2015 CAR Conference

Join IRE and NICAR for our annual conference devoted to computer-assisted reporting. Come and learn about tools you need to dig deeper into stories and give readers and viewers the information they want.

For more information, visit our conference page.

Time and place

Thursday, Mar. 5, 2015 - Sunday, Mar. 8, 2015

Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Atlanta, Georgia 30303


Registration information

Registration for this event is open! Click here to begin.

Hurry! Registration closes on Sunday, Mar. 8 at 12:00pm.


Schedule details

  • Outside Event

    Techraking <=10: Bootstrapping the News (Sponsored by The Center for Investigative Reporting)

    Speakers: Michael Corey of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Aaron Williams of The Washington Post; Eric Sagara of Big Local News

    Give us four hours and your laptop, and we’ll send you into NICAR with a fully-functioning data-crunching machine and the knowledge to use it.

    One of the biggest hurdles to learning programming is the often bewildering process of setting up your computer. Veteran data crunchers and programmers from The Center for Investigative Reporting will give you a virtual playground on your personal laptop that will allow you to explore all the tools you'll gather throughout the conference. In this four-hour workshop, we’ll introduce crucial programming concepts and tools and -- most importantly -- why we use them.

    You’ll walk into conference sessions with a laptop loaded with many of the tools presenters will be talking about, and a leg up as you continue developing your skills once you're back home.

    Additional details including the schedule for the workshop can be found on the conference website.

    Register for this workshop.

    International 10

    1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Special Event

    Conference registration (Wednesday)

    Registration will be located on the International Level of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

    International Foyer

    1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Outside Event

    Secrets of Covering Money (Sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism)

    Speaker: Brandon Quester of inewsource

    Money is in every story, from education to politics to metro, sports and entertainment. Learn how to explore the money across many beats in this pre-conference Reynolds Center workshop led by Brandon Quester. 

    This free workshop sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will be held Wednesday afternoon before the CAR Conference begins.  

    Sign up for this free workshop

    International 8-9

    2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Special Event

    Conference registration (Thursday)

    Registration will be located on the International Level of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

    International Foyer

    7:30 am - 5:00 pm

  • Special Event

    Conference sales (Thursday)

    Stop by the IRE sales table and take a look at our merchandise. We will be selling books, the large selection of titles we carry will certainly include your interests. The winner of the IRE T-shirt contest will be displayed and on sale. 

    International Foyer

    7:30 am - 5:00 pm

  • Panel

    Welcome and overview of the conference

    Speakers: Jaimi Dowdell of Reuters; Alex Richards of NerdWallet; Megan Luther of InvestigateTV; Mark Horvit of University of Missouri

    Welcome to the conference! IRE staff will highlight key sessions and events that you won't want to miss while in Atlanta. We'll also give you a brief rundown on some of the resources IRE has to offer.

    International 8-9

    8:30 am - 8:50 am

  • Hands-on

    Intermediate/Advanced Python

    Speakers: Jeremy Bowers of The New York Times; Serdar Tumgoren of Stanford University

    You've written a few Python scripts that get the job done, but the initial euphoria has worn off. Your code is hard to understand. Bugs are cropping up. Worse, you can't always explain your process or results to an editor -- or yourself. There must be a better way, but the path forward is not clear. If you've had that itchy feeling, this daylong, hands-on workshop is for you.

    After mastering the basics of writing code, you need to understand how to design programs.  To that end, the first half of this class will explore Python language features that will help you write readable, reliable and reusable code.  The second half will go deep on classes and object-oriented programming -- critical skills for achieving fluency in Python and empowering you to work with and even modify third-party libraries. We'll also review tools and best practices that can help beginner programmers break through to the next level. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Interested attendees should apply for this session by filling out this form

    **Prerequisites: Experience with basic Python language features like variables, data types, conditionals and functions are required.

    Attendees must be registered for the conference to attend this workshop.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    M102

    9:00 am - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Map Camp (pre-registered attendees only)

    Speakers: David Herzog of IRE and NICAR; Jennifer LaFleur of Investigative Reporting Workshop; Robby Deming of Esri; Brian Peterson of Esri

    Learn how to uncover interesting news stories by mapping data with geographic information system (GIS) software during our intensive mini-boot camp and receive a free copy of ArcGIS Desktop*.

    IRE and NICAR trainers conduct this hands-on training using the latest version of ArcView GIS. We will look at noteworthy stories that have used mapping and show you how to uncover stories using census and other data. Youíll learn how to display data geographically; import and query data; geocode to merge databases with addresses into maps. Attendees will also learn how ArcGIS Online may help as a storytelling platform. In addition, we'll provide you with our boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference.  

    Participants should have basic knowledge in using relational database programs such as Microsoft Access. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

    *Attendees of the bootcamp have the option to receive the following discounts from Esri. (1) A free license of ArcGIS Desktop that will not time out and includes one year call-in technical support and upgrades at no cost. Call-in technical support and upgrades are available on a nominal fee basis in year two. (2) A free one-year subscription to ArcGIS Online that includes access to Esri's Community Analyst database. Please contact the Esri Media Relations team press@esri.com for further information.

    Prerequisites: Participants should have experience working with data in a relational database manager, such as Microsoft Access or MySQL.

    Attendees must be registered for the conference to attend this workshop.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    M109

    9:00 am - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    PyCAR

    Speakers: Chris Keller of Los Angeles Times; Ryan Murphy of The Texas Tribune; Katie Park of The Washington Post; Kevin Schaul of The Washington Post; Heather Battaglia of 18F; Tom Meagher of The Marshall Project; Alex Richards of NerdWallet; Eric Sagara of Big Local News

    Introduction to Python. This hands-on workshop will teach journalists basic programming concepts using the Python language. The daylong class will introduce language basics and useful libraries in the course of a typical reporting project: scraping data from the Web, inserting it in a database and analyzing the results.

    Although the class is geared toward beginners, we'll assume that you're comfortable with databases and SQL and that you've hopefully seen a command line since the days of DOS. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

    **Prerequisites: Attendees should be have familiarity with the command line and be comfortable with databases and SQL.

    Attendees must be registered for the conference to attend this workshop.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    See printed schedule for room information

    9:00 am - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Interactive data graphics in Tableau Public (Hosted by Tableau)

    Speaker: Ben Jones of Tableau Software

    Learn how to create beautiful, interactive data visualizations on short deadlines. No programming required. You'll learn everything you need to build data visualizations and publish them to your website just like a video. 

    We'll teach you how to:

    •Connect to Excel files and other data

    •Create maps and charts

    •Make them interactive

    •Publish them on your site

    Tableau Public is a free tool for journalists. No previous experience with Tableau is necessary to take this class. Laptops will be provided.  This is a free training, however you must be registered for the CAR Conference to attend this class.  Limited seats are available.  

    This class is full.  There may be a few seats available on-site. If you are interested, please arrive a few minutes before the class begins and the instructors will let you know how many seats may be available.  

    M101

    9:00 am - 10:30 am

  • Hands-on

    Excel magic (advanced functions)

    Speaker: MaryJo Webster of Star Tribune

    Learn about various tools and functions in Excel that come in handy when you need to re-structure or otherwise get your data ready for analysis. We'll cover string functions, logical functions, date functions, the Tableau Reshaper, merging data using lookup functions and perhaps a few other nifty tricks if time allows. This is a fast-paced class intended to introduce you to these tools, not master them. But you'll walk out with practice data and a 20-page tipsheet that covers in detail everything we do in class, plus other great Excel tips.

    Recommended for: anyone feeling comfortable with basic Excel functions and formulas.

    M105

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Demo

    From words to pictures: Text analysis and visualization

    Speaker: Nicholas Diakopoulos of Northwestern University

    You've got a massive pile of text: some Ferguson tweets, a box of now OCRed documents, or maybe a corpus of press releases you scraped. How do you make sense of it? In this session I'll introduce some alternatives for using text visualization to see your texts in different ways. Then I'll talk about some of the machinery for text analysis that you'll need to get there, with pointers out to Python tools. Next year you'll be visualizing the SOTU like a pro.

    International 10

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Getting started with open-source database manager MySQL

    Speaker: T. Christian Miller of ProPublica

    Plenty of data these days come in large or relational tables that require a good database manager, beyond what Excel and even Access can offer. MySQL is a free, powerful, and popular open-source tool, and with it you can transform and analyze almost any dataset. In this class we will introduce you to MySQL and how it works. Please note that we cannot help you install it here, but there'll be plenty of help for that at the installation party Sunday at 9 a.m.

    This session will be most helpful if: You have some experience working with data in columns and rows, and are familiar with SQL.

    M103

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Getting started: Intro to CAR and the conference

    Speakers: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV; Ron Nixon of The Associated Press; Nils Mulvad of Kaas & Mulvad

    Are you new to data journalism or does this happen to be your first time at a CAR conference? Is it time to up your game but you're not sure how to take the next step? If so, this session will help you get on track to make sure that you get the best experience possible from the 2015 CAR Conference. We'll highlight sessions and give you tips for success during and after the conference.

    This session is good for: Those new to data journalism or the CAR Conference.

    International 8-9

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Investigating caretakers

    Speakers: Robert Benincasa of NPR; Jeff Kelly Lowenstein of Grand Valley State University

    How to use federal nursing home and other data to tell locally relevant stories about long-term care in your area, and hold nursing home operators and authorities accountable.

    International 4-5

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Key data for investigating universities (Sponsored by Lumina Foundation)

    Speakers: Sandhya Kambhampati of Los Angeles Times; Anu Narayanswamy of The Washington Post; Todd Wallack of The Boston Globe; Mark Horvit of University of Missouri

    *Moderated by Mark Horvit, IRE/NICAR

    Colleges and universities have been the increasing focus of public scrutiny, from the value (and cost) of an education to questions of gender equity and issues of diversity and safety. Learn where to find data to examine campuses on your coverage area and how to mine it for stories.

    International 2-3

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - Facilitation training

    *Facilitated by David Eads and Erika Owens

    Facilitation training and discussion about facilitation and creating safe spaces

     

    International Foyer

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Spotlight: Being a reporter when everyone's a journalist and there's data everywhere

    Speaker: Zeynep Tufekci of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    International 6-7

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Twitter tricks and analytics

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    If you know the basics of Twitter, you're ready to ratchet up your skills. This hands-on session will take you to the next level: advanced Twitter searches, mining tweets by location, creative uses of Twitter lists (public and private), and apps/services that provide robust analytics. The payoff: better sources (particularly during breaking news) and a competitive edge in your market.

    Prerequisite: Please have an active Twitter account set up before the class

    M107

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Designing database applications to increase page views and ad revenues

    Speaker: Edward Garcia of Caspio, Inc.

    With journalists facing increasing pressure to create data interactives that engage more readers, it’s important to optimize data-driven applications for interactivity, traffic and page views. Learn how to design and deploy revenue-generating applications that will continue to serve as long-lasting data assets. This demo will showcase real-world examples and techniques for building “share-worthy” hyper-local applications. Technologies covered: Caspio, Google maps, Google charts, GPS and location proximity, AJAX, CDN, data feeds, SEO, and cross-channel deployment (web, mobile and social).

    NOTE: Pre-registration is not required, but is recommended to receive your free Caspio account pre-loaded with demo apps for the session.

    Click here to sign up.

    This session is good for: Everyone. All attendees receive a free permanent Caspio account for life.

    M107

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    Do it once (and only once)

    Speakers: Derek Willis of ProPublica; David Eads of ProPublica Illinois

    Because data processing can be fraught with peril (and consume a ton of your time), this session will show you the nuts and bolts of doing it in a reusable way. We'll cover things like writing scripts to clean and import data; managing the processing code with version control; and the importance of audit trails so that you can keep track of what's happening with your code behind the scenes.

    International 6-7

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Excel for business and economics

    Speaker: Aaron Kessler of CNN

    ​Whether you just started using Excel or it's been your companion for years, chances are there's a lot it can do you've never realized. We sometimes think of Excel as the stepping stone to database managers like Access or SQL Server, and overlook just how powerful its tools can be. Especially if you're covering business and economics, come find out why Excel is still so popular in the business world and we'll unlock some of its secrets. The people you're covering know these tricks - you should too.

    This session is good for: People who understand Excel basics but want to unlock powerful functions for analyzing businesses.

    M103

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Demo

    International 10

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Make Photoshop work for you

    Speaker: Chris Canipe of Axios

    Ever want to create an animated gif? How about a easy way to crop, rotate and resize 1000 photos at once? Or extract hidden information from a photograph using the perspective tool? You'll learn these tricks and more in a hands-on workshop aimed at showing you the amazing (and extremely useful) things that Photoshop can do for you.

    M105

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - Time & Task Management

    *Facilitated by Brent Jones

    Let's share tips and tools for staying organized and on-task in the newsroom. GitHub Issues? The Bulletproof Journal System? Lots and lots of lists? How do you keep track of projects and tasks? Whether you have a system or a Post-It note, help others learn how to keep things from falling through the cracks.

    International Foyer

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    The forgotten history of data journalism

    Speaker: Scott Klein of ProPublica

    You may think that data journalism started in the 1960s, but the truth is, data's been a central part of journalism since its very beginning. You'll see beautiful examples of data visualizations in news from the 18th and 19th centuries, and a data-backed investigation--complete with nerd box--from before the Civil War.

    This session is good for: Anyone interested in data visualization.

    International 2-3

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    Tracking diseases

    Speakers: Gary Baum of The Hollywood Reporter; Daniel Lathrop of University of Iowa; Elizabeth McKay of The Wall Street Journal

    Ebola. Measles. Pandemic flu. When disease strikes in communities it's up to us to get to the bottom of what's going on and evaluate the official response. This session will provide guidance on the data, records and sources you need but may not have thought to get.

    International 4-5

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    What the hell is R and all the other questions you’re afraid to ask

    Speakers: Sisi Wei of ProPublica; Tisha Thompson of ESPN

    Ever wondered what people are talking about at this conference? What exactly is R and why you would want to use it? What is the difference between Ruby, Python and Javascript? And why is there a J in front of Query? Welcome to our no-judgment-starting-at-step-zero session even NICAR vets can use. We'll review tech concepts and jargon you'll likely hear at NICAR this year, explain what they mean, why they're useful and point you to the sessions that can teach you the terms you now understand.

    This session is good for: Anyone who has felt lost in the sea of technical terminology.

    International 8-9

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Advanced design and interaction in Tableau Public (Hosted by Tableau)

    Speaker: Jewel Loree of Tableau Software

    Analyzing data and coming up interactive visualizations is easy in Tableau but sometimes getting everything looking polished isn’t. In this session you will learn how to break away from the default formatting in Tableau Public to create interactive data graphics that match your style guides and engage your readers. 

    We will teach you how to:

    •change colors, shapes, borders, fonts, and other basic formatting

    •incorporate images, logos, and other graphic elements

    •take advantage of advanced interaction techniques to incorporate multimedia

    •utilize design and layout best practices to make sure that your visualization looks polished and professional

    Tableau Public is a free tool for journalists. Some familiarity with the product is recommended; a beginner session earlier in the day should prepare you enough for this session. This is a free training, however you must be registered for the CAR Conference to attend this class.  Limited seats are available.  

    This class is full.  There may be a few seats available on-site. If you are interested, please arrive a few minutes before the class begins and the instructors will let you know how many seats may be available.  

    M101

    11:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Data from scratch: When data don't exist

    Speakers: Ricardo Brom of La Nacion; Griff Palmer of independent journalist; Lisa Pickoff-White of KQED Public Radio

    You've got a great story idea but no one tracks the data. Time to quit, right? Wrong. We'll show you the tools, and the pitfalls, of making your own data when no data exists.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 4-5

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Digging deeper with the Web

    Speakers: Jaimi Dowdell of Reuters; Amy Roberts of CNN

    What journalists need to know. From better backgrounding techniques to the invisible Web. How to find people, documents and databases on deadline and where to find reliable websites for enterprise stories. The craft of better searching and not wasting time.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 6-7

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    First steps with R

    Speaker: Annie Waldman of ProPublica

    Take your first steps with powerful, open-source statistical language R by learning some of the basic skills you need to get up and running with R. By the end of this session, you will be able to take raw data, import it into R, and start your analysis. Topics that will be covered include: basic data importing, working with directories, reading in data, installing packages, as well as how to clean, explore and sort data. We'll also talk about how to find help when you're stuck.

    This session will be most helpful if: you have experience working with data.

    M107

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Getting started with Access

    Speaker: Acton Gorton of Chicago Tribune

    Learning to manipulate data is a bit like learning a new language. Actually, it is a language, called structured query language. This session is an introduction to using SQL to zero in on your data, by viewing slices and chunks of it, and putting it into a useful order so you can spot the stuff you need to get started toward a story.

    This session will be most useful if: You have some experience working with data in columns and rows, in spreadsheets or database managers.

    M105

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - News Nerd book club

    *Facilitated by Adam Schweigert and Kaeti Hinck

    Join the folks from INN to discuss The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman. Let's talk about how design principles and the fundamentals of human psychology influence our understanding of the world — and the work we do as data journalists. Bonus, we'll probably have pie.

     

    International Foyer

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    OpenRefine

    Speaker: Frederick Kaimann of Advance Digital

    Learn to take filthy, stinking, messy data from an unhelpful government agency and transform it into something useful with the help of OpenRefine. If you often have to scrub and standardize huge spreadsheets, but you haven't delved into regular expressions, this program will change your life.

    This session will be most useful if: You have some experience working with data in columns and rows, in spreadsheets or database managers.

    M103

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Spotlight: A conversation with Hanna Wallach - lessons from computational social sciences

    Speakers: Sarah Cohen of ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism; Hanna Wallach of Microsoft Research

    **Moderated by Sarah Cohen, The New York Times

    Hanna Wallach has been a pioneer in computational social science, which shares documents, data and challenges with many journalists. She'll bring her wisdom in applying natural language processing and machine learning to IRE in a wide-ranging conversation that will include pitfalls and promise in cross-disciplinary collaborations, advice for handling document dumps and attempts to predict the content of redacted documents.

    The session is good for: Anyone We'll explain any jargon. The session will be most useful if you have a passing familiarity with statistics or coding.

    International 8-9

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Demo

    Tell stories about your community with real estate data

    Speaker: Skylar Olsen of Zillow

    Housing data is about more than just real estate. Get beyond the market reports and tell stories about your community: Watchdog government programs, profile up-and-coming neighborhoods, and inform your daily reports on transit, crime, and new development.

    In this session, Zillow's senior economist, Skylar Olsen, will walk you through the data available about real estate, explain its caveats and show off her favorite tricky Excel shortcuts. She'll demo how she combines housing stats with census data to find trends relevant in local markets all over the country.

    International 10

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Uncovering racial and economic divides using data

    Speakers: Tim Henderson of The Pew Charitable Trusts; David Herzog of IRE and NICAR; Malik Singleton of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times Magazine

    *Moderated by Malik Singleton, New York University

    The journalists on this panel have sparked debate and action from their reporting on social disparities and economic inequality. They have also produced key examples of interactive data-driven storytelling that amateur and advanced professionals will appreciate. This session will look at their investigations about recent national news, with particular focus on:

    • Data that demonstrates the "resegregation" of American schools and the methodologies used;

    • Data related to the President's "Middle class economics" proposals;

    • Data about "economic harassment" in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere;

    • How data reporters can proceed when there's a serious lack of data on controversial events.

    International 2-3

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - Creating a culture of constructive critique

    *Facilitated by Tyler Fisher, Ted Han

    How do we create a culture of constructive critique in this community? -- What sorts of critiques do you need from your peers in the industry? What would you find productive? Maybe come with a project you worked on and what critique you wish you could have gotten?

    International Foyer

    12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Intro to data stories in Tableau Public (Hosted by Tableau Public)

    Speaker: Andrew Cheung of Tableau Software

    Got a dataset and an impending deadline to write a story on it? Find the scoop and convey it with beautiful, interactive visualizations in a serial narrative using Tableau Public. It’s a fast, easy to use, and free tool for journalists. Visualizations will publish using any CMS and no programming is required. 

    We’ll teach you how to:

    •Connect to Excel files and other file types

    •Rapidly explore and analyze datasets with ease

    •Make eye-catching visualizations to share your findings

    •Add interactivity and arrange them in a serial narrative to engage and sustain your audience’s attention

    Tableau Public is a free tool for journalists. No previous experience with Tableau is necessary to take this class. Laptops will be provided.  This is a free training, however you must be registered for the CAR Conference to attend this class.  Limited seats are available.  

    This class is full.  There may be a few seats available on-site. If you are interested, please arrive a few minutes before the class begins and the instructors will let you know how many seats may be available. 

    M101

    1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: California Code Rush - The CAL-ACCESS Challenge

    Speakers: Ben Welsh of Los Angeles Times; Aaron Williams of The Washington Post

    Hacks, hackers and newbies of all ages! Step right up and help the California Civic Data Coalition master CAL-ACCESS, the golden state’s campaign cash database. Our team is here at NICAR 2015 with dozens of open tickets, in all shapes and sizes. And we are asking you to help close them out.

    It’s a simple game. Submit a patch, win a prize. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the prize. Don’t worry if you’re new to open source. Stop by and we’ll guide you through your first contribution, from fork to patch to pull. 

     

    International Foyer

    1:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Panel

    CAR on the beat

    Speakers: Kate Martin of Carolina Public Press; Christopher Weaver of The Wall Street Journal; Jennifer Smith Richards of Chicago Tribune

    *Moderated by Jennifer Smith Richards, The Columbus Dispatch

    Data isn't just for big projects or a designated investigative reporter. Learn how to think about finding and using data on any beat and the best way to make data part of your everyday work. We'll talk about the kind of data every beat reporter should have on hand, how to make time for data analysis and show some examples of how beat reporters have made use of data in everyday stories.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 2-3

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Counting and summing with Access

    Speaker: Andrea Fuller of The Wall Street Journal

    If you know how to write a basic SELECT statement in SQL through Microsoft Access but are looking to make calculations, then this is the session for you. Learn to count how many times certain records appear in a database and sum totals across records. These skills can come in handy whether you're covering campaign finance or boating licenses.

    This session will be most useful if: You took 'getting started with Access' or are familiar with 'SELECT' and 'WHERE' statements in SQL.

    M105

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Grabbing data from websites without scraping

    Speakers: Scott Klein of ProPublica; Michelle Minkoff of The Associated Press

    We'll show you how to get websites to give up structured data. Programming knowledge isn't required but you'll learn why it's good to have. Required software is just a web browser and some free tools and add-ons we'll tell you about.

    Prerequisites: Solid excel. Sneakiness and Nosiness.

    M107

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    Make every international story a data story

    Speakers: Eva Constantaras of Internews; Giannina Segnini Picado of Columbia Journalism School; Mar Cabra of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

    Some international headlines just won't stop. There's endless fighting in Ukraine.  So, let’s find out where are those weapons are coming from.  Greece may default on its loans unless it reforms its tax system. We can calculate how many Greek citizens actually pay taxes. Nigeria’s elections are plagued by corruption. Let’s have a look at the how much was being transferred to politicians from Swiss bank accounts.   With a dearth of quality international news coverage, a little bit of data can transform breaking news on the crisis of the week into in-depth coverage that leads to greater accountability.  This session will dissect some of the biggest international investigations of the year, the data behind them and their global and local impact.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 4-5

    2:10 pm - 3:20 pm

  • Demo

    Plotly: Making & sharing beautiful, engaging graphs

    Speaker: Matthew Sundquist of Plotly

    Plotly allows you to create beautiful, interactive graphs and data visualizations in your browser. Use the same JavaScript library the New York Times uses (d3.js) and embed your graphs in blogs, websites, & articles. But you don't need to code to make beautiful, interactive graphs; while you can use Python, R, and more to make graphs, you can also make graphs with Excel, Google Drive, and by copying and pasting data into a grid. It's collaborative, free, and entirely online. In this talk, we'll talk about graphing best practices and look at how The Washington Post, Wired, The Guardian and others use Plotly graphs in their work.

    International 10

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    Space journalism: Using satellite imagery for data projects

    Speakers: Brian Jacobs of National Geographic; Derek Watkins of The New York Times; Al Shaw of ProPublica

    In this panel we'll discuss the basics of remote sensing and how recent and historic satellite data can be used in data-driven projects. Space agencies are actively making this data more readily accessible to the public and it can be used to create beautiful and revealing images of anywhere in the world. In projects at The New York Times and ProPublica, we've used this imagery to tell visual and geographic stories, integrating it with other geographic datasets and on-the-ground reporting. We'll discuss how we acquired the data from NASA data centers along with the visual and programmatic techniques that can be used to process it.

    International 6-7

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Stats: An introduction

    Speaker: Jeff Kelly Lowenstein of Grand Valley State University

    Statisticians need to really understand their data (and so do you!) before they begin running analyses. As a result, statistical software packages such as SPSS have many powerful tools to summarize your data. You're going to love them. We'll take a look at the structure of some Home Mortgage data, do data transformations and run crosstabs with Chi Square significance tests to look at racial discrimination in home lending.

    This session will be most helpful if: You have familiarity with Excel and some database software. We've got a *lot* of ground to cover in this hour.

    M103

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    The latest on open records

    Speakers: Michael Morisy of MuckRock; Jackie Kazil of Capital One; Kathleen Johnston of Indiana University; Tom Clyde of Kilpatrick Townsend

    *Moderated by Kathleen Johnston, independent journalist

    To successfully get the data and documents you want, it's key to understand how the law is changing and what developments are on the horizon. This session looks at the current state of open records regulations, and where the trends are heading, particularly as it applies to data.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 8-9

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    Analyzing jobs in your community

    Speakers: Tyler Dukes of WRAL-Raleigh; MaryJo Webster of Star Tribune; David Hiles of Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Learn about various data sources, both federally and locally, that can help you look at the changing makeup of jobs in your community. What's growing? What's declining? What's expected in the next 5 to 10 years? Also learn about ways to watchdog local and state programs that are promising to create jobs.

    This session is good for: Reporters looking for story ideas and data sources. Beginners and advanced data users welcome.

    International 2-3

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Demo

    Bedfellows: Explore the relationships between PAC donors and recipients

    Speaker: Derek Willis of ProPublica

    Come learn about Bedfellows, a new tool developed for analyzing federal campaign finance data.

    International 10

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    Data journalism in the university: Making the paradigm shift

    Speakers: Meredith Broussard of New York University; Matt Waite of University of Nebraska - Lincoln; Brant Houston of University of Illinois

    *Moderated by Brant Houston, University of Illinois

    Experienced teachers offer recommendations on how to construct a sensible and practical syllabus, how to integrate it into a curriculum, how to keep up with the profession, and how to being in adjuncts when the current professors can't teach it.

    This session is good for: Anyone teaching part-time or full-time or planning to.

    International 8-9

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    Humanizing numbers

    Speakers: Ryan Gabrielson of ProPublica; Katie Park of The Washington Post; Ron Nixon of The Associated Press; Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times Magazine

    *Moderated by Ron Nixon, The New York Times

    Can a data-driven project be personal and provoke empathy in readers? Sometimes a chart doesn't portray the full impact of an individual's story; sometimes a well written narrative glosses over the larger pattern. In this session, we'll look at projects that try to tackle the problem of humanizing numbers and discuss whether empathetic data viz is even possible.

    International 6-7

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    I screwed up. I survived and you can, too.

    Speakers: Sarah Cohen of ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism; Tom McGinty of The Wall Street Journal; Coulter Jones of The Wall Street Journal; John Perry of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    *Moderated by Coulter Jones, MedPage Today

    The path to great data-driven journalism is not a straight line. Inevitable issues with records, different answers in an analysis and questions on methodology are par for the course. Mistakes are part of the process, but they don't have to be debilitating. This panel will cover the best practices and tips, sometimes learned the hard way, to ensure that a story is bullet-proofed before publication.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 4-5

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Import.io: Web scraping without coding

    Speaker: Alex Gimson of Import.io

    import.io allows you to convert data from the internet into a structured useable table. This data can then be used to analyze trends, build leads and build news stories. Extracting data gives you ultimate control. The class centers around extracting data from the web followed by manipulating and using that data. We will use import.io to gather the data and then use 3rd programs (Google Sheets and Excel) to manipulate and use the data.

    M107

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Joining tables with Access

    Speaker: Michael Pell of Reuters

    Learn how to join tables, matching information from one file to another, using SQL in Microsoft Access.

    This session will be most useful if: You are familiar with 'counting' , 'summing' or 'GROUP BY' in SQL and want to add another tool to your SQL skill set. (Or you are tired of trying to connect the arrows between multiple tables in Access.)

    M105

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Stats: Basic linear regression

    Speaker: Holly Hacker of The Dallas Morning News

    Go beyond counting and sorting. Learn how (and when) to measure relationships.

    This session will be most useful if: You took 'Stats: An introduction' and want to know how to apply what you learned, or are comfortable with summary statistics and SPSS and new to stats. Familiarity with spreadsheets and database managers is recommended.

    M103

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Advanced calculations and analysis in Tableau Public (Hosted by Tableau Public)

    Speaker: Tara Walker of Tableau Software

    Learn how to use Tableau to dive deeper into your data and ask powerful questions. We’ll be starting with a “messy” dataset and learn how to explore trends that would normally be difficult to see without further analysis and calculations. 

    To achieve this, we’ll be using:

    •Data Clean-up

    •Calculated Fields

    •Table Calculations

    •Basic Statistics – regression, histogram, box and whisker plots

    Some experience with Tableau Public is recommended. Taking one of the earlier Tableau sessions should suffice.Laptops will be provided.  This is a free training, however you must be registered for the CAR Conference to attend this class.  Limited seats are available.  

    This class is full.  There may be a few seats available on-site. If you are interested, please arrive a few minutes before the class begins and the instructors will let you know how many seats may be available. 

     

    M101

    3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Panel

    Broadcast: Viz, quick hits and the data you need

    Speakers: Jamie Grey of InvestigateTV; Andy Pierrotti of WXIA-Atlanta; Tisha Thompson of ESPN; Matt Goldberg of NBCUniversal

    *Moderated by Matt Goldberg, KNBC-Los Angeles

    This session will take a closer look at three areas that can improve your data-driven broadcast reporting and set you apart from the pack:

    •Visualizing the data story - Analyzing data is one thing, but how does that translate to TV? How can you make spreadsheet analysis sexy? Learn techniques for visualizing your data investigations to draw viewers and enhance your story.

    •Data journalism to feed the beast - Some ideas for when you need a day of air story. What datasets are available for quick-turn investigations?

    •The data you need now - What should you have on hand to help you investigate and enhance your investigations? Which searchable databases should you be familiar with to help you beat the competition on deadline?

    International 8-9

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Building better maps with Leaflet, Mapbox and Javascript

    Speaker: Ashlyn Still of Reuters

    Bored with Fusion Tables, Google maps, and other plug and play map engines? Step up your mapping game with Mapbox/Leaflet and JavaScript. In this session, we'll walk you through the Mapbox JavaScript API from start to finish – beginning with some simple data and ending with a completely customized, responsive, interactive map. We'll also discuss best practices and go over the docs so you'll be ready to dive in and keep building great maps when you leave.

    This session will be most useful if: You are comfortable in HTML and CSS and have a basic understanding of JavaScript

    M07

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Panel

    Investigating business with data

    Speakers: John Schoen of CNBC Digital; Andrea Fuller of The Wall Street Journal

    Businesses leave data footprints everywhere - from SEC filings to health and safety inspections on regulators' web sites. Learn how to dig through data and use it to surface stories that are sitting on hundreds of databases waiting for you to find  them. We'll walk through the basic steps with live examples to show you how to get started, taking you from source to story to graphics. We will highlight some stories derived from these data sources. 

    This session is good for: Anyone. Beginner and advanced data users welcome.

    International 6-7

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Demo

    Let’s find the open and unsecured

    Speaker: Espen Sandli of Dagbladet

    This session will detail the story of how two journalist for the first time physically tested the data security in an entire country - the creepy and dangerous reality. Imagine being able to control your neighbor's webcam, open your competitor's database or take control of vital control systems with a few keystrokes. The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet did just that. Here we will reveal how easily this can be done – even for amateurs. Come to this session and learn how you, without any knowledge, can detect and locate unsecured devices connected to the Internet in your country or state.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 10

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Make the command line work for you (on Windows)

    Speaker: Elizabeth Lucas of Kaiser Health News

    If you've never touched the little black box on your computer known as the command line, you're ignoring an extremely helpful tool. In this session we'll use Windows Powershell to get started on making the command line a handy tool in your data toolbelt.

    This session is good for: Newbies to the command line who are brave enough to dive into the guts of their computer. Most but not all of this session’s content translates to Macs. If you're a Mac user, see "How I learned to take command of the command line: A journalist's guide to getting started."

    M105

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Stats: Logistic regression

    Speaker: David Donald of Investigative Reporting Workshop-American University

    Linear regression helps you find relationships between two or more variables, but when an outcome has only two possibilities, you need a different tool. That, my friends, is where logistic regression comes in.

    This session will be most useful if: You took 'Stats: An introduction', or are comfortable with summary statistics and SPSS. Familiarity with spreadsheets and database managers is recommended.

    M103

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Panel

    Teaching data journalism: Your best ideas

    Speakers: Brant Houston of University of Illinois; MaryJo Webster of Star Tribune

    *Moderated by Brant Houston, University of Illinois and MaryJo Webster, USA TODAY

    What works best when teaching college-level computer-assisted reporting or data journalism courses? Find out in this session featuring a series of 5-minute lightning talks dedicated to teaching students how to use data in journalism. Instructors will highlight successful approaches, best teaching techniques and data for students - and more. Here is the lineup of speakers and talks:

    •Matt Waite, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: How to teach data visualization using LEGOS

    •Karl Idsvoog, Kent State University: Examples of data that students can relate to

    •Chris Canipe, The Wall Street Journal: How to use baseball cards to introduce students to JSON.

    •Chad Skelton, Kwantlen Polytechnic University: The "Human Pivot Table" exercise

    •Jonathan Soma, Columbia University (Lede Program): The importance of teaching failure

    •Derek Willis, The New York Times: An exercise that shows students that data analysis doesn't always have to involve numbers

    •Jeff South, Virginia Commonwealth University: Having students write Data Drop Briefs, rather than stories

    •Norm Lewis, University of Florida: Using Clery Act data to kick off the semester

    •Emily Withrow, Northwestern University: The "Unclass" model

    This session is good for: Anyone teaching part-time or full-time or planning to.

    International 4-5

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Panel

    Tell me a story I won't forget

    Speakers: Ellen Gabler of The New York Times; Alan Judd of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; T. Christian Miller of ProPublica; Maggie Mulvihill of Boston University

    *Moderated by Maggie Mulvihill, Boston University

    You've finished the data analysis and collected the facts, but how will you weave them into a story that sticks with people long after it's read, viewed or heard? A group of veteran journalists will share proven methods for making that happen. We'll discuss combining data with narrative, the best processes for projects and storytelling tips to make sure your investigation sticks with your audience.

    International 2-3

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Special Event

    Conference registration (Friday)

    Registration will be located on the International Level of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

    International Foyer

    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Special Event

    Conference sales (Friday)

    Stop by the IRE sales table and take a look at our merchandise. We will be selling books, the large selection of titles we carry will certainly include your interests. The winner of the IRE T-shirt contest will be displayed and on sale.

    International Foyer

    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Hands-on

    Build your first news app *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Ben Welsh of Los Angeles Times; Derek Willis of ProPublica

    This mini-boot camp will walk you through the process of building a simple, useful online news application from a dataset. You will get hands-on experience in every stage of the development process, writing Python, HTML and JavaScript using version control tools. You won't stop until you've deployed a working application onto the World Wide Web. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Sessions will be held on Friday and Saturday morning. Laptops will be provided for the training.

    **Prerequisites: If you have a good attitude and know how to take a few code crashes in stride, you are qualified for this class.

    Attendees must be registered for the conference to attend this workshop.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    M102

    9:00 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Amazon cloud basics

    Speaker: Scott Klein of ProPublica

    Cloud servers are an amazingly flexible way to use computing resources. Servers and test benches used to take weeks to order and configure, but thanks to the cloud, you can build up arbitrarily complex farms of computers to do your bidding in a few minutes, from serving a dynamic news app to crunching through a data set to trying out a new technology on the cheap. This course will help you understand the thicket of acronyms and programs that make up Amazon's AWS system and will get you started building servers.

    All you need is a normal Amazon account. Before the class, go to http://aws.amazon.com/ and click "sign up," and follow the instructions so you've got an account ready. Important note: We'll build actual servers and then turn them off, which may cost a few dollars.

    M109

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Bridging the developer/journalist gap

    Speakers: Anthony DeBarros of The Wall Street Journal; Maureen Linke of The Associated Press; Chrys Wu of Matchstrike LLC

    What are the values that drive coders and non-coders in news organizations? How can we bring these sometimes disparate tribes together to serve our common goal -- telling great stories?

    International 8-9

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Fusion Tables for beginners

    Speaker: Kate Martin of Carolina Public Press

    Welcome to Google Fusion Tables. In this hands-on introduction to the free online tool you'll learn how to import and combine data, do simple analysis and easily turn that into an online map. We'll explore using Fusion Table as a toolbox for reporting and online storytelling.

    This session will be most useful if: You've ever used a spreadsheet and you have a Google account.

    M106

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Getting started in Excel

    Speaker: Helena Bengtsson of Sveriges Television

    In this introduction to spreadsheets you'll begin analyzing data with Excel, a simple but powerful tool. You'll learn how to enter data, sort it and conduct simple calculations like average and median. Time allowing, you'll even learn to create a basic Google map using data from spreadsheets.

    This session is good for: Data beginners. It will be most useful if you have a Google account.

    M103

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Github 101: The basics

    Speakers: Jessica Lord of GitHub; Anna Wiener of GitHub

    GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. At its core, GitHub is a source-code host, but the platform can be used for sharing and collaborating on anything from government data to prose.

    Learn the basics about how to collaborate around code, prose and more with GitHub. All participants will collaborate on real projects using GitHub.com and GitHub Desktop clients. We'll cover GitHub features like Forks, Pull Requests and Issues, and learn how to use Markdown to create text files. GitHub is based on Git, a version control system, so we'll also cover key Git topics, such as repositories, commits and branches.

    This is for new GitHub users: no coding experience is required for this workshop. Already know the basics? Check out the GitHub 201 workshop for leveling up with the command line.

    M101

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Map like a pro with ArcGIS Online

    Speakers: Robby Deming of Esri; Brian Peterson of Esri

    We all live in a realm of data. But sometimes, spreadsheets and databases aren't the best way to tell your story. Take a hands-on tour of the redesigned ArcGIS Online to see how you can easily create intelligent maps in minutes. Learn how the new Smart Mapping feature in ArcGIS Online can help you investigate patterns in your data and easily create beautiful data visualizations, even if you've never worked with maps or GIS before. If you can use an Internet browser, you can create award-winning maps.

    Prerequisites: None. This class is for anyone who wants to create online maps, whether they're a seasoned pro or a complete novice. You'll walk away with the knowledge you need to go back to your newsroom and start making maps immediately.

    M104

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Demo

    Moonshining: Indexes pack high-proof explanatory power

    Speaker: Paul Overberg of The Wall Street Journal

    Distilling a mess of data gives it extra kick and smooths its way across the user's palate. Learn how to calculate a dozen indexes useful in local journalism. Also: When to adapt an index or even consider crafting your own.

    International 10

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - Leaving journalism

    *Facilitated by Joe Kokenge

    Leaving the journalism fold for the wider world of data and software. The software and IT world appears to be teeming with jobs that, for the most part, pay more (sometimes much much more) and are often more secure. Has anyone else contemplated making that jump? Some journalists started out in that world before making their way into the media; what is that change like? Is there a better or worse way to go about thinking about switching industries? How would an interested party pursue it?

     

    International Foyer

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Regular expressions for beginners

    Speaker: Abraham Hyatt of Circa

    Regular expressions are a powerful and compact way to slice, dice and clean up dirty data. They may look intimidating, but they're a must-know skill for anyone who works with data. We'll learn the fundamentals of regex and look at some real-world examples you can use when you get home.

    This session is good for those with some experience working with data in spreadsheets and/or database managers.

    M105

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    The new ecosystem of health care data

    Speakers: Dan Keating of The Washington Post; Charles Ornstein of ProPublica; Meghan Hoyer of The Associated Press

    The world of health data is changing rapidly, with the release of huge data sets by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration. This session will provide an introduction to this data, along with story ideas about how to mine it and create news apps that help customize the information for your audience.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 2-3

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    The year in CAR

    Speakers: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV; Alex Richards of NerdWallet

    What were the big stories of the year? What were the most creative uses of data analysis? See what your colleagues have been up to and pick up some story ideas at the same time.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 6-7

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Useful command line tools for reporters

    Speaker: Matt Kiefer of The Chicago Reporter

    Get the most out of your Windows computer by leveraging the command line. We'll introduce the terminal and use it to do basic data transformation and analysis with Python, SQL and other tools./p>

    This session is geared toward beginning to intermediate users and will provide very high-level overviews of topics covered.

    M107

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    VR for the NICAR world: Immersive data

    Speakers: Robert Hernandez of University of Southern California - Annenberg; Fergus Pitt of Tow Center - Columbia University; Brian Chirls of POV Digital

    The rush of professional journalists to Virtual Reality has been prompted by the mass market debut of the Samsung Gear and the imminent release of Oculus Rift's consumer headset. But it's a new field with plenty of open questions.

    This session will lay out the groundwork for the discussion, orient participants in the landscape, introduce them to the technologies that will become relevant in the near future, and shine a light on a forward path.

    We’ll set up the framework so we have a common language to collaborate, we’ll trot through some examples and technologies of interest to data-heavy journalists, we’ll see how VR might fit into a tradition of graphic communication and take a look forward to the near-field innovations that will keep developing the medium. And finally, we’ll look at some code-based tools that can generate VR at low costs.

    International 4-5

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Crowdsourcing with Google Forms

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Learn how to create a simple Web-based form to gather information and save it in a Google spreadsheet. No programming skills needed. Journalists can use Google Forms to crowdsource data, story tips, polls, and other information from readers and viewers. In addition, Google Forms can be used internally as a collaborative tool to collect information and data from everyone involved in a news story.

    Prerequisite: Please have a Gmail account set up before the class.

    M109

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Data alchemy

    Speakers: Mike Tigas of ProPublica; Jeremy Merrill of Quartz; Eric Sagara of Big Local News

    Ever get a load of PDF files back when you wanted data? Ever download shapefiles in esoteric projections? Encoding issues? This hands-on workshop will teach data-savvy users how they can get usable, analyzable data out of what would otherwise be considered junk (or a headache).

    M105

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    First steps with R (repeat session)

    Speaker: Annie Waldman of ProPublica

    Take your first steps with powerful, open-source statistical language R by learning some of the basic skills you need to get up and running with R. By the end of this session, you will be able to take raw data, import it into R, and start your analysis. Topics that will be covered include: basic data importing, working with directories, reading in data, installing packages, as well as how to clean, explore and sort data. We'll also talk about how to find help when you're stuck.

    This session will be most helpful if: you have experience working with data.

    M106

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Getting started with Python

    Speaker: Jackie Kazil of Capital One

    New to Python (or programming in general)? We'll get you started with an overview of the basics, plus plenty of code examples you can put to use right away.

    This session is good for: People who know their way around a computer and are ready to dive into programming.

    M107

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    How I learned to take command of the command line: A journalist's guide to getting started

    Speakers: Chris Keller of Los Angeles Times; AJ Vicens of Mother Jones; Jue Yang of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

    This hands-on session aims to help command line novices learn some basic commands that can help them every day, including navigating through directories, creating files and tools to look at and work with structured data. If you're familiar with grep and curl this will likely be review. We'll end by highlighting some command line libraries that are musts for reporters. and provide additional resources so participants can go deeper on their own.

    M101

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Demo

    Introducing Geomancer: Don’t let your data be lonely tonight

    Speakers: Derek Eder of DataMade; Troy Thibodeaux of The Associated Press; Serdar Tumgoren of Stanford University

    Geomancer is a tool with a simple and powerful purpose: to make it easier for journalists on deadline to add context to their data sets by finding and merging geographically related data. Have a set of county-level data and want to add demographic data for those counties? That's the sort of thing Geomancer is built to help you do. Geomancer is free, open-source and built to be extended, so you can install Geomancer for your newsroom and start adding your favorite geographically tagged data. Join us for a walkthrough of the tool, an overview of the installation process and a peek into what it takes to add new data sources to your Geomancer.

    International 10

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Making timelines

    Speaker: Lena Groeger of ProPublica

    Displaying a series of events can be as simple as drawing a straight line. But if you want to get fancier, there are a bunch of other options to display chronologies and storylines. In this talk, we'll take a tour of current timelines in the wild and walk you through three open-source tools to help you make your own: ProPublica's TimelineSetter, Zach Wise's TimelineJS, and WNYC's Vertical Timeline.

    No prerequisites.

    M104

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - Let's get real about pay

    *Facilitated by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    In an open and OTR environment we'll discuss the taboo -- how much people make, how we can be more honest about this issue, and the empowerment of knowing what you make in your office relative to others. In particular, we'll discuss how secrecy around compensation contributes to and maintains the gender/race wage gap.

     

    International Foyer

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    Red alert: Tools to automatically generate story leads

    Speakers: Abe Handler of The Lens; Thomas Thoren of Independent; Todd Wallack of The Boston Globe

    We'll give you ideas how to use technology to automatically check court records, financial filings, property sales, government contracts, news feeds and other websites for news. We will show off several easy-to-use tools, like Google Alerts and RSS readers, to monitor news feeds. And we'll talk about how to write your own custom programs to check records and generate story leads.

    This session is good for: Reporters covering a beat and programmers who want to help them.

    International 8-9

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    Thinking about interactivity

    Speakers: Mariana Santos of Fusion; Robert Hernandez of University of Southern California - Annenberg; Trina Chiasson of Tableau Software; Melissa Bell of Vox Media

    *Moderated by Robert Hernandez, University of Southern California-Annenberg

    International 4-5

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Using formulas in Excel

    Speaker: John Schoen of CNBC Digital

    Much of Excel's power comes in the form of formulas. In this class you'll learn how to use them to analyze data with the eye of a journalist. Yes, math will be involved, but it's totally worth it! This class will show you how calculations like change, percent change, rates and ratios can beef up your reporting.

    This session is good for: Data beginners.

    M103

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    Visual journalism for tiny news desks

    Speakers: Kaeti Hinck of The Washington Post; Jaeah Lee of independent journalist; Aaron Williams of The Washington Post

    How can a small news team thin on resources produce awesome graphics on the regular? Where do design and data best practices break down for newsrooms with little manpower? How do you decide what story format works best under shifting deadlines? This session will take a close look at how a handful of small and medium newsrooms are building visually striking stories (maps, charts, immersive interactives) on a shoestring, going behind the scenes of some recent examples. Join this session and pick up tips, tools, and best practices to take back to your newsroom.

    This session will be most helpful if:

    You work in a small newsroom that wants to do more visual storytelling

    You work in a newsroom without a graphics team and want to do more visual storytelling

    You want to incorporate more visual/interactive elements into your own reporting

    You produce graphics (static or interactive) for your newsroom and are looking for ways to improve how you work with the rest of the newsroom

    International 2-3

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    Watchdogging public spending

    Speakers: Joanna Lin of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Mike Maciag of Governing Magazine; Cezary Podkul of The Wall Street Journal; Nicole Vap of KUSA/9News Denver

    *Moderated by Nicole Vap, KUSA/9News Denver

    Governments at all levels spend a lot of money. And politicians often talk about eliminating waste and fraud. In this session you will hear how journalists used data to "follow the money" to see whether it is being spent well. With topics ranging from public employee pay to municipal bonds, you'll get plenty of story ideas, tips and sources for doing your own data-driven "waste" investigations.

    International 6-7

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    Color (and shape and place) my world

    Speakers: Jim Herries of Esri; Robert Simmon of Planet Labs

    Mapping can be all about finding the signal in the noise, and then choosing what to emphasize. This session will cover ways to improve your maps by making smart editorial choices with the display, how to properly use an economy of color, and other ways to retain clarity when communicating with your audience.

    International 2-3

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Demo

    Demo: Tools for cracking PDFs

    Speakers: Miguel Barbosa of CitizenAudit; Kevin Crowe of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    So much data comes to us in .pdf form or, worse, on paper that we then need to scan. We'll offer tips, tricks and best practices to quickly crack open those dastardly files and get the data in a usable format. We'll look at some of classic methods of breaking down PDFs and we'll discuss docHive and Tabula, tools developed by fellow NICARians that can help liberate data.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 10

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Github 101: The basics (repeat session)

    Speakers: Jessica Lord of GitHub; Anna Wiener of GitHub

    GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. At its core, GitHub is a source-code host, but the platform can be used for sharing and collaborating on anything from government data to prose.

    Learn the basics about how to collaborate around code, prose and more with GitHub. All participants will collaborate on real projects using GitHub.com and GitHub Desktop clients. We'll cover GitHub features like Forks, Pull Requests and Issues, and learn how to use Markdown to create text files. GitHub is based on Git, a version control system, so we'll also cover key Git topics, such as repositories, commits and branches.

    This is for new GitHub users: no coding experience is required for this workshop. Already know the basics? Check out the GitHub 201 workshop for leveling up with the command line.

    M107

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Grabbing data from websites without scraping (repeat session)

    Speakers: Scott Klein of ProPublica; Michelle Minkoff of The Associated Press

    We'll show you how to get websites to give up structured data. Programming knowledge isn't required but you'll learn why it's good to have. Required software is just a web browser and some free tools and add-ons we'll tell you about.

    Prerequisites: Solid excel. Sneakiness and Nosiness.

    M109

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Introduction to web programming

    Speaker: Peggy Bustamante of University of Southern California - Annenberg

    We all know we need to learn Python, but what if you don't even know how that HTML page hooks up to your JavaScript and CSS? In a very crammed hour, we will first see how the Internet goes together, then do a flyover of HTML and CSS. In the second half hour we will build a simple JavaScript-fueled news app, inspired by ProPublica's Acetaminophen dose calculator: http://projects.propublica.org/drug-labels/. Ours might not have as much impact as a ProPublica piece, but you'll learn a lot.

    M104

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Jobs and career straight-talk: For (and by) young'uns only

    Speakers: Jeremy Merrill of Quartz; Sisi Wei of ProPublica

    Have questions on how to break into the field or get a paid internship/job? Simple or impolitic ones that you couldn't ask a boss or hiring manager/editor? Questions about newsroom "culture" or the tacit knowledge required to network or interview for a job? Sisi Wei and Jeremy Merrill, both less than four years out of undergrad, will be giving students and early-career journalists any knowledge and job-seeking advice they need to help them become designer/developer/data journalists. We'll also pair you up with other young, employed grads for a few rounds of speed Q&A so you can get different perspectives and a chance to ask questions in in a small group or one-on-one.

    To make this a safe space to ask silly questions, we're asking mid-career journalists and people with hiring power not to attend. Non-young'uns and young'uns-at-heart who are trying to enter the field laterally are welcome to join, but the session will be geared towards the experience of recent graduates (including generally-applicable job search and resume tips), so it may not be as helpful to you.

    Desserts and beverages will be provided during the second half of the session.

    International 8-9

    11:20 am - 1:30 pm

  • Panel

    Local data that can lead to stories

    Speakers: Walker Moskop of St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Lee Zurik of WVUE-New Orleans; Gavin Off of The Charlotte Observer

    If governments oversee it, chances are they keep data on it. From police traffic stops and 911 calls to employee salaries and gun permits, local data can drive in-depth investigations and give context to breaking news stories.

    International 4-5

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Machine learning in the wild -- #wins and #fails

    Speakers: Sarah Cohen of ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism; Steven Rich of The Washington Post; Janet Roberts of Reuters

    For several years, machine learning has been a tantalizing Siren for reporters, promising to sort through your documents and find the juicy ones, or providing a road map to the people and places in your collection. After a few experiments in the wild, we'll help separate myth from truth, unpack the confusing language of the discipline and provide tips about when it might, and might not, serve your stories.

    The panel is good for: Anyone. No statistics or math required. This session will be most useful if you are seeking new methods in reporting original stories.

    International 6-7

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - Handling side projects

    *Facilitated by Nicole Zhu

    Handling side projects. Whether you're a student looking to build up a portfolio or a journalist interested in building something that doesn't quite fit your day job, how do you scope/plan/delegate time/collaborate with others on things that you love outside of normal work hours?

    International Foyer

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    PivotTables in Excel

    Speaker: Jonathan Stoneman of independent journalist

    A look at the awesome power of pivot - and how to use it to analyze your dataset in minutes rather than hours.

    This session will be most helpful if: You are familiar with formulas in Excel or another spreadsheet program.

    M103

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Simple stats in Excel

    Speaker: Olga Pierce of University of Nebraska - Lincoln

    You don't need a special statistics program to run simple statistics. In this session, you'll learn how to compute some basic statistics in Excel and figure out what they mean.

    This session will be most helpful if: You already are comfortable with using functions in Excel.

    M105

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Visualizing your data with R

    Speaker: Ronald Campbell of NBC Owned Television Stations

    Once you've taken your first steps with R, the open-source statistics software, learn how to explore your data with box plots, scatterplots and histograms. Find patterns, amaze your friends and awe your editors!

    M106

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Web scraping using Python

    Speaker: Paul Schreiber of FiveThirtyEight

    This session will cover the fundamentals of web scraping using the Python scripting language. We'll go through which libraries are best to integrate into your scraper as you write it; show you how to handle common issues that can come up when you're capturing data; and discuss how to get your results into a usable format when you're all done.

    This session will be most useful if: You have a grounding in the basics of Python or another programming language.

    M101

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - Building a diverse pipeline

    *Facilitated by Emma Carew Grovum

    I'm not going to do your recruiter's job, but I *really* do want to help you build a diverse pipeline of data journalists, digital journalists, etc.. By now, most people have figured out that it's worth attempting to hire more women and more journalists of color. But forwarding your job link to a Designated Diverse Friend isn't enough. Would love to hear how others have successfully not just changed their recruitment, but changed their newsroom culture about diversity. And offer up my own resources and tips (starting with: what's the best way to ask your Designated Diverse Friend for his/her help).

    International Foyer

    12:20 pm - 1:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Mini Boot Camp *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV; Mark Horvit of University of Missouri

    Kickstart your data skills with IRE's original mini-boot camp.  This series of hands-on classes will introduce you to spreadsheets and databases with IRE's proven techniques. IRE's experienced trainers will walk you through sorting, calculating and interviewing data.  You'll come away with a solid base for using data analysis in your own newsroom.

    In addition, we'll provide you with our boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference.  Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Sessions will be held Friday and Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Laptops will be provided for the training. 

    **This workshop is good for: Those wanting to get started analyzing data for stories. There are no prerequisites for this workshop and beginners are welcome.

    Attendees must be registered for the conference to attend this workshop.

    M103/M105

    2:10 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Advanced Django for data analysis

    Speakers: Armand Emamdjomeh of The Washington Post; Anthony Pesce of Los Angeles Times

    You might be familiar with Django's use as a framework for building front-facing webapps, but it can be equally useful as a tool for reporting on and exploring datasets. In this session we'll go beyond the basics of the web framework to walk you through modeling and loading data from a CSV, querying the data, and writing views for analysis and publication.

    This session will be most helpful if: You've made it through the Django tutorial and/or built your first news app. Familiarity with SQL will help.

    M101

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    Critical questions to ask of studies, press releases and scientific reports

    Speakers: Peter Aldhous of BuzzFeed News; Ronald Campbell of NBC Owned Television Stations; Patricia Thomas of University of Georgia

    Confused by p values and effect sizes? Unsure about what peer review really means? Reluctant to challenge Dr. Famous with potentially insulting questions? We'll provide tips for using expert sources, documentary research and common sense to separate the scientific wheat from the chaff.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 4-5

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Getting data into Excel

    Speaker: Patti DiVincenzo of IRE and NICAR

    Don't let hard-to-use data ruin your day. Learn how to import a variety of formats (such as text files, HTML tables, PDFs) into Excel.

    This session will be most useful if: You are familiar with Excel or another spreadsheet program.

    M106

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Getting started with JavaScript

    Speaker: Andy Boyle of Axios

    In this workshop, you'll learn not only basic JavaScript fundamentals, but some larger programming fundamentals, too. You'll learn about variables, if/else logic, functions and more. You'll also learn about JavaScript programming shortcuts using JavaScript libraries, such as jQuery. You'll also be shown examples of projects built using JavaScript, so you'll know what is possible.

    M109

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Intro to D3

    Speakers: Chris Canipe of Axios; Jon McClure of POLITICO

    Learn the basics of using D3 to make customized, elegant data visualizations. This JavaScript library gives you the power to draw online by harnessing the power of SVGs. We'll explain what makes D3 so great and demonstrate a step-by-step guide for making a chart that you can put to work in your own newsroom.

    This session is good for: Those with some JavaScript knowledge.

    M107

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    Life after Excel and Access - the next steps in data journalism

    Speakers: Helena Bengtsson of Sveriges Television; Ryann Grochowski Jones of ProPublica; Eric Sagara of Big Local News

    This panel features several data experts from traditional beat reporting backgrounds who will talk about their professional development experiences. What was their next steps after learning the basics of data reporting? How did they discover and learn new tools? How can reporters lobby in their newsrooms for time to learn new tools?

    International 8-9

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Mapbox

    Speaker: Sarah Frostenson of POLITICO

    In this introduction to Mapbox and its suite of tools, we'll walk you through two ways to create a responsive, interactive map—first, in TileMill/Mapbox Studio and second, using just the Mapbox/Leaflet API. We'll discuss the pros and cons of both and get you comfortable with the docs so you'll be a master mapmaker in no time.

    This session will be most useful if: You have a basic understanding of javascript, CSS and html.

    M104

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Drones, the FAA and you

    Speaker: Matt Waite of University of Nebraska - Lincoln

    The FAA is finally going to make drones for journalism a reality. But what is the FAA proposing? And what can you do about it? Come learn how the FAA's drone rules will affect you and how you can talk back to the agency.

    International Foyer

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Demo

    Scraping, APIs and data extraction

    Speakers: Cedric Sam of South China Morning Post; Nils Mulvad of Kaas & Mulvad

    We'll take a look at a variety of issues and techniques for web scraping including: How to deal with limitations in scraping from Google, Facebook and LinkedIn? How to scrape data and social media content using API's. Challenges and different approaches in dealing with repeated scraping, as well as smaller-scale and big data scrapes. And how to scrape for stories - not just data.

    This session is good for: Anyone. Experienced data users and beginners are welcome.

    International 10

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    Stat-a-thon

    Speakers: Agustin Armendariz of The New York Times; David Donald of Investigative Reporting Workshop-American University; Holly Hacker of The Dallas Morning News; Dan Keating of The Washington Post; Sharon Machlis of International Data Group; Jennifer LaFleur of Investigative Reporting Workshop

    *Moderated by Jennifer LaFleur, The Center for Investigative Reporting

    Can your R beat up my SPSS? When it comes to stats, there are many tools. There are many tools for doing statistical analysis, but does every tool yield the same results? What are the pros and cons of each program? We'll run the same data through different tools and find out. Our stat-letes will use R, SPSS, Pandas, SAS and Excel.

    This session is good for: Folks with a basic understanding of stats

    International 6-7

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Teach yourself to code

    Speaker: Becca Aaronson of The Texas Tribune

    When you don't know anything about learning to code, it can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, the Internet is stock-full of examples and answers to help you.

    In this class, we'll share tips on how to teach yourself to code by working with others' code, reverse-engineering example code to make it do what you want, and adapting open source libraries. In the process, we'll demo browser dev tools to show you how to inspect work by other outlets and see how websites function the behind the scenes. We'll also demonstrate how those same tools can help you inspect webpages you've built to fix problems and test how the website will look on various devices. The class will focus on sharing tips on reading and reverse-engineering others' code; finding answers to tricky questions and code examples on StackOverflow, CSSTricks, CodePen etc.; and pulling down and using GitHub repos from other news outlets.

    Requirements: Code curiosity and a stubborn devotion to figuring out how things work. It's recommended that you set up a (free) Github account ahead of time and complete Code School's free courses on HTML/CSS, Javascript and Git.

    M102

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    Using data to detect environmental dangers

    Speakers: Caelainn Barr of The Guardian; Michael Corey of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Robert Gebeloff of The New York Times; Ingrid Lobet of Johns Hopkins University

    *Moderated by Ingrid Lobet, independent journalist

    You smell an environmental problem, there are powerful anecdotes, you've tracked down the subject matter experts. But you're not sure how to truthsquad what they say. You've pressed officials to find out what data is available. But you don't have to stop there, you can go further. Learn how to analyze data in ways the regulators aren't doing, and to turn hard-won but boring environmental data into visuals and writing that make people pay attention.

    This session is good for: Anyone. Attendees can expect to come away with story ideas and data sources.

    International 2-3

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Analyzing networks with Gephi

    Speaker: Peter Aldhous of BuzzFeed News

    Gephi is an open source platform for network analysis (aka social network analysis), allowing you to produce publication-quality vector graphics and to export your analyses for interactive online visualization. You'll learn how to use the software by turning data on voting patterns in the US Senate into an informative graphic revealing the chamber's underlying dynamics -- and highlighting the few senators who broke the partisan mold.

    No prior experience of network analysis required.

    M106

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    Deep dives part 2

    Speakers: John Bones of SKUP Norway; Mar Cabra of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists; Blake Ellis of CNN; Melanie Hicken of CNN; John Kelly of USA TODAY Network

    *Moderated by John Bones, Verdens Gang

    We'll give three journalists a chance to talk about their data-driven projects. Check back here for more information.

    International 2-3

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    Free tools

    Speakers: Alex Richards of NerdWallet; Marco Tulio Pires of Google; Natalia Mazotte of Stanford University

    A breathless tour of the universe of free software that's available to help import, summarize, manage, graph and map your data. From statistical analysis in R and Python to geospatial analysis in QGIS, PostGIS, and Spatialite, we've got the tools for you.

    This session is good for: Journalists held back by a shoestring software budget.

    International 6-7

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    GitHub 201: Leveling up with the command line

    Speakers: Jessica Lord of GitHub; Anna Wiener of GitHub

    This workshop is for people who are already familiar with GitHub and version control, and want to dive a little deeper. We'll cover how to use Git on the command line, how the GitHub Flow supports team collaboration and deployments, and overall best practices.

    All participants will have a chance to experiment with using Git on the command line. We'll also cover common (and uncommon) patterns and use cases around collaborating with GitHub, and explore features such as Forks, Pull Requests, Issues, Mentions, publishing, and more.

    Completely new to version control? See the GitHub 101 workshop and follow it up with this workshop!

     

    M102

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Mapping JS: Building narrative with geo data + CartoDB

    Speaker: Aurelia Moser of CartoDB

    Learn how to publish stylish interactive maps in javascript. We'll bridge from the Intermediate Javascript course and talk about how to apply JS skills to mapping visualizations. We'll cover some basics, data management, particulars of CartoJS and then some tools for designing narrative around maps. Below is a rough outline of the class.

    • Basics: overview of the different components of webmaps, how they work on a general level, and how they work in JS
    • Data: review of ways to get and prepare data for webmaps. We will look at free sources (e.g. data.gov, local data portals, OSM), as well as how to create and transform data of your own (e.g. CartoDB.js, SQL), and how to store it (github/CartoDB).
    • Building a Map: Working with Carto.js, Import-API, Maps-API, SQL-API
    • Building a narrative: How to couple Carto.js with Odyssey.js for an interactive piece

    Prerequisites: Some familiarity with Javascript/JQuery/SQL/Postgres is a plus.

    M109

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Murder, you wrote

    Speaker: Thomas Hargrove of Murder Accountability Project

    Learn how a free online resource developed by a NICAR member allows you to track murders, unsolved murders and victims in your communities. You'll be able to study which homicides police are solving -- or not. You can find specific cases, or track trends. You can even hunt for serial killers. This Website was cited in the final episode of the "Serial" podcast, indicating there may have been a serial killer active in Baltimore in the early 2000s. Taught informally by Tom Hargrove, director of quantified research at Scripps News Washington Bureau.

    International Foyer

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Playing with Arduino

    Speaker: John Keefe of Quartz

    Learn how to make simple, interactive projects using Arduino hardware. We'll walk through a couple of easy projects to give you a feel for what's possible. Open to anyone who likes to play and make things blink. We'll have a few Arduinos on hand to share, or you can bring your own. (The parts we're using are here and here, and cost about $30 total.) We won't be soldering and no previous coding experience required. Bring a laptop if you can.

    M107

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Demo

    Risk adjustment basics

    Speaker: Olga Pierce of University of Nebraska - Lincoln

    You're doing a story about a doctor with a high mortality rate. Is she a bad doctor or does she take the sickest patients? Or you're doing a story about a school with low test scores. Is it a bad school or does it have the hardest to teach students? How can you tell? The answer is risk adjustment. We'll show you how to use logistic regression and risk indices to make sure you're comparing apples to apples. Even if you never run a risk adjustment yourself, you'll learn how academics and government agencies risk adjust the data they release.

    This session will be most useful if: You have a basic knowledge of statistics including the basics of regression.

    International 10

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    Spotlight: Using abstraction to gain knowledge from numbers

    Speaker: Robert Simmon of Planet Labs

    Visualizations are abstractions—graphical representations of quantities and concepts. Effective graphics are the result of carefully chosen abstractions, and often rely on transforming the underlying data to maximize the strengths and mitigate the weaknesses of our visual system.

    International 8-9

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Useful command line tools for reporters (repeat)

    Speakers: Agustin Armendariz of The New York Times; Kendall Taggart of BuzzFeed News

    Ever had a CSV file too large to open in Excel?  Ever had one so big it crashed your computer? We’ll show you some simple tricks for wrangling data on the command line. If you've never programmed before but frequently use Excel and SQL, this class will make your life better. Bonus: We’ll show you how to make your Mac recite poetry for you.

    Prerequisites: Not scared of a monochrome screen; perhaps Windows/Unix command line basics

    Want a preview before committing to spending an hour with us? This repo is a work in progress: https://github.com/armendariz/terminal_recipes

    M101

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    _

    International 4-5

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    Lightning Talks (Sponsored by the Knight Foundation)

    Speaker: Sisi Wei of ProPublica

    *Moderated by Sisi Wei, ProPublica

    Sometimes you don't need 45 minutes to explain a useful technique or interesting resource. Join your colleagues for a session of short (5-minute) talks about doing CAR, Web development or other related topics. Anyone can suggest an idea, and the most popular talks will be given at this session. We'll provide a computer with Internet access and a projector, and the rest is up to you. Go here for a list of the 2015 lightning talks you selected.

    Marquis A-B

    4:30 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Special Event

    Marquis A-B

    5:45 pm - 6:00 pm

  • Reception

    Philip Meyer Award Reception

    Join fellow CAR attendees in celebrating the Philip Meyer Award Winners at a reception Friday night with light hor d'oeuvres and a cash bar beginning at 6 p.m. in Marquis Ballroom C-D. 

    Marquis C-D

    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

  • Special Event

    Conference registration (Saturday)

    Registration will be located on the International Level of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

    International Foyer

    8:30 am - 5:00 pm

  • Special Event

    Conference sales (Saturday)

    Stop by the IRE sales table and take a look at our merchandise. We will be selling books, the large selection of titles we carry will certainly include your interests. The winner of the IRE T-shirt contest will be displayed and on sale.

    International Foyer

    8:30 am - 5:00 pm

  • Hands-on

    Build your first news app (Saturday) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Ben Welsh of Los Angeles Times; Derek Willis of ProPublica

    This is a continuation of Friday's hands-on workshop.  Preregistered attendees only.

    M102

    9:00 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Advanced Fusion Tables

    Speaker: Daniel Lathrop of University of Iowa

    Google's Fusion Tables service is more than just a tool for simple maps. It's a relational database system you can use for analysis, data exploration and visualization. Also, we'll make prettier maps.

    M104

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Create your own interactive newsgame without coding

    Speaker: Rebekah Monson of University of Miami

    After a brief introduction of powerful games created using Twine, you'll be using this popular open-source tool to brainstorm and create your own Choose-Your-Own-Adventure newsgame during the workshop. No coding experience necessary, as Twine will do all of the programming work for you, and generate an HTML file that is ready to publish anywhere. Plus, those with HTML/CSS and Javascript experience can also build upon and customize their games.

    This session is good for: Beginner and advanced data users. No programming experience required, but those with HTML/CSS and Javascript experience can also build upon and customize their games.

    M107

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Demo

    Defense against the dark arts: Security for you and your sources

    Speakers: Jeff Larson of The Markup; Mike Tigas of ProPublica

    Keeping your communications with sources secure is a vital part of your job as a journalist. But it's hard to know where to start and most of us don't have time to learn secure software well enough to trust it. We'll show you what you can do to secure yourself even if you have only a minute, or 10 minutes, and point you to further resources.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 10

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Design/Viz: What to do, and what not to do

    Speakers: Anna Flagg of The Marshall Project; Lena Groeger of ProPublica; Moiz Syed of The Intercept

    Good design helps maximize your story's impact by increasing its usability and comprehension. This session covers the basic user experience dos and don'ts for online journalism. We'll include plenty of examples of good and bad design from leading journalism outlets.

    This session is good for: anyone who thinks about design and its impact on good journalism.

    International 6-7

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Do more in R with these useful new packages

    Speaker: Sharon Machlis of International Data Group

    From interactive graphics and maps to data wrangling in a snap, new packages such as dplyr and dygraphs for R make it fast and easy to perform powerful data visualization & analysis.

    This session is good for anyone who is familiar with R basics: running lines of code in RStudio and loading packages with the library() function.

    M106

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Excel magic (advanced functions) *repeat session

    Speaker: MaryJo Webster of Star Tribune

    Learn about various tools and functions in Excel that come in handy when you need to re-structure or otherwise get your data ready for analysis. We'll cover string functions, logical functions, date functions, the Tableau Reshaper, merging data using lookup functions and perhaps a few other nifty tricks if time allows. This is a fast-paced class intended to introduce you to these tools, not master them. But you'll walk out with practice data and a 20-page tipsheet that covers in detail everything we do in class, plus other great Excel tips.

    Recommended for: anyone feeling comfortable with basic Excel functions and formulas.

    M103

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Getting it the rightest you can

    Speakers: Jennifer LaFleur of Investigative Reporting Workshop; Thomas Hargrove of Murder Accountability Project; John Perry of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Janet Roberts of Reuters

    *Moderated by Jennifer LaFleur, The Center for Investigative Reporting

    No data is/are perfect, but there are things you can do to make sure it's as bulletproof as possible. This session will cover tests you should put your data through to make sure it will hold water, questions you should ask data administrators about their data to make sure you don't get fooled, and how reporting on the ground can bolster the data you use for stories and apps.

    This session is good for: Anyone who wants to be right

    International 8-9

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    More MySQL: Learn to use the command line and other powerful features

    Speaker: Agustin Armendariz of The New York Times

    Take the next step with open-source database manager MySQL by learning how to import data from the command line, check the integrity of your data, and do necessary cleanup and analysis using some of the MySQL's powerful features and functions.

    This session is good for: People who attended “Getting started with MySQL” or who have some experience using databases in MySQL.

    M105

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - Internal tools for large datasets

    *Facilitated by Alan Palazzolo

    Are you thinking about or have you made (simple) tools to explore large, complex datasets for your newsroom?  Where do tools like Panda, Django, or Rails fils fit it?  How can we easily make something helpful with as little work as possible?  And easy to maintain?

    International Foyer

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Processes, standards and documentation for data-driven projects

    Speakers: Christopher Groskopf of Quartz; Paul Overberg of The Wall Street Journal

    Making news is hard, but it can be impossible without a process to support it. We'll discuss how we use team standards, documentation and consistent process to produce polished work on deadline. We'll cover cases where a team builds one thing – like a documentary or app – and when a team builds many things – like a document- or data-sharing project.

    We’ll cover everything from technical stuff like a ticketing process to soft skills like how to foster a project vocabulary.

    International 4-5

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Ruby 1: Introduction

    Speaker: Al Shaw of ProPublica

    Learn the basics of programming through the Ruby language. In this class, we'll start with the fundamentals of the language and work our way through objects and simple scripts to access data APIs.

    This session is good for: People who want to start learning to program. Laptops will be provided, but if you plan to use your own computer, please have Ruby installed already.

    See printed schedule for room information

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    This just in: Data for breaking news investigations

    Speakers: Stephen Stock of NBC Bay Area; Cheryl Phillips of Stanford University

    What will you do the next time a plane crashes, a fire starts or a politician gets caught in a scandal? We'll show you how you can prepare for the next big story using dashboards, searchable databases and more.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 2-3

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Twitter tricks and analytics (repeat session)

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    If you know the basics of Twitter, you're ready to ratchet up your skills. This hands-on session will take you to the next level: advanced Twitter searches, mining tweets by location, creative uses of Twitter lists (public and private), and apps/services that provide robust analytics. The payoff: better sources (particularly during breaking news) and a competitive edge in your market.

    Prerequisite: Please have an active Twitter account set up before the class

    M109

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    (Keep) following the money on state and local politics

    Speakers: Ben Wieder of McClatchy; Denise Malan of IRE and NICAR; Edwin Bender of National Institute on Money in State Politics; Ted Mellnik of The Washington Post

    *Moderated by Ben Wieder, The Center for Public Integrity

    The votes have been counted and you’ve tallied the top political donors. Learn about how to use data to connect the dots between political spending and policy and use other publicly available data to explain key demographic indicators that can explain how the election was decided – and how future elections will be fought.

    International 6-7

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Advanced Python for data analysis: Part 1

    Speaker: Travis Swicegood of Continuum Analytics

    Once you know the basics of how to scrape and ingest data in Python, you're probably itching to use it to for data analysis projects. In this hands-on workshop, we'll get you started with IPython Notebooks and pandas to do the kind of basic manipulations with code that you're used to in Excel and then walk you through the kind of analysis and manipulation you can't do in Excel.

    To get the most out of this class: You should be comfortable on the command line and with the basics of the Python interpreter and its object types.

    M104

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Advanced SQL for analysis

    Speaker: Elizabeth Lucas of Kaiser Health News

    If you feel comfortable with the Structured Query Language basics that IRE teaches in its boot camps -- SELECT, FROM, WHERE, GROUP BY -- but are ready to see what else SQL can do, this session is for you. We will cover more advanced ways of manipulating and questioning data, such as UPDATE queries, different types of joins, writing sub-queries, merging results from two queries, and other neat tricks. Some of this SQL is too advanced for Microsoft Access, so we will use MySQL in the class.

    This session will be most useful if: You are comfortable with the counting, summing, in SQL and are familiar with joining tables.

    M105

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Demo

    Building mobile-ready visualizations and maps in minutes with Silk

    Speaker: Alex Salkever of Silk.co

    Silk is an all-purpose tool for data journalism that lets anyone convert spreadsheets into an online database and data visualizations in minutes. In this demo session we'll pull data about 2015 killings by the police in California aggregated from Facebook and and turn it into maps, charts, and interactive tables. Then we'll upload data from the 500 most successful Kickstarter technology projects in 2014, do some quick visual analysis, then save and publish visualizations.

    International 10

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Special Event

    Elections, what are they good for?

    Speakers: Derek Willis of ProPublica; Ryan Murphy of The Texas Tribune; Sarah Bryner of Center for Responsive Politics

    Elections represent the best opportunity for Americans to shape policy and reimagine their shared future. It is also a chance for journalists to ignite people's civic spirit. How can we do this better? How might we better inform voters and increase civic participation before, during and after elections?

    International A

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    How to build a happy team

    Speakers: Becca Aaronson of The Texas Tribune; Lauren Rabaino of Vox Media; Adam Schweigert of Institute for Nonprofit News; Trei Brundrett of Vox Media; Brian Boyer of Spirited Media

    *Moderated by Trei Brundrett, Vox Media

    So now you’re a manager. Don’t worry, it’ll be awesome. In this session, we’ll talk with four team leaders about running teams that kick ass. We’ll talk about process, organization, and how we manage the team and their work — including what we do to manage *our* managers.

    International 4-5

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Municipal bonds 101

    Speaker: Cezary Podkul of The Wall Street Journal

    Curious about covering your local and state and government borrowing but don't know how to get started? Join this hands-on session to get a technical overview of how to analyze bond offering statements: how to find them, what the numbers mean, how to identify the key terms and conditions and scale-up your reporting using public and private data sources. We will walk you through several offering statements and teach participants how to develop a basic framework for finding the data they need to track local borrowing. Topics covered will include: navigating the EMMA database, finding and reading official statements, using CUSIP identifiers to track debt, find credit ratings, ongoing disclosures, and calculating and benchmarking borrowing costs, and capital appreciation bonds (CABs).

    M107

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - Doing better by our international colleagues

    *Facilitated by Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

    Doing better by our international colleagues. Many journalists working outside of the United States face serious obstacles including extreme physical danger and low levels of Internet access and tech resources. Although there has been a lot of collaboration with those colleagues, we can do more. I'll talk about concrete steps to do just that.

    International Foyer

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    R: Preplication

    Speaker: Bill Alpert of Barron's

    Some data journalists are providing replication files with their stories-- enabling readers to download a package of data and scripts that reproduce a story's findings. I will show how to adapt these techniques to the reporting stage of a story--a practice I'm calling “preplication.” On a recent project, I supplied open-source preplication packages to a dozen Wall Street firms I was investigating, to allow them to critique the statistical scripts I wrote to rank their trading practices. This computerized evidence “confrontation” helped me clean up errors in my scripts and ensured the story held fewer surprises for them...or me. These preplication files then became the replication files we posted for our readers. In this session, we'll examine and run these files in Rstudio. You'll learn about pitfalls and best practices in such pre-publication file-sharing, which are matters of journalism practice not confined to a particular application or language. While we're doing this class in R, it won't require specific knowledge of R or any other language.

    M106

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Ruby 2: Acquiring and transforming data

    Speaker: Jeff Larson of The Markup

    In this intermediate class, we'll cover how to grab public data from the internet and transform it into clean data ready to use in the newsroom. Along the way, we'll cover topics such as parallel processing and metaprogramming.

    This class is good for: Folks who have had a bit of ruby in the past.

    M101

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    Sensor journalism: Buzz or BS?

    Speakers: John Keefe of Quartz; Travis Hartman of Reuters; Amy Schmitz Weiss of San Diego State University; Matt Waite of University of Nebraska - Lincoln

    The hype around Sensor Journalism is that it's a major new frontier in Data Journalism. So where are all the examples? Is it buzz or BS? We'll explore that, show some successes and unveil a few projects emerging from the lab.

    International 2-3

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    Social media sleuthing

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Explore new apps and advanced searches to find experts and other sources for enterprise and breaking news stories. Discover how best to find people quickly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Learn the best tricks for finding sources in a specific location (city, region, state or country).

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 8-9

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Text editing with Regular Expressions

    Speaker: Jon McClure of POLITICO

    A saying goes, if you have a problem and think, "I know, I'll use Regular Expressions," you now have two problems. Come learn to wield the power of text pattern matching to transform data and shortcut complex cleaning tasks. Leave with an abiding dread of malicious search-and-replace and pick up some safe-handling practices to keep you from the pit of a regex gone bad.

    M103

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Tools for cracking PDFs

    Speaker: Danielle Cervantes Stephens of InquireFirst

    Ever receive a FOIA response that has all the data you want -- but in PDF files? Ever try accessing that data in Excel or database software? In this session you'll get hands-on experience cracking PDFs so you can analyze the data for stories.

    M109

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Advanced Python for data analysis: Part 2

    Speaker: Tom Meagher of The Marshall Project

    We'll continue our dive into Python's data toolset by munging, crunching and plotting data in code. Using iPython, pandas and other libraries, we'll walk you through how they can transform, summarize, explore and visualize large data sets.

    To get the most out of this class: You should have gone to Advanced Python for data analysis: Part 1.

    M104

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Amazon cloud basics (repeat session)

    Speaker: Mike Tigas of ProPublica

    Cloud servers are an amazingly flexible way to use computing resources. Servers and test benches used to take weeks to order and configure, but thanks to the cloud, you can build up arbitrarily complex farms of computers to do your bidding in a few minutes, from serving a dynamic news app to crunching through a data set to trying out a new technology on the cheap. This course will help you understand the thicket of acronyms and programs that make up Amazon's AWS system and will get you started building servers.

    All you need is a normal Amazon account. Before the class, go to http://aws.amazon.com/ and click "sign up," and follow the instructions so you've got an account ready. Important note: We'll build actual servers and then turn them off, which may cost a few dollars.

    M105

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Deep dive: Phil Meyer Award winners

    Speakers: Phil Williams of WTVF-Nashville; David Donald of Investigative Reporting Workshop-American University; Ryan McNeill of Reuters; Michael Grabell of ProPublica; Lena Groeger of ProPublica; Jeff Larson of The Markup; Olga Pierce of University of Nebraska - Lincoln; Fred Schulte of Kaiser Health News

    *Moderated by Phil Williams, WTVF-Nashville

    The winners of the Philip Meyer Award take you behind the scenes and offer insights, tips and strategies that helped them pull of their award-winning work. These projects uncovered how the medical injuries overbills elderly patients to the tune of billions of dollars, the dangers that temporary workers face and the risks of rising ocean levels.

    International 2-3

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Go home and share your work!

    Speakers: Ransome Mpini of BBC News; Kio Stark of WNYC - New York Public Radio; Erika Owens of OpenNews; Ryan Pitts of OpenNews

    A couple days at NICAR will fill your head with new skills and knowledge, the kinds of things that not only make you a better journalist, but can have a huge effect on colleagues when you get home. Sharing what you've learned makes your whole newsroom stronger, lets you identify new people to collaborate with, and even helps you internalize all those great ideas you've got right now. We'll talk through teaching strategies that have gotten results--from small-group conversations to internal hack days--and work together to figure out how you might apply them to the specific needs of your newsroom.

    International 4-5

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Import.io: Web scraping without coding (repeat session)

    Speaker: Alex Gimson of Import.io

    import.io allows you to convert data from the internet into a structured useable table. This data can then be used to analyze trends, build leads and build news stories. Extracting data gives you ultimate control. The class centers around extracting data from the web followed by manipulating and using that data. We will use import.io to gather the data and then use 3rd programs (Google Sheets and Excel) to manipulate and use the data.

    M109

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Demo

    Intermediate/Advanced Security

    Speakers: Harlo Holmes of Freedom of the Press Foundation; Aurelia Moser of CartoDB

    In this workshop, Harlo Holmes (Guardian Project/OpenNews Alum) and Aurelia Moser (CartoDB/OpenNews Alum]) will go through the finer details of digital security with key management, software verification, 2-Factor Authentication, PGP, OTR chat, and encrypted file sharing; and guide you through some common rough spots. Please bring your laptops, and get ready to go beyond "hello world"!

    Attendees should be comfortable with basic digi-sec concepts. Knowledge of the command line (terminal) will be helpful, but not prerequisite.

    International 10

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Machine learning

    Speaker: Chase Davis of Star Tribune

    First things first: There is no way you're going to learn machine learning in 60 minutes. That said, this course will introduce the basic concept of classification using the Python library scikit-learn. We'll talk about the intuition of simple classification, along with some of the pitfalls and gotchas you should watch out for in the newsroom.

    M107

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Making data-informed design decisions

    Speakers: Tyler Fisher of Temple University; Josh Kadis of Alley Interactive

    What is A/B testing, and why does it matter in the newsroom? In this session, we will talk about the basics of A/B testing, what you can learn from testing your sites and apps and how to make use of A/B testing in the context of a newsroom and the larger organization that it’s a part of.

    International 6-7

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - The "hybrid reporter" identity crisis?

    *Facilitated by Aaron Williams & Jaeah Lee

    The "hybrid reporter" identity crisis? How do reporters who got into -- then got better at -- data crunching, coding, avoid pigeonholing themselves? How do you find the balance between working on the presentation and the reporting? As someone working between two crafts, Is there "imposter syndrome" for devs who think they're not "good enough" reporters?

    International Foyer

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    OpenRefine (repeat session)

    Speaker: David Herzog of IRE and NICAR

    Learn to take filthy, stinking, messy data from an unhelpful government agency and transform it into something useful with the help of OpenRefine. If you often have to scrub and standardize huge spreadsheets, but you haven't delved into regular expressions, this program will change your life.

    This session will be most useful if: You have some experience working with data in columns and rows, in spreadsheets or database managers.

    M103

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Policing the police

    Speakers: Rob Barry of The Wall Street Journal; Ben Poston of Los Angeles Times; Topher Sanders of ProPublica; Corey Johnson of Tampa Bay Times

    *Moderated by Corey Johnson, The Marshall Project

    Police officers and prosecutors are supposed to uphold the law, but sometimes they break it -- and get away with it. Learn how to uncover criminal conduct among law enforcement using data analysis, open records laws and shoe-leather reporting.

    International 8-9

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Ruby 3: Simple web apps with Ruby

    Speaker: Jacob Harris of 18F

    This class includes an overview the two most popular frameworks for creating web applications with ruby: Ruby on Rails and Sinatra. After you've learned enough ruby to work with a set (or sets) of data and clean it up, how do you turn it into something your readers can interact with? We'll focus on using the simple Sinatra framework to build on what you've learned in ruby 1 & 2.

    This class will be most useful if: You attended the Ruby 1 & 2 classes or have previous Ruby experience.

    M101

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Under pressure: Real life in real time with breaking news

    Speaker: Stephen Stock of NBC Bay Area

    What do you do when a bridge collapses, a plane crashes, oil spills or a building explodes? In this session you'll walk through a real-life breaking news scenario tackling it as an investigator. We'll let you try it on your own then we'll walk you through some resources you might not have known existed. Beat your competition with these tips and sources. Be ready to participate in real time, actual breaking news simulation!

    M106

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Conversations - The future of Tarbell

    *Facilitated by David Eads

    The future of Tarbell: Birds of a Tarbell feather, let us gather and discuss the future of the project!

     

    International Foyer

    12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Mini Boot Camp (Saturday) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: Denise Malan of IRE and NICAR; Elizabeth Lucas of Kaiser Health News

    This is a continuation of Friday's hands-on workshop.  Preregistered attendees only.

    M103/M105

    2:10 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Automate your development life: Build and deploy with Yeoman and Grunt

    Speaker: Ryan Murphy of The Texas Tribune

    We've all been there – moving files one by one, minifying our scripts, running our CSS compilers – all by hand. But there's a better way! The proliferation of static site generators have led to an explosion of tools that make it easy to automate the tedious parts of static site building and achieve consistent results. If you've ever used a tool like Jekyll, you've used a static site generator! In this workshop I'll show you how to build your own basic generator with node.js, walk through how all the parts interact and set you on the path of being able to customize a generator to your needs.

    Comfort with working on the command line required! Experience with or awareness of node.js recommended.

    M106

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    Catching fire: Spreading data journalism throughout the newsroom

    Speakers: Emma Carew Grovum of The Daily Beast; Jeff Ernsthausen of ProPublica; Jodi Upton of Syracuse University

    Sure you've figured it by now how to one-man(or one-woman)-band it, but shouldn't data-driven journalism be a team sport? Come chat with us and learn how we've successfully gotten buy-in from leadership, trained up colleagues, and created resources to produce more data stories created by more people. We'll tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly of our experiences and then want to hear about yours.

    International 4-5

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    Data negotiation: To FOIA or not to FOIA

    Speakers: Mark Horvit of University of Missouri; Michael Grabell of ProPublica; Paula Lavigne of ESPN; Anu Narayanswamy of The Washington Post

    *Moderated by Mark Horvit, IRE/NICAR

    We've all been there: They've got the data, you want it, and they're saying you can't have it. The law seems to be on your side, but that doesn't seem to be enough. Learn strategies for wrestling data and documents out of the grip of government agencies, how to deal with various kinds of rejection, and ways to think about obtaining data when all seems lost.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 8-9

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Getting started with Python (repeat session)

    Speakers: Ryan Nagle of Institute for Nonprofit News; Marcos Vanetta of Conde Nast; Aaron Williams of The Washington Post

    Want to upgrade your data skills? Come learn the Python programming language for a three-hour span. Geared toward beginners, this class with go over language basics and introduce you to key concepts. You'll then take your new Python skills and learn how to read, manipulate and analyze data from a spreadsheet.

    This session is good for: People who know their way around a computer and are ready to dive into programming. All are welcome, though some familiarity with spreadsheets and the command line will certainly help.

    M104

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Getting started with SQLite

    Speaker: Troy Thibodeaux of The Associated Press

    Are you tired of standing on the sidelines while everyone else has all the fun with database queries? Tired of hoping that Access is doing what you think it's doing when you point and click? Wouldn't you rather just tell your database manager what slice of the data you want? Join us for a hassle free entry to the world of SQL, (Structured Query Language), the lingua franca of relational databases. It's surprisingly simple and surprisingly powerful -- and it works in just about any database you can name.

    This session will be most helpful if: You have some experience working with data in columns and rows.

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    M109

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Demo

    How to draw the Internet: Better interactives through paper prototyping

    Speakers: Noah Veltman of WNYC - New York Public Radio; Sisi Wei of ProPublica

    Writing code is hard. Drawing is easy. In this session, we'll teach you how to use paper prototypes to design an effective interactive. Refining ideas on paper gets you important feedback at the start of a project, before you've painted yourself into a corner with a wrong approach. We'll practice thinking like a computer without using one -- with better, more meaningful results to show for it.

    International 10

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Introduction to mapping: Importing and displaying data geographically with QGIS

    Speaker: Peter Aldhous of BuzzFeed News

    QGIS is the leading free, open source Geographic Information System (GIS) program. You'll learn how to use QGIS to make a simple thematic map, with areas colored according to data, plus a map of points scaled according to values in the data, how to set their map projections, and how to export them as a vector graphic.

    No prior experience of GIS/mapping required.

    M102

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Minezy - small data, big stories

    Speaker: T. Christian Miller of ProPublica

    Minezy is a Knight-funded prototype that allows you to dig and analyze email dumps. Co-founder T. Christian Miller will show how Minezy can rip through the 1.6 million emails from Jeb Bush's days as Florida governor, and make sense of them. We might even find a story.

    International Foyer

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    So they bought a federal candidate, now what?

    Speakers: Ben Wieder of McClatchy; Jacob Fenton of independent journalist; Sarah Bryner of Center for Responsive Politics; Christopher Schnaars of USA TODAY Network

    *Moderated by Ben Wieder, The Center for Public Integrity

    Campaign donations are only one part of the political influence puzzle. Learn more about using data from the FEC, the FCC and elsewhere to develop a fuller picture of the variety of ways in which top donors are trying to buy your local Congressperson, and how some political operatives are getting rich in the process.

    International 2-3

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    Spotlight: Talking about uncertainty

    Speaker: Jordan Ellenberg of University of Wisconsin

    We often think of journalism as a process of answering questions. But many questions don’t have yes or no answers. The language of probability gives us a way of talking about uncertainty without just shrugging our shoulders. I'll talk about Nate Silver and his critics; will possibly quote John Ashbery and Teddy Roosevelt; will definitely try to convey something of the mathematician's view on "to what extent and in what fashion can newswriting be a quantitative enterprise"

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 6-7

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Twitter Bootstrap: Responsive website framework

    Speaker: Erika Lee of Indiana University - Bloomington

    Twitter Bootstrap is an open source front-end framework and one of the easiest ways to create a responsive website. It's also great for one-off website projects that don't fit into a CMS, and a presentation framework for all your map and data-driven stories. In this workshop, we will walk through how to create a simple website incorporating a responsive grid system, customized CSS and basic Javascript-based components.

    This class will be most helpful if: You can make a basic webpage in HTML and CSS.

    M107

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Hands-on

    Web scraping using Python (repeat session)

    Speaker: Paul Schreiber of FiveThirtyEight

    This session will cover the fundamentals of web scraping using the Python scripting language. We'll go through which libraries are best to integrate into your scraper as you write it; show you how to handle common issues that can come up when you're capturing data; and discuss how to get your results into a usable format when you're all done.

    This session will be most useful if: You have a grounding in the basics of Python or another programming language.

    M101

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    50 ideas in 60 minutes

    Speakers: Tyler Dukes of WRAL-Raleigh; Mc Nelly Torres of independent journalist

    If you have a few data skills and you're looking for the right ideas to try them out, here are plenty -- whether you need something for tomorrow or you have a few weeks. We've got 50 proven winners for media outlets of all sizes, coming at you fast!

    This session is good for: Reporters who want story ideas. All skill levels welcome.

    International 6-7

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    Data smells

    Speakers: Jacob Harris of 18F; Chris Keller of Los Angeles Times; Aurelia Moser of CartoDB

    In the world of software development, "data smells" is a term for those telltale signs that indicate bad software needs to be refactored. As data journalists, we encounter common types of data smells in the data we work with on every project. It's time to get organized. In this panel, let's refine a site we've prototyped to collect and categorize these data smells. We're not building a site here, but we should leave this panel with a clear idea of what the features of a data smells compendium would be. A wiki seems like an obvious choice, but how does an entry look? How do we organize and collect these smells? What can we do to automate the tedious process of vetting a data set? We'll explore these questions. The session will begin with a basic exploration of the concept of data smells. From there we will discuss several questions about how to build a site for cataloguing data smells: * How do we document data smells? * Where do we host this site? * What are all the points in the reporting process where errors occur? * Checklists? Can we automate smell checks? * Can we bundle smells for common types of data into guides? * Can we make the data smells idea approachable for readers?

    This session is good for: Reporters, developers and researchers. We'll split participants up into groups to tackle different topics.

    International 4-5

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    Flying solo: When your data “team” is just you

    Speakers: Kate Martin of Carolina Public Press; Scott Pham of BuzzFeed News; Chad Skelton of Kwantlen Polytechnic University; Brent Jones of St. Louis Public Radio

    *Moderated by Brent Jones, St. Louis Public Radio

    Are you a data team of one? Are you not even a data team (yet)? Join us as we talk about how to do data all by yourself — finding it, cleaning it and visualizing it. We'll share tips and tools to make you more efficient and project examples to show you what';s possible for a solo data journalist. We'll also talk about how to avoid mistakes, find mentors and get buy-in from other reporters and editors in your newsroom.

    International 8-9

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    Getting started with machine learning

    Speakers: Chase Davis of Star Tribune; Jeff Ernsthausen of ProPublica; Jacob Fenton of independent journalist

    You don't need a PhD to get started with machine learning. Learn about creative ways machine learning and other statistical modeling techniques have been used to solve unique problems in three different newsrooms. We'll cover several examples and leave plenty of time for questions.

    International 2-3

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Mapping 2: Manipulating and editing geographic data with QGIS

    Speaker: Michael Corey of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

    QGIS is a powerful tool for processing data for use by other mapping applications, including for web mapping. In this class you'll learn how to join tables of data to existing shapefiles and how to save data in formats commonly used for web mapping. You'll also learn how to edit geographic data, and how to process data consisting of hundreds or thousands of points to give a more meaningful summary display.

    This session will be most helpful if: You completed the Mapping 1 class, or have some prior experience working with QGIS

    M102

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Special Event

    NICAR Commons: Cryptoparty

    Speakers: Jeff Larson of The Markup; Mike Tigas of ProPublica

    Several conference sessions cover tools and applications to improve security for you and your sources. Now that you've heard about them, you're probably itching to try them out. We'll be available to help anybody with a laptop or a smartphone to install more secure software and learn how to use it right. We will rely on volunteers to help out, so what you're able to install and how long it takes will depend on demand. Remember also that you must have administrative privileges on your machine; if you're blocked from these privileges, we won't be able to override that.

    International Foyer

    3:20 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Python 2

    Speakers: Ryan Nagle of Institute for Nonprofit News; Marcos Vanetta of Conde Nast; Aaron Williams of The Washington Post

    Continuation of Getting started with Python

    M104

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Reporting and presentation with DocumentCloud

    Speakers: Ted Han of DocumentCloud; Anthony DeBarros of The Wall Street Journal

    Get to know the suite of tools that DocumentCloud offers to help you better organize, analyze and present public documents.

    M106

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Summing and grouping in SQLite

    Speaker: Troy Thibodeaux of The Associated Press

    The second session in the SQLite workshop will build up your SQL muscles, adding some common tasks that journalists need every day: getting counts and sums, munging the text of your data to make it more useful and structuring your data in a way that will make you more confident in the conclusions you reach.

    This is the second of three SQL sessions using SQLite, but attendance at the earlier session is not required.

    M109

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Teach yourself to code (repeat session)

    Speaker: Becca Aaronson of The Texas Tribune

    When you don't know anything about learning to code, it can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, the Internet is stock-full of examples and answers to help you.

    In this class, we'll share tips on how to teach yourself to code by working with others' code, reverse-engineering example code to make it do what you want, and adapting open source libraries. In the process, we'll demo browser dev tools to show you how to inspect work by other outlets and see how websites function the behind the scenes. We'll also demonstrate how those same tools can help you inspect webpages you've built to fix problems and test how the website will look on various devices. The class will focus on sharing tips on reading and reverse-engineering others' code; finding answers to tricky questions and code examples on StackOverflow, CSSTricks, CodePen etc.; and pulling down and using GitHub repos from other news outlets.

    Requirements: Code curiosity and a stubborn devotion to figuring out how things work. It's recommended that you set up a (free) Github account ahead of time and complete Code School's free courses on HTML/CSS, Javascript and Git.

    M101

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Demo

    Visualization for reporting

    Speakers: Coulter Jones of The Wall Street Journal; Michelle Minkoff of The Associated Press

    Graphics! They can help us find interesting story ideas, or pinpoint numbers to use as evidence in our reporting. Often we think of graphics as an end product. When used for reporting, however, graphics are a powerful tool to explore trends and stories. We'll discus what types of visualizations can help you find stories you may miss, make some visualizations right in Excel, and demo some easy, non-programmatic tools that allow you to go deeper in your data. We'll also cover both numbers and unstructured text as data. These visualizations are not for publication, but rather a sketchpad for reporters and data analysts.

    International 10

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Visualizing your data with R (repeat session)

    Speaker: Ronald Campbell of NBC Owned Television Stations

    Once you've taken your first steps with R, the open-source statistics software, learn how to explore your data with box plots, scatterplots and histograms. Find patterns, amaze your friends and awe your editors!

    M107

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Special Event

    Kickstarter for journalists 101 (Hosted by Kickstarter)

    Join Kickstarter's Journalism Outreach Lead Nicole He for a primer on how to bring your journalism project to life. Whether you're a writer, a publisher, or you're launching something altogether new, we can show you strategies for success. You’ll learn how to structure a campaign, what kind of rewards work best, and how to spread the word about your project. 

    International A

    3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Special Event

    Kickstarter office hours (Hosted by Kickstarter)

    Come by to ask questions or get one-on-one feedback on your Kickstarter idea. Email nicole@kickstarter.com to sign up for a slot or just drop in.

     

    International A

    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Hands-on

    Advanced Python

    Speaker: Geoff Hing of APM Reports

    Picking up where the intermediate session leaves off, this workshop will introduce some interesting, exciting and useful language features of Python in the context of building news applications and tools. Topics include advanced object oriented design (inheritance vs. composition, multiple inheritance, mixins), functional programming (decorators, map/reduce, lambda functions) and test-driven development.

    To get the most out of this class, you should have written a moderately complex Python application and wondered if there was a better way.

    M107

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Panel

    Editing the data story

    Speakers: David Armstrong of Georgia News Lab; Joel Engelhardt of The Palm Beach Post; Shawn McIntosh of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; John Walton of BBC News

    *Moderated by David Armstrong, Georgia News Lab

    Managing a data project presents challenges for any editor. Hear from a panel of veterans who have successfully guided data-based stories from conception to conclusion.

    International 2-3

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Panel

    How to not make a fool of yourself with statistics

    Speakers: Rob Barry of The Wall Street Journal; Holly Hacker of The Dallas Morning News; Jaxk Reeves of University of Georgia; John Perry of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    *Moderated by John Perry, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Advanced statistics provides powerful tools for finding stories in a piles of data. But with greater power come greater responsibility. And when journalists venture beyond simple descriptive statistics, they are entering a jungle wilderness where you can become easily lost or succumb to hidden dangers. This panel will tell you how to recognize and avoid the dangers, and how to find the proper guide.

    International 8-9

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Intro to D3 (repeat session)

    Speakers: Alex Bordens of Chicago Tribune; Darla Cameron of Washingtonpost.com

    Learn the basics of using D3 to make customized, elegant data visualizations. This JavaScript library gives you the power to draw online by harnessing the power of SVGs. We'll explain what makes D3 so great and demonstrate a step-by-step guide for making a chart that you can put to work in your own newsroom.

    This session is good for: Those with some JavaScript knowledge.

    M101

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Joining and advanced operations in SQLite

    Speaker: Matt Kiefer of The Chicago Reporter

    The final session of this workshop will focus on “join” operations. We'll take multiple data sets and learn how to combine their records on a shared key -- a simple yet powerful tool for exploring correlations while piecing together your story. This class will also introduce the SQLite command line interface, including importing/exporting data and basic scripting concepts to show how you can automate database tasks and queries.

    Attendance at the earlier SQLite session is not required to participate in this session.

    M109

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Panel

    Mise en Place: What a restaurant kitchen can teach us about deadline coding

    Speaker: Jeremy Bowers of The New York Times

    *Moderated by Jeremy Bowers, The New York Times

    A restaurant kitchen is a pressure cooker, not unlike a newsroom. By following the tenets of Escoffier's "Brigade de Cuisine," we can bring order to the chaos that is programming on a deadline. Elements include: Menu construction and story pitches; the "Tailler" and prototyping; mise en place and tools/automation; farms and markets and making your own data sets. As a bonus, we might also do: Barbecue and long-form; baking and precision journalism; pickles/smoking and cache/performance under load.

    International 6-7

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Demo

    On repeat: How to use loops to explain anything

    Speaker: Lena Groeger of ProPublica

    From animated gifs illustrating how a car engine works to looping interactives demonstrating sampling error, we're seeing more and more ways of presenting ideas, explaining processes, and just capturing small moments in endless, repeating sequences. We'll take a look at why loops work so well as explanatory tools, how they've been used in the newsroom, and how you can create your very own.

    No prerequisites but if you want to make your own animated gif, we'll be using Quicktime and Photoshop.

    International 10

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Python 3

    Speakers: Ryan Nagle of Institute for Nonprofit News; Marcos Vanetta of Conde Nast; Aaron Williams of The Washington Post

    Continuation of Python 2

    M104

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Panel

    Reporting out the data story

    Speakers: Steve Myers of Nieman Fellow; Andrew Lehren of NBC News; James Ball of The Guardian; Kendall Taggart of BuzzFeed News

    *Moderated by Steve Myers, The Lens

    After wheedling, cajoling and threatening to get your hands on an electronic database, the real work begins. How do you figure out whether the data says what it seems to say? How do you discover its shortcomings, and how do you work around them? Are some datasets just too riddled with errors to be useful, and if so, how do you know when give up? We'll discuss techniques and workflows.

    International 4-5

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Simple stats in Excel (repeat session)

    Speaker: Norm Lewis of University of Florida

    You don't need a special statistics program to run simple statistics. In this session, you'll learn how to compute some basic statistics in Excel and figure out what they mean.

    This session will be most helpful if: You already are comfortable with using functions in Excel.

    M106

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Web inspector for complex scrapes

    Speaker: Eric Sagara of Big Local News

    This workshop focuses on more complex scraping problems from grabbing the data behind an interactive map to navigating an ASP website. Rather than focus on how to accomplish this in a particular programming language, this class will show you how to use the web inspector to get the information you need to build an efficient scraper. Some hints on how to accomplish this using either Python or Ruby will be provided.

    M102

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Special Event

    Conference sales (Sunday)

    Stop by the IRE sales table and take a look at our merchandise. We will be selling books, the large selection of titles we carry will certainly include your interests. The winner of the IRE T-shirt contest will be displayed and on sale.

    International Foyer

    8:30 am - 10:30 am

  • Hands-on

    Just enough Django: Distributed data entry in the newsroom (pre-registered attendees only)

    Speakers: Ken Schwencke of ProPublica; Ben Welsh of Los Angeles Times

    Ben Welsh presents a step-by-step guide to creating a simple web application that empowers you to enlist reporters in data entry and refinement. The 3-hour, hands-on tutorial will teach you how to take advantage of the Django Web framework's powerful administration panel, without bothering with all the other web developer crap. You will learn how to design database tables, load in data and quickly create a system for others to improve it. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

    **Prerequisites: If you have a good attitude and know how to take a few code crashes in stride, you are qualified for this class.

    Attendees must be registered for the conference to attend this workshop.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    M102

    9:00 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Excel en Español

    Speakers: Kevin Crowe of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Jeff Kelly Lowenstein of Grand Valley State University; Lucio Villa of San Francisco Chronicle

    This three-hour hands-on workshop teaches journalists, in Spanish, how to use Excel, a powerful electronic spreadsheet for deadline and beat reporting on budgets, salaries, elections and more. Learn from fluent teachers how to dig deeper using the Internet and find valuable datasets for your stories. Seating is limited.

    Two options are available for attending this training:

    Option #1: Current CAR conference attendees can attend this training for no additional charge, however you must complete the registration form so we can hold a spot for you.

    Option #2: If you are not attending the CAR conference, registration for this training is $35. In addition, your IRE membership must be current through April 1. 

    If you are interested in registering for this session, please register on the forms below.

    Register (English)

    Register (Español)

    If you have any questions, please email training@ire.org 

     

    M103

    9:00 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Mini Boot Camp (Sunday) *pre-registered attendees only

    Speakers: David Herzog of IRE and NICAR; Denise Malan of IRE and NICAR

    This is a continuation of Saturday's hands-on workshop.  Preregistered attendees only.

    M105

    9:00 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Advanced SQL using PostgreSQL

    Speaker: Anthony DeBarros of The Wall Street Journal

    Using PostgreSQL and the pgAdmin interface, we will explore advanced SQL techniques to interview and clean data, go from basic math to advanced stats, and create ranks and rates.

    This session is good for: People who are comfortable with SQL basics -- sorting, filtering, counting -- and familiar with joins.

    M104

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Game of life: Data from day one to the day you die

    Speakers: Jaimi Dowdell of Reuters; Jennifer LaFleur of Investigative Reporting Workshop

    Based on the family favorite board game, we'll take you through your life as you generate data. We'll talk about stories that have used various data sets and tips about getting the data. Special note: This session will feature festive props and costumes.

    This session is good for: Anyone. Attendees will leave with story ideas and data sources.

    International 8-9

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Installation party

    Many conference sessions cover tools and applications that are open source and available to journalists for free. During this session we invite you to bring your laptop and we'll help you get set up with the tools you've heard about and are itching to try out. We will rely on volunteers to help out, so what you're able to  install and how long it takes will depend on demand. Remember also that you must have administrative privileges on your machine; if you're blocked from these privileges, we won't be able to override that.

    M109

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Introduction to mapping: Importing and displaying data geographically with QGIS (repeat session)

    Speaker: Alex Richards of NerdWallet

    QGIS is the leading free, open source Geographic Information System (GIS) program. You'll learn how to use QGIS to make a simple thematic map, with areas colored according to data, plus a map of points scaled according to values in the data, how to set their map projections, and how to export them as a vector graphic.

    No prior experience of GIS/mapping required.

    M107

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Lightning fast data analysis with Tableau: Part one

    Speakers: Jewel Loree of Tableau Software; Sarah Ryley of The Trace

    Tableau is a powerful tool for data analysis that queries your data using a visual interface, with the ability to merge multiple datasets totaling millions of rows -- and it's free for IRE members. This session will teach you how to reshape and analyze pesky nested spreadsheets, join tables, group and filter dimensions, and do some basic calculations such as percent change and rate -- all by simply dragging, dropping and clicking your mouse (okay, and a little typing). You'll save hours of work not having to type out long, complicated SQL statements. This session will be using Tableau's newest release for Macs.

    This session is good for: Those who have some familiarity with spreadsheets.

    M101

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    OpenElections hackathon

    The OpenElections team will be tackling Georgia election results at NICAR this year, and we're looking for coders as well as anyone interested in helping out, and spending a few hours with our team. Here's how you can be involved:

    Election Results Data Scraper Development Help us load and parse Georgia election results from 2000-2014, figuring out how to deal with CSV, XML and HTML formats. We don't have to parse PDFs! Contributors can pick a year to work on, and work in teams.

    Documentation and Use Cases Help us flesh out the guides that articulate all of the processes volunteers need to know to work with us, as well as the documentation that other developers will need in order to build on our work. Also, or alternately, come by and give us your use cases! We will be collecting descriptions of how all kinds of journalists use elections data now, and how you would like OpenElections to work for you.

    Your time and expertise would be most appreciated either all or part of the day. RSVP to openelections@gmail.com

    International 2-3

    9:00 am - 12:20 pm

  • Demo

    Shedding light on the dark web: Using tech to build corporate investigations

    Speakers: David Buxton of Arachnys; Ed Long of Arachnys

    Normal search engines only reach 10% of the data available online. How do investigative journalists go beyond Google and find the kind of corporate information hidden in the dark web that can break a story wide open? Through real examples from 2014, including the successful investigation of a massive $11 billion tax fraud in Ukraine, the Arachnys team will highlight how snippets of corporate data can be knitted together to create major corruption scoops. They will also demo the Arachnys research platform and show how it supports organisations such as the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), FirstLook Media and Intelligence Online to build investigations.

    The Arachnys Platform is a premium service for corporate and banking customers doing commercial due diligence. However we also work with investigation units within several national newspapers and media outlets at a reduced rate depending on the size of the organisation. We also undertake pro-bono work with freelance investigative journalists depending on their project.

    International 10

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    The best of broadcast investigations 2014

    Speaker: Mark Horvit of University of Missouri

    *Moderated by Mark Horvit, IRE/NICAR

    Watch and listen as more than a dozen photographers, editors and producers behind this year's winning IRE Awards entries describe how they did it and what they were really thinking when things got hard.

    International 6-7

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Tools for cracking PDFs (repeat session)

    Speaker: Danielle Cervantes Stephens of InquireFirst

    Ever receive a FOIA response that has all the data you want -- but in PDF files? Ever try accessing that data in Excel or database software? In this session you'll get hands-on experience cracking PDFs so you can analyze the data for stories.

    M106

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Deep dives

    Speakers: Mark Horvit of University of Missouri; Tom Nehil of MinnPost; Cedric Sam of South China Morning Post; Dana Amihere of KPCC - 89.3

    *Moderated by Mark Horvit, IRE/NICAR

    We'll give three journalists a chance to talk about their data-driven projects. This session will focus on news apps. Check back here for more information.

    International 6-7

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    Finding data trails

    Speaker: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV

    Data exist. It's up to us to find it. We will take you to the hidden places and best techniques to unearth the goldmines.

    International 8-9

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Lightning fast data analysis with Tableau: Part two

    Speakers: Ben Jones of Tableau Software; Sarah Ryley of The Trace

    This session will use some of the tools covered in the first data analysis with Tableau session, and go deeper with more complex calculated fields, parameters and regression analyses. We'll end with a freestyle session – you'll call out the problem and we'll show you how to solve it.

    Prerequisites: It will be helpful if you took the first data analysis with Tableau session, or already have familiarity with the software

    M101

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Making your own data bot

    Speaker: Matt Waite of University of Nebraska - Lincoln

    Heard about Sensor Journalism and want to get your hands dirty? We've got a handful of devices and some sensors. Come learn how to combine the physical world and the Internet by making a bot that records data.

    This session is good for anyone.

    M104

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Mapping 2: Manipulating and editing geographic data with QGIS (repeat session)

    Speaker: Alex Richards of NerdWallet

    QGIS is a powerful tool for processing data for use by other mapping applications, including for web mapping. In this class you'll learn how to join tables of data to existing shapefiles and how to save data in formats commonly used for web mapping. You'll also learn how to edit geographic data, and how to process data consisting of hundreds or thousands of points to give a more meaningful summary display.

    This session will be most helpful if: You completed the Mapping 1 class, or have some prior experience working with QGIS

    M107

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Under pressure: Real life in real time with breaking news (repeat session)

    Speaker: Stephen Stock of NBC Bay Area

    What do you do when a bridge collapses, a plane crashes, oil spills or a building explodes? In this session you'll walk through a real-life breaking news scenario tackling it as an investigator. We'll let you try it on your own then we'll walk you through some resources you might not have known existed. Beat your competition with these tips and sources. Be ready to participate in real time, actual breaking news simulation!

    M109

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Demo

    Using machine learning to deal with dirty data: a Dedupe demonstration

    Speakers: Jeff Ernsthausen of ProPublica; Derek Eder of DataMade; Eric van Zanten of DataMade; Forest Gregg of DataMade

    Tired of popping the same data set into OpenRefine every time you want to answer basic questions like “who gave the most money to politicians in Idaho this year?” Sure you are. We all are. Then come see a demonstration of Dedupe, a tool that uses machine learning to identify unique individuals, organizations and other entities in the kinds of messy datasets that journalists encounter the most. We’ll go over the basics of how the tool works and give a demonstration of how to use it to find the unique entities in your datasets.

     

    International 10

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Hands-on

    Using Silk.co to analyze data and publish beautiful maps and charts in minutes

    Speaker: Alex Salkever of Silk.co

    Silk is an all-purpose tool for data journalism that anyone can start using immediately, without training or tech skills. Starting from a simple spreadsheet, Silk allows anyone to quickly generate data insights and build publish-ready, mobile-friendly data visualizations. In this hands-on session, you'll analyze upload a spreadsheet of Kickstarter project results and analyze the data to find stories. If time permits, we'll also convert a spreadsheet of crowdsourced data on 2014 deadly police shootings in California into Silk visualizations and publish those on a blog.

     

    M106

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Demo

    Advanced DocumentCloud: Examples and suggestions

    Speakers: Anthony DeBarros of The Wall Street Journal; Ted Han of DocumentCloud

    Take a deeper dive into DocumentCloud and its API and bring your ideas for features you'd like to see in the platform.

    International 10

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    CAR wash

    Speaker: Sean Sposito of San Francisco Chronicle

    Dirty data lurk everywhere: in text files, spreadsheets, databases, and PDFs. We'll walk you through some examples of the most common types of dirty data, point out telltale signs of data illness and explain how you can whip data into shape using some simple tools and methods.

    This session will be most useful if: You have some experience working with data in columns and rows, in spreadsheets or database managers.

    M104

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Career roundtable

    Speakers: Sarah Cohen of ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism; Corey Johnson of Tampa Bay Times; Stephen Stock of NBC Bay Area; Mark Horvit of University of Missouri

    *Moderated by Mark Horvit, IRE/NICAR

    Wondering what you need to learn to take that next step in your career? Interested in which skills news organizations are prioritizing now, and what might set you up for what they'll want next? Drop by and join us for a discussion of the skills that will help you progress.

    This session is good for: Journalists of all levels who want to take their career to the next level or those looking to change direction. Hear tips on how to make it happen and ask for advice on your own path.

    International 6-7

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Mine the documents, win a Pulitzer: reporting with Overview

    Speaker: Jonathan Stray of Columbia Journalism School

    Overview is an open source reporting tool built to handle thousands or millions of documents. It's been used to track stolen maple syrup, uncover bribes to a president, and on both the winner and finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in public service. Come learn how these and other stories were reported and get some hands-on time with the system. You'll learn to search, visualize, find entities, map topics, tag and cull your own large document collections while trading document mining war stories with our friendly team. Plus, learn how to create new visualizations and integrate Overview into your workflow through its powerful API.

    M106

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Mining searchable databases for stories

    Speakers: Jaimi Dowdell of Reuters; Jonathan Stoneman of independent journalist

    The Web is teeming with searchable databases that have story tips and nuggets just waiting for you. In this session we'll share some international and U.S. based links, show you ways to get most out of your online database searches and provide tips for knowing when it's time to forego the searchable database and request the full dataset from the source. We'll also offer some inspiration in the form of story examples done by veteran journalists using data readily available on the Web.

    This session is good for: Anyone.

    International 8-9

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Hands-on

    Take home a text editor

    Speaker: Elizabeth Lucas of Kaiser Health News

    At some point during the conference, in at least one hands-on session, you will probably use a text editor: Notepad++ or Sublime Text, for example. You might ask: What exactly is a text editor and why does everyone use them? In this session we’ll talk about why you should have a good text editor and what they can do for you that other programs (such as Word) can’t. We’ll talk about which ones are the best, and since most are free and easily to install, by the end of the session you will be ready (and eager) to take one home!

     

    M109

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm