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Register for the NICAR21 virtual conference

Registration is open for IRE’s virtual NICAR21 data journalism conference, which runs March 3-5 and will feature hands-on data classes, panels and discussions, and opportunities to network with fellow data journalists.

Register by Feb. 10 to secure the early-bird rate of $125 for professionals. After that date, professional registration will be $175. Students may register at any time for $50. IRE membership is required to attend and should be current through April 1.

During the conference, members will be able to attend sessions, interact with speakers and one another, schedule one-on-one or small group video meetings, celebrate winners of the Philip Meyer Award, and gather virtually with IRE friends from across the country and around the world for fun activities.

Conference sessions will run between noon and 4 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time each day, with some social events scheduled after main conference hours.

Submissions also are now open for pitches for Lightning Talks, quick and quirky 5-minute presentations that are a beloved NICAR tradition, and for the NICAR21 T-shirt contest, where the winning design will be sold as conference swag. Submission for both are due Jan. 27, and members can vote for the winning talks and T-shirt design soon after.

“While the NICAR Conference will look different this year, we are excited to bring the same high-quality data journalism training to our members in this new format,” IRE Interim Executive Director Denise Malan said. “The online conference also will be accessible for more journalists than ever before.” 

Sign up for the NICAR21 email newsletter to receive detailed updates on major announcements and the planning process. You’ll also get reminders of key dates/deadlines surrounding the conference.

Frequently asked questions

How do I register for NICAR21?

First, make sure you have a current IRE membership through April 1, 2021. You can do that by logging into your account on the website and going to Manage Memberships in your Member Dashboard. 

  • If you  have a current membership, you will see a green ‘Yes’ in the Active column. 
  • If your membership has expired, click the ‘Subscribe’ button to go through the renewal process. (Note: If your membership expired before Dec. 1, 2020, you will not be able to log in to the website. Please create a new account on our website by filling out the Join form.)
  • If you have never been an IRE member, please apply from the Join page.

Next, go to the conference ticket page. The correct price for your membership level will show up in the ‘Get Tickets’ block. Click ‘Add to cart’ and follow the steps to check out.

If the ticket block is blank, please check that you are logged into your account with a current membership. If you still need help, email info@ire.org.

What sessions can I expect at a virtual NICAR21?

View a list of expected sessions here. Full session and speaker details will be released in the coming weeks.

NICAR21 will offer a mix of panels, demos, discussions, networking, and on-demand hands-on data training, with several options to choose from during each hour of the conference.

Will there be Lightning Talks?

Lightning Talks, a much-anticipated session at every NICAR conference, will be part of the virtual experience as well. Lightning Talks are 5-minute presentations on particular skills, tools or techniques. Pitches are submitted and voted on by NICAR21 attendees.

You can submit a pitch for a Lightning Talk here. Pitches are due Jan. 27, and voting will open shortly afterward.

Will we have opportunities to socialize?

While we aren’t able to hang out in person this year, we still want to bring the NICAR community together in some more relaxed social settings. The NICAR Happy Hour sessions will offer everything from low-key to high-energy sessions to help you unwind after a long and exhausting day (or year).

What will hands-on training look like in a virtual setting?

All hands-on training will be on demand, via short, recorded videos that teach the same skills NICARians have come to expect from our conferences. Attendees can learn valuable data journalism skills, tips and tricks at their own pace. Videos will be recorded by IRE trainers teaching these skills:

  • Spreadsheets
  • SQL
  • Python
  • R
  • Data visualization
  • Web scraping
  • Data wrangling

Each lab will include instructions to set up your computer at home, data files to follow along, and other resources.

NICAR will also offer numerous office hour sessions where attendees can sign up to receive live help from experts in various skills to complement the on-demand training.

What are the tech requirements to attend NICAR21?

The conference will be held on an event platform called Pathable, which is best viewed on the Chrome browser. Sessions within Pathable are held on Zoom, and attendees should download Zoom here (free and available for Mac and PC). 

Attendees will receive a login for the Pathable platform before the conference.

Does IRE offer fellowships to attend? 

Fellowships are available for the following communities:

  • Journalists, students and educators of color
  • Women who are early-career (three years or less) or students
  • Educators who teach data journalism/investigative reporting

Fellowships include a complimentary IRE membership/renewal ($25 for students/$70 for pros) and a complimentary conference registration ($50 for students/$175 for pros).

For more information and to apply, visit our fellowships page.

How long can I access conference materials?

All on-demand classes, live session recordings, tipsheets and session materials will be available on the conference website for one year for any attendee to access. Members are encouraged to register for the conference even if they can’t attend during live conference hours.

Will there be a mentorship program?

No, the mentorship program will not be a component of the virtual conference. One-on-one help for data skills and projects will be available at office hour sessions where attendees can sign up for individual time slots.

How do I keep up with all the news about NICAR21?

Sign up here to receive email newsletters with all the latest NICAR21 announcements about sessions, Lightning Talks, the T-shirt contest, office hour signups and more!

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