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How to sell your boss on sending you to the CAR Conference

Trying to get your boss to send you to the upcoming CAR Conference in Baltimore? Try these suggestions, courtesty of your colleagues on the NICAR listserv.

  • "Our competitors will have people there, and they will ultimately use the skills they learn to publish stories we wish we had." - Matthew Doig, Newsday
  • "If your bosses have ever had a question they couldn't solve without some data crunching ("I wonder how many felons have hunting licenses?" "I wish we knew how to figure out who owns the most property in the county." "What's the most popular registered dog name?") this is a way for you to start down the path to answering it." - Andy Boyle, The Chicago Tribune
  • "My boss told me he's willing to pay my freight every year because I come back and share so much of what I learned with the rest of the newsroom." - MaryJo Webster, The St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • "I always come back with one or more new 'tricks' that they find highly useful. Here's just one example: One year, I took they day-long training in how to use Tableau. When I returned, I was quickly able to turn out sharp looking interactive graphics for our website that cost absolutely no money. I see that the Tableau training is being offered this year, so you could tell them that you will be able to do online interactive graphics when you return. And tell them that you will have ample opportunity to pick up other 'tricks.' And you will." - Paul Parker, The Providence Journal
  • "Make sure your boss understands that you don't have to be a full-time 'special projects' investigative journalist to get a lot out of the conference. Every year I hear about great projects that people managed to squeeze in between regular beat reporting responsibilities. You'll get a big jump start on knowing how to find interesting data sources, and you'll learn about useful tools to help you make sense of that data." - Sharon Machlis, Computerworld

One final piece of advice, also courtesy of Machlis. "If all else fails, you might want to mention that the most popular piece of content at The New York Times last year was a data project."

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