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Master Classes

Hone your writing, interviewing and editing skills with our NICAR Conference Master Classes. Veteran reporters and editors will share their tips and strategies during these half-day workshops. Space is limited for these small-group classes.

Preregistration has closed for these classes. Available seats will be filled onsite, at the start of the class on a first come, first serve basis. Payment will be collected onsite. Email logistics@ire.org with questions.

Optional master classes cancellation policy

Cancellations must be sent via email to logistics@ire.org. All cancellations must be in writing. There is a $15 processing fee for each class until Feb. 14. Refunds will not be given for cancellations after Feb. 14 due to the limited seating in these classes.

Waiting list policy

If a class fills up a waiting list will be created. Available seats will be filled from the waiting list until Friday, February 28. After that date, any available seats will be filled onsite, at the start of the class on a first come, first serve basis. Payment for the class will be collected onsite.

If you have any questions about registration or waiting lists, please email logistics@ire.org.

Editing the data story

Thursday, March 5, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. **This class is full, any available seats will be filled onsite, at the start of the class on a first come, first serve basis. Payment for the class will be collected onsite. **See waiting list policy above. Price: $35 Room: Galerie 5 (2nd floor) Instructors: Jennifer LaFleur, The Investigative Reporting Workshop; and Maud Beelman, the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at Arizona State University Managing a data project presents challenges for any editor. No matter your comfort level with data, this half-day workshop will give you the foundation you need to help make sure your reporters aren’t running with scissors or spinning their wheels on data projects. Two veteran editors, Jennifer LaFleur of The Investigative Reporting Workshop and Maud Beelman of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at Arizona State University, will guide you through the ins and outs of data journalism from an editor’s point of view, including:
  • How to help reporters find focus for their data stories
  • Being skeptical of data and finding potential pitfalls
  • Verifying analyses and bulletproofing data stories and apps
  • Using data to find human sources and characters for stories
  • Planning the best data workflows for your newsroom
No data experience is necessary for this workshop. Editors/producers and those interested in newsroom management are welcome. Please bring your own laptop. Pre-registration is required and seating is limited.

Statistics for journalists

Thursday, March 5, 2:15 – 5:45 p.m. **This class is full, any available seats will be filled onsite, at the start of the class on a first come, first serve basis. Payment for the class will be collected onsite. **See waiting list policy above.

Price: $35

Room: Galerie 5 (2nd floor)

Instructors: Steve Doig, Arizona State University; and Holly Hacker, The Dallas Morning News

Statistical methods can help you go beyond counting, sorting and filtering data to look at relationships, make predictions and level the playing fields. Statistical analyses can provide hard evidence to back up (or discredit) a theory. This master class will help you understand the concepts and methods most often used by journalists, including:

  • Linear regression
  • Correlation
  • Statistical significance
  • Describing and visualizing your data

This master class is aimed at those already familiar with basic data analysis using spreadsheets and ready to add statistical analysis to their toolkits.

Please bring your laptop to the training. Before the conference, please install R and R Studio (free, open-source software) on your computer.

Pre-registration is required and seating is limited.

Election 2020 data

Friday, March 6, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. **This class is full, any available seats will be filled onsite, at the start of the class on a first come, first serve basis. Payment for the class will be collected onsite. **See waiting list policy above.

Price: $35

Room: Galerie 5 (2nd floor)

Instructors: Carrie Levine, Center for Public Integrity; and Derek Willis, ProPublica

This year brings important elections from local school boards to statehouses and the White House. This class, taught by two veteran political reporters, will help you gear up for Election 2020 coverage at any level of government, including:

  • Tools and strategies for campaign finance data, from local to federal candidates
  • Following the money and the messaging from campaigns
  • Tracking the players beyond candidates, from super PACs to special interests and nonprofits
  • Story ideas to help you plan election coverage for your newsroom

No previous data experience is necessary for this workshop, though familiarity with spreadsheets will help. Please bring your own laptop.

Pre-registration is required and seating is limited.

Writing the investigative narrative

**NEW** Friday, March 6, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. **This class is full, any available seats will be filled onsite, at the start of the class on a first come, first serve basis. Payment for the class will be collected onsite. **See waiting list policy above.

Price: $35

Room: Studio 1 (2nd floor)

Instructors: Andrew Chavez, The New York Times; J. David McSwane, ProPublica

You’ve gathered data, docs and human sources. Now it’s time to turn your reporting into a story — or a series — that packs a punch. If you’re new to investigative storytelling or a data nerd hoping to better blend numbers into compelling prose, this workshop is for you.

Reporter J. David McSwane has worked in all media, always chasing that perfect marriage of investigative and narrative. Computational journalist Andrew Chavez will also lead some of the discussion.

Topics include:

  • Understanding narrative
  • Reporting for story — How to gather the details and scenes that will give your piece emotional power
  • Organization and framing
  • Self-editing tips and techniques – Do you need this character, this piece of data?
  • Making the data work for you – Adding scope and precision to a human story

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

Pre-registration is required and seating is limited.

141 Neff Annex   |   Missouri School of Journalism Columbia, MO 65211   |   573-882-2042   |   info@ire.org   |   Privacy Policy
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