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NICAR21 Expected Sessions

NICAR21 will feature a mix of panels, demos, on-demand data training, networking and more.

Here’s a look at some of the sessions we’re planning. Please note that this list is preliminary and subject to change. Full session details, including speakers and descriptions, will be released in the coming weeks. 

Virtual data labs and office hours:

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. More than 80 videos will offer training in:

  • 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. No previous data experience is required to start with the beginner sessions.

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.

Expected live sessions and tracks:

COVID 

  • Lessons learned from working with COVID-19 data for the past year
  • What Covid-19 revealed about worker safety
  • Public records on the COVID-19 beat
  • Covering pandemic relief efforts
  • Investigating hospitals and health care
  • Using OpenCorporates API to investigate covid relief funds

Security and safety

  • Disrupting digital harassment 
  • Countering physical surveillance 
  • Monitoring -- and communicating -- with hackers and their victims during a ransomware attack

Exposing systemic inequities

  • Policing the police
  • Using data for housing investigations
  • Decolonizing data journalism
  • Investigative/data reporting and community engagement
  • Why data journalism skills are fundamental to creating equity and diversity in newsrooms 
  • Using data to report inequities 

Demos

  • Web scraping with Google Sheets
  • Using DNS search for investigative journalism
  • Datasette 
  • OpenPGP in the investigative reporting process
  • Workbench 
  • Getting started with machine learning

Design Track

  • Data viz tool demos:
    • Datawrapper
    • Flourish
    • RAWGraphs
  • Design portfolio critiques with the Society for News Design

Sessions will also include topics on:

  • Deep dive into Philip Meyer Award-winning stories
  • Datasets for covering higher education
  • Data to hold social media platforms accountable
  • Self care and fighting stress
  • Data and digital tools for mobile and desktop
  • Planning for Census 2020 coverage
  • Using data in pursuit of solutions journalism
  • Developing resiliency against the information disorder
  • Digging into immigration data
  • Cross-border data investigations
  • Climate change data
  • Editing and bulletproofing the data story
  • Incorporating data in radio/audio investigations
  • Using data in TV

Networking for:

  • Educators 
  • Students
  • Journalists of color
  • Career development
  • Freelancers 
  • LGBTQIA+ 
  • TV journalists
  • Radio journalists
  • NICAR first-timers
  • International journalists
  • Nonprofit newsroom journalists
  • Lonely coders 

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