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Here's your NICAR23 Lightning Talks lineup

The results are in! Here's the lineup for Lightning Talks at the #NICAR23 conference in Nashville next week, in speaking order:

  1. Think like an accessibility engineer: Make real improvements to your content in minutes | Holden Foreman, The Washington Post
    There are so many accessibility checklists and supposed "shortcuts" floating around. We know accessibility is important, but it can be hard to know where to start without an engineering background. The good news is that there are easy ways for journalists to identify real issues (not just alt text!) AND fixes for your articles in minutes; I'll demonstrate.
  2. Bad Bunny and passion data side projects | Lucio Villa, The Washington Post
    I'll talk about how I find inspiration outside of work and use my data skills to build fun side projects. Specifically, I'll share how my idea to build a Bad Bunny themed Wordle resulted in an opportunity to practice my Python skills and a game that was enjoyed by thousands.
  3. Three new file formats for your toolbox | Alex Garcia, freelance software engineer
    CSVs, JSON, and GeoJSONs are so last decade! Many new file formats like Parquet, SQLite, DuckDB, and FlatGeobufs have the potential to simplify your work, cut down your compute and storage costs, and make your life easier! This talk will be a brief overview of these file formats, how they can help in your data analysis work or in your newsroom, and provide recommendations of helpful tools and tutorials for Python, R, and JavaScript users!
  4. Take this job and shove it? Maybe not. | Laura Evans, WHIO-TV
    Five tips for staying in… or leaving a journalism job - so either way you don't ruin your career.
  5. Ergonomics for data journalists | Stephanie Lamm, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    After hand-entering more than 1,000 rows of data, I developed tendonitis that required three weeks of physical therapy. I’m going to share what I learned about creating an ergonomic workspace and stretching routine so that this doesn’t happen to you.
  6. How to battle a webmaster and win | Ryan Little, The Baltimore Banner
    This is a hopefully funny tale of battling webmasters and winning, featuring anecdotes from my time writing and running web scrapers for ProPublica, Mother Jones and The Baltimore Banner. This will be informative about the many tools you can use to keep scraping a website when a webmaster doesn't want you to, like using useragents, proxies and CAPTCHA solving services. It will also highlight the value of persistence, ingenuity and Googling really, really, really well in the face of coding adversity.
  7. Data journalism nightmares and tips: A meme story | Juan Pablo Marín Díaz, Datasketch
    Recurring pains in data journalism shown with GIFs/memes and how to over come them with copy-paste data-science browser-based tools.
  8. GitHub, the ultimate anti-censorship tool | Léopold Mebazaa, Artefact
    Newsrooms are familiar with GitHub as a convenient way to store and modify source code. What is less known is that GitHub is hard to fully censor, even in China or Iran, because of its strategic position in the modern software ecosystem. This, in turn, means that GitHub can be leveraged to disseminate journalism in authoritarian countries.
  9. A data-driven investigation: Is Nashville country music all trucks, beer and boots? | Sean McMinn, POLITICO
    In five minutes, let's go through (at least) five years of country hits to analyze the lyrical themes, diversity of the genre and most commonly used phrases. Welcome to Nashville!
  10. How ChatGPT makes my job easier (but won't replace me anytime soon) | Arijit Sen, Dallas Morning News
    Since the introduction of OpenAI's ChatGPT a few months ago, I have been using the tool incessantly. In this presentation, I will outline how I use the tool to write faster code, translate code from different languages, explain difficult concepts and brainstorm stories and pitches. I'll also discuss the tool's limitations and why it wont replace data journalists anytime soon.

Lightning Talks, a series of 5-minute talks at NICAR selected by the community, has become one of the most popular sessions at the conference. This year, you can attend the big event on Friday, March 3, from 5-6:15 p.m. in Broadway Ballroom 1&2 (Meeting Space Level 1). Thank you to the Knight Foundation for sponsoring Lightning Talks.

After Lightning Talks, please stick around to help us congratulate the 2022 Philip Meyer Journalism Award winners and recognize the first two Ring of Honor recipients.

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