas and approaches.

     

    Halsted

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Panel

    Creating a data culture that lasts

    Speakers: Annie Daniel of The Texas Tribune; Tom Meagher of The Marshall Project; Mark Nichols of USA TODAY Network

    How can news organizations create a sustainable culture for data and interactive journalism? In some cases, when one dynamic, charismatic CAR leader leaves for a new job, the data team left behind suffers and struggles to rebuild. Get practical advice and tips on ways to build a data culture in your newsroom that's sustainable and independent of any one staffer. How can data teams make a lasting impact on newsroom leadership and culture?

    Grand Ballroom I

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Panel

    Design for non-designers (Design Track)

    Speakers: Lena Groeger of ProPublica; Angelica McKinley of independent journalist

    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 "contrast" seem like technical jargon, this session is for you. We'll go through 10 design rules of thumb, covering everything from typography to interaction to color, and apply them to real live news examples. 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.

    Grand Ballroom III

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Exploring data on the command line with VisiData

    Speaker: Jeremy Singer-Vine of BuzzFeed News

    VisiData is a new tool for quickly exploring datasets. It's fast, powerful and keyboard-driven, and it's often the first piece of software I use to examine new data. In this hands-on session, you'll learn VisiData's essentials commands — including how to sort, filter, summarize and aggregate.

    This session is good for: People who have a basic familiarity with their computer's command line interface. No programming experience is required, though knowledge of Python is a plus.

    Great America

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Demo

    Find model legislation

    Speakers: Justin Price of The Arizona Republic; Evan Wyloge of The Desert Sun

    Nearly identical legislation introduced in multiple states, or “model legislation,” comes from national or regional industry associations, individual companies, or policy think-tanks and advocacy groups. Learn how reporters at the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting adapted a University of Chicago project in order to find model legislation in your state. This demo will walk you through every step, so anyone can get started on this valuable reporting.

    Clark

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Panel

    Investigating political influence in the Trump era (Election/Politics Track)

    Speakers: James Grimaldi of The Wall Street Journal; Robert Maguire of Center for Responsive Politics; Megan Luther of InvestigateTV; Andrew Lehren of NBC News

    Learn how to get data to expose both the hidden and traditional influence-peddling of lobbyists toiling to persuade the White House and Congress. We will navigate the murky industry of foreign lobbying, explore the world of “Dark Money” in political nonprofits, help you uncover the “New Dark Money” filtering into the president’s pockets and show you a burgeoning new form of Astroturf lobbying that’s flooding government websites to influence decision-makers.

     

    Addison

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    One map, no code: The power of Mapbox Studio

    Speakers: Lo Benichou of Mapbox; Casey Miller of Los Angeles Times

    Think you need code to make a highly customized data-driven map? We’re here to show you that you don’t. In this session, we’re going to make a choropleth map and show you how to fine-tune the smallest details with Mapbox Studio. 

    *Please note: You must bring your own laptop to participate in this class.

    This session is good for: All skill levels. No JavaScript knowledge required, but basic computer literacy is necessary. You will also need a Mapbox account

    Grace

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Programming recipes: Accessing Amazon's IRS Form 990 public data

    Speaker: Michele Tranquilli of Philadelphia Media Network

    In this class you will run through some useful programming recipes for accessing Amazon's public feed of IRS Form 990 data. The scripts you use will be written in PHP, but the concepts can be generalized to any language. 

    This session is good for: Journalists with some programming experience.

    Lincolnshire

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    R 3: Gathering and cleaning data in R (repeat session)

    Speaker: Larry Fenn of The Associated Press

    Learn how to use R to scrape data from web pages, access APIs and transform the results into usable data. This session will also focus on how to clean and structure the data you've gathered in preparation for analysis using tidyverse packages.

    This session is good for: People who have used R and have a basic understanding of how to retrieve data from APIs.

    Sheffield

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    R: Machine learning and data models

    Speaker: Mary Ryan of University of California - Irvine

    Take your statistical analysis skills to the next level when you learn how to measure the relationships within correlated and clustered data in R.

    This session is good for: People who are comfortable working in R and have taken 'Stats: An introduction' and 'Stats 2: Linear Regression,' or who have a strong familiarity multiple linear regression.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Panel

    Turning your documents into data

    Speakers: Steven Rich of The Washington Post; Janet Roberts of Reuters; Mike Tigas of ProPublica

    So, you have a stack of paper records or a website filled with useful information that's not in an easy-to-use table. Now what? Learn about tools, tactics and workflows to transform those documents into data for a story.

    Grand Ballroom II

    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Digging into data for stories (cont'd-Sunday) *pre-registered attendees only

    This is a continuation of Digging into data for stories: A crash course from Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10 for pre-registered attendees of this class.

    Michigan/Michigan St & Purdue/Wisconsin

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Special Event

    CAR Conference Sales (Sunday)

    Stop by the CAR Conference sales table and browse our merchandise, including the IRE bookstore's most popular titles and shirts with the winning design from the T-shirt contest.

    7th Floor Foyer

    9:00 am - 10:30 am

  • Demo

    Cryptoparty (Security Track)

    Speakers: Camille Fassett of Freedom of the Press Foundation; Jeff Larson of The Markup; Freddy Martinez of Freedom of the Press Foundation; Martin Shelton of Independent; Mike Tigas of ProPublica

    Several conference sessions cover tools and applications to improve security for you and your sources. Now that you've heard about them, you're probably itching to try them out. We'll be available to help anybody with a laptop or a smartphone to install more secure software and learn how to use it right. We will rely on volunteers to help out, so what you're able to install and how long it takes will depend on demand. Remember also that you must have administrative privileges on your machine. If you're blocked from these privileges, we won't be able to override that.

    This session was planned in collaboration with the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

    Clark

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Excel 3: Pivot tables (repeat session)

    Speaker: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV

    A look at the awesome power of pivot — and how to use it to analyze your dataset in minutes rather than hours.
     
    This session is good for: Anyone familiar with formulas, sorting and filtering in Excel or another spreadsheet program.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    JavaScript: Reactive frameworks without fear

    Speakers: Tyler Fisher of Temple University; Jon McClure of POLITICO

    React, Vue, Svelte, Angular – reactive JavaScript frameworks are a dime a dozen, and they’re all pretty intimidating. In this session, we’ll give you a high-level overview of what these frameworks do and how you should think about using them. We’ll also dive into the basic usage of a couple of the more popular options – React and Vue.

    This session is good for: People who have written some JavaScript and want to level up their skills.

    Great America

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    No passport needed: How to find relevant international data

    Speakers: Nana Boakye-Yiadom of iJourno Africa; Pinar Dag of Data Journalism Platform; Giannina Segnini Picado of Columbia Journalism School

    Are you still calling colleagues overseas to get international records? There are oceans of relevant datasets across the world that can be accessed instantaneously. This session will explore the best methods and resources to find relevant cross-border data for your reporting.

    Grand Ballroom I

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    OpenElections (Election/Politics Track)

    Speakers: Serdar Tumgoren of Stanford University; Derek Willis of ProPublica

    We’re working on turning election results into data, and you can join us. Whether you have scraping skills, can parse PDFs or help find the official sources of election results in a state, you can help OpenElections make more election results data available to journalists and researchers. We’ll have prizes for contributors, too!

    Belmont

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Python: Let's scrape a website (repeat session)

    Speaker: Alex Richards of NerdWallet

    This hands-on training will illustrate how Python can be used to grab a lot of data from a website at once, whether by pulling content from a page or interacting with forms. You’ll want to be comfortable writing loops in Python, though you won’t necessarily need to be able to write a function from scratch!

    This session is good for people who feel comfortable with Python’s data types and control flow (if/else, loops). Experience with HTML is a plus but not necessary.

    Note: It would be useful to attend the commons session "How the Internet Works" in advance if you’re not familiar with the topic already.

    Indiana/Iowa

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Sensor journalism: How do we do it and what are the limits?

    Speakers: Michael Corey of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Marianne Bouchart of Data Journalism Awards; Denise Lu of The New York Times; Kelly Calagna of Northwestern University Knight Lab

    Journalists are using a wide range of sensors to find stories, from spectrometers in space to cameras on drones to Raspberry Pis on the street. We'll talk about our processes, what we'd like to see more of, the challenges, and discuss the variety of ethical frameworks that may overlap and even contradict each other.

    Addison

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Serverless applications for the newsroom

    Speakers: Aaron Krolik of The New York Times; Jeremy Merrill of Quartz

    Do you love writing code but hate dealing with devops? Do you stress about application reliability? In this session we'll write a simple app, deploy it to AWS Lambda and learn useful design patterns for building and maintaining serverless applications.

    Before this class, please sign up for an Amazon Web Services account if you don't have one already. Establishing an account is free; your account will be linked to your Amazon shopping account. (Lambda function usage will fall under the free tier for this session.)

    This session is good for: People with basic programming experience in JavaScript who don't like devops or have trouble convincing their bosses to pay for servers.

    Lincolnshire

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Cleaning in SQL

    Speaker: Madi Alexander of Bloomberg Government

    Spend enough time around databases and inevitably you’ll come across one that has an obnoxious number of variations on city names: New York City. New York. NYC. NY. And yes, even NY City. If you’re not sure how to handle that, this session is for you. Come to “Data cleaning in SQL” if you’ve had an introduction to SQL but want to move past the basics of “WHERE” and “ORDER BY.” We’ll cover how to deal with multiple spellings and misspellings, strange date formats and category codes, as well as a few other tricks and tips for using SQL to clean data.

    This session will be most useful if: You are familiar with basic SQL statements.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Finding and using climate change data

    Speakers: Amir Jina of The University of Chicago; Lisa Song of ProPublica; Sophie Yeo of independent journalist

    Hurricanes, wildfires, heat waves and disappearing sea ice are just some of the climate-related stories we’re seeing regularly in the news. In this panel we’ll teach you how to dig into the data behind climate-related trends. We’ll show you where to find reliable resources of raw data, how to localize the data for your newsroom and how to deal with difficult data. We’ll also walk through examples of data stories about international climate talks, environmental health and environmental justice.

    Addison

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Finding your target in the money laundering capital of the world

    Speaker: Leila Haddou of The Times & The Sunday Times

    David Cameron pledged to break the wall of corporate secrecy when he was British prime minister, and two key datasets were released in late 2017: 

    - The PSC register unmasks the true owners of companies registered in the UK. It has thousands of Americans and overseas nationals

    - Land ownership property data in the U.K. has been made available — owning property here is favored method to launder money by corrupt individuals the world over. 

    As a result, the assets and cash of corrupt individuals may be hiding in plain sight. In this class, we will follow three prominent individuals, including a U.S. president, through the newly available datasets to show how and why you should turn to the U.K. and her territories to investigate your target.

    This class is good for: People who need to investigate targets overseas.

    Lincolnshire

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Demo

    Install party

    Speakers: Alex Richards of NerdWallet; Andrea Suozzo of Seven Days; Cody Winchester of IRE and NICAR

    During this session, we invite you to bring your laptop and we'll help you install some of the tools you may have heard about but have had trouble setting up. We only have an hour, so what you're able to install and how long it takes will depend on demand. Remember also that you must have administrative privileges on your machine; if you're blocked from these privileges, we won't be able to override that.

    Clark

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    JavaScript: Build a Leaflet.js map

    Speaker: Lucio Villa of San Francisco Chronicle

    In this session we will be building a map using Leaflet.js, a popular open-source JavaScript mapping library. The map will display both markers and shapes. We will provide some resources on where to find data to build a map and how to create your own data as well. We will be working with JSON, GeoJSON and KML data.

    This session is good for: People who are familiar with basic JavaScript syntax and data types.

    Indiana/Iowa

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Python: Writing tests for your code

    Speaker: Andrew Chavez of The Dallas Morning News

    Every programmer makes mistakes. Writing good tests can help you avoid making them in production. In this session, you will learn how to use Python's built-in tools to automate testing so you can sleep better at night. 

    This session is good for: People who use Python regularly and want to improve their workflow.

    Great America

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    So, you want to cover health care? Here’s how. Follow the people, the money, the data.

    Speakers: Elizabeth Lucas of Kaiser Health News; Nina Martin of ProPublica; Kristen Schorsch of WBEZ Public Radio

    In this session, we’ll unravel the mystery behind tackling one of the toughest, fastest-moving beats, especially given the turmoil in Washington. After all, health care impacts everyone, from cradle to grave. Learn how to investigate stories from all sides, from approaching sensitive topics with patients to digging into documents and data and wading through medical jargon. What happens if there is no data? We’ll get to that, too.

    Grand Ballroom I

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Archiving data journalism

    Speakers: Katherine Boss of New York University; Meredith Broussard of New York University; Nora Paul of University of Minnesota; Ben Welsh of Los Angeles Times

    Remember that story you read online in 2005, the one with the cool Flash graphics? How about that amazing interactive data visualization that you saw way back when, the one that made you want to level up your news nerd game? Good luck finding those stories today. Data journalism is disappearing from the web. 

    Data journalism is more fragile than most people realize. Every time a news organization reorganizes its staff or updates its CMS or stops paying the bill for the data team’s servers, complex data journalism projects are lost. Conventional archiving methods, like the Internet Archive’s crawlers or the automated archiving feeds of companies like Lexis-Nexis, are no longer sufficient to capture projects that involve big data, databases, streaming data or interactive graphics.

    In this session, we’ll discuss why data journalism is the new digital ephemera, and we’ll explore the state of the art for archiving. We’ll talk about strategies data journalists can use to preserve their own work and how news organizations can better preserve their valuable digital assets. Finally, we’ll report on how journalists, librarians and scholars are thinking about future-proofing the news.

    Addison

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Demo

    Data rescue party

    Speakers: Laurie Allen of University of Pennsylvania; Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR

    During this session, we will have a short discussion about data rescue projects and the future of open data on the Internet. We'll talk about best practices for rescuing data at the federal, state and local level and what you can do to protect data on your own.

    Clark

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Excel for business and economics

    Speaker: Aaron Kessler of CNN

    Whether you just started using Excel or it's been your companion for years, chances are there's a lot it can do that you've never realized. We sometimes think of Excel as the stepping stone to database managers like Access or SQL Server, and overlook just how powerful its tools can be -- especially if you're covering business and economics. Come find out why Excel is still so popular in the business world and we'll unlock some of its secrets. The people you're covering know these tricks - you should too.

    This session is good for: People who understand Excel basics but want to unlock powerful functions for analyzing businesses.

    Lincolnshire

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Geocoding addresses

    Speaker: Elliott Ramos of WBEZ Public Radio

    If you've had to place many addresses on a map before, you know how problematic bulk geocoding can be — technical issues, terms of service, fun, fun, fun! If you've never had the pleasure, don't worry, we'll show you how to happily (and correctly) geocode large sets of addresses.

    You will need a Google account for this class and access to Google Docs. You should also add the Awesome Tables extension to Google Sheets: http://bit.ly/2GgUbHW

    This session is good for: Anyone familiar with spreadsheets. No mapping experience necessary.

    Great America

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    How to avoid rookie mistakes

    Speakers: Kristin Hussey of independent journalist; Alex Richards of NerdWallet; Mike Stucka of The Palm Beach Post

    A group of seasoned data journalists share their past data analysis mistakes — whether it occurred while requesting data, cleaning data, analyzing it or even bulletproofing it — and offer up tips for avoiding these and all kinds of other potential pitfalls.

    Grand Ballroom I

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Importing data into Excel

    Speaker: Stephanie Lamm of The Dallas Morning News

    Don't give up if your data isn't presented in a neat Excel file. This session will teach you how to clean and format data to get it into Excel. We will look at how to import text files and get a table on a web page into Excel.

    This session is good for: Anyone comfortable working in Excel.

    Indiana/Iowa

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Stats 3: Logistic regression (in R)

    Speaker: Hannah Fresques of ProPublica

    Linear regression helps you find relationships between two or more variables, but when an outcome has only two possibilities, you need a different tool. That, my friends, is where logistic regression comes in.

    This session will be taught in R and is good for: People who took "Stats: An introduction" or are comfortable with summary statistics and spreadsheets. Experience with R is recommended.

    Northwestern/Ohio St

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm