Welcome to the conference! IRE staff will highlight key sessions and events that you won’t want to miss while in St. Louis. We’ll also give you a brief rundown on some of the resources IRE has to offer.
In Spain, "lobbying" is taboo, campaign contributions are a mystery and transparency an illusion. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and in the recent national elections, the president-to-be refused to answer any questions from the press. Journalist Mar Cabra and computer developer David Cabo will explain their tricks to make journalism and accountability work in such aharsh environment. David and Mar will be sharing some of their recent work, and welcoming the brainstorming of new ways around the system.
Are you new to data journalism or does this happen to be your first time at a CAR conference? If so, this session will help you get on track to make sure that you get the best experience possible from the 2012 CAR Conference. We’ll highlight sessions and give you tips for success during and after the conference.
by Noah Smith
A computational linguist describes key ideas in thinking about text as data that, through statistics, can help us understand the behavior of people and society. We'll show a range of examples that illustrate tradeoffs in statistical and computational complexity, linguistic sophistication, and weak vs. strong domain assumptions.
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
— Format them beautifully
— Make them interactive
Tableau Public is a free tool for journalists. No previous experience with Tableau is necessary to take this class. Register for this hands-on training. (Please note: Because of limited space in the room, we have a separate form for the Tableau hands-on training. There is no extra charge.)
Learn how adding a programming language to your toolbox can make you a better reporter.
Before you get to enjoy the thrill of finding that smoking-gun pattern in some data for your big project, you have to deal with the drudgery of acquiring and cleaning up the data. Happily, a well-stocked and expanding toolbox of free services and applications exists to help you scrape data from websites, export it from clunky formats like pdf, and clean up messy, unstandardized variables.
Erasing to the top — How to tell if school testing gains are legitimate or too good to be true.
by Sarah Cohen
How investigative reporters have found stories buried in text and ways investigators in other industries have mined their documents.
Let your audience search your data. Learn tricks on how newsrooms can use Microsoft Cloud and Google Docs to quickly and easily display dynamic information online without programming.
NewsCamp::From words to data and back
Jam Sessions: Programming skills are required for this more loosely organized track. We'll begin by tackling python-based Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) and explaining what it can do. Attendees will work together on ways to apply more sophisticated text analysis using NLTK to their reporting.
If you will be attending NewsCamp and the CAR conference, there is no extra charge for Newscamp but you must register for the hands-on portion. Space is very limited so please only sign-up if you plan on attending.If you plan on attending only NewsCamp, please contact Amy Johnston to register: firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-884-1444.
NOTE: Registration is required for this session.
Reporters are used to working with rows and columns, but some of the best data available comes in the form of unstructured text. This session will give a sense of the tools and techniques critical for working with unstructured data, as well as their applications in the newsroom.
by Doug Haddix
Tips and techniques for using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media services to dig deep on individuals and organizations.
by Jennifer LaFleur and David Hunn
Getting any record can be a challenge, but wrangling data can introduce even more challenges. We’ll give you some tools and tips for getting data out of government agencies.
Attendees will learn how to use tools for tackling unstructured data and text. These sessions will cover DocumentCloud, entity extraction, topic detection and more. Programming skills are optional for these classes, which will teach you tools you can bring back to your news organization.
NOTE: Registration is required for this session.
Take your data visualization skills to the next level. In this class we'll push Tableau's capabilities further to create more complex visualizations. You'll learn how to:
— Clean and format dirty data
— Use multiple data sources in the same visualization
— Build more advanced visualizations
— Employ advanced interactive elements
Tableau Public is a free tool for journalists. Class participants should have some experience with Tableau or have taken the morning beginner course. Register for this hands-on training. (Please note: Because of limited space in the room, we have a separate form for the Tableau hands-on training. There is no extra charge.)
This suite of Python utilities is a Swiss Army knife for converting and working with comma-delimited text files. This demo will explain ways it can help you, from rearranging and trimming columns to generating stats and SQL statements to make tables.
Data based reporting shouldn't be just a tool for economics, transportation or crime reporters; it can be used in other parts of the room. From features to sports, we’ll talk about stories and techniques that can be used throughout the newsroom.
See how journalists are using geographic information system (GIS) mapping to plot trends and uncover hidden spatial relationships. Also, learn how open-source and commercial GIS programs compare.
by Peter Aldhous and Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe
What is network analysis (aka social network analysis)? How can I use it in my reporting? We'll cover the basic concepts involved in analyzing the connections between people and organizations, and provide examples of how network analysis can be used – from documenting cronyism in the selection of a Grand Jury, to visualizing differences in the Twitter conversations surrounding the Occupy and Tea Party movements.
How to do CAR stories with limited resources. Panelists will offer tips for winning over your boss, carving time out of your overworked schedule, useful (and cheap!) tools and story ideas that can be done anywhere.
Use DataTables, an open-source jQuery plug-in, to post sortable datasets online within 20 minutes.
by Charles Ornstein and Jeff Porter
All newsrooms can produce meaningful stories about health care in their own communities with a dose of data. This session will focus on Medicare and Medicaid data you can localize, how to track disciplined doctors in your state, and the care of vulnerable residents in nursing homes. You’ll leave with a handout listing online resources to explore and tips for both CAR beginners and longtime data users.
News applications can be so much more than Infographics 2.0. This session will talk about examples about how news apps teams have transformed their work into something more: namely, products — including some that actually make money. We want this to be a discussion. Come with your thoughts on methods, ethics and ideas.
We'll discuss concrete and essential tools for investigating business with data. This session will look at U.S. and global corporate data and navigating your way through the tangled (and incomplete) web with OpenCorporates.
Turning wild data on the Web into structured formats that are useful for analysis and presentation can be one of the toughest barriers to data journalism. We'll take a rapid-fire tour of free tools on the Web (which don't require programming) that can help — some tried and true, some recently in production.
Google Fusion Tables allows you to easily publish relatively large data sets. Learn how this free tool can help journalists create maps, graphs and timelines, mash-up different data sets and collaborate on data.
As news organizations dabble in new ways of finding revenue and journalists look to tell stories in new ways, what does a CAR story or project look like as a standalone app? We'll explore the emerging world as it relates to native apps, HTML5 apps, eBooks and other mobile-enabled formats.
Data journalists are good at finding data, getting data, cleaning it and analyzing it, but what do you do when it comes to the visualization? Many of us are lost when it comes to color theory, type and legends. This session will walk you through ways to help you make the most of your visualizations.
23rd–26th February 2012