2019 CAR Conference

Join IRE and NICAR in Newport Beach, CA for our annual conference devoted to data journalism, March 7-10, 2019 at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel. 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 7 at 9 a.m. and runs daily until 12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10.

Make sure you don't miss any conference news!  Sign up for our NICAR19 email list and we'll let you know any time we make a major announcement, update you on the planning process and remind you of key dates/deadlines surrounding the conference.

Additional details on the conference can be found here.

Time and place

Thursday, Mar. 7, 2019 - Sunday, Mar. 10, 2019

Newport Beach Marriott Hotel
900 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, California 92660


Registration information

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

Hurry! Registration closes on Sunday, Mar. 10 at 12:30pm.


Schedule details

  • Workshop

    Master class: Leading with data **pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Janet Roberts of Reuters; Troy Thibodeaux of The Associated Press

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

    Topics will include:

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

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

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

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

    Crystal Cove - 3rd floor

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    PyCAR *pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Intermediate

    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 7 from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and continues Friday, March 8, 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.

    Salon 5

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    First Observable notebook: Prototyping with polish **pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Advanced

    Sahil Chinoy, Iris Lee, Ben Welsh and Aaron Williams teach you how to rapidly prototype a complex data visualization with JavaScript, D3.js and an interactive Observable notebook.



    This three-hour, hands-on course will show you how journalists are putting Observable’s powerful potential to work. Using nothing but your web browser, you will sketch, refine and publish an interactive graphic like one that appeared in The New York Times. Along the way, you’ll see how Observable’s groundbreaking approach to coding can help you be more creative, ambitious and efficient.



    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided. 



    Workshop prerequisites: If you’ve used JavaScript once or twice, have a good attitude and know how to take a few code crashes in stride, you are qualified for this class. If you’re suspicious and think we might be Internet hipsters, we welcome the challenge of winning you over. This stuff is cool.

     

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

    Copper Cove

    2:15 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Interviewing your data with SQL **pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Intermediate

    If you flip over pivot tables, but wish you had more data tools, this session is for you. Structured Query Language, or SQL, can help you use powerful filtering functions, find patterns in millions of records and join multiple data tables. 

    This class will be taught by two experienced data reporters and former IRE trainers, and materials will include the IRE Computer Assisted Reporting boot camp binder, full of exercises, cheat sheets and tips to help you boost your data analysis and storytelling skills. We will use a free database manager that can be easily installed and used on any computer.

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

    Workshop prerequisites: The only prerequisites are a reasonable comfort level with using a spreadsheet. No previous SQL skills necessary.

    This class takes place on Thursday, March 7 from 2:15-5:45 p.m. and continues Friday, March 8, 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.

    Salon 4

    2:15 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Intro to R *pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Intermediate

    This class 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 in spreadsheets or SQL and you’re ready to take your skills to the next level.

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

    Salon 3

    2:15 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Workshop

    Master class: Self-editing & bulletproofing the data **pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Kimbriell Kelly of The Washington Post; Shawn McIntosh of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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

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

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

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

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

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

    Crystal Cove - 3rd floor

    2:15 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    First Python notebook: Data analysis on deadline *pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Beginner/intermediate

    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.

    Coral Cove

    9:00 am - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    MapCamp: QGIS *pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Intermediate

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

    Experienced journalists 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; and geocode to merge databases with addresses into maps. In addition, we'll provide you with our detailed 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.

    Emerald Cove

    9:00 am - 5:45 pm

  • Workshop

    Master class: Telling the data story across platforms **pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Josh Hinkle of KXAN/NBC Austin; Lisa Pickoff-White of KQED Public Radio

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

    We’ll cover:

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

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

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

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

    Crystal Cove - 3rd floor

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Mastering Google Sheets: Web scraping, running scripts and other tricks **pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Beginner

    Google Sheets is more than just free spreadsheet software to organize and store data. In this hands-on session will start with pivot tables and conditional formatting but through examples, we'll also learn how to scrape data in seconds without code, automate menial tasks with macros, write custom spreadsheet formulas as well as how to send emails, geocode addresses, translate text and more – all through the power of Google Sheets. Come with a laptop and leave with the knowledge of a Google Sheets power user.

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Attendees must bring a laptop and charger (no tablets) to this training.

    Workshop prerequisites: You should be familiar with using spreadsheets and formulas.

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

    Mariner Cove

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

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

    This is a continuation of PyCAR from Thursday, March 7 for pre-registered attendees of this class.

    Salon 5

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Digging into data for stories: A crash course in Excel - *pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Beginner



    Get started with using data in your stories with IRE's original mini-boot camp. In this 9-hour, hands-on workshop, IRE’s experienced trainers will start with the basics of navigating Excel and using formulas, then walk you through sorting, filtering and aggregating data with PivotTables to find story ideas.

    You'll come away with a solid base for using data analysis in your newsroom, including how to find and request data, identify and clean dirty data, find story ideas and bulletproof your work. 

    We’ll also provide you with our detailed 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 8, 2:15 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.; Saturday, March 9, 2:15 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.; Sunday, March 10, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (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.

    Salon 3 & 4

    2:15 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Workshop

    Master class: Design thinking for journalists **pre-registered attendees only

    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. 

    We’ll also cover:

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

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

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

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

    Crystal Cove - 3rd floor

    2:15 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Exploring the tidyverse in R (CAR19)

    Skill level: Intermediate

    Learn how to use the tidyverse, a 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.

    Sapphire Cove

    9:00 am - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    First graphics app: Node.js in the newsroom **pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Intermediate

    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.

    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.

    Coral Cove

    9:00 am - 5:45 pm

  • Workshop

    Master class: Mastering the interview **pre-registered attendees only

    Speaker: Ken Armstrong of ProPublica

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

    Topics will include:

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

     

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

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

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

    Crystal Cove - 3rd floor

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Upping your Excel game *pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Intermediate

    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.

    Salon 3

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Write better Python code *pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Intermediate/advanced

    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.

    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.

    Mariner Cove

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Interactive data viz with D3 **pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Intermediate

    Bring your data to life with elegant and intelligent visualizations with the D3 JavaScript library. We'll start with some JavaScript basics and learn what makes the D3 library so powerful, then use real-world datasets to build your first D3 chart. 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.

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

    Workshop prerequisites: You should have some knowledge of HTML/CSS and programming concepts. Previous JavaScript or D3 experience is not required.

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

    Salon 5

    2:15 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Workshop

    Master class: Writing the data-driven narrative **pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Sarah Cohen of ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism; T. Christian Miller of ProPublica

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

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

    Topics include:

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

     

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

    Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

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

    Crystal Cove - 3rd floor

    2:15 pm - 5:45 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 8 for pre-registered attendees of this class.

    Salon 3 & 4

    2:15 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Web scraping with Python *pre-registered attendees only

    Skill level: Beginner/intermediate

    If you need data that's trapped on a website, writing some code to scrape the page could be your solution. This entry-level class will show you how to use the Python programming language to harvest information from websites into a data file. We'll introduce you to the command line and show you how to write enough code to fetch, parse and analyze web content.

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

    Workshop prerequisites: This class is programming for beginners. Some basic familiarity with HTML and Python is helpful but not required.

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

    Coral Cove

    9:00 am - 12:30 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 Saturday, March 9 for pre-registered attendees of this class.

    Salon 3 & 4

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm