Main page for the NICAR 2024 conference, March 7-10, 2024 | Baltimore

NICAR 2024 schedule

208 sessions confirmed • Updated February 25 • All times are ET

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NICAR 2024 will run from Thursday, March 7, to Sunday, March 10 in Baltimore, at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront (700 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore, MD 21202).

Click here to register. More details will be added to this schedule as they are confirmed.

Start typing to filter the results below. You can search by session title or speaker name.

Showing 208 of 208 sessions

Thursday

Sessions starting at 8 a.m. ET

Networking

Welcome to NICAR24! First-timers welcome networking event

Time: Thursday, March 7, 8 – 8:45 a.m. (45 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Welcome to the conference! Hear from IRE staff about tips and tactics to navigate our conference like a pro. Then, stick around for a speed round of networking with fellow attendees and IRE staff and board.

Speaker

Diana Fuentes, IRE & NICAR

Sessions starting at 9 a.m. ET

PanelAI track

AI 101: AI-driven tools, tips and tricks to empower your data journalism

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Dozens of new, powerful (and sometimes scary) AI tools have already started transforming society and industries as a whole. What this means for news is an ongoing conversation. But some of these tools can be a boon to newsroom data journalists and coders. We walk through a dozen big and small tools, tips and tricks for utilizing AI in your daily workflows.

Speakers

Darla Cameron, The Texas Tribune

Darla Cameron is the managing editor for visual journalism for The Texas Tribune. She oversees the work of the photo and data visuals teams and works closely with the product, engineering and design teams to elevate the Tribune’s visual journalism.

Jeff Hargarten, Star Tribune

Jeff Hargarten is a Minneapolis-based journalist at the intersection of data analysis, reporting, coding and design.

Connect: X

June Kim, Brown Institute for Media Innovation

June Kim is a data and climate reporter who covers climate and energy for MIT Technology Review. Previously, she has produced broadcast and digital content for media organizations in the United States and South Korea, covering topics such as public health, immigration and music. More recently, she reported on clean energy for Inside Climate News and created data-driven graphics for Scientific American.

Connect: Threads

Mike Reilley, UIC and JournalistsToolbox.ai

Pre-registration - Master ClassTools & Tech track

Becoming a Court Listener: Tools for breaking stories and investigative research

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (210 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Journalists who cover the courts serve a time-honored role as the public's watchdog, but often it can be a challenge to find the legal documents and data that are necessary to break a story. This Master Class will teach attendees how to access legal documents via free or low-cost and easy-to-use tools. There will be time to look at case studies and to answer individual questions to help with research.

The session will include:

  • Using CourtListener, RECAP, and other online tools from Free Law Project
  • Getting timely updates on the cases you are interested in
  • Looking at the Pulitzer Prize winning stories that were mined from judicial financial disclosures, how the database was built, and how to find your own stories
  • Learning how the courts are organized and how to get the legal documents you need
  • How to gather data on the types of cases you are interested in

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Speakers

Carrie Johnson, NPR

Carrie Johnson is an award-winning justice correspondent for NPR. She’s covered courts, legal affairs and law enforcement in Washington and beyond for more than 25 years. Johnson also worked for The Washington Post and Legal Times.

Connect: X, Threads

Coulter Jones, The Wall Street Journal

Coulter Jones is a journalist who specializes in using data analysis, programming and open records to report compelling stories.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Michael Lissner, Free Law Project

Michael Lissner is a co-founder and the executive director of Free Law Project, a nonprofit that brings innovation and equity to the legal ecosystem. Free Law Project uses open tools and data to impact tens of millions of people each month. Michael is a FastCase 50 Honoree and has been awarded the Public Access to Information Award from the American Association of Law Librarians. He is an endurance athlete, having completed numerous long-distance challenges.

Connect: LinkedIn, Bluesky, GitHub, Threads, Mastodon, X

William Palin, Free Law Project

William is an attorney and software developer who is passionate about technology's role in bridging the access-to-justice gap. Prior to joining Free Law Project, he was the Access to Justice/Technology Fellow at Harvard Law School, an adjunct professor of law at Suffolk University in Boston and most recently taught at the University of Hawaii Law School on technology and the law.

Connect: X, GitHub, Mastadon

Mollie Simon, ProPublica

Mollie Simon is a research reporter at ProPublica and has worked on topics including food safety, mental health, police accountability and housing. She previously worked as a researcher for LegiStorm and as a reporter for the Anderson Independent-Mail and Greenville News in South Carolina.

Connect: X

PanelBeat reporting track

Building and learning a new beat in data

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

Lots of early-career data and graphics journalists may find themselves working on a niche beat new to them, with complicated data, hard-to-find data sources, and a general need to have in-depth knowledge to excel in their data reporting. This session will provide a primer of how to build data-specific sources and contacts (including a tipsheet with some of this information for a range of beats), how to get your footing in a topic that's brand new, and how to emerge as an expert in your field.

Speakers

Fazil Khan, The Hechinger Report

Fazil Khan is a New York-based Indian data journalist who covers education for The Hechinger Report. His most recent work examined how prices at colleges have risen more for the lowest-income students than their wealthier peers. In October last year, he co-created a tool called "The College Welcome Guide" that helps prospective students assess how receptive colleges are to students from a variety of backgrounds, and mapped state laws that affect college students.

Connect: X, Linkedin

Bianca Pallaro, The City

Pallaro is a senior data reporter, responsible for conceiving and carrying out focused, in-depth data investigations that uncover violations of public trust and drive real-world impact. Previously, she worked at USA Today and The New York Times, focusing on data acquisition, analysis and visualization for long data-driven investigations. Before moving to the United States to pursue her Masters at Columbia University, she worked as a senior data reporter at La Nación.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Catherine Rentz, Independent Journalist/Filmmaker

Catherine is an investigative journalist and producer based in the Baltimore –Washington region. She has led long-form investigations for PBS FRONTLINE, ProPublica, New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Baltimore Sun and other outlets. Her work has won numerous awards such as the IRE Award for Investigations Triggered by Breaking News, the Online News Association Award for Explanatory Journalism, and her happy place is good ol' Excel.

Connect: Website, X

Paroma Soni, Politico

Paroma Soni is a data and graphics journalist covering trade and agriculture for Politico Pro. She worked previously as an associate visual journalist at FiveThirtyEight, as a fellow at Columbia Journalism Review and as a video producer at BuzzFeed India. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, she is currently based in New York.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Hands-onTools & Tech trackBeginner

Extracting data from PDFs using off-the-shelf tools

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Join this class to learn how to “liberate” trapped data locked inside of PDF’s. This class will cover basic approaches for getting text out of PDF documents using powerful and freely available tools. Participants will be introduced to basic concepts and walked through tackling common challenges encountered with tricky PDF documents.

This session is good for: People who are unfamiliar with PDF-to-text tools or would like to learn how these tools can be used for extracting difficult text from images embedded in a PDF document.

Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and should have access to a CometDocs account, which you can access through your IRE membership; the free software Tabula; and access to Google Drive.

Instructor

Maggie Mulvihill, Boston University

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story in weather data

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

Come learn how to use National Weather Service data to help you find and tell stories. First we’ll make a bot that can alert your newsroom about severe weather approaching, then we’ll show you how to search historical weather data and navigate its quirks. Come with a Github account, but you don’t need other prior knowledge to learn. We’ll use Github Actions, Makefiles and Javascript, and you’ll get all the code to take home.

This session is good for everyone who is willing to dive into some code without prior knowledge; a Github acount is recommended. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

John Keefe, The New York Times

John Keefe is the weather data editor for The New York Times. As a graphics/multimedia editor at The Times, he was part of the team that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for tracking the Covid-19 pandemic. Keefe has previously worked in data-journalism and data-visualization roles at CNN, Quartz and WNYC. He also served as WNYC’s director of news.

Connect: GitHub, LinkedIn

Bea Malsky, The New York Times

Bea Malsky is a graphics editor on the extreme weather desk of The New York Times. Prior to her current beat of hurricanes, earthquakes, dangerous temperatures and other extremes of our natural world, she was part of the Times data team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic. She lives in Chicago, where she also previously served as the editor-in-chief of the South Side Weekly.

Connect: X

Pre-registration - Hands-onData viz trackIntermediate

First Visual Story: Launch a data-driven website

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (210 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Learn how America’s top news organizations escape rigid content-management systems to publish custom graphics on deadline.

Take this class to get hands-on experience in every stage of the development process, writing JavaScript, HTML and CSS within a Node.js framework. You’ll start with data from a real-life Los Angeles Times analysis. You won’t stop until you’ve crafted a custom presentation and deployed a working application on the World Wide Web.

Workshop prerequisites: If you have a good attitude and know how to take a few code crashes in stride, you are qualified for this class. If you’re a little scared, that’s a good thing. You’re ready for this.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Instructors

James Thomas, The New York Times

James is a software engineer on the interactive news team at The New York Times, a unit that builds newsroom apps that extend the content management system and explore new forms of presentation. His reporting examines our cultural habits around music, movement and public space.

Ben Welsh, Reuters

Ben Welsh is an Iowan living in New York City. At Reuters he leads the development of dynamic dashboards, interactive databases and automated insights that benefit clients, inform readers, empower reporters and serve the public interest.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastodon

Aida Ylanan, Los Angeles Times

Aida is a data and graphics journalist at the Los Angeles Times. She has reported on topics ranging from environmental investigations to election analysis. Her work has been recognized by the Society for News Design, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Best of the West. She graduated from UCLA, where she studied statistics and English.

Connect: X, GitHub, Website

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 1: Getting started with spreadsheets

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

In this introduction to spreadsheets, you'll begin analyzing data with Google Sheets, a simple but powerful tool. You'll learn how to enter data, navigate spreadsheets and conduct simple calculations like sum, average and median.

This session is good for: Data beginners. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Jill Riepenhoff, InvestigateTV

Jill Riepenhoff is nearing her fourth decade as a journalist. She spent more than 30 years at The Columbus Dispatch before joining Gray TV's national team, InvestigateTV, in 2017.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onTools & Tech trackIntermediate

Introduction to the command line (Macs)

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Too often in data journalism we forget about the basics. And it doesn't get as basic as the command line. Even knowing a little will make your job easier. We will run through some simple commands, dive into working with spreadsheets and show you some handy tools we frequently use at work.

This session is good for: People who feel intimidated by the command line on their computer, but want to explore the power of command line tools. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Brent Jones, NPR

Brent Jones is Senior News Apps Developer at NPR. He is based in St. Louis, and formerly worked at St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Beacon.

PanelBeat reporting track

Reporting on zoning: The invisible laws that shape our urban inequality

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

The economic and racial segregation that we see in our country is not natural, but the result of decades of public policy. Zoning laws have made it difficult to build affordable housing and have excluded many from advantaged neighborhoods. In this session, we will talk about how to report on zoning issues and what data tools are available to explain the impact of these policies.

Speakers

Sara Bronin, Cornell University and National Zoning Atlas

Kriston Capps, Bloomberg CityLab

Juan Pablo Garnham, Eviction Lab

Matthew Mleczko, Eviction Lab, Princeton University

Matt is a doctoral candidate at Princeton University and a graduate student researcher at the Eviction Lab. He studies integration, housing and inequality, with a particular focus on the role of housing policies in fostering integrated and equitable communities. Matt created the National Zoning and Land Use Database, a database of zoning and land use policies covering the period between 2019-2022 for over 2,600 municipalities across the country.

Connect: LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

SQL 1: Sorting and filtering

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

Learning to manipulate data is a bit like learning a new language. Actually, it is a language, called Structured Query Language (SQL). This session is an introduction to using SQL to zero in on your data by viewing slices and chunks of it (filtering) and putting it into a useful order (sorting) so you can spot the stuff you need to get started toward a story. We'll use PostgreSQL, a free database manager.

This session is good for: People with some experience working with data in columns and rows, in spreadsheets or database managers. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Helena Bengtsson, Gota Media

Helena Bengtsson is data journalism editor at Gota Media, a regional publishing company in the south of Sweden with 14 local titles. She previously worked as editor for data journalism at Sveriges Television, Sweden’s national television broadcaster for 27 years, and she also served as editor, data projects at the Guardian UK between 2014-2017. In 2006 and 2007, she was database editor at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C.

Connect: X

PanelTools & Tech track

Text analysis in different languages for investigative journalism

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

During this session, panelists will share their experiences and thoughts on working with text extracted from documents, the social web or other sources. How can journalists turn unstructured information in various languages into data to better understand patterns and trends? Attendees will learn about approaches to analyzing text as well as tools — ranging from simple formulas in Google Sheets to nifty tools in DocumentCloud to more complex ones like Python-based libraries. Attendees will walk away with methods to approaching text analysis projects, both simple and complex.

Speakers

Fernanda Aguirre, The Examination

Fernanda Aguirre is a data analyst working at The Examination. She has worked as a data journalist at Data Crítica and served as a trainer at the Consortium to Support Independent Journalism in Latin America (CAPIR), where she has mentored journalists from several countries in data analysis and investigative tools.

Connect: LinkedIn, GitHub

Chris Amico, MuckRock

Chris Amico is a senior developer at MuckRock, working on DocumentCloud. He has worked at local and national news organizations as a programmer, editor and reporter.

Connect: GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastodon

Josephine Lukito, University of Texas at Austin

Josephine ("Jo") Lukito (she/her) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism and Media. She is also a Senior Faculty Research Affiliate for the Center for Media Engagement. Jo uses computational and machine learning approaches to study political language, with a focus on harmful digital content and multi-platform flows. She also studies data access for researchers and journalists.

Connect: X, Github

Lam Thuy Vo, The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University New York and The Markup

Lam Thuy Vo is an investigative reporter with The Markup and an associate professor of data journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University New York.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

PanelElections track

Uncovering shadow campaigns in 2024 elections

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Several candidates running for the presidency in the 2024 election have raised hundreds of millions of dollars through aligned political operations, including super PACs, leadership PACs, congressional reelection campaigns and even dark money groups that do not disclose their donors – and sometimes even their spending – to the Federal Election Commission. This session will cover how to follow the money around these groups aligned with potential presidential contenders and their allies, from each group’s spending to the donors bankrolling them.

Speakers

Michael Beckel, Issue One

Michael Beckel is the research director at Issue One, a DC-based bipartisan political reform advocacy organization. He has authored reports that uncovered donors behind mysterious dark money groups, exposed questionable spending by lawmakers’ leadership PACs, examined the turnover among election officials, and more. He previously worked as a reporter for more than a decade, including at OpenSecrets, the Center for Public Integrity, and Mother Jones.

Connect: X, Post

Carrie Levine, Votebeat

Carrie Levine is Votebeat's managing editor. She was previously a senior reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, where she covered voting access, money in politics and influence. She has also worked for the National Law Journal and the Charlotte Observer. She was research director at CREW, a nonpartisan watchdog group. A graduate of Boston University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she is based in Washington, D.C.

Connect: X

Anna Massoglia, OpenSecrets

Anna Massoglia is the editorial and investigations manager at OpenSecrets. Her research areas also include foreign influence and investigations into opaque spending networks. Anna holds degrees in political science and psychology from North Carolina State University and a J.D. from the University of the District of Columbia School of Law. Previously, Anna worked as a research analyst and editor at Bloomberg BNA.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Facebook, Mastadon, Threads, Bluesky

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Writing with numbers

Time: Thursday, March 7, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

When it comes time to write your data-driven story, there are ways you can ensure that you convey your findings in the most powerful way possible and at the same time avoid burying your readers in numbers. This session will give you tips for avoiding number clutter, conveying your findings in ways that readers will understand and some other general guidance for using numbers in stories. We'll spend some time looking at real-life examples and talking about ways to make them better.

This session is for everyone. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

MaryJo Webster, Star Tribune

Sessions starting at 10:15 a.m. ET

Hands-onAI trackBeginner

AI 101: Coaching ChatGPT to help you with your coding and data tasks

Time: Thursday, March 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

ChatGPT, widely misunderstood and in some cases misused, can be a powerful tool to improve efficiency in our day-to-day work. Give ChatGPT a few rows of publicly available data and ask it to write a data dictionary. We'll use ChatGPT to help write a public records request for us, have it help us make sense of data and we'll even use it to write a Python script to reshape unruly Excel data. The best part? You don't need to know Python to write this code.

This session is good for everyone. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Charles Minshew, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

PanelBeat reporting track

Covering disparities in higher education

Time: Thursday, March 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

With the recent Supreme Court affirmative action ruling and the anti-DEI movement, colleges today are overhauling the ways they recruit, admit, and retain historically marginalized students. Learn about ways you can understand college outcomes and write about today’s debates.

This session is sponsored by the Lumina Foundation. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Daarel Burnett, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Daarel Burnette II is a senior editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education. Before joining The Chronicle in 2022, he served as an assistant managing editor and reporter for Education Week and as the bureau chief of Chalkbeat Tennessee. He has worked as an education reporter at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Louisville Courier Journal. He also worked as a general-assignment reporter at the Chicago Tribune.

Connect: LinkedIn

Naomi Harris, Education Writers Association

Naomi Harris is the content manager at EWA. She previously reported as a higher education reporter for Open Campus and focused her coverage on race and equity in education. Her articles have been published in The Washington Post, The Associated Press and other national outlets. She graduated with a dual bachelor’s degree in journalism and anthropology at the University of Maryland.

Connect: LinkedIn

Chris Quintana, USA Today

Olivia Sanchez, The Hechinger Report

Olivia Sanchez writes about higher education for The Hechinger Report. Olivia previously covered local and state government at The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Olivia earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Portland and a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Oregon. Olivia serves on IRE’s member services committee and chairs the LGBTQ+ subcommittee.

Connect: LinkedIn

PanelBeat reporting track

Finding the story in criminal justice data: Crime, police, prisons and more

Time: Thursday, March 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

There’s a lot of data out there on policing, prisons and crime but so much of it is bad for a variety of reasons. Come to this session to learn how to separate the good from the bad, how to make sense of the data you have, and how to tell impactful stories on complex and sensitivew topics.

Speakers

Sarah Conway, City Bureau

Tom Meagher, The Marshall Project

Senior editor Tom Meagher joined The Marshall Project at its founding in 2014. He previously led an interactive team for the Digital First Media newspaper chain and was the data editor at the Newark Star-Ledger. He got his start in journalism covering night cops for a small daily paper in Kansas.

Trina Reynolds-Tyler, Invisible Institute

Hands-onBeat reporting trackIntermediate

Finding the story in cryptocurrency blockchains

Time: Thursday, March 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

This session will cover free (and low-cost) techniques for tracing cryptocurrency, particularly with a focus on donations to extremist groups, political candidates, and the like. The focus story will be how we broke the news that Alex Jones secretly received $8m in crypto from a single mega-donor, and how that story affected his ongoing legal battles.

This session is good for everyone, but may be of greatest benefit to people with some technology, financial, or crime reporting experience. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructor

Megan Squire, Southern Poverty Law Center

Dr. Megan Squire is Deputy Director for Data Analytics and OSINT at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and interim managing editor for the Intelligence Project's Hatewatch and Techwatch publications. As a computer scientist, she applies data science techniques to track and expose networks of hate and extremism online, including through online fundraising and cryptocurrency transactions.

Connect: X

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story: Immigration data

Time: Thursday, March 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

Description coming soon.

Instructor

Andrew Kreighbaum, Bloomberg Law

Andrew Kreighbaum covers immigration and labor for Bloomberg Law.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 2: Formulas & sorting

Time: Thursday, March 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Much of Google Sheets' 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: Anyone who has taken Google Sheets 1 or has been introduced to spreadsheets. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Tiffany Fehr, The New York Times

Tiff Fehr is a staff engineer and project editor within the Interactive News team, a group of technologists embedded in the newsroom of The New York Times. The team focuses on custom software development for newsroom projects in addition to large-scale data journalism work.

Connect: Mastadon

PanelLocal track

How to do data- and document-driven investigations in small and/or underserved newsrooms

Time: Thursday, March 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

This session is great for beginners or NICAR newbies!

Data- and document-driven journalism is universally challenging for many reasons. It requires specific skills to obtain, clean and analyze information, report the findings and present the story in an engaging and understandable way. A data-driven reporter may need strong support from other reporters, editors, access to tools and other resources to produce this kind of story. For smaller, local newsrooms the challenges are amplified. Funding is only one important step.

For the last two years, the Data-Driven Reporting Project (DDRP) has awarded financial support to local news organizations to amplify data-and-document driven reporting. Along the way, we’ve learned about some of the gaps that can prevent a newsroom from completing a successful project.

Join us to hear stories of what has worked (or has not) to build data journalism capacity in small and underserved newsrooms.

Speakers

Pam Dempsey, Data-Driven Reporting Project

Pam Dempsey is the program director of the Data-Driven Reporting Project at Medill/Northwestern and former executive director of Investigate Midwest.

Connect: LinkedInhttps://linkedin.com/in/pamelagdempsey

Chris Gelardi, New York Focus

Chris Gelardi is a reporter for New York Focus, where he investigates prisons, police, prosecutors and other facets of the state’s criminal-legal system. His other investigative and narrative work — spanning topics from immigration enforcement, militarism, and contemporary colonialism — has appeared in more than a dozen outlets, most frequently The Nation, The Intercept and The Appeal. He’s based in Queens.

Connect: X

Brittany Harlow, VNN Oklahoma

With over a decade of experience in traditional and non-traditional news, Brittany started as a producer and reporter for KRMG in Tulsa before transitioning to television news at KXII. She left her position as weekend anchor to launch VNN with her husband and business partner Kelly Tidwell (Creek and Cherokee) in 2018. Brittany currently serves as the company’s director and lead journalist for VNN Oklahoma.

Connect: VNN, X, Facebook, LinkedIn

Sylvia A. Harvey, Independent journalist

Sylvia A. Harvey, also known as SAH, is an award-winning independent journalist, speaker and author of "The Shadow System: Mass Incarceration and the American Family." SAH’s reporting on race, class, policy and incarceration is featured in The Nation, Elle, Politico, Vox, The Marshall Project, The Root, NPR and other outlets. Her work is being used in university coursework and has been cited by federal lawmakers calling for criminal justice reform. SAH lives in New York.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Website

Daniel Wheaton, NPR's Midwest Newsroom (Nebraska Public Media)

Daniel Wheaton is the data reporter for NPR's Midwest Newsroom, an investigative public radio collaboration with member stations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. He's based at Nebraska Public Media in Lincoln, Nebraska. He also is an adjunct instructor at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and coaches the speech and debate team.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onTools & Tech trackIntermediate

PDF next steps: Extracting data using command-line and other tools

Time: Thursday, March 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

This class seeks to help you free data stored in PDFs. Attendees will extract text from a computer-generated PDF using command-line tools, process image files with optical character recognition and set themselves up for working with PDFs in Python. The session will also cover how to assess a PDF to select the right tools to use to free its data.

This session is good for: People with experience using a command-line interface and who deal with frustrating PDFs. Knowledge of Python or R is a plus but not required. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Chad Day, Associated Press

Chad Day is the chief elections analyst for The Associated Press and a member of AP’s Decision Desk. He writes about politics and elections and also teaches data journalism at Georgetown University. He previously worked at The Wall Street Journal, where he was part of a team awarded the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting.

Connect: GitHub

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

SQL 2: Grouping and summing data

Time: Thursday, March 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

If you know how to write a basic SELECT statement in SQL 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. We'll use PostgreSQL, a free database manager.

This session is good for: People who took “SQL 1: Sorting and filtering” or are familiar with “SELECT” and “WHERE” statements in SQL." Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Jack Gillum, The Wall Street Journal

Jack Gillum is a reporter in the The Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau, where he focuses on data-driven stories about politics and government. His has worked for ProPublica, the Washington Post, the Associated Press and other newsrooms. Jack has broken stories that included the existence and location of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, a U.S.-backed "Cuban Twitter" program and standardized test cheating in the nation's capital.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

DemoTools & Tech track

Securing your social media accounts with the magic of browser extension automations

Time: Thursday, March 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

The visibility of being a journalist in today's very online world means heightened risk of digital attacks, from harassment and doxxing to fraud, account hacking, and identity theft. Personal social media accounts expose a broad surface area for attacks, in addition to potentially leaking data or content that can be weaponized against you -- hence the ubiquitous recommendation from security experts to lock everything down. The problem is how difficult, boring, and tedious it can be to actually ensure that your settings are consistent with your ideal security stance. This session will walk through tradeoffs and risks of your personal social media usage and a demo of Privacy Party as a free tool for making privacy easy.

Speaker

Tracy Chou, Block Party

Tracy Chou is a software engineer, diversity activist, and founder and CEO of Block Party, which builds tools for online safety, privacy and anti-harassment. Their latest product, Privacy Party, helps people fix privacy risks on social media. Tracy was an early engineer at Pinterest, Quora and the U.S. Digital Service; has been recognized among TIME's Women of the Year and MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators under 35; and was a Terman Fellow and Mayfield Fellow at Stanford University.

Connect: Bluesky, Instagram, LinkedIn, Mastodon, Threads, X

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

So you want to report on racial disparities

Time: Thursday, March 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

The "disparity" has emerged as one of the most powerful and widely used tools for identifying and critiquing social inequality. Disparity-based analyses have helped us answer questions like who advances in school, who owns a home, who gets sick, or who gets pulled over. As quantitative methods have become more common in journalism, the disparity has become a mainstay of investigative, accountability-based reporting.

But has our profession become overreliant on this metric? Although we've come to expect disparities to measure social inequality, we rarely say out loud the assumptions — and uncertainty — underlying them. Sometimes, we let the data do our work for us, opening ourselves up to criticism by people with starkly different assumptions about what the data means. In this presentation and group discussion, we’ll take up this question with real examples from ProPublica's past work on issues as distinctly different as COVID-19, traffic enforcement, and home-lending.

We'll proceed from the main assumption underlying any disparity analysis. We'll walk through the basic math. We'll talk about what disparities are really good at expressing — and what they leave out. And we'll end with a discussion of how we can, and must, shore up our disparity analyses with robust reporting on the mechanisms that produce inequality, rather than the symptoms.

Speakers

Sophie Chou, ProPublica

Haru Coryne, ProPublica

Haru Coryne is a data reporter for ProPublica, based in Chicago. She uses a combination of statistical methods, computer software and document-based research to find stories in large troves of information. She is especially interested in housing, business and economic development.

Connect: Mastodon

Sessions starting at 11:30 a.m. ET

PanelAI track

AI 202: Cooking with generative AI

Time: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Are Generative AI systems actually useful? How do we use them effectively and ethically?

Panelists detail their tips and tricks for using LLMs like ChatGPT on the job. We’ve used it to battle ornery records custodians, whip up scripts, create sample data sets and help debug code. We’ll talk about how to maximize the utility of this digital assistant, as well as limitations and pitfalls, including using problems suggested by the audience. Submit your data reporting problem before the panel and we'll show you how we would solve them: https://bit.ly/nicar_ai

Speakers

Pri Bengani, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University

Priyanjana Bengani is a senior research fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism where her work focuses on using computational techniques to research the digital media landscape, including partisan local news and the intersection of platform companies with the media.

Connect: Mastodon

Andrew Ford, The Arizona Republic

Andrew Ford is an investigative reporter for the Arizona Republic, where his healthcare accountability reporting was quoted in a complaint by the Department of Justice against a company Ford reported on, which later declared bankruptcy. Ford's work spurred a bigger budget for the state medical board and a bill to improve patient access to records of doctor misconduct.

Connect: X

Jeff Kao, ProPublica

Jeff Kao is a computational journalist at ProPublica. His collaboration with The New York Times on Chinese government censorship of the coronavirus outbreak was a part of the newspaper’s winning entry for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for public service. His work has also won the Loeb Award for international reporting (2022), the SOPA Award for journalistic innovation (2022), the IRE Award for breaking news (2021) and the SABEW Award for technology reporting (2019).

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastodon

Jonathan Soma, Columbia Journalism School

Jonathan Soma is Knight Chair in Data Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, where he directs both the Data Journalism MS and the summer intensive Lede Program. He regularly publishes tutorials on everything from basic Python and analysis to ai2html and machine learning. At the moment he unfortunately cannot stop talking about AI. When Soma isn't boring his students to tears he's probably rescuing cats.

Connect: X, GitHub

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story: Digging into IRS data on nonprofits

Time: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

The IRS collects information on millions of hospitals, schools, arts organizations and other nonprofits. The IRS has put much of that data online. We'll use Excel to explore some of that data. We'll also talk about how you might use other tools, like R, Python or SQL to access additional data. But no coding is required to attend this class.

This session is good for anyone who has some experience working with spreadsheets or databases. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Todd Wallack, WBUR Radio

Todd Wallack is an investigative and data reporter for WBUR Radio in Boston. He previously spent 14 years at the Boston Globe, mostly on Spotlight Team. While at the Globe, Wallack worked on five projects that were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

PanelClimate track

Fire, smoke and prevention: Using data to investigate the wildfire crisis

Time: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Wildfire prevention and response are massive endeavors stretching across local, state and federal agencies — they're complex, high stakes, big budget, and rarely covered in deep dives. They also generate lots of data, but knowing where to look and what you're looking at can be challenging as a reporter. This session will cover how metrics are tracked, how to approach wildfire data with an investigative mindset, and some of the panelists' favorite databases.

Speakers

Adiel Kaplan, NBC News

Adiel Kaplan is an investigative reporter and editor at NBC News, where her work appears in articles on NBCNews.com and as video stories on Nightly News, the TODAY Show and NBC News NOW. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School, where she teaches investigative reporting for the Stabile Center for Investigative Reporting and Data Journalism Program.

Connect: LinkedIn

Veronica Penney, The Washington Post

Veronica Penney is a graphics reporter on The Washington Post's climate team. She previously worked as an investigative data reporter for Colorado Public Radio, a climate data reporter at The New York Times and on the investigative unit at the Miami Herald.

Connect: X, Mastodon

Emily Zentner, The California Newsroom

Emily Zentner is the data journalist for the statewide public and nonprofit media collaborative The California Newsroom, where she works with partner newsrooms on investigative stories and training reporters to use data skills in their reporting. Her work primarily focuses on criminal justice and climate stories. She was previously data reporter at CapRadio in Sacramento, where she reported on wildfire, climate change and police mishandling of sexual assault cases.

Connect: X, GitHub

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 3: Filtering & pivot tables

Time: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

A look at the awesome power of pivot — and how to use it to analyze your dataset in minutes rather than hours. We'll work up to using a pivot table by first sorting and filtering a dataset, learning how to find story ideas along the way.

This session is good for: Anyone familiar with formulas, sorting and filtering in a spreadsheet program. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Kate Howard, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

Kate Howard (she/her) is editorial director at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Howard was a reporter for 16 years before becoming managing editor at the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting in 2018. She edits digital investigations and leads local initiatives at Reveal. Howard is a member of the board of directors for IRE and Louisville Public Media, and she lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets: Using string functions to manipulate data (repeat)

Time: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Maybe you converted a PDF or imported a table into a spreadsheet -- or maybe an agency gave you a poorly formatted file. You can use string functions to reformat your data and get your spreadsheets working for you.

This session is good for: Anyone comfortable with using formulas and functions in Google Sheets. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Kevin Crowe, The Washington Post

Kevin is a data journalist at The Washington Post covering climate and the environment. Prior to joining the Post, he worked at USA TODAY, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, inewsource and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Connect: X

NetworkingNetworking track

LGBTQ+ networking & listening session

Time: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. (90 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

An old favorite with a new twist! We’ve expanded our traditional networking session to include an opportunity to better serve IRE’s LGBTQQIP2SA members. From 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. we'll mix and mingle, meet friends old and new, and build our professional community in this fun and informal networking session. This portion of the session is for anyone who identifies as part of the LGBTQQIP2SA community or as an ally.

From 12:15 – 1:00 p.m. - Stick around (and bring your lunch, if you like), as IRE hosts its second “listening session” for LGBTQQIP2SA members and allies. This event aims to foster an open dialogue and understanding of the unique experiences and concerns within this community, as we seek to better serve our members. This is also an opportunity to share with IRE leadership ideas and feedback on how we can better support you and this community. IRE recently formed its first-ever LGTBQ+ membership subcommittee, which will be tackling some of the issues and ideas generated from this event. Participants can submit questions anonymously to this Google Form before the event, or speak directly to a group of IRE staff, board members and LGBTQ+ volunteers. Anyone attending this session should be respectful of other participants and abide by IRE’s Code of Conduct.

Speakers

Josh Hinkle, KXAN

Josh Hinkle is KXAN’s director of investigations and innovation, leading the station’s duPont and IRE Award-winning investigative team on multiple platforms. He also leads KXAN’s political coverage as executive producer and host of “State of Texas,” a weekly statewide program focused on the Texas Legislature and elections. In 2021, he was elected to the IRE Board of Directors and currently serves as its vice president.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Adam Rhodes, IRE & NICAR

Adam M. Rhodes is a first-generation Cuban American journalist whose work primarily focuses on queer people and the criminal justice system. Their recent work has examined HIV treatment access in Puerto Rico, HIV criminalization in Illinois and a homophobic capital murder trial in the state. They have been published in outlets including The Nation, BuzzFeed News and The Washington Post.

Francisco Vara-Orta, IRE & NICAR

NetworkingNetworking track

Networking: International journalists

Time: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Mix and mingle, meet friends old and new, and build your professional community in this fun and informal networking session.

This session is for journalists from or based outside of the U.S.

Speakers

Jasmine Han, Industry Dive

Jasmine Ye Han is a DC-based graphics developer at Industry Dive, where she tells business news stories with data analysis and visualizations. She's passionate about creativity and mental health. Previously she was a data journalism reporter at Bloomberg Industry Group. Jasmine is an alumnus of the Missouri School of Journalism and NICAR data library.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Karen Ho, ARTnews

Karen K. Ho is a senior staff writer at ARTnews, where she covers business and art crime. She has been published in Quartz, Business Insider, GQ, Time, Glamour, the Columbia Journalism Review, and many other outlets. Karen's favorite data tool is Datawrapper.

Connect: LinkedIn, Bluesky, X

Naipanoi Lepapa, Independent journalist

Naipanoi Lepapa is an award winning freelance investigative journalist and currently a Pulitzer Centre AI Accountability fellow based in Nairobi Kenya. She specializes in open-source intelligence and cross-border financial investigations and is deeply passionate about under-reported issues on health, gender, human rights, AI & technology, environment and climate change.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelElections track

Obtaining public records and data to power your 2024 election reporting

Time: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Public records can serve as a vital source of information about the U.S. elections process and how Americans cast their votes. This session will cover how federal and state open records laws address access to voter rolls, ballots, initial ballot count and recount processes, and other election-related records and data that can help inform your reporting on the 2024 election.

This session is sponsored by Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Christina A. Cassidy, The Associated Press

Kate Huangpu, Spotlight PA

Huangpu follows how and why the state government works the way it does, paying special attention to how the structure of our government expands or excludes who can participate in democracy. Huangpu also tracks major legislation and the impact that it has on communities across the state.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Carrie Levine, Votebeat

Carrie Levine is Votebeat's managing editor. She was previously a senior reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, where she covered voting access, money in politics and influence. She has also worked for the National Law Journal and the Charlotte Observer. She was research director at CREW, a nonpartisan watchdog group. A graduate of Boston University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she is based in Washington, D.C.

Connect: X

Gunita Singh, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Gunita Singh is a staff attorney at the Reporters Committee where she litigates federal FOIA and state public records cases on behalf of reporters and news outlets, and regularly provides newsroom trainings in FOIA best practices. She has co-authored two publications on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected access to public records. She received her J.D. from Georgetown University.

Connect: LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

SQL 3: Joining tables

Time: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

Learn how to join tables, matching information from one file to another. We'll use PostgreSQL, a free database manager.

This session is good for: People who are familiar with counting, summing or “GROUP BY” in SQL and want to add another tool to their SQL skill set." Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Jennifer Peebles,

Hands-onTools & Tech trackIntermediate

Terminal tricks: Repetitive tasks made simpler for journalists

Time: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

This session will show you how to use the terminal to automate time consuming or repetitive processes. We'll discuss our favorite commands and programs that help us get tasks done quickly in our work at The Washington Post. For example, we'll show you how to organize and process hundreds of photos of House members in a couple commands.

This session is good for someone who has a basic understanding of the terminal, or the expert looking for new programs to add to their toolkits. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Adrián Blanco Ramos, The Washington Post

Adrián Blanco Ramos is a graphics reporter in the graphics department at The Washington Post.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Daniel Wolfe, Washington Post

Daniel Wolfe is a graphics reporter for the Washington Post. His past includes data and graphics reporting at CNN and Quartz, as well as work at the aerospace company Planet Labs. Curiosity drives his work developing meaningful and memorable visual pieces.

Connect: Bluesky, LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Using OpenRefine to clean your data

Time: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

Learn how to explore, clean and reshape data using a free tool – no programming knowledge required. With OpenRefine, tedious tasks like cleaning up names and addresses in messy data can be accomplished in just a few clicks. It's an essential tool in any reporter's toolbox.

This session is good for people with basic experience working with data. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Stephanie Lamm, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Stephanie Lamm is a data reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She uses data analysis tools such as SQL, R and Python to uncover stories that would otherwise remain hidden.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 2:15 p.m. ET

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

An offshore maze: Tips and tricks on navigating cross-border corporate data

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

We all know that oligarchs, gangsters and shady politicians use shell companies and trusts in offshore jurisdictions to hide their ill-gotten gains. Just because they hide their cash doesn't mean we can't find their companies! This session will show you what tools are available to help you crack open those nests of shell companies.

Instructor

Karrie Kehoe, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)

PanelEducators track

Data education beyond the tools

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Data journalism is so much more than spreadsheets, R, Python, Datawrapper, etc. For university-level educators, our courses tend to be branded as 'skills-based,' but there are so many other non-tech or tool aspects of producing a piece of journalism that involves data. In this session, attendees will hear from data educators who will focus on how they bring history, theory, ethics, research, and practical exercises into their classrooms to impart upon students that data journalism is not just counting, sorting and grouping.

Speakers

Eva Constantaras, Lighthouse Reports

Eva Constantaras is a data journalist specialized in building collaborative investigative teams. These teams have reported from across Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa on accountability issues ranging from algorithmic bias and food insecurity to extractive industries and sanctions evasion. As a Google Data Journalism Scholar and a Fulbright Fellow, she developed a course for investigative data journalism in high-risk environments.

Connect: LinkedIn

Nausheen Husain, Syracuse University

Nausheen Husain writes about civil rights issues, incarceration and security, and inequities. Husain focuses on Muslim communities and the past and present 'War on Terror.' Husain is currently a freelance journalist and an assistant professor at Syracuse University, teaching journalism with an emphasis on data analysis, underreported communities and civil rights. Husain's academic research focuses on the news processes and coverage choices during the ongoing American-led 'War on Terror.'

Connect: X, Bluesky

Janelle O'Dea, Center for Public Integrity

Janelle O'Dea spent a decade in print before becoming the Center for Public Integrity's data reporter for local initiatives at the end of 2022.

Connect: X

Winny de Jong, NRC

Data journalist Winny de Jong works at the Dutch newspaper NRC, where she leads the editorial data team. She knows all the things that truly matter won’t fit in a dataset, and thinks life is not a pizza.

Connect: LinkedIn

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story: Providing context to the equity and inclusion debate using education data

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Over the past two years, public education has been flooded by a national debate on "controversial" topics such as lessons and books about race and racism, accurate history lessons that highlight marginalized voices and most recently, LGBTQ people, gender and sexual identity. There's various different ways to keep track of these challenges to public education, whether they're happening at the state level or within districts. This is a session that'll demonstrate how to stay on top of covering this culture war within K-12 education.

This session is good for people with basic experience working with data. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class.

Instructor

Eesha Pendharkar, The Maine Monitor

Eesha Pendharkar is a senior education and equity reporter and data editor for the Maine Monitor, an investigative reporting publication covering the state of Maine. Prior to that, she was a national reporter covering race and opportunity in K-12 education, and a daily reporter for newspapers in Maine and Massachusetts. She's been a data reporter for more than five years, often training others in her newsroom in data analysis and visualization skills.

Connect: X

Hands-onAI trackBeginner

Getting hands-on with AI tools for journalists

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 4:30 p.m. (135 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

This hands-on session of free (and some paid) AI tools, Mike Reilley (Journalist's Toolbox), Samantha Sunne (Tools for Reporters) and Jeremy Caplan (Wonder Tools) will walk you through some of the emerging AI tools for journalists. They will cover practical applications, as well as ethical and legal concerns that the new technology presents. Topics include graphics, headline writing/editing, image/video creation, fact-checking, productivity/automation and data analysis.

To fully participate, attendees are encouraged to have these accounts set up prior to the session: ChatGPT (preferably the latest paid version), Claude.ai (paid) and Google Bard. MidJourney accounts would be helpful, too. Participants will get handouts with links to the tools, exercises and other resources.

This session is good for everyone. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Jeremy Caplan, CUNY Newmark Graduate School of Journalism

Mike Reilley, UIC and JournalistsToolbox.ai

Samantha Sunne, Independent journalist

Samantha Sunne a freelance journalist based in New Orleans. She is the recipient of several national grants and awards for investigative reporting, most recently having completed the prestigious ProPublica Local Reporting Network fellowship. Her first book, “Data + Journalism: A Story-Driven Approach to Learning Data Reporting,” was an Amazon bestseller in 2023.

Connect: LinkedIn

Hands-onData viz trackBeginner

Getting started with Datawrapper

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Description coming soon.

Instructor

Madi Alexander, POLITICO

Madi Alexander is the senior graphics editor on POLITICO’s data and graphics team, where she covers health care, education and other public policy issues. She has also worked as a data journalist at Bloomberg Government and the Dallas Morning News. Madi has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Outside of work, she enjoys birding and volunteers as a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Pre-registration - Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Introduction to R

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 5:45 p.m. (210 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

We'll introduce you to R, a free, powerful open-source programming language that will take your data reporting to the next level. By the end of this three-hour session, you will be able to read data from common file types into R, clean and explore it, create visualizations, and make your entire data workflow reproducible. We'll also talk about how to find help when you're stuck.

Workshop prerequisites: This session will be most helpful if you’re comfortable working with data and you’re ready to take your skills to the next level.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Instructor

Liz Lucas, IRE & NICAR

Liz Lucas is the senior training director and an adjunct professor of data journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism. She previously worked as data editor for Kaiser Health News, as a data reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, and as the director of data services for IRE.

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Maximizing utility – a pragmatic reporter’s philosophy on data analysis

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Description coming soon.

Instructor information coming soon.

Hands-onElections trackAdvanced

Parsing federal campaign finance data with FastFEC

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

On campaign finance filing deadlines, journalists rush to sift through huge amounts of data on how much money campaigns have — and where it came from. Come learn how to use FastFEC, an open-source tool developed at The Washington Post to rapidly parse FEC filings.

This session is good for people who are comfortable using the command line. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Dylan Freedman, The Washington Post

Clara Ence Morse, Washington Post

PanelPublic records track

Public records 101: Great records for investigating higher education

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

This hands-on training will provide practical tips for getting records out of universities. The session will offer examples of useful records for covering high education, and then cover strategies for finding and acquiring them. We'll also provide strategies for getting records relevant to private universities.

Speakers

David Cuillier, Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Project

David Cuillier is director of the Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Project at the University of Florida. He is a former data journalist and has taught more than 10,000 people how to acquire public records. He is co-author of "The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records," and has testified three times before Congress regarding FOIA. He writes the FOI Files column for the IRE Journal.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Diana Fuentes, IRE & NICAR

PanelBeat reporting track

Secrets over seniors: Exposing hidden senior living injuries

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Three investigative reporters who have exposed senior living injuries – and made impact – will share tips on how to cover a secretive industry with little regulation.

Speakers

Jayme Fraser, USA TODAY / Gannett

Jayme Fraser is an investigative data journalist for USA TODAY who lives in the Rocky Mountain West. Her work has spurred congressional hearings, changes to state laws, new federal rules, updates to hospital policies, and helped free a man wrongfully convicted of infant murder. She also has taught courses and workshops on a variety of journalistic techniques, from narrative reporting to data analysis, and serves on the advisory board of Equal Access Public Media.

Connect: LinkedIn

Sahana Jayaraman, The Arizona Republic

Caitlin McGlade, Arizona Republic

Caitlin is an investigative data journalist with about 12 years of experience. Her recent series on seniors with dementia hurting and killing each other in assisted living facilities has resulted in major reform proposals likely to be signed into law this legislative session. She also teaches data journalism to graduate students at the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Connect: X

PanelPublic records track

Updates in FOIA litigation

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

The speakers are a prolific FOIA reporter and prolific FOIA litigator and will share insights from the past year of FOIA litigation on various subjects of public interest.

Speakers

Jason Leopold, Bloomberg News

Jason Leopold is senior investigative reporter at Bloomberg News. He is a two-time Pulitzer prize finalist, a recipient of IRE's FOI award and was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame. Leopold's FOIA work was profiled on the front page of The New York Times and he has testified before Congress about FOIA's shortcomings. TRAC has identified Leopold as the "most active individual FOIA litigator in the United States."

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Mastadon

Matt Topic, Loevy & Loevy

Matt Topic leads the media and transparency practice at Loevy & Loevy. He has litigated hundreds of state and federal open records cases.

Connect: X

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Using Python for data analysis

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

Description coming soon.

Instructor

Sandra Fish, Colorado Sun

Sandra Fish is a data journalist specializing in politics working as a correspondent with The Colorado Sun.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Demo

Who's behind that website?

Time: Thursday, March 7, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Reporting online today, journalists must battle with astroturf campaigns, fake news sites and sketchy shell companies to find out who is behind the story. Usually it leads to a frustratingly common question: Who is behind this website?

Using a range of tools (free and otherwise), we walk you through how to investigate the provenance and ownership of websites: how can you identify the scope and scale of the network it belongs to — if any? Who’s behind the site, now and in the past? Who are the main actors promoting this website? Where else does this site crop up?

While it is not always possible to fully unmask the owner of a site, using a thorough checklist of tools and techniques that we have used in real-world investigations, we can help you make sure to reveal as much as possible about a website, and potentially uncover important clues.

Speakers

Pri Bengani, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University

Priyanjana Bengani is a senior research fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism where her work focuses on using computational techniques to research the digital media landscape, including partisan local news and the intersection of platform companies with the media.

Connect: Mastodon

Jon Keegan, The Markup

Jon Keegan is an investigative data journalist at The Markup. Previously he worked at The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and The Wall Street Journal, where he ran the award-winning interactive graphics team.

Connect: GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastadon

Sessions starting at 3:30 p.m. ET

Hands-onData viz trackBeginner

Beyond the bar chart: Advanced data viz with Datawrapper

Time: Thursday, March 7, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Datawrapper's capability goes beyond bar and line charts. In this class, you'll learn to make more complicated charts, tables and timelines. You'll also learn a few hacks to customize your charts even further.

This session is good for people who have used Datawrapper or have basic familiarity with point-and-click data viz tools. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class.

Instructor

Taylor Thomas, Politico

Taylor is the deputy editor of Politico Pro's data and graphics team, where she also covers the federal budget and tax issues. Her first NICAR was New Orleans in 2020.

Panel

Crisis reporting with remotely sensed data

Time: Thursday, March 7, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

From natural disasters and military operations to visual forensics, the use of remotely sensed satellite data in reporting breaking news has a fundamental role in the newsroom. Speakers will talk about their approaches to and representation of satellite imagery and data in their work covering the war in Gaza, crackdown on protests in Iran, flooding, wildfires and earthquakes.

Speakers

Leanne Abraham, The New York Times

Leanne Abraham is a graphics editor at the New York Times specializing in cartography. Before joining the Times, she worked at Planet, learning the ins and outs of optical remote sensing. In her work she uses satellite imagery and GIS to respond to breaking news events such as the Israel-Hamas war, as well as to contribute to enterprise coverage. She holds a Master’s degree in Cartography and GIS from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Connect: X

Allison Martell, Reuters

Allison Martell is a senior correspondent with Reuters in Toronto, Canada, and part of the investigative data journalism team. Before joining the team she covered aviation, the automotive industry, railways, retail, mining, metals, and COVID test and vaccine manufacturing.

Connect: LinkedIn

Deborah Nelson, University of Maryland

Deborah Nelson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist based at the University of Maryland, home of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. Most recently, she co-authored “Bat Lands,” a Reuters series that analyzed satellite imagery to examine the link between ecological conditions and disease outbreaks worldwide. She is a former IRE president.

Connect: LinkedIn

Daniel Wolfe, Washington Post

Daniel Wolfe is a graphics reporter for the Washington Post. His past includes data and graphics reporting at CNN and Quartz, as well as work at the aerospace company Planet Labs. Curiosity drives his work developing meaningful and memorable visual pieces.

Connect: Bluesky, LinkedIn

DemoBeat reporting track

Enhancing your news stories with Census Bureau data

Time: Thursday, March 7, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

In this presentation, journalists will learn the fundamentals of both the 2020 Census and American Community Survey (ACS), as well as how to access data from each using data.census.gov. We will then provide users with resources relevant to journalists for learning more about the Census Bureau and its data products, as well as highlighting the recent changes and improvements made to data.census.gov so that reporters have the latest skills to stay up to date on how to retrieve Census data.

Speakers

Mary Ana McKay, U.S. Census Bureau

Mary Ana McKay is a survey statistician in the American Community Survey Office at the U.S. Census Bureau. She helps data users of all levels access and understand American Community Survey (ACS) estimates. This includes providing presentations on a diverse range of topics related to the ACS, from simple introductions to more advanced applications to comparisons with other Census Bureau programs. She holds a PhD in Sociology from The Ohio State University.

Maria Valdisera, U.S. Census Bureau

Maria Valdisera is a program analyst on the U.S. Census Bureau's communications team for centralized data dissemination. In this role, she assists data users navigate data.census.gov, the Microdata Access Tool and the Census API. She also teaches workshops on data.census.gov and MDAT, where she provides detailed demonstrations on navigating Census tools for the public. She holds bachelor's degrees in broadcast journalism and political science from Penn State.

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story: Using DNS search for investigative journalism

Time: Thursday, March 7, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Every online interaction begins with a lookup in the Domain Name System (DNS), the backbone of the Internet. As a result, there are digital footprints left behind in the DNS. With the demise of Whois, investigative reporters are looking for new tools to uncover these footprints. Learn how to use DNSDB Scout, a tool to query DNSDB, a historical passive DNS database, to discover previously unknown online connections and gain new information to advance your ongoing and breaking news investigations.

Basic knowledge of the Domain Name System (DNS) is helpful, but not required. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class.

Instructors

Kelly Molloy, Domain Tools

Daniel Schwalbe, Domain Tools

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets: Advanced pivot tables (repeat)

Time: Thursday, March 7, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

You've done a few pivot tables and are getting curious about what more you could do with them. What happens if you aggregate by more than one column? What are those "column" and "filter" boxes for? Come unlock the full potential of pivot tables in this intermediate spreadsheet class.

This session is good for: People familiar with spreadsheets and aggregating data with pivot tables, or anyone who has taken Sheets 1-3. Laptops will be provided.

You will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Carlie Procell, USA TODAY

Carlie is a data journalist on the USA TODAY graphics team, where she creates data visualizations for explanatory and investigative stories. She previously worked at Honolulu Civil Beat and graduated from the University of Missouri.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onBeat reporting trackIntermediate

How to analyze freely available real estate data to tell your community's story

Time: Thursday, March 7, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

As we exit the real estate era dubbed the "Pandemic Pump," the housing market is now teetering. Generationally high interest rates act as a brake on the market and basic economic principles tell us this puts downward pressure on prices. But the deep and longstanding housing supply shortage continues to outweigh those pressures, keeping prices elevated after a period of rapid appreciation. Those price gains were largely fueled by rock-bottom interest rates and a widespread desire for more space during the pandemic, further from dense, urban population hubs, a trend that appears to have become entrenched. Telling this story is something any reporter with basic excel chops can do, using Realtor.com's free, near-realtime housing market data, whether the reporting focuses on national or statewide trends, or down to city or even ZIP code level. In this session, we will show NICAR attendees how to get and use Realtor.com's data, so they can immediately begin producing thorough, data-driven reporting on the housing market. Attendees will be able to take what they learn in this session and generate analyses that use time-series data, supply-and-demand metrics and even pairing Realtor.com's data with Census Bureau data to produce correlations between the housing market and demographics, as well as creating maps that illustrate the data.

This session is good for anyone familiar with spreadsheets (excel or google sheets; I will probably use google sheets) and some of the basic spreadsheet formulas and pivot tables. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructor

Evan Wyloge, Realtor.com

Evan Wyloge is a data reporter at Realtor.com, covering market trends. He’s previously served as an investigative data reporter/editor at The Colorado Springs Gazette/Denver Gazette, Palm Springs Desert Sun and Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. He’s taught data journalism at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, and his freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Center for Public Integrity.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

NetworkingNetworking track

Networking for students

Time: Thursday, March 7, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Mix and mingle, meet friends old and new, and build your professional community in this fun and informal networking session.

This session is for journalism students.

Speakers

Cecilia Garzella, USA TODAY

Cecilia Garzella is a data fellow on USA TODAY's Data & Investigations team, where she started as a data intern through the Dow Jones News Fund. Before that, she was an investigative reporting fellow at the Houston Chronicle. Cecilia is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and is based in the New York City metro area.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Bluesky

Ellie Lin, University of Missouri

Ava Mandoli, Northwestern Univeristy

Hands-onBeat reporting trackIntermediate

Scraping your local criminal justice system

Time: Thursday, March 7, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

The U.S. doesn't have one criminal justice system -- it has thousands. As a result, data about the criminal justice system is similarly fragmented. National statistics on everything from arrests, to jail populations, to criminal caseloads are incomplete or simply don't exist in the first place. The picture on the local level, however, is often quite different. Unfortunately, they rarely share this information in formats that make easy for journalists to use.

This session will familiarize attendees with the opportunities for finding criminal justice data for the jurisdictions they cover using hands-on examples to demonstrate how to find the data, how to obtain it, and how to turn it into impactful stories or other news products for their readers.

This session is good for people with some data experience. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Ethan Corey, The Appeal

Ethan Corey is the research & projects editor at The Appeal, a nonprofit newsroom covering the criminal-legal system. His work focuses on data in the criminal-legal system -- where it comes from, what it means, and how to get it.

Connect: X, GitHub

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Trans data: How we can do better

Time: Thursday, March 7, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

In the last year, many publications have made mis-steps in how they explain, contextualize, and visualize data about trans communities. Data-driven journalism about trans communities often relies on sources that are incomplete or frequently changing, buried in complex scientific studies, or influenced by poll and survey design. Understanding all of that can require a lot of specialized knowledge, both about data and about trans people.

In this session, we will talk about common errors when working with data about trans people, the consequences of misuse, and how to avoid these errors in your reporting.

This builds on, but has entirely separate content from, Finding and using data about LGBTQ+ people.

This session has been planned in collaboration with the Trans Journalists Association. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Alberto Cairo, University of Miami

Cairo is the Knight Chair in Infographics and Data Visualization at the University of Miami. He has led graphics teams in Spain, Brazil and the U.S., and he is the author of "The Functional Art" (2013), "The Truthful Art" (2016), "How Charts Lie" (2019) and "The Art of Insight" (2023). Cairo is also a consultan for organizations such as Google, Microsoft, McMaster-Carr, the European Union, Eurostat, the World Bank, the U.S. Army National Guard and many others.

Connect: LinkedIn, Bluesky

Kae Petrin, Chalkbeat

Kae is a data and graphics reporter on Chalkbeat’s data visuals team, where they collaborate with local reporters to tell data-driven stories about education. They co-founded the Trans Journalists Association and now serve as President and Executive Director. They have contributed data journalism to reporting recognized by the Education Writers Association, LION Publishers and others. Previously, they produced graphics, tools and investigative reporting in St. Louis.

Connect: LinkedIn, Github, Portfolio, Team blog

Aarushi Sahejpal, American University, Investigative Reporting Workshop and The Center for Public Integrity

Aarushi Sahejpal is a professor of quantitative methods and data journalism at American University, data editor at The Investigative Reporting Workshop and a data reporter on The Accountability Project at The Center for Public Integrity.

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Web scraping with Python

Time: Thursday, March 7, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

This session will show you how to use the Python programming language to scrape data from simple websites.

This session is good for: People with some experience working with data. Experience with Python and/or HTML is a plus but not necessary. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Joel Jacobs, ProPublica

Joel Jacobs is a data reporter at ProPublica. Previously, he worked on investigative projects at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Washington Post. He completed his master’s degree in journalism at Northwestern University and previously worked as a software engineer.

Connect: X

Sessions starting at 4:45 p.m. ET

PanelElections track

Backgrounding local elections: The questions, documents, and data the public needs

Time: Thursday, March 7, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

As challenging as Congressional and other federal elections are to properly cover, local races often have gotten less of a spotlight. Join us to talk through how you can better cover local elections, no matter your experience or bandwidth. We'll walk through a range of techniques to background political candidates running for office, including requesting public records, analyzing personal financial disclosures and more.

Speakers

Elizabeth Clemons, Sunlight Search

Elizabeth Clemons is a Research Manager at Sunlight Search, based in Boulder, CO. She has worked in investigative research for various organizations since completing a master’s degree in International Security at the Korbel School.

Connect: LinkedIn

Kelly Kauffman, MuckRock

Kelly Kauffman is MuckRock’s engagement journalist, focusing on newsletters, community callouts and reporting that is supported by public involvement. Previously, she worked at the campaign finance organization OpenSecrets as their outreach and digital media manager, where she helped shed light on the role of money in U.S. politics.

Connect: X, Instagram

Noah Pransky, NBC News

Noah is a national correspondent at NBC who uses data to find unexplored stories in the political, consumer, and sports business worlds. Previously, he worked as an investigative reporter at Tampa Bay's WTSP-TV, where he earned national Polk, Murrow, duPont, and Cronkite awards.

Connect: LinkedIn, X

Albert Serna, OpenSecrets

Albert Serna Jr. is a Roy W. Howard investigative reporting fellow at OpenSecrets and a recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Investigative Reporting program at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Serna's passion is investigating at the intersection of race and identity, with a focus on underserved communities and populations.

Connect: X

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Datasette: An ecosystem of tools for exploring data and collaborating on data projects

Time: Thursday, March 7, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Datasette is a growing ecosystem of tools for exploring and publishing data. With Datasette you can take raw data from a variety of different formats, import it into a SQLite-backed web interface, explore it, visualize it, map it and then publish it along with an API to enable further custom development.

This workshop will introduce Datasette using Datasette Cloud, a hosted service that allows you to run the tools and collaborate on data projects with members of your team.

Topics covered will include:

  • Using Datasette Cloud to upload, explore and analyze data from a variety of sources
  • Using full-text search and facets to quickly analyze large and complex datasets
  • Visualizing numeric and geographic data using Datasette plugins
  • Running Datasette and associated tools on your own machine using the command line

This session is good for anyone. Basic familiarity with SQL and the command line is helpful but not necessary. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Simon Willison, Datasette

Hands-onAI trackBeginner

Finding the story: Harnessing the power of generative AI for investigating federal regulatory process

Time: Thursday, March 7, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

Federal regulators rely on feedback from the public to inform proposed rules that can impact millions of lives. Most of these comments are posted on a website called Regulations.gov. However, navigating through the website and sifting through thousands of comments can be overwhelming. In this session, we will introduce a tool that can help journalists sort through millions of comments and identify the most relevant information for their stories by using custom queries. The tool can help identify dominant themes and arguments within the comments, the demographics of the senders, summary of people’s arguments, among other things.

This session is good for everyone. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Laura Bejder Jensen, Brown Institute for Media Innovation

Laura Bejder Jensen is a New York City-based journalist working at the intersection of data analysis, code and traditional reporting. She is designing and developing a tool to investigate the public's involvement in the federal regulatory processes.

Connect: LinkedIn, GitHub

June Kim, Brown Institute for Media Innovation

June Kim is a data and climate reporter who covers climate and energy for MIT Technology Review. Previously, she has produced broadcast and digital content for media organizations in the United States and South Korea, covering topics such as public health, immigration and music. More recently, she reported on clean energy for Inside Climate News and created data-driven graphics for Scientific American.

Connect: Threads

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story: The American Community Survey

Time: Thursday, March 7, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey can help you tell all kinds of important stories about your community. In this session, you will learn how to find and analyze this data in Google Sheets, and you'll leave with some ideas about how to incorporate these survey results into your coverage.

This session is good for anyone, no data experience necessary. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Tim Henderson, Pew Stateline

Hands-onBeginner

Finding the story: Using DNS search for investigative journalism (repeat)

Time: Thursday, March 7, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Every online interaction begins with a lookup in the Domain Name System (DNS), the backbone of the Internet. As a result, there are digital footprints left behind in the DNS. With the demise of Whois, investigative reporters are looking for new tools to uncover these footprints. Learn how to use DNSDB Scout, a tool to query DNSDB, a historical passive DNS database, to discover previously unknown online connections and gain new information to advance your ongoing and breaking news investigations.

Basic knowledge of the Domain Name System (DNS) is helpful, but not required. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class.

Instructors

Kelly Molloy, Domain Tools

Daniel Schwalbe, Domain Tools

Hands-onTools & Tech trackIntermediate

Google Analytics 4 makes me feel dumb

Time: Thursday, March 7, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Are you an experienced user of the old Google Analytics? Are you just getting started? It doesn't matter! The new GA4 makes us all feel dumb! Good thing is that it's just a big ol' database. Shame they made that so hard to see. We'll talk about how it works, and best practices for extracting data and presenting your findings. BYOGA4 if you wanna follow along!

Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructor

Brian Boyer, Chicago Reader

Brian has led and coached product and membership teams at usually small, usually local, and usually nonprofit newsrooms since 2016. Before then he was a proper journalist, and founded and edited the Visuals team at NPR and the News Applications team at Chicago Tribune. Don’t ask about the first decade of his career, it was boring.

Connect: Mastodon

DemoData viz track

How to make data viz with (almost) every tool

Time: Thursday, March 7, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

From Google Sheets and Excel to R, Datawrapper, and Flourish, there are so many different programs it can be hard to choose the right one to make the data viz of your dreams. But this session will show you that you can create stunning and dynamic displays for your data no matter the platform — you just have to know how!

Speakers

Emilia Ruzicka, University of Virginia, Freelance Data Journalist

Emilia Ruzicka is a data journalist, designer and producer pursuing an MA in media, culture and technology and certificate in digital humanities at University of Virginia. Alongside their studies, Emilia conducts research concerning AI and journalism, data governance and digital risk. Emilia’s work can be found in magazines, newspapers, online publications and podcasts. Their research interests include data ethics, accessibility, queerness and community-building.

Connect: LinkedIn, X, Instagram, Mastodon, Bluesky, Threads, Medium

CJ Sinner, Star Tribune

C.J. is the director of graphics and data visuals at the Star Tribune, where she has worked for nearly a decade in a variety of digital production, data and visual roles in legacy print newsrooms. Priors include the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune.

Connect: X

Jonathan Soma, Columbia Journalism School

Jonathan Soma is Knight Chair in Data Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, where he directs both the Data Journalism MS and the summer intensive Lede Program. He regularly publishes tutorials on everything from basic Python and analysis to ai2html and machine learning. At the moment he unfortunately cannot stop talking about AI. When Soma isn't boring his students to tears he's probably rescuing cats.

Connect: X, GitHub

Panel

Navigating the industry as a freelancer

Time: Thursday, March 7, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Description coming soon.

Speakers

Sylvia A. Harvey, Independent journalist

Sylvia A. Harvey, also known as SAH, is an award-winning independent journalist, speaker and author of "The Shadow System: Mass Incarceration and the American Family." SAH’s reporting on race, class, policy and incarceration is featured in The Nation, Elle, Politico, Vox, The Marshall Project, The Root, NPR and other outlets. Her work is being used in university coursework and has been cited by federal lawmakers calling for criminal justice reform. SAH lives in New York.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Website

Kristin Hussey, Independent journalist

Katherine Reynolds-Lewis, The Institute for Independent Journalists

Katherine Reynolds Lewis is founder of the Institute for Independent Journalists and columnist for Nieman Reports. She’s an award-winning science journalist, educator and author (Good News About Bad Behavior) covering children, behavioral and mental health, education, race, gender, disability, and equity for the Atlantic, Mother Jones, NY Times, Undark, and Washington Post. A Harvard physics graduate, Katherine was national correspondent for Newhouse and Bloomberg News.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Benét Wilson, Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship

PanelClimate track

Reporting on water with data (what's in your water and how much water you have)

Time: Thursday, March 7, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Reporting on water isn't just for granola hippies anymore. With droughts in the west, water contamination in the Midwest, water usage rights nabbing headlines and water quality issues in our metros and rural areas, this is a high-interest area ripe for further exploration. Panelists will talk about how they identify data sources and government documents that inform their reporting.

Speakers

David Condos, KUER, NPR Utah

David Condos is a reporter with KUER, NPR Utah. Based in St. George, his beat focuses on environmental issues, water and public lands. Prior to joining KUER, he spent two and a half years covering rural Kansas for High Plains Public Radio and the Kansas News Service. His reporting has earned several prestigious honors, including three National Edward R. Murrow awards, six Public Media Journalists Association awards and seven Regional Edward R. Murrow awards.

Connect: Instagram, X, LinkedIn

Mira Rojanasakul, The New York Times

Mira is a New York Times reporter who uses data and graphics to cover climate and the environment.

Connect: Bluesky, LinkedIn

Lisa Sorg, NC Newsline

Lisa Sorg is an environmental investigative reporter with NC Newsline, a nonprofit media outlet in Raleigh. A journalist for 29 years, Sorg has a keen interest in the environment, the social justice impacts of pollution and corporate malfeasance. She has won dozens of awards for her work, including the Stokes Award from the National Press Foundation for her story about the environmental damage from a former missile plant on a Black and Latinx neighborhood in Burlington.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Yanqi Xu, Flatwater Free Press

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

SELECT * FROM INTERESTING (but in Python)

Time: Thursday, March 7, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Ever found yourself drowning in a sea of data with editors circling like sharks? You're not alone. In this interactive session, Wall Street Journal data people John West and Rob Barry will dive into a machine learning concept called embeddings, which are at the heart of the current AI craze. Using free and open source tools, we’ll show you how to use this technology to keep afloat in your ocean of unstructured images and text.

This session is good for: People comfortable working in Python. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Rob Barry, The Wall Street Journal

Barry is an investigative journalist at The Wall Street Journal. He tackles a wide range of topics, from unearthing financial frauds to diving into cybersecurity and untangling geopolitical conflicts. Barry's work often mixes deep investigative reporting with data analysis, always aiming to get to the heart of complex and challenging stories.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Mastadon

John West, The Wall Street Journal

John West reports the news with code at the Wall Street Journal, where his work has won multiple awards, including the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. He holds an MFA in writing from Bennington College and degrees in philosophy and music performance from Oberlin College and Conservatory. His first book, "Lessons and Carols," was published in 2023.

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Spatial analysis in R

Time: Thursday, March 7, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

This session will teach attendees how to leverage spatial functions in R to level up their reporting. We'll explore tools for exploratory mapping, spatial joins, buffering, calculating spatial distances between points and spatial indexing. We’ll center a story published by the Baltimore Banner on gun violence immediately surrounding schools to showcase an application of these functions and demonstrate best practices for geospatial analysis.

This session is good for anyone who has some experience with R. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Ryan Little, The Baltimore Banner

Ryan Little is the data editor at The Baltimore Banner, where he leads a team of data reporters and a visual investigator. His work analyzing large datasets and scraping the web has won multiple national awards and led to at least one Department of Justice investigation. Little is a dedicated mentor to aspiring data journalists and frequently speaks on the role of data in uncovering vital stories.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Shreya Vuttaluru, Tampa Bay Times

Shreya Vuttaluru is the investigative data reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has appeared in the Associated Press, The Baltimore Banner and the Dallas Morning News. She really likes maps.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 6 p.m. ET

Special

Thursday NIghtCAR

Time: Thursday, March 7, 6 – 8 p.m. (120 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Have you always wished there were a games night at NICAR? Or maybe you want to start a quilting circle or talk about your love of birds (they are real) or share the music you love with others. Now's your chance! We'll have a limited number of tables reserved in a ballroom for fun and games in a non-alcohol-focused environment but feel free to snag a drink and some apps from the reception! This is a work free zone and everyone is welcome! Let us know what you want to host by filling out this form.

Speaker information coming soon.

Friday

Sessions starting at 7:30 a.m. ET

Special

Mentor program breakfast - invitation-only event

Time: Friday, March 8, 7:30 – 8:45 a.m. (75 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

If you signed up for the conference mentor program, come meet your match at this invitation-only breakfast.

Sessions starting at 9 a.m. ET

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Bringing data journalism to the sports section

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

Sports is absolutely drowning in data and there is a large and hungry audience for sports content. Alongside that, there's a large and growing open-source sports analytics community that data journalists should be a part of. In this hands-on class, speakers will take you through examples of ways to use traditional data journalism tools like R and the Tidyverse to bring in up-to-the-moment sports data and do sophisticated analysis that you can immediately visualize to add context to seasons, leagues and sports.

Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Matt Waite, University of Nebraska

Derek Willis, University of Maryland

Derek Willis teaches and does journalism, especially data journalism, at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. He also runs OpenElections.

Connect: GitHub, Bluesky

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Data storytelling to empower migrant communities

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

The barriers facing migrant communities in accessing fair working conditions are rarely covered through data since reliable data is so hard to come by. This has changed recently through groundbreaking reporting that center the information needs of affected communities, including Rappler's coverage of trafficking of domestic workers, The New Arab's coverage of the fate of Syrian doctors and Lighthouse Report's coverage of the victims of brain waste in Europe. Each story collects data on otherwise invisible communities to map the extent of exploitation, identify barriers to implementing policy solutions and identifying ways communities themselves can take action to protect their own rights.

Speakers

Justin-Casimir Braun, Lighthouse Reports

Justin is a data journalist focused on the societal impact of automated systems and artificial intelligence. In the past, Justin has worked with AlgorithmWatch e.V., a German digital rights organization, and various grassroots NGOs, documenting human rights violations against migrants on the Balkan Route. He holds a bachelor degree in International Relations from Stanford University.

Connect: LinkedIn

Eva Constantaras, Lighthouse Reports

Eva Constantaras is a data journalist specialized in building collaborative investigative teams. These teams have reported from across Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa on accountability issues ranging from algorithmic bias and food insecurity to extractive industries and sanctions evasion. As a Google Data Journalism Scholar and a Fulbright Fellow, she developed a course for investigative data journalism in high-risk environments.

Connect: LinkedIn

Loujein Haj Youssef, Radio Rozana

Loujein Haj Youssef is a Syrian investigative journalist with expertise in Middle Eastern affairs. She is the recipient of the 2018 Migration Media Award.

Connect: LinkedIn

Ana Santos, Rappler

Ana P. Santos is an award-winning investigative journalist who reports on the intersections of gender, sexuality and labor migration. Her work has been published in Rappler, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, Al Jazeera and DW Germany. She has a post graduate degree in Gender (Sexuality) from the London School of Economics and Political Science as a Chevening Scholar.

Connect: Instagram

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Findings and using undocumented APIs

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Description coming soon.

Instructor

Justin Myers, Chicago Sun-Times

Justin Myers (he/him) is a data journalist, visual journalist, developer and parent based in Chicago. He joined the Chicago Sun-Times in fall 2023 as its interactives editor. Before that, he was the data editor for The Associated Press, where he'd worked since 2015. Justin graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in journalism and engineering, and he enjoys making things out of flour, yarn and code — but rarely at the same time.

Connect: Mastodon, Bluesky, GitHub, LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets: Importing and data prep

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Don't give up if your data isn't presented in a neat spreadsheet. This session will teach you how to get data into a spreadsheet and prepare it for analysis. We will look at how to import text files, deal with data in a PDF, and get a table on a web page into a spreadsheet.

This session is good for: Anyone comfortable working in Google Sheets. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Adrian Garcia, Financial Times/Money-Media

Adrian D. Garcia is the managing editor for data visualization for the Financial Times' Money-Media subsidiary. Adrian previously was a data reporter and analyst for Bankrate in New York. He has covered business, trends and other news stories for Denverite.com, the Fort Collins Coloradoan and other news organizations in Colorado.

Connect: LinkedIn

Hands-onElections trackIntermediate

Parsing federal campaign finance data with FastFEC (repeat)

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

On campaign finance filing deadlines, journalists rush to sift through huge amounts of data on how much money campaigns have — and where it came from. Come learn how to use FastFEC, an open-source tool developed at The Washington Post to rapidly parse FEC filings.

This session is good for people who are comfortable using the command line. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Dylan Freedman, The Washington Post

Clara Ence Morse, Washington Post

Hands-onData viz trackBeginner

QGIS 1: Spatial analysis for beginners

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

Learn to how to make your own maps using free, open-source software called QGIS. This class will teach you how to get started importing and displaying geographic data. Not all datasets need to be mapped, but some do! We'll go over how to find publicly available data, prepare it for mapping, and join together different datasets.

This session is good for: Beginners looking to learn the basics of visualizing geographic data. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Wesley Stephenson, BBC

Wesley is a senior journalist on the BBC's data journalism team. Over the last 25 years he has worked across online, radio and a bit of TV. He is currently the team's election producer, which means 2024 is going to be a very busy year, but also has interests in education and crime.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Callum Thomson, BBC News

PanelBeat reporting track

Reconsidering data on mass shootings

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

In the past decade, many news organizations have grappled with defining the term "mass shooting" and assessing the data we use to count these events. Different data sources (including from the government, advocacy organizations, and news outlets) use slightly different definitions of the term, and these discrepancies can be confusing for readers and make analysis of the phenomenon more complicated. This panel conversation among editors from publications that frequently cover mass shootings will consider how we think about the term, the available data on mass shootings, and data on gun violence more broadly.

Speakers

Lindsey Cook, The New York Times

Lindsey is a deputy editor for data journalism at The New York Times, working with the data journalism, election analytics and weather data teams. Previously, she worked at U.S. News & World Report as the data editor for news.

Larry Fenn, Associated Press

Larry Fenn is a data journalist at the Associated Press. His background is in mathematics and statistics.

Connect: X, GitHub

John Harden, The Washington Post

John D. Harden is a data reporter for The Washington Post covering everything from education to mass killings. He's been a part of the Post and its data team since 2019. He is also a journalism lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley.

Connect: X, GitHub

Simone Landon, The New York Times

Simone Landon is a deputy editor on the Graphics desk at The New York Times, where she works on U.S. news coverage.

Jennifer Mascia, The Trace

Jennifer Mascia is a senior news writer and founding staffer at The Trace, the only newsroom in America exclusively covering gun violence, which launched in 2015. She previously reported on gun violence for The New York Times. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and CUNY Hunter College. In 2010, she authored a memoir, "Never Tell Our Business to Strangers," which detailed her investigation into her late father's criminal past.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onTools & Tech trackBeginner

Scraping without programming

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Yes, you can scrape data without using code -- in fact, all you need is Google Sheets! We'll be using Excel-type formulas (don't worry if you don't know what those are, either) to make simple scrapers that automatically pull data into Google Sheets. It’s the best way to get around clunky websites and unhelpful PIOs!

This session is good for: Beginners who want to start using data for their stories. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and must have a Google account.

Instructor

Samantha Sunne, Independent journalist

Samantha Sunne a freelance journalist based in New Orleans. She is the recipient of several national grants and awards for investigative reporting, most recently having completed the prestigious ProPublica Local Reporting Network fellowship. Her first book, “Data + Journalism: A Story-Driven Approach to Learning Data Reporting,” was an Amazon bestseller in 2023.

Connect: LinkedIn

PanelStudents track

Starting, growing and maintaining a data desk at student publications

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Every data desk operates differently, and starting and maintaining a data desk at a student-run publication often requires a lot of trial and error. How can you publish more data-centered reporting as a student? What does the process of starting a data desk from scratch look like? Data editors and reporters from student-run publications will walk through how they began their data desks, what the organization and editing processes look like, how their data desks have grown and shifted and advice for anyone hopeful to bring more data reporting to their student newsrooms.

Speakers

Katherine Oung, The Vanderbilt Hustler

Katherine Oung is a junior at Vanderbilt University studying computer science and political science. They serve as data director at their student newspaper, The Vanderbilt Hustler. Last summer, they worked as a data intern through the Dow Jones News Fund program on the IndyStar’s investigations section. They are also a freelance journalist who has written for The New York Times, Vox, Teen Vogue and more.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Rhea Patney, The Vanderbilt Hustler

Brina Ratangee, The Vanderbilt Hustler

Brina Ratangee is a senior at Vanderbilt University majoring in medicine, health and society and neuroscience. She currently serves as News Editor of The Vanderbilt Hustler and has written op-eds for The Tennessean on various equity and health issues. She hopes to work at the intersection of medicine, journalism and public health in the future.

Connect: LinkedIn

Victoria Stavish, The Diamondback

Victoria Stavish is a senior journalism and information science double major at The University of Maryland. She is a co-data editor of her university's independent student newspaper, The Diamondback, and has interned at The Texas Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. After graduation, she will work at The Minneapolis Star Tribune as a data reporting intern.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Lam Thuy Vo, The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University New York and The Markup

Lam Thuy Vo is an investigative reporter with The Markup and an associate professor of data journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University New York.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Rina Torchinsky, Forbes

Shreya Vuttaluru, Tampa Bay Times

Shreya Vuttaluru is the investigative data reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has appeared in the Associated Press, The Baltimore Banner and the Dallas Morning News. She really likes maps.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Hands-onBeat reporting trackIntermediate

The 411 on 311: How to use 311 data to report on your community

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

311 data, or “customer service” data from your city’s citizen complaints department, can help you feed the daily/online beast while also feeding into bigger-picture stories. In this session, you won’t have to lift a mouse finger: We’ll go through examples of stories done using this data, talk about how you can do the same, and you’ll leave with a long list of potential story ideas.

This session is good for: People comfortable with Python and Jupyter notebook. Taking or having taken "introduction to Python for data analysis" or "first Python notebook" is strongly recommended. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Janelle O'Dea, Center for Public Integrity

Janelle O'Dea spent a decade in print before becoming the Center for Public Integrity's data reporter for local initiatives at the end of 2022.

Connect: X

Pre-registration - Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Web scraping in R with rvest

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (210 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

In this tutorial, you'll learn the basics of web scraping with R, using the rvest package. We'll discuss the basic structure of an HTML page, and how to find the elements your interested in with selectorgadget or the browser's developer tools. You'll then learn how to programmatically extract with rvest, turning web pages into tidy data frames.

We'll also touch on scraping multiple pages, using a combination of httr2 to downloading many pages at once, then purrr to parse them and extract the values you care about.

This session is good for those with some experience using R and RStudio.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Instructor

Hadley Wickham, Posit

Hadley is chief scientist at Posit PBC, winner of the 2019 COPSS award and a member of the R Foundation. He builds tools to make data science easier, faster, and more fun. His work includes packages for data science (like the tidyverse) and principled software development (e.g. roxygen2, testthat, and pkgdown). He is also a writer, educator, and speaker promoting the use of R for data science.

Connect: Website, LinkedIn, Mastodon

NetworkingNetworking track

Women in data: Community-building and networking

Time: Friday, March 8, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

In this session, women, trans and non-binary folks in data journalism and investigative reporting will discuss the unique challenges they face, including the nuances of working in the field, issues of imposter syndrome and how to be our own advocates. Participants will have a safe space to ask questions, share experiences and network with one another.

Speakers

Julie Christie, Resolve Philly

Julie is the Director of Data & Special Projects at Resolve Philly, a local nonprofit focused on community-centered news for people who have been systemically ignored by or excluded from the news. She's all about making data accessible for people in all spaces and at any skill level. Her investigative work has focused on Philadelphia's foster care system, while her data work includes Resolve's impact tracking, operational resilience, and local government accountability.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Daniela Molina, Gray Television/ InvestigateTV

Daniela is a latina bilingual investigative and data journalist who works with InvestigateTV, Gray Television's National Investigative Team. Daniela has worked on data stories concerning health, social issues, and creating data that has never been reported before.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Khushboo Rathore, University of Maryland - Howard Center for Investigative Journalism

Khushboo Rathore is a senior journalism and data science student at the University of Maryland. She has worked on projects with the Associated Press, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, Local News Network and The Frederick News-Post. Her journalism interests include education equity, public policy and public figure accountability. Outside of journalism, she has raised three service dog candidates for nonprofits, reads a lot of books and plays video games.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

K. Sophie Will, CQ Roll Call

K. Sophie Will is CQ Roll Call's congressional action reporter and the Utah Investigative Journalism Project's Alicia Patterson fellow. Previously, she was the National Parks Reporter for USA Today through Report for America. The award-winning Utah native graduated from Boston University with bylines found in the Deseret News, Boston Globe, AP, Thomson Reuters, HuffPost, WGBH and more.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 10:15 a.m. ET

Panel

Building a sustainable data journalism infrastructure

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Come explore the possibilities of building a support system for journalism – a connected infrastructure of tools, platforms and collaborations – that can provide services tailored to the size and abilities of each journalist and newsroom. We'll discuss what it could look like, how it would work and what it will take to get there, starting with the Big Local News DART matrix of resources and needs: Data, Algorithms and tools, Reporting recipes and Training.

Speakers

Diana Fuentes, IRE & NICAR

Marc Lavallee, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Cheryl Phillips, Stanford University

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Finding and using data about LGBTQ+ people

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Data on LGBTQ+ people is notoriously sparse and inconsistent, especially at the federal level. So how do we find and use alternatives like state or municipal data, advocacy group surveys or reports, and polls? And how do we deal with the unique problems each of these data sources bring?

We’ll talk about what data’s out there, how to use it in reporting and visual work, how to think through common reporting problems, and how to tell a good story even with tricky data.

This builds on, but has entirely separate content from, How charts lie: transgender data edition.

This session has been planned in collaboration with the Trans Journalists Association. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Minami Funakoshi, Reuters

Minami Funakoshi (they/them) is an award-winning graphics journalist and full-stack developer at Reuters. Their work has won Information is Beautiful, Society for News Design, Malofiej and other awards. They are also a board member of the Trans Journalists Association.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Website

Jasmine Mithani, The 19th*

Adam Rhodes, IRE & NICAR

Adam M. Rhodes is a first-generation Cuban American journalist whose work primarily focuses on queer people and the criminal justice system. Their recent work has examined HIV treatment access in Puerto Rico, HIV criminalization in Illinois and a homophobic capital murder trial in the state. They have been published in outlets including The Nation, BuzzFeed News and The Washington Post.

Emilia Ruzicka, University of Virginia, Freelance Data Journalist

Emilia Ruzicka is a data journalist, designer and producer pursuing an MA in media, culture and technology and certificate in digital humanities at University of Virginia. Alongside their studies, Emilia conducts research concerning AI and journalism, data governance and digital risk. Emilia’s work can be found in magazines, newspapers, online publications and podcasts. Their research interests include data ethics, accessibility, queerness and community-building.

Connect: LinkedIn, X, Instagram, Mastodon, Bluesky, Threads, Medium

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Finding needles in haystacks with fuzzy matching

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Fuzzy matching is a process for linking up records that are similar but not quite the same. It is often an important part of data-driven investigations as a way to identify connections between public figures, key people and companies that are relevant to a story.

Max Harlow, who developed the CSV Match command line tool, will cover how fuzzy matching typically fits into the investigative process, with story examples, as well as show you how to perform different types of fuzzy match on some real datasets, including the pros and cons of each.

This session is good for: People who feel comfortable using the command line. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Max Harlow, Financial Times

Max Harlow works on the visual and data journalism team at the Financial Times in London, where he focuses on using data to find and tell investigative stories.

Connect: X, Bluesky, GitHub

Hands-onData viz trackIntermediate

First automated chart: Taking Datawrapper to the moon

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

Learn how you can use Python and the Datawrapper API to create a limitless number of charts and maps.

Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Sergio Sanchez Zavala, TalkingPoints

Sergio Sanchez is a senior data engineer at TalkingPoints, an edtech nonprofit focusing on family engagement. He's worked in the data space in the nonprofit world for more than years. He is the founder of @tacosdedatos, an online space and community to teach and learn all things data in Spanish.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Ben Welsh, Reuters

Ben Welsh is an Iowan living in New York City. At Reuters he leads the development of dynamic dashboards, interactive databases and automated insights that benefit clients, inform readers, empower reporters and serve the public interest.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastodon

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets: Using string functions to manipulate data

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Description coming soon.

Instructor

Andrew Lehren, CUNY

PanelTools & Tech track

Large-scale scraping projects: Best practices for doing it legally and ethically

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

It's easier and cheaper than ever to do large-scale scraping projects with a small team. We will discuss code, cloud computing infrastructure, and lessons learned. We will also run through sample notebooks that attendees can take home and adapt to their own projects.

Speakers

Jeff Kao, ProPublica

Jeff Kao is a computational journalist at ProPublica. His collaboration with The New York Times on Chinese government censorship of the coronavirus outbreak was a part of the newspaper’s winning entry for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for public service. His work has also won the Loeb Award for international reporting (2022), the SOPA Award for journalistic innovation (2022), the IRE Award for breaking news (2021) and the SABEW Award for technology reporting (2019).

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastodon

Ilica Mahajan, The Marshall Project

Leon Yin, Bloomberg

Leon Yin is an award-winning journalist at Bloomberg focused on data-driven investigations into AI. He writes Inspect Element: a practitioners guide to auditing algorithms. Previously, he was a reporter at The Markup.

Connect: X, Mastadon, LinkedIn

Hands-onElections trackBeginner

Navigating federal campaign finance data ahead of 2024 elections

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

This class will focus on how to use the FEC’s web tools to access data featuring a hands-on demonstration of how to access reports as soon as they are filed. Participants will learn the ins and outs of what is included in the reports, how to interpret entries, and potential pitfalls. The presenter will share a user-friendly spreadsheet template for viewing downloaded report data and walk participants through a simple recipe of creating compelling stories using campaign finance data.

This session is good for everyone. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructor

Brendan Glavin, OpenSecrets

Brendan is Deputy Research Director at OpenSecrets. He started working in the money in politics space with the Campaign Finance Institute in 2001. He has worked extensively with congressional and presidential campaign donor data, modeling public financing proposals, and outside spending. He also worked on creating CFI’s database of state laws. Brendan graduated from Colgate University with degrees in political science and history.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onElections trackBeginner

New Google tools for reporting and fact-checking

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Learn about Google's latest tools to help journalists fight misinformation, with a focus on video and images. We'll also showcase Pinpoint, including two of its newest features: Extract Structured Data, and using GenAI to ask questions about a document.

This session is good for everyone. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructors

Mary Nahorniak, Google News Initiative

Mary Nahorniak is Google News Initiative's U.S. teaching fellow, focused on driving innovation in news. She was previously USA TODAY’s director of audience, responsible for the organization’s digital platforms and a 24/7 team of nearly 30 editors. Mary was one of the first journalists pioneering how newsrooms can directly connect with audiences through social platforms, beginning at The Baltimore Sun in the mid-2000s. She’s also an ACC-certified leadership coach.

Connect: LinkedIn

Shlomo Urbach, Google

Hands-onData viz trackBeginner

QGIS 2: Analyzing geographic data

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

Build on your existing knowledge of QGIS and learn how to explore, manipulate and analyze geographic datasets to gain new insights.

This session is good for: Those who attended the QGIS I workshop or already know the basics of visualizing geographic data in QGIS. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Wesley Stephenson, BBC

Wesley is a senior journalist on the BBC's data journalism team. Over the last 25 years he has worked across online, radio and a bit of TV. He is currently the team's election producer, which means 2024 is going to be a very busy year, but also has interests in education and crime.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Callum Thomson, BBC News

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

R 1: Intro to R and RStudio

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

Jump into data analysis with R, the powerful open-source programming language. In this class we’ll cover R fundamentals and learn our way around the RStudio interface for using R.

This session is good for: People with a basic understanding of data analysis who are ready to go beyond spreadsheets. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Rob Wells, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland

Rob Wells, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where he teaches data journalism, reporting and various research seminars. He is the author of two books on business journalism and is a former editor at The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and a reporter for Bloomberg News, the Associated Press and, way back when, the mighty Independent Coast Observer in downtown Gualala, California.

Connect: GitHub, LinkedIn

PanelData viz track

Visual investigations

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

You’ve done all the work, now you need to visualize it. See examples of how data journalists use graphics, animations, photographs and video to explain and display their work on a variety of platforms. Panelists will share how we gather, parse and produce visual evidence and how to incorporate it into investigations in a clear and concise way. This session is for everyone.

Speakers

Rima Abdelkader, NBC News

Rima Abdelkader is a senior reporter with NBC News' Social Newsgathering team in New York. She has over 10 years of experience in journalism, producing and reporting for various news platforms, shows and networks within NBC Universal and beyond. She also co-leads the employee resource group Asian Pacific Americans at News. She's an alumnus of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and of Pace University's Lubin School of Business.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Carlotta Dotto, CNN

Tisha Thompson, ESPN

Tisha is an investigative reporter at ESPN working on all platforms, including SportsCenter, Outside the Lines and espn.com. She credits IRE/NICAR for acclerating her career from small-market television to one of the largest platforms in the business. She's been a member for more than two decades and is always looking for a way to give back to other journalists in return for all of the excellent advice she's received at this conference through the years.

Connect: Linkedin, X, Threads, Instagram

Tracee Wilkins, WRC

Commons

Weathering the stormy news business

Time: Friday, March 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

The news business is navigating through an extremely stormy, chaotic moment. Newsrooms are downsizing, looming layoffs cast a gloom and disruptive technologies like A.I. are clouding the future. Social platforms that connected you to readers have collapsed, forcing you to rebuild on strange new networks.

But there are steps you can take today to seize control of the direction of your career no matter what the industry has is store for you.

Let’s talk about how and why you should own your connection to your readers and chart a new course by starting a newsletter (without having to climb aboard another problematic VC-funded platform). We’ll look at the excellent tools available for publishing, promotion and analytics (embracing open source and privacy friendly tools where possible).

We’ll also talk about how to bounce back from a layoff, or how to pivot to new opportunities such as freelancing, syndication and basic promotion by getting a simple website of your work up and running in no time.

Speakers

Tara García Mathewson, The Markup

Tara García Mathewson covers tech in higher ed at The Markup. Before that she was at The Hechinger Report covering K-12 schools. Over the last decade, Tara has been recognized for her beat reporting as well as features and investigations about the educational technology industry and school discipline. Her work has appeared in regional and national news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe Magazine, USA Today, and Wired.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Jon Keegan, The Markup

Jon Keegan is an investigative data journalist at The Markup. Previously he worked at The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and The Wall Street Journal, where he ran the award-winning interactive graphics team.

Connect: GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastadon

Paroma Soni, Politico

Paroma Soni is a data and graphics journalist covering trade and agriculture for Politico Pro. She worked previously as an associate visual journalist at FiveThirtyEight, as a fellow at Columbia Journalism Review and as a video producer at BuzzFeed India. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, she is currently based in New York.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 11:30 a.m. ET

Hands-onAI trackIntermediate

AI 101: Coaching ChatGPT to help you with your coding and data tasks (repeat)

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

ChatGPT, widely misunderstood and in some cases misused, can be a powerful tool to improve efficiency in our day-to-day work. Give ChatGPT a few rows of publicly available data and ask it to write a data dictionary. We'll use ChatGPT to help write a public records request for us, have it help us make sense of data and we'll even use it to write a Python script to reshape unruly Excel data. The best part? You don't need to know Python to write this code.

This session is good for everyone. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructor

Charles Minshew, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Panel

Behind the story: 2023 Philip Meyer winners

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

A data deep dive into the 2023 Philip Meyer Award winners. Hear from reporters on how they gathered, cleaned, analyzed and visualized the data behind some of the year's biggest stories.

Speakers

Justin-Casimir Braun, Lighthouse Reports

Justin is a data journalist focused on the societal impact of automated systems and artificial intelligence. In the past, Justin has worked with AlgorithmWatch e.V., a German digital rights organization, and various grassroots NGOs, documenting human rights violations against migrants on the Balkan Route. He holds a bachelor degree in International Relations from Stanford University.

Connect: LinkedIn

Sarah Cohen, Arizona State University

Jason Grotto, Bloomberg News

Jason Grotto is an investigations editor at Bloomberg News, specializing in quantitative analysis. His project exposing widespread inaccuracies and disparities in Chicago’s property tax assessment system was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for local reporting and received the Gerald Loeb Award for local reporting in 2018.

Connect: X

Aaron Sankin, The Markup

Aaron Sankin reports on the intersection of technology and inequality. While at The Markup, he has focused on issues ranging from the digital divide and social media platform governance to law enforcement technology and car insurance regulation.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Leon Yin, Bloomberg

Leon Yin is an award-winning journalist at Bloomberg focused on data-driven investigations into AI. He writes Inspect Element: a practitioners guide to auditing algorithms. Previously, he was a reporter at The Markup.

Connect: X, Mastadon, LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Command-line data analysis with VisiData

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

VisiData is a fast, powerful, keyboard-driven tool for quickly exploring datasets. It's often the first piece of software I use to examine new data. In this hands-on session, you'll learn VisiData's essentials commands — including how to sort, filter, summarize and aggregate.

This session is good for: People who have a basic familiarity with your computer's command line interface. No programming knowledge necessary, but some knowledge of Python is a plus. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Jeremy Singer-Vine, The Data Liberation Project

Hands-onPublic records trackIntermediate

Find public records and leaks: OCCRP Aleph

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

Kickstart your investigations with OCCRP Aleph, the leak taming, company registry matching, huge dataset wrangling tool that enables the Organized Crime Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to launch multiple cross border projects a year. Come learn about how to conduct advanced searches, cross-reference data across multiple leaks, and create your own investigation workspace — including building network diagrams and timelines. Make use of the billions of records that OCCRP Aleph hosts for your next investigation.

This session is good for: People who are beginner Aleph users or haven't used it in a while and are interested in new features and improvements. (You do not need to code). Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Jan Strozyk, OCCRP

Jan Lukas Strozyk is the Chief Data Editor at OCCRP, co-leading the research and data team. His expertise lies in data-driven investigations, and he has been instrumental in cross-border projects such as the Panama Papers and the Suisse Secrets. Jan’s interest lies in the convergence of technology and investigative journalism, where he contributes to shaping the future of reporting.

Connect: X

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets: Advanced pivot tables

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

You've done a few pivot tables and are getting curious about what more you could do with them. What happens if you aggregate by more than one column? What are those "column" and "filter" boxes for? Come unlock the full potential of pivot tables in this intermediate spreadsheet class.

This session is good for: People familiar with spreadsheets and aggregating data with pivot tables, or anyone who has taken Sheets 1-3. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Agustin Armendariz, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Augie is the senior data reporter at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Connect: X

Hands-onData viz trackIntermediate

Mapping disparities in the news with QGIS

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

The stories found in geographic data don’t affect everyone the same, and Census data can help reveal these inequities. Politico editor Sean McMinn will talk through how some examples of these stories, then will do a hands-on walkthrough to teach you how to:

  • Find geographic data
  • Combine Census demographic and shapefile data in QGIS
  • Cross Census data with geocoded data

This session is good for anyone who wants to learn about demographic and geographic data. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Rosmery Izaguirre, Politico

Rosmery Izaguirre is a data and graphics reporter at Politico based in Miami, Florida. Rosmery attended the University of Florida, where she studied journalism and computer science. She previously worked on data teams at the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times. Her first NICAR was in Newport Beach in 2019 as a student and she hasn't missed one since.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Sean McMinn, Politico

Sean McMinn is the data/graphics editor at Politico.

Connect: X

Demo

Microdata: Asking deeper questions

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Sometimes you just need monthly totals. But sometimes you need the percentages for just 23- to 31-year-olds. Or how many kids have at least one immigrant parent. Or the median income of families with just preschool kids. Or what share of Black vs white pedestrians are killed by hit-and-run drivers. That's when you need microdata -- the untabulated, original data that can answer a question that no one else may have ever asked. This hybrid demo/hands-on session will offer an overview and demo some examples. Bring your laptop: We'll also work through some exercises using tools that simplify access to some key microdata sets.

Speaker

Paul Overberg, The Wall Street Journal

Paul Overberg is a data reporter at The Wall Street Journal and a member of its investigative team. He worked on USA TODAY’s data team for many years and led its demographic coverage. He also has taught at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and served as an instructor and senior fellow for the Center for Health Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Connect: X

DemoBeat reporting track

Navigating the world of nonprofit data

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

What can you learn about a nonprofit from its tax return? What data is available on nonprofits through the IRS and tools like ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer? When should you file a records request for more information? In this session, we’ll discuss the tools and techniques you can use to investigate nonprofits, and dive into examples of how reporters have used publicly available tax records and datasets to land stories.

Speakers

David Fahrenthold, The New York Times

Andrea Suozzo, ProPublica

Andrea Suozzo is a news apps developer at ProPublica, where she runs Nonprofit Explorer, builds databases and does reporting. In her free time, she runs, reads, sews, knits and plays the fiddle.

Connect: X, Bluesky, GitHub

Lauren Weber, The Washington Post

Lauren Weber is an accountability reporter at The Washington Post focused on the forces promoting scientific and medical disinformation. She has chronicled the politics behind decreasing life expectancy, the consequences of doctors spreading misinformation, and the rise of anti-vaccine forces. She previously investigated the decimated public health system and covid disparities for Kaiser Health News from St. Louis.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

NetworkingNetworking track

Networking for journalists of color

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Mix and mingle, meet friends old and new, and build your professional community in this fun and informal networking session.

This session is for journalists of color.

Speakers

Lam Thuy Vo, The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University New York and The Markup

Lam Thuy Vo is an investigative reporter with The Markup and an associate professor of data journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University New York.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Andrew Ba Tran, The Washington Post

Andrew Ba Tran is an investigative data reporter at The Washington Post. He has worked on stories that have won the Goldsmith and Pulitzer Prizes for Investigative Reporting. Some of the papers he’s worked at include The Boston Globe and The South Florida Sun Sentinel. He is an adjunct professor at American University and has crafted several online courses teaching the statistical language R to journalists.

Connect: X, Github, LinkedIn, BlueSky

Benét Wilson, Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

R 2: Data analysis and plotting

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

We'll use the tidyverse packages dplyr and ggplot2, learning how to sort, filter, group, summarize, join, and visualize to identify trends in your data. If you want to combine SQL-like analysis and charting in a single pipeline, this session is for you.

This session is good for: People who have worked with data operations in SQL or Excel and would like to do the same in R. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Lucia Walinchus, NBC Owned Televsion Stations

Lucia Walinchus is an award-winning journalist and attorney. She is currently the data editor for NBC-owned stations. She has been featured as a guest speaker on CNN and was a contracted freelancer for The New York Times and The Washington Post. Walinchus has a degree in journalism from American University and a Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastodon

DemoTools & Tech track

Scraping the worst of the worst

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Scraping a website can be challenging even for an experienced data journalist. Speakers in this session will discuss how to deal with these difficult websites and the pitfalls of scraping, and how to level-up your own scraping skills.

Speakers

Khushboo Rathore, University of Maryland - Howard Center for Investigative Journalism

Khushboo Rathore is a senior journalism and data science student at the University of Maryland. She has worked on projects with the Associated Press, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, Local News Network and The Frederick News-Post. Her journalism interests include education equity, public policy and public figure accountability. Outside of journalism, she has raised three service dog candidates for nonprofits, reads a lot of books and plays video games.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Derek Willis, University of Maryland

Derek Willis teaches and does journalism, especially data journalism, at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. He also runs OpenElections.

Connect: GitHub, Bluesky

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Understanding the impact of Asian American voters: From data to stories

Time: Friday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Witness the remarkable surge in the number of eligible Asian American voters during the previous presidential election cycle. With projections estimating over 15 million Asian Americans eligible to vote, constituting just over 6% of the eligible population, their growth surpasses that of other racial and ethnic groups.

What insights can we gain from analyzing existing data on Asian American voters? How will Asian Americans make a significant impact in local elections? What challenges do reporters commonly face when covering AAPI issues? Join this panel, hosted by the Asian American Journalists Association, and glean knowledge from researchers and seasoned data reporters.

This session was planned in collaboration with the Asian American Journalists Association. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Nicole Dungca, The Washington Post

Pratheek Rebala, Center for Public Integrity

Neil G. Ruiz, Pew Research Center

Neil G. Ruiz is Pew Research Center’s Head of New Research Initiatives. Neil is also the principal investigator of the Center’s comprehensive study of Asian Americans, which received the 2023 Inclusive Voices Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research. He has a background in demographic, qualitative, and survey research methods. He is a political economist with a Ph.D. from the MIT, a master’s from Oxford and a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.

Connect: LinkedIn, X

Janelle Wong, AAPI Data

Sessions starting at 2:15 p.m. ET

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story in health data

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Description coming soon.

Instructors

Alma Trotter, CareSet

Alma manages CareSet's Data Leadership initiatives, which include Medicare research, releasing Medicare/Medicaid data to the public, collaborating with researchers and journalists and advocating to the government for high quality open data.

Connect: LinkedIn

Fred Trotter, CareSet

Fred Trotter is a healthcare data journalist, with a focus on Medicare data and cybersecurity topics.

Connect: X

Annie Waldman, ProPublica

Annie Waldman is a reporter at ProPublica covering health care.

Connect: X

Hands-onElections trackBeginner

Finding the story: Beyond the horse race in 2024

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

This session will explore what money-in-politics trends to look out for in 2024. Reporters will learn have to navigate FEC data and other tools to find the data is available beyond how much candidates raised and how much they have in the bank, including what industries are donating, how much candidates are fueled by small vs. large donors, where the donors are coming from, how each candidate’s money being spent. Participants will also learn about the role of independent spenders in congressional races and the presidential election, including “dark money” and party-affiliated super PACs, and what techniques can be used to find out more about who is behind these groups.

This session is good for everyone. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructor

Brendan Glavin, OpenSecrets

Brendan is Deputy Research Director at OpenSecrets. He started working in the money in politics space with the Campaign Finance Institute in 2001. He has worked extensively with congressional and presidential campaign donor data, modeling public financing proposals, and outside spending. He also worked on creating CFI’s database of state laws. Brendan graduated from Colgate University with degrees in political science and history.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onTools & Tech trackAdvanced

Layer Cake: How to build reusable, customizable graphics with D3 and Svelte

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Working on deadline, news graphics need to be made quickly. They also often require customization to meet the needs of the day's story accurately and cleanly. These two requirements are often at odds with one another. Graphics libraries that let you make charts quickly are often not customizable. The most customizable graphics framework, D3, often requires a great deal of prep and code to even make a simple bar chart.

In this presentation, we'll look at Layer Cake, which is a graphics framework in Svelte built for these twin demands of a newsroom. Its approach is different from most frameworks or libraries you may have worked with and we'll look at how you can create reusable code to produce engaging graphics in a fast-paced environment.

This session is good for people who have knowledge of JavaScript and D3 already and want to learn how to translate that to Svelte. Experience with Svelte is not required but will be helpful. We'll discuss the philosophy behind project code as much as possible and try not focus too much on the specific syntax. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructor

Michael Keller, The New York Times

Michael is an investigative reporter at the New York Times and has spent the past 14 years as a computational and visual journalist.

Connect: Github, Bluesky

Pre-registration - Hands-onData viz trackIntermediate

Let's make mapping better

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 4:30 p.m. (135 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

More and more, newsrooms embrace mapping and spatial analysis as ways to highlight patterns and trends in data — and more and more, we might find ourselves frustrated in working with and visualizing this geographic data. In this session, we'll discuss some ways that mapping falls short and ways we can improve it, and we'll get hands-on experience optimizing the mapping process in order to make it more collaborative, cohesive and repeatable. We will share our own tips, tricks and tools as well as encourage feedback from attendees so we can all take something new back to our own newsrooms!

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $25 to participate.

Instructors

Allie Kanik, Hearst

Cam Rodriguez, Illinois Answers Project

Cam Rodriguez is a data reporter at the Illinois Answers Project, an investigative solutions newsroom with the Better Government Association. Cam previously worked with teams at Chalkbeat, USA TODAY, South Side Weekly, Freep, WTTW and others. She graduated with degrees in journalism from DePaul University, managing its award-winning student magazine, 14 East. When she’s not digging in archives, she's usually playing with maps, watching rom-coms or exploring the Midwest.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Bluesky

Panel

Navigating press freedom: A conversation about journalists' safety

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

Hear from panelists on how they keep themselves, sources, data and documents safe. Top leaders in the industry discuss what their newsrooms do when faced with political threats, unlawful arrests and detainments, surveillance and more.

This session is sponsored by Dow Jones. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Paul Beckett, Wall Street Journal

David Cuillier, Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Project

David Cuillier is director of the Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Project at the University of Florida. He is a former data journalist and has taught more than 10,000 people how to acquire public records. He is co-author of "The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records," and has testified three times before Congress regarding FOIA. He writes the FOI Files column for the IRE Journal.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Emilia Díaz-Struck, Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN)

Cindy Galli, ABC News

Cindy Galli is Executive Producer of ABC News’ award-winning Investigative Unit in New York. She oversees a team of network reporters and producers specializing in investigations ranging from government fraud and corporate corruption to racial injustice, consumer and environmental issues. She serves on the board of directors of IRE and has been a member since 1994. A longtime consumer investigative reporter, Cindy is a San Francisco Bay Area native and UC Berkeley alum.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Karrie Kehoe, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)

Ron Nixon, Associated Press

Hands-onData viz trackIntermediate

Publishable charts with R: Make ggplot2 submit to your will

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

Have you too looked at the default charts created by ggplot and wished you could change ... everything? Wish no more! You don't need to waste time making a chart in R and then remaking it with another tool for style reasons. Here you'll learn how to customize *everything.* We'll talk custom axes, color palettes, backgrounds, margins and more. We'll learn to use custom and proprietary fonts. Then we'll save it all as a theme that you can use with a single line of code!

This session is good for anyone who is familiar with R and ggplot2. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Olga Pierce, The Trace

Pre-registration - Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

PyCAR

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 4:30 p.m. (135 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

This hands-on workshop will teach journalists basic programming concepts using the Python language. The class, spread over two half-days, will introduce language basics and useful libraries in the course of a typical reporting project: scraping data from the web, analyzing a spreadsheet and visualizing the results.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. You must bring your own laptop (no tablets) to this training.

This class takes place over two days. Registration for this session reserves your seat for both days of this workshop and attendees are expected to attend both sessions to complete the workshop.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $55 to participate.

⚠️ This session will take place over multiple days.

Instructors

Eric Sagara, Big Local News

Serdar Tumgoren, Big Local News

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

R 3: Gathering and cleaning data

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

Learn how to use R to scrape data from web pages, access APIs and transform the results into usable data. This session will also focus on how to clean and structure the data you've gathered in preparation for analysis using tidyverse packages.

This session is good for: People who have used R and have a basic understanding of how to retrieve data from APIs. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Sean Mussenden, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, University of Maryland

Sean Mussenden is data editor for the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and principal lecturer of data and computational journalism at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Panel

Survival guide for entering the journalism industry

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Description coming soon.

Speakers

Jasmine Han, Industry Dive

Jasmine Ye Han is a DC-based graphics developer at Industry Dive, where she tells business news stories with data analysis and visualizations. She's passionate about creativity and mental health. Previously she was a data journalism reporter at Bloomberg Industry Group. Jasmine is an alumnus of the Missouri School of Journalism and NICAR data library.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Kate Howard, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

Kate Howard (she/her) is editorial director at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Howard was a reporter for 16 years before becoming managing editor at the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting in 2018. She edits digital investigations and leads local initiatives at Reveal. Howard is a member of the board of directors for IRE and Louisville Public Media, and she lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Andrew Pantazi, The Tributary

Steven Rich, The Washington Post

Brian Rosenthal, The New York Times

Brian M. Rosenthal is a New York Times investigative reporter and the IRE President. Before joining The Times in 2017, he worked at The Seattle Times and then the Houston Chronicle. He won the 2020 Pulitzer in Investigative Reporting for exposing predatory lending in the taxi industry, and he was part of a team that won the 2015 Pulitzer in Breaking News for coverage of a deadly landslide. He has also won the Polk Award three times, among other honors.

Connect: X

Mark Walker, The New York Times

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Undercovered stories about trans communities

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Anti-transgender laws have surged across state legislatures in recent years. At least 83 anti-trans bills have passed in U.S. states in 2023 so far, and hundreds more have been proposed in Congress. Many outlets have reported on the existence of this legislation, but fewer news organizations have dug deeper into the root causes of anti-trans activism or where money and resources for anti-trans legislation come from. More, as these laws go into effect across the U.S., there will be important stories about the consequences of their enforcement and the experiences of transgender people as their rights are chipped away.

Come with questions about how to find better reporting questions, frame stronger stories, and cut through politics to get to facts. Get practical tips on finding and reporting stories that cover anti-trans legislation's consequences accurately and responsibly. Panelists will talk through examples of how previous investigative stories were developed and how editorial framing decisions were made.

The first half of the session will be a brief panel discussion. The second half of the session will be a larger group discussion for all attendees. NICAR attendees are encouraged to bring story ideas to this session and workshop them with TJA members.

This session has been planned in collaboration with the Trans Journalists Association. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Alberto Cairo, University of Miami

Cairo is the Knight Chair in Infographics and Data Visualization at the University of Miami. He has led graphics teams in Spain, Brazil and the U.S., and he is the author of "The Functional Art" (2013), "The Truthful Art" (2016), "How Charts Lie" (2019) and "The Art of Insight" (2023). Cairo is also a consultan for organizations such as Google, Microsoft, McMaster-Carr, the European Union, Eurostat, the World Bank, the U.S. Army National Guard and many others.

Connect: LinkedIn, Bluesky

Haru Coryne, ProPublica

Haru Coryne is a data reporter for ProPublica, based in Chicago. She uses a combination of statistical methods, computer software and document-based research to find stories in large troves of information. She is especially interested in housing, business and economic development.

Connect: Mastodon

Justin Myers, Chicago Sun-Times

Justin Myers (he/him) is a data journalist, visual journalist, developer and parent based in Chicago. He joined the Chicago Sun-Times in fall 2023 as its interactives editor. Before that, he was the data editor for The Associated Press, where he'd worked since 2015. Justin graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in journalism and engineering, and he enjoys making things out of flour, yarn and code — but rarely at the same time.

Connect: Mastodon, Bluesky, GitHub, LinkedIn

Orion Rummler, The 19th News

Orion covers LGBTQ+ news, focused on state politics, breaking news and the underreported experiences of trans and queer people. He previously covered breaking news at Axios and contributed research to "Axios on HBO." He has reported from the White House, the State Department, the Education Department, outside the Supreme Court, from inside Capitol Hill, and in various D.C. coffeeshops. He is a transgender man.

Connect: LinkedIn

Lucas Waldron, ProPublica

Lucas Waldron (he/they) is a graphics editor at ProPublica, where he focuses on multimedia storytelling, cartography and data visualization.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Mastadon

Pre-registration - Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Upping your Excel game

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 4:30 p.m. (135 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

If you've found yourself struggling in a spreadsheet, thinking that whatever you were trying to achieve seemed harder than it should've been, then this is the class for you. We’ll 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, reshaping data, merging data using lookup functions and perhaps a few other nifty tricks if time allows. We’ll do some “drills” introducing you to these concepts, then put your new skills to work in a sort of “scrimmage,” fixing up some real-life data. You’ll also walk out with practice data and a 30-page tipsheet that covers, in detail, everything from the class, plus more that we won’t have time for.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

Workshop prerequisites: You should have prior experience using Excel or Google Sheets, and be comfortable with introductory-level spreadsheet skills, such as sorting, filtering, SUM and AVERAGE functions, calculations such as percentage change or percent of total, and how to use pivot tables.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $25 to participate.

Instructor

MaryJo Webster, Star Tribune

PanelBeat reporting track

Using data in government and policy reporting

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Newsrooms often keep data reporters separate from their government team, resulting in last-minute consultations and missed opportunities. In this session, a panel of government, policy, and data reporters will share databases, story ideas, tools, and other tips that they use in their beat. With 2024 on the horizon, this panel hopes to arm reporters with all the data they will need to cover their state.

Speakers

Justin Hicks, Louisville Public Media

Kate Huangpu, Spotlight PA

Huangpu follows how and why the state government works the way it does, paying special attention to how the structure of our government expands or excludes who can participate in democracy. Huangpu also tracks major legislation and the impact that it has on communities across the state.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Bianca Pallaro, The City

Pallaro is a senior data reporter, responsible for conceiving and carrying out focused, in-depth data investigations that uncover violations of public trust and drive real-world impact. Previously, she worked at USA Today and The New York Times, focusing on data acquisition, analysis and visualization for long data-driven investigations. Before moving to the United States to pursue her Masters at Columbia University, she worked as a senior data reporter at La Nación.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Adam Rayes, Michigan Public (Formerly Michigan Radio)

Adam Yahya Rayes is a data reporter for Michigan Public (formerly Michigan Radio). Adam was born and raised in Michigan and graduated from Western Michigan University. Before returning to his home state last year, he covered rural and small communities in Colorado and labor and employment in Indiana. He has received a fellowship to attend NICAR this year and has taught multiple hands-on data visualization courses at past IRE conferences.

Daniel Schuman, POPVOX Foundation

Daniel Schuman is an expert on government openness, transparency, and accountability at the federal level. He runs the Congressional Data Coalition, coordinates a federal transparency & accountability coalition, and is responsible for websites like everycrsreport.com. He is governance director at the POPVOX Foundation, previously policy director at Demand Progress Education Fund, and worked for the lamented Sunlight Foundation and on Capitol Hill.

Connect: X, Github, Mastodon, LinkedIn, Bluesky

PanelTools & Tech track

Web APIs in R with httr2

Time: Friday, March 8, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

httr2 is an R package that helps you generate and perform HTTP requests then process the responses. In this talk, I'll introduce you to httr2 and the basics of HTTP, so you can learn what powers so much of the modern internet, and how you can work with it from R.

httr2 is the successor to httr and has been under development for around two years. Compared to httr, httr2 has an explicit request object which leads to a more familiar interface where you can iteratively build up complex requests with the pipe. There's no need to stop using httr, as we'll continue to maintain it for many years to come, but for new projects, I'd highly recommend giving httr2 a shot.

Speaker

Hadley Wickham, Posit

Hadley is chief scientist at Posit PBC, winner of the 2019 COPSS award and a member of the R Foundation. He builds tools to make data science easier, faster, and more fun. His work includes packages for data science (like the tidyverse) and principled software development (e.g. roxygen2, testthat, and pkgdown). He is also a writer, educator, and speaker promoting the use of R for data science.

Connect: Website, LinkedIn, Mastodon

Sessions starting at 3:30 p.m. ET

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

15 health datasets in 60 minutes

Time: Friday, March 8, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Description coming soon.

Instructors

Madi Alexander, POLITICO

Madi Alexander is the senior graphics editor on POLITICO’s data and graphics team, where she covers health care, education and other public policy issues. She has also worked as a data journalist at Bloomberg Government and the Dallas Morning News. Madi has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Outside of work, she enjoys birding and volunteers as a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Holly Hacker, KFF Health News

Holly Hacker is data editor at KFF Health News (formerly Kaiser Health News) in Washington, DC. Before that she was an investigative reporter at The Dallas Morning News focusing on data analysis. She also covered education for many years in Texas, Missouri and California.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story: Higher education data

Time: Friday, March 8, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

In this hands-on session you will learn about the data sources you're likely to turn to most frequently when reporting on higher education. We'll learn how to use these tools and datasets to find stories.

This session is good for journalists new to covering higher education or those who want to include more data in their stories but don't know where to start or how to process what's already available. It's good for anyone who knows their way around basic analysis in Excel/Sheets. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Tatiana Díaz-Ramos, Centro de Periodismo Investigativo

Diaz, a journalist with more than a decade of experience, graduated from the Sacred Heart University and is candidate for a Masters in Science in Demography at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus. Her work experience began with NGO's. She later became an editor for the digital newspaper NotiCel and, since 2019, has been researching education for the Center for Investigative Journalism.

Connect: X, Facebook

Fazil Khan, The Hechinger Report

Fazil Khan is a New York-based Indian data journalist who covers education for The Hechinger Report. His most recent work examined how prices at colleges have risen more for the lowest-income students than their wealthier peers. In October last year, he co-created a tool called "The College Welcome Guide" that helps prospective students assess how receptive colleges are to students from a variety of backgrounds, and mapped state laws that affect college students.

Connect: X, Linkedin

Hands-onSecurity trackBeginner

Go dox yourself

Time: Friday, March 8, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

In this session, we'll cover why doxxing is a threat to journalists and suggest some tools and techniques for cleaning up your online footprint.

This session is good for: Anyone. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructors

Kristen Larson, Yahoo

Sean Sposito, Yahoo

Sean Sposito is a member of a nudge unit embedded in the Paranoids — Yahoo’s information security organization. There, he works to catalyze positive security change.

DemoElections track

Google Trends for election coverage

Time: Friday, March 8, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Learn how to use Google Trends to track search interest in real-time and support election coverage. We’ll show you how to watch for major spikes in searches, get national and regional-level data and use search insights to find inspiration for your next story.

This session is sponsored by Google Trends. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Ana Gabriela Caesar, Google Trends/Vaco

Pallavi Singhal,

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Regular expressions: Puzzling out clean data

Time: Friday, March 8, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

Regular expressions are a pattern-matching syntax used in many data tools and programming languages, providing a powerful skill to slice, dice and clean up dirty data. They may look intimidating, but they are really just puzzles. We'll learn the fundamentals of "regex" so you save time cleaning your next batch of data.

This session is good for: People who have ever done more than two search/replace actions to clean a data set, or had to split a ZIP code from an address or otherwise want to conquer their fears of regex. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Christian McDonald, University of Texas at Austin

Christian McDonald is an associate professor of practice and the innovation director in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches classes about data, coding and news products. His last newsroom position was as data and online projects editor at the Austin American-Statesman. In his 28 years in journalism, he also worked at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, East Valley (Arizona) Tribune and the Longview (Texas) News-Journal.

Connect: X, GitHub, GitHub (org), LinkedIn, Mastadon, Threads

PanelElections track

Unleashing the power of data in investigations to expose political influence operations

Time: Friday, March 8, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

This panel will provide actionable information to help journalists uncover who is pouring money into influencing U.S. elections and shine a light on the murky world of dark money. Panelists will walk participants through investigative techniques and tools for uncovering hidden financial influence. Resources covered will include tax returns, political ad files, corporate records, lobbying disclosures, lobbying filings, digital ad archives, campaign finance data and other public records.

Speakers

Anna Massoglia, OpenSecrets

Anna Massoglia is the editorial and investigations manager at OpenSecrets. Her research areas also include foreign influence and investigations into opaque spending networks. Anna holds degrees in political science and psychology from North Carolina State University and a J.D. from the University of the District of Columbia School of Law. Previously, Anna worked as a research analyst and editor at Bloomberg BNA.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Facebook, Mastadon, Threads, Bluesky

Ben Wieder, McClatchy/Miami Herald

Ben Wieder is an investigative reporter for McClatchy and the Miami Herald and oversees McClatchy's data fellowship program. He reports on financial crimes, real estate and political influence. He previously worked at the Center for Public Integrity and Stateline.

Connect: X

K. Sophie Will, CQ Roll Call

K. Sophie Will is CQ Roll Call's congressional action reporter and the Utah Investigative Journalism Project's Alicia Patterson fellow. Previously, she was the National Parks Reporter for USA Today through Report for America. The award-winning Utah native graduated from Boston University with bylines found in the Deseret News, Boston Globe, AP, Thomson Reuters, HuffPost, WGBH and more.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onTools & Tech trackAdvanced

Using CAPTCHA-solving services to automate CAPTCHA solutions in web scraping

Time: Friday, March 8, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

This class will teach attendees how to use CAPTCHA-solving services to automate CAPTCHA solutions in web scraping. Attendees will learn how to efficiently identify and send required elements to the CAPTCHA-solving service and apply the unique codes received to navigate past CAPTCHAs encountered during web scraping. Special focus will be placed on tackling Google's reCAPTCHA v2, a commonly used CAPTCHA on the web, alongside strategies for overcoming challenges presented by more complex websites. The class will provide practical skills in CAPTCHA solving, equipping attendees with the knowledge to implement these solutions in their own projects.

This session is good for individuals who have a foundational understanding of web scraping techniques with tools such as Requests, Playwright and Selenium. The concepts taught apply to most languages, but this class is taught using Python and a bit of JavaScript. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Ryan Little, The Baltimore Banner

Ryan Little is the data editor at The Baltimore Banner, where he leads a team of data reporters and a visual investigator. His work analyzing large datasets and scraping the web has won multiple national awards and led to at least one Department of Justice investigation. Little is a dedicated mentor to aspiring data journalists and frequently speaks on the role of data in uncovering vital stories.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 5 p.m. ET

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Data wrangling with code

Time: Friday, March 8, 5 – 6:15 p.m. (75 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Data journalists want data in tidy rows and columns with standardized values and consistent datatypes. Does data usually come this way? NO! Often data are messy, dirty, unstructured and at times seemingly unusable. In this session we'll talk through some strategies for wrangling that dirty data using code, primarily Python and R (though we'll also dabble in some command line utilities).

This session is good for anyone who read the description and nodded knowingly. You don't need to be an expert programmer. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Liz Lucas, IRE & NICAR

Liz Lucas is the senior training director and an adjunct professor of data journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism. She previously worked as data editor for Kaiser Health News, as a data reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, and as the director of data services for IRE.

Cody Winchester, IRE & NICAR

Cody is the director of technology and online resources at IRE, where he has also been a trainer. Before that, he was a journalist focused on data and investigations at various newspapers.

Connect: GitHub

Session materials

Special

Lightning Talks ⚡️

Time: Friday, March 8, 5 – 6:15 p.m. (75 minutes)
Location: Harbor Ballroom, fourth floor

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 data journalism, web development and related topics.

Speaker

Lucio Villa, The Washington Post

Lucio Villa is a first-generation Latino, software engineer and web designer who is currently working at The Washington Post as a senior software engineer.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 6:30 p.m. ET

Special

Friday NIghtCAR

Time: Friday, March 8, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (120 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Have you always wished there were a games night at NICAR? Or maybe you want to start a quilting circle or talk about your love of birds (they are real) or share the music you love with others. Now's your chance! We'll have a limited number of tables reserved in a ballroom for fun and games in a non-alcohol-focused environment but feel free to snag a drink and some apps from the reception! This is a work free zone and everyone is welcome! Let us know what you want to host by filling out this form.

Speaker information coming soon.

Saturday

Sessions starting at 9 a.m. ET

Pre-registration - Hands-onAI trackIntermediate

AI and ML: From before and beyond ChatGPT

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (210 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

While ChatGPT and its ilk are the talk of the town, advances in usability, performance and open-sourcing of AI and machine learning models have been happening for years. Get a peek at the abilities that have been newly unlocked by this Cambrian explosion of AI models, and how they can be leveraged by the journalism community!

The landscape is both broad and deep, and almost always useable without major technical skills. We'll look at:

  • Extracting people, places, organizations and dates from articles or documents
  • Classifying troves of documents or images
  • Answering "natural language" questions about forms or legal texts
  • Analyzing satellite imagery or first-person video
  • Transcribing interviews accurately, including non-English languages and accented English
  • Searching quickly and easily across multilingual documents
  • Format-shifting between audio, video and text

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided. Attendees should have a Google account to participate.

This class is good for folks with a little experience with Python, but curiosity and a willingness to cut-and-paste is a good substitute.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Instructor

Jonathan Soma, Columbia Journalism School

Jonathan Soma is Knight Chair in Data Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, where he directs both the Data Journalism MS and the summer intensive Lede Program. He regularly publishes tutorials on everything from basic Python and analysis to ai2html and machine learning. At the moment he unfortunately cannot stop talking about AI. When Soma isn't boring his students to tears he's probably rescuing cats.

Connect: X, GitHub

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

An introduction to gathering data with APIs

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

In this hands-on session, we'll learn how to use data from Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to enhance reporting and augment data from other sources. This session will cover how APIs fit in with other sources of data, a basic understanding of the web technologies that make them work, using some desktop tools to fetch data from API endpoints and sharing useful APIs and tools for journalism.

This session is good for anyone with some basic data analysis skills; knowledge of coding concepts is helpful, but not required. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Huyen Nguyen, Kansas State University

Pre-registration - Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Digging into data

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. (420 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Get started using data in your stories with IRE's mini-boot camp. In this 6-hour, hands-on workshop, IRE’s experienced trainers will start with the basics of navigating Google Sheets and using formulas, then walk you through sorting, filtering and aggregating data with pivot tables to find story ideas. You'll come away with a solid base for analyzing data in your newsroom, including how to find and request data, identify and clean dirty data, find story ideas and make your work ironclad. We’ll also provide you with our detailed boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Attendees will need to bring their own laptops (no tablets) and have a Google account to participate. No prior data experience required.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $75 to participate.

Instructors

Laura Moscoso, IRE & NICAR

Laura Moscoso is a Puerto Rican journalist and training director for IRE & NICAR. Laura is a professor focusing on data, visualization tools, and media literacy.

Adam Rhodes, IRE & NICAR

Adam M. Rhodes is a first-generation Cuban American journalist whose work primarily focuses on queer people and the criminal justice system. Their recent work has examined HIV treatment access in Puerto Rico, HIV criminalization in Illinois and a homophobic capital murder trial in the state. They have been published in outlets including The Nation, BuzzFeed News and The Washington Post.

DemoData viz track

Elevate your graphics with Illustrator and Inkscape

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Vector graphics programs like Illustrator and Inkscape are great tools for creating beautiful, completely unique data viz and graphics – but the best part is it doesn’t need to all be done from scratch. In this session, we will go over ways to begin making your chart using various online tools that most newsrooms already use (like Datawrapper, RawGraphs, Flourish, ggplot, etc.) but elevate its design with the magic of SVGs and vector graphics programs.

We’ll talk through color choices, fonts, accessibility, framing, and more – and give you tips and tricks to create stunning graphics that you can customize to your heart’s delight. This session is good for journalist with some data and data visualization knowledge. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop for the training.

Speakers

Adam Marton, Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland

Adam Marton is a data journalist, designer and lecturer at The Philip Merrill College of Journalism at The University of Maryland. He previously worked at The Baltimore Sun, where he was the senior editor of data and graphics. He was part of a team nominated as Pulitzer Prize finalists in 2015 for their work on the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police.

Connect: X, GitHub, Bluesky

Paroma Soni, Politico

Paroma Soni is a data and graphics journalist covering trade and agriculture for Politico Pro. She worked previously as an associate visual journalist at FiveThirtyEight, as a fellow at Columbia Journalism Review and as a video producer at BuzzFeed India. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, she is currently based in New York.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story: Weather and climate data

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

In an era of climate change and extreme weather, it’s important to use nuanced and accurate data to report on the stories that are happening in your communities. Learn about credible data sources and how to use them in your reporting.

This session is good for people with basic spreadsheet skills. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Yoohyun Jung, San Francisco Chronicle

Yoohyun Jung is the deputy data editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. She was previously a data reporter there. Prior to the Chronicle, Yoohyun worked as a data reporter and criminal justice reporter at Honolulu Civil Beat. She is also an alumna of the Reveal Investigative Fellowship and The New York Times Student Journalism Institute.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Allie Kanik, Hearst

Pre-registration - Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

First Python notebook: Data analysis on deadline

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. (420 minutes)
Location: Laurel C-D, fourth floor (PC)

In this six-hour session, experienced journalists will guide you through a data-driven investigation published by the Los Angeles Times.

You will learn:

- Just enough of the Python computer programming language to read, filter, join, group, aggregate and rank structured data with pandas, a popular open-source tool for statistical analysis

- How to record, remix and republish your work using Project Jupyter, the emerging standard for generating reproducible research.

- How to explore data using Altair, a Python package that offers a simple, structured grammar for generating charts.

Prerequisites: If you've tried Python once or twice, have a good attitude and know how to take a few code crashes in stride, you are qualified. We want you.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. PC laptops will be provided.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $75 to participate.

Instructors

Katlyn Alo, The Washington Post

Kae Petrin, Chalkbeat

Kae is a data and graphics reporter on Chalkbeat’s data visuals team, where they collaborate with local reporters to tell data-driven stories about education. They co-founded the Trans Journalists Association and now serve as President and Executive Director. They have contributed data journalism to reporting recognized by the Education Writers Association, LION Publishers and others. Previously, they produced graphics, tools and investigative reporting in St. Louis.

Connect: LinkedIn, Github, Portfolio, Team blog

Andrea Suozzo, ProPublica

Andrea Suozzo is a news apps developer at ProPublica, where she runs Nonprofit Explorer, builds databases and does reporting. In her free time, she runs, reads, sews, knits and plays the fiddle.

Connect: X, Bluesky, GitHub

Ben Welsh, Reuters

Ben Welsh is an Iowan living in New York City. At Reuters he leads the development of dynamic dashboards, interactive databases and automated insights that benefit clients, inform readers, empower reporters and serve the public interest.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastodon

PanelBeat reporting track

How to track opioid settlement funds in your state

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

State and local governments have agreed to national settlements with companies that made, distributed, or sold opioid painkillers. The settlements total over $50 billion and are meant to be spent on addiction treatment and prevention. But we know from the history of the tobacco settlements that money doesn't always go toward its intended purpose. That's where journalists come in. We can track this money and hold elected officials accountable for using it toward one of the greatest public health crises of our time. In this session, attendees will be introduced to half a dozen national databases that can facilitate their reporting, as well as guidelines and reporter forums that can serve as resources. They'll also hear from local reporters in Pennsylvania and Maine about examples of ways they used data and public records to tell this story.

Speakers

Emily Bader, The Maine Monitor

Emily Bader is the health care and general assignment reporter for the Maine Monitor. Previously, she covered health for the Sun Journal in Lewiston, Maine, where she was a USC Center for Health Journalism Data Fellow. Her work has been recognized by the Maine Press Association, the New England Newspaper & Press Association and the Maine Public Health Association. She is a graduate of Wellesley College.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Ed Mahon, Spotlight PA

Ed Mahon is an investigative reporter at Spotlight PA, where he covers the opioid epidemic, addiction treatment and medical cannabis. His reporting has earned national recognition, including a a 2021 investigative award from the Institute for Nonprofit News and a 2023 health policy award from the Association of Health Care Journalists. In his free time, he coaches soccer and works on the Rubik’s Cube with his kids.

Connect: X

Ashton Mara, Reporting on Addiction, 100 Days in Appalachia

Ashton Marra is the co-founder of Reporting on Addiction, a collaborative project working to train journalists in solutions-focused journalism methods that help break cycles of stigma often perpetuated through media coverage of our communities. Ashton is also a teaching assistant professor in the West Virginia University Reed College of Media and the executive editor of 100 Days in Appalachia, a national Edward R. Murrow award-winning publication. Find us on most social media platforms @ReportingonAddiction.

Connect: X

Aneri Pattani, KFF Health News

Aneri Pattani is a senior correspondent with KFF Health News, a national nonprofit covering U.S. health care and policy. She specializes in mental health and substance use reporting. Over the past year, she's led a series of stories about how local governments are using -- and misusing -- billions of dollars in opioid settlement funds. Her work spans text and audio and has been featured in The New York Times, NPR and CNN, among other outlets.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Panel

Land Grab University 2.0 investigation: How we did it

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Panelists will discuss Grist's investigation to reconstruct 8.1 million acres of state trust lands, currently benefiting 14 land-grant universities, taken from nearly 125 Indigenous nations. These lands now produce millions of dollars a year for universities through timber harvesting, oil and gas, mineral extraction, and agriculture. We’ll tell you about our research process, the difficulties of tracing data across hundreds of years of history, and the possibilities of working with our public dataset.

Speakers

Clayton Aldern, Grist

Clayton Aldern is a senior data reporter at Grist. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Economist, Scientific American, Logic, The Guardian and elsewhere. He holds a master's in neuroscience and a master's in public policy from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His book "The Weight of Nature," on the effects of climate change on neurobiology, brain health and cognition, will be published by Dutton in April 2024.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Maria Parazo Rose, Grist

Maria Parazo Rose (she/her) graduated with a master’s degree from MIT’s science writing program and is now a reporter and spatial data analyst at Grist, where she makes maps about Indigenous affairs, conservation and resource extraction. Her work can be found in publications like NPR, the Allegheny Front, Popular Science and New York Focus.

Connect: X

Pre-registration - Master ClassManagement trackBeginner

Master Class: Managing investigators… or how to lead journalists born to challenge authority

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (210 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Being a news manager is already tough - but what if you supervise investigative journalists? They come with an extra layer of challenges because their very job (and likely their personality) makes them hyper-alert to authority figures.

This course is designed to give you some tools and tactics to lead individuals and entire teams of investigators in a more effective way. Learn from four investigative managers from different media at different stages of their leadership careers. How did they launch into their roles, and what experience have they gained along the way? This course is for current investigative managers and anyone aspiring to step into such a position in the future.

Topics will include: managing compassionately, hiring challenges, transitioning to management, forging partnerships, building relationships, handling resource cuts, organization/structure, tough decisions/conversations, in-house training/growth, delivering feedback, creating inclusive opportunities, and juggling responsibilities/projects/work.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Speakers

Emma Carew Grovum, The Marshall Project; Kimbap Media

Emma Carew Grovum is the director of careers and culture at The Marshall Project and also the founder of Kimbap Media, a consultancy solving problems at the intersection of technology and audience. Emma coaches journalists on leadership, product thinking and digital transformation. She is a co-founder and regular contributor to the News Product Alliance, runs a leadership accelerator for journalists of color called Upward and co-hosts Sincerely, Leaders of Color.

Connect: LinkedIn

Jamie Grey, InvestigateTV

Jamie Grey is managing editor of InvestigateTV, Gray Television’s national investigative team. The team’s stories air on the company’s stations in 113 markets across the country. Prior to joining InvestigateTV, Jamie was managing editor/chief investigator at the NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri, where she was also an assistant professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. She has past investigative reporting experience in Iowa and Idaho.

Josh Hinkle, KXAN

Josh Hinkle is KXAN’s director of investigations and innovation, leading the station’s duPont and IRE Award-winning investigative team on multiple platforms. He also leads KXAN’s political coverage as executive producer and host of “State of Texas,” a weekly statewide program focused on the Texas Legislature and elections. In 2021, he was elected to the IRE Board of Directors and currently serves as its vice president.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Mc Nelly Torres, Center for Public Integrity

Mc Nelly Torres is an award-winning investigative journalist and editor at the Center for Public Integrity where she leads a team investigating inequality. Before, Torres worked as an investigative producer for NBC6 in Miami and co-founded FCIR.org. Torres is a product of newspapers including the Sun-Sentinel and the San Antonio Express-News. Torres was the first Latina to be elected to the IRE board of directors. She was a recipient of the Gwen Ifill Award in 2022.

Connect: X

Panel

Media lawyers Q&A

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

Does your investigation contain complex legal questions? Unsure of how to proceed? Bring your lunch and your questions for a personal discussion with some prominent media law experts. We'll provide drinks and dessert.

Speakers

Adam Marshall, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Adam A. Marshall is a senior staff attorney at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, where his work includes government transparency litigation in federal and state courts. Adam is a member of the 2022–24 federal FOIA Advisory Committee, and has authored several writings on FOIA. He is a graduate of The George Washington School of Law and Kalamazoo College.

Connect: Bluesky, Mastodon

Maggie Mulvihill, Boston University

Pre-registration - Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

PyCAR (continued)

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (210 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

This hands-on workshop will teach journalists basic programming concepts using the Python language. The class, spread over two half-days, will introduce language basics and useful libraries in the course of a typical reporting project: scraping data from the web, analyzing a spreadsheet and visualizing the results.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. You must bring your own laptop (no tablets) to this training.

This class takes place over two days. Registration for this session reserves your seat for both days of this workshop and attendees are expected to attend both sessions to complete the workshop.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $55 to participate.

⚠️ This session will take place over multiple days.

Instructors

Eric Sagara, Big Local News

Serdar Tumgoren, Big Local News

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

R 1: Intro to R and RStudio (repeat)

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

Jump into data analysis with R, the powerful open-source programming language. In this class we’ll cover R fundamentals and learn our way around the RStudio interface for using R.

This session is good for: People with a basic understanding of data analysis who are ready to go beyond spreadsheets. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Paula Lavigne, ESPN

PanelAI track

Using AI tools for data journalism

Time: Saturday, March 9, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

The speed at which new generative AI tools have been released is dizzying. While it is still early in their development, these powerful tools have already shown promise for helping augment the work of data journalists. We will look at specific examples of how journalists are using ChatGPT, Github Copilot and other novel AI tools to rapidly generate code, interrogate documents and do things we weren't able to do before. And we will also take care to highlight how NOT to use these tools, and how they should work within your newsroom's AI policies (your newsroom has AI policies, right?).

Speaker

Jon Keegan, The Markup

Jon Keegan is an investigative data journalist at The Markup. Previously he worked at The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and The Wall Street Journal, where he ran the award-winning interactive graphics team.

Connect: GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastadon

Sessions starting at 10:15 a.m. ET

DemoTools & Tech trackBeginner

Automating your beat: Unredact documents, monitor websites, file better FOIAs and much more with the MuckRock portfolio

Time: Saturday, March 9, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Ever have a gnarly PDF you're trying to untangle? Wish you had better ideas for requests to file or a process for managing your large-scale project? Join this session to hear how MuckRock can help with everything from extracting spreadsheets or unredacting documents to getting alerts from your local city council meetings when a hot topic hits the agenda. We'll run through a wide range of capabilities right within the MuckRock and DocumentCloud services, available for verified journalists to start tapping into today.

Speakers

Derek Kravitz, MuckRock

Michael Morisy, MuckRock

PanelClimate track

Data and accountability on the climate change beat

Time: Saturday, March 9, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Data can be a powerful way to illustrate the impacts of our changing climate. But it's also a key tool in holding governments and corporations accountable for the promises they make about combating and adapting to climate change. On this panel, journalists will speak about how they used publicly available data to hold those in power accountable for their role in the climate crisis and their pledges to help protect citizens from its effects.

Speakers

Clayton Aldern, Grist

Clayton Aldern is a senior data reporter at Grist. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Economist, Scientific American, Logic, The Guardian and elsewhere. He holds a master's in neuroscience and a master's in public policy from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His book "The Weight of Nature," on the effects of climate change on neurobiology, brain health and cognition, will be published by Dutton in April 2024.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Dillon Bergin, MuckRock

Dillon Bergin is MuckRock's data reporter. He uses data and public records to power investigative reporting. Dillon was a member of the Documenting COVID-19 team, a project funded by MuckRock and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation. Before that, he was a Report for America corps member with Searchlight New Mexico and a Fulbright Germany Journalism Fellow.

Connect: GitHub, LinkedIn

Savanna Strott, Public Health Watch

Savanna Strott is a Las Vegas-based reporter who covers environmental health. She is a Livingston Award finalist, and her work has been published by outlets including The Nevada Independent, Grist, Business Insider and the Investigative Reporting Workshop.

Connect: X

Emily Zentner, The California Newsroom

Emily Zentner is the data journalist for the statewide public and nonprofit media collaborative The California Newsroom, where she works with partner newsrooms on investigative stories and training reporters to use data skills in their reporting. Her work primarily focuses on criminal justice and climate stories. She was previously data reporter at CapRadio in Sacramento, where she reported on wildfire, climate change and police mishandling of sexual assault cases.

Connect: X, GitHub

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Findings and using undocumented APIs (repeat)

Time: Saturday, March 9, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

This tutorial will introduce reporters to an exciting and often overlooked data source found on every website. You will learn how to find and use hidden APIs as a reporting resource, and hear about how this data source has been used in past reporting. We'll be working off this scripted documented: https://inspectelement.org/apis

This session is for reporters who want to diversify their data sources. You don't need to write code: we'll teach participants to find hidden APIs in your web browser, but knowing some coding will let you to unlock detailed and rich datasets hidden in plain sight. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Piotr Sapiezynski, Northeastern University

Piotr is a research scientist at Northeastern. He audits online platforms for issues surrounding fairness, security, privacy and autonomy. His work was a part of settlements between the Federal Trade Commission and Facebook and between the Department of Justice and Facebook (the first case of algorithmic discrimination under the FHA). He briefed members of the House Financial Services Committee and presented to the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. He teaches algorithm audits.

Connect: X

Leon Yin, Bloomberg

Leon Yin is an award-winning journalist at Bloomberg focused on data-driven investigations into AI. He writes Inspect Element: a practitioners guide to auditing algorithms. Previously, he was a reporter at The Markup.

Connect: X, Mastadon, LinkedIn

PanelElections track

How to keep your finger on the pulse of foreign influence

Time: Saturday, March 9, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

This session will help journalists keep their finger on the pulse of propaganda and foreign influence operations. Tracking the spread of foreign propaganda has become more important than ever with foreign influence increasingly felt across the U.S., ranging from federal lobbying to state ballot measures and digital media. This session would help journalists know what to look out for when they are targeted by foreign propaganda campaigns and walk attendees through how to unlock insights from billions of dollars in spending on operations reported in Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) and lobbying filings, state-level records, gift disclosures, digital ad archives, personal financial disclosures, visitor logs, corporate databases and more!

Speakers

Taylor Giorno, The Hill

Mark Greenblatt, Arizona State University

Anna Massoglia, OpenSecrets

Anna Massoglia is the editorial and investigations manager at OpenSecrets. Her research areas also include foreign influence and investigations into opaque spending networks. Anna holds degrees in political science and psychology from North Carolina State University and a J.D. from the University of the District of Columbia School of Law. Previously, Anna worked as a research analyst and editor at Bloomberg BNA.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Facebook, Mastadon, Threads, Bluesky

Rowan Philp, Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN)

Hands-onTools & Tech trackAdvanced

How your newsroom can build a self-hosted map stack

Time: Saturday, March 9, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

Building interactive maps has long required third-party services, which can become expensive or go away entirely. This session will explore a growing ecosystem of open source tools that should finally let newsrooms build a map stack that's both entirely under their own control and significantly cheaper to run.

This session is good for people who've built interactive maps in newsrooms, or who would like to. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Chris Amico, MuckRock

Chris Amico is a senior developer at MuckRock, working on DocumentCloud. He has worked at local and national news organizations as a programmer, editor and reporter.

Connect: GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastodon

NetworkingEducators track

Past, present and future of data journalism education

Time: Saturday, March 9, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

We read the data journalism scholarship so you don't have to!

We are three (relatively new) data journalism educators who have been digging into the scholarly research around and history of how data journalism is taught at universities. Most new data journalism professors aren’t formally taught pedagogical tools and techniques like how to craft good learning objectives or create good assessment mechanisms. In order to learn more, we decided to start reading about pedagogical theories and techniques, scholarly research about data journalism and the history of how teaching data journalism has evolved. We’d like to share what we learned.

Speakers

Nausheen Husain, Syracuse University

Nausheen Husain writes about civil rights issues, incarceration and security, and inequities. Husain focuses on Muslim communities and the past and present 'War on Terror.' Husain is currently a freelance journalist and an assistant professor at Syracuse University, teaching journalism with an emphasis on data analysis, underreported communities and civil rights. Husain's academic research focuses on the news processes and coverage choices during the ongoing American-led 'War on Terror.'

Connect: X, Bluesky

Dhrumil Mehta, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University

Dhrumil Mehta is an Associate Professor of Journalism at Columbia University and the Assistant Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. He helps to run the Columbia's Computer Science + Journalism Dual M.S. program and also teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to teaching, he worked as a Database Journalist at FiveThirtyEight, where he wrote about politics, elections, public opinion and media.

Connect: X, GitHub

Aarushi Sahejpal, American University, Investigative Reporting Workshop and The Center for Public Integrity

Aarushi Sahejpal is a professor of quantitative methods and data journalism at American University, data editor at The Investigative Reporting Workshop and a data reporter on The Accountability Project at The Center for Public Integrity.

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

R 2: Data analysis and plotting (repeat)

Time: Saturday, March 9, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

We'll use the tidyverse packages dplyr and ggplot2, learning how to sort, filter, group, summarize, join, and visualize to identify trends in your data. If you want to combine SQL-like analysis and charting in a single pipeline, this session is for you.

This session is good for: People who have worked with data operations in SQL or Excel and would like to do the same in R and have some experience working with RStudio. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Christian McDonald, University of Texas at Austin

Christian McDonald is an associate professor of practice and the innovation director in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches classes about data, coding and news products. His last newsroom position was as data and online projects editor at the Austin American-Statesman. In his 28 years in journalism, he also worked at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, East Valley (Arizona) Tribune and the Longview (Texas) News-Journal.

Connect: X, GitHub, GitHub (org), LinkedIn, Mastadon, Threads

PanelResearch track

The new OSINT investigative wave

Time: Saturday, March 9, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Newsrooms all over the world are running to secure Open Source Intelligence analysts to power up their investigative teams. In 2023 many media organisations have invested in hirings, tools and new teams in both US and Europe. But what is OSINT and what can this investigative branch really add to reporting? In this session, speakers will dicsuss how they are using OSINT/CAR investigative tools and practices to enrich their reporting projects.

Speakers

Sarah Cahlan, The Washington Post

Sarah Cahlan is a video reporter on the Visual Forensics team at The Washington Post. Her work combines open source and forensic technologies with traditional journalism and documentary filmmaking. She shared in a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the January 6 insurrection and a duPont for her coverage of the clearing of Lafayette Square. She started VF in 2020 after a year on the Fact Checker desk where she produced ambitious video fact checks.

Connect: X

Meg Kelly, The Washington Post

Daniele Palumbo, BBC

Brenna Smith, The Baltimore Banner

Sessions starting at 11:30 a.m. ET

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Beyond percentage change: The next formula every reporter should know

Time: Saturday, March 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

What do vaccine effectiveness, pay-to-play meetings with politicians, employment discrimination, and TSA security screening have in common? They're all topics which rely crucially on a risk ratio, a simple formula which compares how often something happens to two different groups. While the math isn't particularly hard, many people don't know how to work with these ratios or spot the stories which depend on them, which results in a number of common reporting errors. We'll work together in a Python notebook to do the calculations behind all of the above stories, and learn what the risk ratio means in each context.

This session is good for those with beginning Python skills who want to learn how to use simple formulas for reporting. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Jonathan Stray, UC Berkeley

Jonathan Stray is a Senior Scientist at the Center for Human Compatible AI at UC Berkeley, where he works on the design of recommender systems for better personalized news and information. Previously, he taught the dual masters degree in computer science and journalism at Columbia University, worked as an editor at the Associated Press, and built document mining software for investigative journalism.

Connect: X

PanelElections track

Covering state-based and local courts – transparency, tips, and tricks

Time: Saturday, March 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

While the U.S. Supreme Court grabs a lot of the public attention, more than 95 percent of cases are filed in state courts, which hand down thousands of rulings affecting ordinary people’s daily lives. But court transparency is spotty and newsroom budgets are constrained. At this panel hear about existing resources, tips on wrangling access and data, and story examples and ideas for covering courts and justice locally.

Speakers

Michael Lissner, Free Law Project

Michael Lissner is a co-founder and the executive director of Free Law Project, a nonprofit that brings innovation and equity to the legal ecosystem. Free Law Project uses open tools and data to impact tens of millions of people each month. Michael is a FastCase 50 Honoree and has been awarded the Public Access to Information Award from the American Association of Law Librarians. He is an endurance athlete, having completed numerous long-distance challenges.

Connect: LinkedIn, Bluesky, GitHub, Threads, Mastodon, X

Danielle Ohl, Spotlight PA

Nancy Watzman, Lynx LLC/State Court Report

DemoSecurity track

Encryption and risk-reduction practices

Time: Saturday, March 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

In today's digital age, investigative reporters are increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats, making protecting sensitive information paramount. This training session empowers journalists with advanced encryption techniques to safeguard their data on computers and mobile phones. We'll explore the latest technologies and best practices for secure communication with sources, colleagues, and editors. Participants will learn how to shield their digital footprint from predatory actors, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of their work. By the end of the class, reporters will be equipped with the knowledge and practical skills to implement robust encryption strategies in their investigative endeavors.

Speaker

Jorge Luis Sierra, Bordera Center for Journalists and Bloggers

Jorge Luis Sierra, president of the Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers, enhances U.S.-Mexico border investigative journalism, exposing corruption. With advanced cybersecurity and technology studies from Harvard and the University of Texas, he's helping investigative reporters protect their data and sources from online predators.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets: Importing and data prep (repeat)

Time: Saturday, March 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

Don't give up if your data isn't presented in a neat spreadsheet. This session will teach you how to get data into a spreadsheet and prepare it for analysis. We will look at how to import text files, deal with data in a PDF, and get a table on a web page into a spreadsheet.

This session is good for: Anyone comfortable working in Google Sheets. Laptops will be provided.

You will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Daniel Keating, The Washington Post

Dan Keating analyzes data for projects, stories, graphics and interactive online presentations for the Washington Post's national health and science team.

Connect: X

PanelPublic records track

Navigating FOIA

Time: Saturday, March 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Too often journalists are stonewalled when requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act about how the federal government is operating at the national, state, and local levels. This session will cover strategies to find success with FOIA, including how to get agencies respond to your requests more quickly, when you might want to look for records that could be public in other places, and where you can find resources to help you appeal denials.

This session was planned in collabration with Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Paula Lavigne, ESPN

Jason Leopold, Bloomberg News

Jason Leopold is senior investigative reporter at Bloomberg News. He is a two-time Pulitzer prize finalist, a recipient of IRE's FOI award and was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame. Leopold's FOIA work was profiled on the front page of The New York Times and he has testified before Congress about FOIA's shortcomings. TRAC has identified Leopold as the "most active individual FOIA litigator in the United States."

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Mastadon

Adam Marshall, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Adam A. Marshall is a senior staff attorney at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, where his work includes government transparency litigation in federal and state courts. Adam is a member of the 2022–24 federal FOIA Advisory Committee, and has authored several writings on FOIA. He is a graduate of The George Washington School of Law and Kalamazoo College.

Connect: Bluesky, Mastodon

Kate Martin, APM Reports

Kate Martin is the senior data reporter at APM Reports. Her work over two decades has sparked reforms, resignations, firings, criminal indictments and convictions. At least five state laws or legal precedents have changed because of her work. Recently her work filing hundreds of records requests led to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to propose new safety requirements for nursing pillows, which killed 160+ infants since 2007.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

R 3: Gathering and cleaning data (repeat)

Time: Saturday, March 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

Learn how to use R to scrape data from web pages, transform the results into usable data and interact with Google Sheets. This session will also focus on how to clean and structure the data you've gathered in preparation for analysis using tidyverse packages.

This session is good for: People who have used R and have a basic understanding of html. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Yanqi Xu, Flatwater Free Press

PanelBeat reporting track

TV for data reporters

Time: Saturday, March 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

This is the complement to the usual "data for TV" panel. When I started in television and expressed some worry that I didn't have any experience, my hiring manager told me "Just focus on doing good journalism -- we'll take care of the rest." This will be a talk about what 'the rest' is!

This talk will generally cover the ways we see things are different for us than for our colleagues in print and digital. This could include things like:

  • The structure of our work/teams within television newsrooms
  • Making a home for yourself in television culture
  • Unexpected challenges to the medium and/or this sector of the industry
  • Approaches to data on the screen -- and in the ear
  • The ways in which TV has been unexpectedly cool
  • Working with the other stations your conglomerate owns
  • Our goals/things we want to do better

Speakers

Rosie Cima, Scripps News

Andrew Lehren, CUNY

Scott Pham, CBS News

Scott Pham is an investigative data reporter and data team coordinator for CBS News and Stations. He's previously worked at BuzzFeed News and Reveal/Center for Investigative Reporting.

Connect: LinkedIn

Maia Rosenfeld, ABC News

Maia Rosenfeld is a data journalist on the ABC Owned Television Stations national data team, based at 6abc in Philadelphia. She integrates statistics into 6abc's daily coverage and investigations, wrangles data into scoops for all ABC stations, and reports national stories with ABC News. Previously, she was an investigative data reporter for the Scripps Washington Bureau. Her programming language of choice is Python and her favorite library is Alphabet Soup.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Commons

Taking care: Navigating our mental health as journalists

Time: Saturday, March 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

As journalists, we face a number of pressures and issues that can make it difficult to maintain a healthy and sustainable professional life. This will be a facilitated discussion where everyone can share challenges they’re facing and discuss possible ways to address those and take better care of ourselves. This will be an off-the-record, roundtable-style discussion.

Speakers

Jasmine Han, Industry Dive

Jasmine Ye Han is a DC-based graphics developer at Industry Dive, where she tells business news stories with data analysis and visualizations. She's passionate about creativity and mental health. Previously she was a data journalism reporter at Bloomberg Industry Group. Jasmine is an alumnus of the Missouri School of Journalism and NICAR data library.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Greg Linch, Industry Dive

Greg Linch oversees data and visual journalism across Industry Dive’s 130-person newsroom. He helped start the company’s employee-led DEI group in 2018 and has served as a volunteer leader. Greg previously worked at McClatchy, The Washington Post and two news-tech startups. On the side, he has taught web development for journalism students at Georgetown, Howard and Northwestern. Based in Northern Virginia, Greg loves spending hours in art museums and used bookstores.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, GitHub

Khushboo Rathore, University of Maryland - Howard Center for Investigative Journalism

Khushboo Rathore is a senior journalism and data science student at the University of Maryland. She has worked on projects with the Associated Press, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, Local News Network and The Frederick News-Post. Her journalism interests include education equity, public policy and public figure accountability. Outside of journalism, she has raised three service dog candidates for nonprofits, reads a lot of books and plays video games.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 2:15 p.m. ET

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Analyze large datasets in Google Sheets via Google Cloud

Time: Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Connect large data sets to Google Sheets, which has UI patterns, querying tools and other affordances that more newsroom collaborators are comfortable with.

This session is good for: people comfortable with csv, cloud services, spreadsheets and some SQL familiarity. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class.

Instructor

Tiffany Fehr, The New York Times

Tiff Fehr is a staff engineer and project editor within the Interactive News team, a group of technologists embedded in the newsroom of The New York Times. The team focuses on custom software development for newsroom projects in addition to large-scale data journalism work.

Connect: Mastadon

PanelAI track

Auditing algorithms and AI for bias

Time: Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

As firms race to adopt generative AI to get an edge over competitors, reporters are designing experiments to measure the harms these technologies pose to consumers.

This panel showcases three original investigations into statistical bias embedded within generative AI products.

Victoria Turk and Leonard Nicoletti will discuss their respective approaches to testing AI-generated images for stereotypes. Leon Yin will share how to audit [REDACTED].

Meredith Broussard will moderate a discussion between the panelists on their approaches to reporting on state-of-the-art technologies critically, systematically, and precisely.

Speakers

Meredith Broussard, New York University

Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at New York University. Her books include "More Than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech," and "Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World." Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with particular interests in AI ethics and using data analysis for social good.

Connect: Bluesky, Threads

Leonardo Nicoletti, Bloomberg News

Leonardo is a reporter at Bloomberg News. He works with data and visual storytelling to report on issues at the intersection of technology and society. Leonardo’s work has been cited in official documents about AI risk from national governments, NGO's, and international bodies such as the United Nations and IMF. His work is cited by several academic research papers and used as a main reference for AI-best practices at dozens of institutions like IBM and MIT.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Instagram

Victoria Turk, Rest of World

Victoria Turk is a journalist based in London. She is the features director at Rest of World, where she oversees longform stories about technology globally. Before joining Rest of World, she worked for publications including Wired, New Scientist and Vice.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Leon Yin, Bloomberg

Leon Yin is an award-winning journalist at Bloomberg focused on data-driven investigations into AI. He writes Inspect Element: a practitioners guide to auditing algorithms. Previously, he was a reporter at The Markup.

Connect: X, Mastadon, LinkedIn

PanelInternational track

Data around the world for investigations everywhere

Time: Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Description coming soon.

Speakers

Agustin Armendariz, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Augie is the senior data reporter at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Connect: X

Eva Constantaras, Lighthouse Reports

Eva Constantaras is a data journalist specialized in building collaborative investigative teams. These teams have reported from across Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa on accountability issues ranging from algorithmic bias and food insecurity to extractive industries and sanctions evasion. As a Google Data Journalism Scholar and a Fulbright Fellow, she developed a course for investigative data journalism in high-risk environments.

Connect: LinkedIn

Emma Prest, Independent journalist

As a former CTO and long time data wrangler, Emma supports non-profit newsrooms to be more strategic, collaborative and consistent. She coaches data teams and assists data heavy investigations. Emma was the CTO and CPO at OCCRP. Prior to that she was the Executive Director of DataKind UK which she built from the ground up. She has also worked for Tactical Tech, the Campaign for Freedom of Information, Amnesty UK and The Independent Newspaper.

Connect: X

Anastasia Valeeva, Newsday Media Group

Hands-onBeat reporting trackIntermediate

Finding the story: Working with data from Grist's Land Grab University 2.0 investigation

Time: Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

You’ll learn how to work with geospatial and tabular data from Grist's investigation that reconstructed 8.1 million acres of state trust lands benefiting 14 land-grant universities. We'll show you how to locally build our dataset, summarize and visualize the data, and design custom queries. We’ll focus on Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, but the class is applicable to all journalists with an interest in land rights.

This session is good for people who have some experience working with data; the class will use Excel and QGIS. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Clayton Aldern, Grist

Clayton Aldern is a senior data reporter at Grist. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Economist, Scientific American, Logic, The Guardian and elsewhere. He holds a master's in neuroscience and a master's in public policy from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His book "The Weight of Nature," on the effects of climate change on neurobiology, brain health and cognition, will be published by Dutton in April 2024.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Maria Parazo Rose, Grist

Maria Parazo Rose (she/her) graduated with a master’s degree from MIT’s science writing program and is now a reporter and spatial data analyst at Grist, where she makes maps about Indigenous affairs, conservation and resource extraction. Her work can be found in publications like NPR, the Allegheny Front, Popular Science and New York Focus.

Connect: X

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Integrating accessibility into your newsroom

Time: Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

Join this session to learn about how to bring more accessible practices to your newsroom. You'll learn how to incorporate these practices in your reporting, like how to write alt-text and what types of interactions are accessible to screenreaders, as well as your newsroom as a workplace, like approaching managers or advocating for an accesibility consultant.

Speakers

Samantha Evans, International Association of Accessibility Professionals

Holden Foreman, None

Holden Foreman (he/him) was The Washington Post's first accessibility engineer in 2023. Before that, he served on The Post's news engineering team supporting live election results coverage from 2021-22. He graduated from Stanford University in 2021. He accepted a buyout and left The Post at the end of 2023, but he is still passionate about web accessibility and media. In his free time he enjoys running, browsing Spotify, writing Letterboxd reviews and studying languages.

Connect: LinkedIn, GitHub, Website

Emilia Ruzicka, University of Virginia, Freelance Data Journalist

Emilia Ruzicka is a data journalist, designer and producer pursuing an MA in media, culture and technology and certificate in digital humanities at University of Virginia. Alongside their studies, Emilia conducts research concerning AI and journalism, data governance and digital risk. Emilia’s work can be found in magazines, newspapers, online publications and podcasts. Their research interests include data ethics, accessibility, queerness and community-building.

Connect: LinkedIn, X, Instagram, Mastodon, Bluesky, Threads, Medium

Hands-onTools & Tech trackIntermediate

Python: Extracting data from complex PDFs using pdfplumber

Time: Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Wonderful tools such as Tabula have made it easier to extract tabular data from PDFs. But what if your pile of PDFs is more complex than that? Maybe there are a few bits of info that you need to grab outside the tables, or maybe the information isn't tabular at all?

In this session, we'll use pdfplumber, an open-source Python library, to demonstrate some techniques. We'll also demystify some aspects of the PDF file format, which will come in handy no matter what tools you use.

This session is good for: People with some prior experience using Python. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Jeremy Singer-Vine, The Data Liberation Project

Hands-onTools & Tech trackBeginner

Scraping without programming (repeat)

Time: Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Yes, you can scrape data without using code -- in fact, all you need is Google Sheets! We'll be using Excel-type formulas (don't worry if you don't know what those are, either) to make simple scrapers that automatically pull data into Google Sheets. It’s the best way to get around clunky websites and unhelpful PIOs!

This session is good for: Beginners who want to start using data for their stories. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and must have a Google account.

Instructor

Samantha Sunne, Independent journalist

Samantha Sunne a freelance journalist based in New Orleans. She is the recipient of several national grants and awards for investigative reporting, most recently having completed the prestigious ProPublica Local Reporting Network fellowship. Her first book, “Data + Journalism: A Story-Driven Approach to Learning Data Reporting,” was an Amazon bestseller in 2023.

Connect: LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Stats in R

Time: Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

Learn how to use R to spot trends and identify relationships in data using social science theories and methods. In this session, we will use R for statistical significance tests, correlation and linear regression.

This session is good for: Anyone who is comfortable working with spreadsheets and database managers and wants to learn how to do basic statistical analysis. Some experience with R will be helpful. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Jennifer LaFleur, University of California Berkeley

Jennifer LaFleur teaches data journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Connect: X

PanelManagement track

The power of knowing your (data's) weaknesses

Time: Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Even the most advanced data analysis can still be tripped up by the age-old maxim: Garbage in, garbage out. And let's face it, every dataset has problems. We'll walk attendees how to instill a healthy data-skeptical approach to your reporting.

You'll learn strategies for identifying:

  • The strengths and weaknesses of your data
  • Workable weaknesses
  • Deal breakers
  • When the weaknesses are the story

Speakers

Chad Day, Associated Press

Chad Day is the chief elections analyst for The Associated Press and a member of AP’s Decision Desk. He writes about politics and elections and also teaches data journalism at Georgetown University. He previously worked at The Wall Street Journal, where he was part of a team awarded the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting.

Connect: GitHub

Larry Fenn, Associated Press

Larry Fenn is a data journalist at the Associated Press. His background is in mathematics and statistics.

Connect: X, GitHub

Meghan Hoyer, The Washington Post

Meghan Hoyer leads the Washington Post's data reporting team, which works with reporters and editors across the newsroom. She joined The Post in 2021.

Kae Petrin, Chalkbeat

Kae is a data and graphics reporter on Chalkbeat’s data visuals team, where they collaborate with local reporters to tell data-driven stories about education. They co-founded the Trans Journalists Association and now serve as President and Executive Director. They have contributed data journalism to reporting recognized by the Education Writers Association, LION Publishers and others. Previously, they produced graphics, tools and investigative reporting in St. Louis.

Connect: LinkedIn, Github, Portfolio, Team blog

Pre-registration - Master ClassBeat reporting trackBeginner

Under pressure: Real life in real time with breaking news

Time: Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 4:30 p.m. (135 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

One of the hottest sessions at every IRE & NICAR Conference! How would you and your newsroom fare in digging out little-known facts and information under the pressure of a breaking news deadline? One of the best ways to get better is to practice.

This is a real-life scenario where you can learn to break news without leaving your computer. The skills learned in this session can also be used for turning daily general assignment stories when there’s not breaking news. This session regularly fills up and the tipsheet that comes with it is in high demand. If you're interested, get there early to get a seat.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $25 to participate.

Speaker

Stephen Stock, CBS News and Stations

Stephen Stock serves as National Investigative Correspondent for CBS News and Stations specializing in public safety and transportation issues. Prior to joining CBS News, Stephen helped found NBC Bay Area’s 15-member Investigative Unit. Stock also helped build investigative teams in Miami and Orlando. He teaches not only at IRE but at universities around the country. He’s won a Peabody, a du-Pont, a national SPJ, 3 Murrows, 6 AP awards and 18 regional Emmys.

Connect: LInkedIn, Threads, Instagram, Facebook, X

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Using Shot-Scraper to grab data from difficult sites

Time: Saturday, March 9, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

This intermediate-level class is for those with some command-line experience and a basic understanding of HTML and JavaScript. You'll learn how to harness the power of shot-scraper to extract data from challenging websites, specifically focusing on college sports team rosters. Participants can choose any college sports team and sport of their interest, and we'll guide you through the process of setting up shot-scraper, creating a scraper for a site that puts up a resistance to simple scraping techniques, and ultimately saving the extracted data as a CSV file.

This session is good for anyone with some command-line experience and a basic understanding of HTML and JavaScript. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Derek Willis, University of Maryland

Derek Willis teaches and does journalism, especially data journalism, at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. He also runs OpenElections.

Connect: GitHub, Bluesky

Sessions starting at 3:30 p.m. ET

Hands-onAI trackAdvanced

AI 303: Visualizing data with large language models

Time: Saturday, March 9, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Let's make charts with language models! In this session, we'll have a hands-on demonstration of ways to use LLM chatbots like ChatGPT to build charts, graphs, tables and other kinds of data visualizations including interactive graphics. The session leaders will demonstrate a few ways that they have done it for production graphics, and then attendees will build their own!

At the end, we'll have a short demo where everyone can share what they have built. We will also collect the charts that everyone makes alongside the initial prompts they used and a transcript of their conversation, which we will put together as an artifact that folks can reference after the session.

Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Dhrumil Mehta, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University

Dhrumil Mehta is an Associate Professor of Journalism at Columbia University and the Assistant Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. He helps to run the Columbia's Computer Science + Journalism Dual M.S. program and also teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to teaching, he worked as a Database Journalist at FiveThirtyEight, where he wrote about politics, elections, public opinion and media.

Connect: X, GitHub

Aarushi Sahejpal, American University, Investigative Reporting Workshop and The Center for Public Integrity

Aarushi Sahejpal is a professor of quantitative methods and data journalism at American University, data editor at The Investigative Reporting Workshop and a data reporter on The Accountability Project at The Center for Public Integrity.

Hands-onTools & Tech trackBeginner

An easy-to-use web application for identifying where people are losing their homes

Time: Saturday, March 9, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

Millions of families are evicted or foreclosed upon each year, yet it's surprisingly difficult to know who is impacted, where and why, because local data is often non-existent or difficult to access and analyze. Late last year, New America’s Future of Land and Housing Program and DataKind released an easy-to-use web tool--the Foreclosure and Eviction Analysis Tool (FEAT)--that allows users to better understand where housing loss is most acute, when during the year housing loss rises and falls, and who is most impacted.

At this hands-on session, we will showcase how to use FEAT and its analysis, and offer guidance for journalists on how to go about sourcing the data needed to use FEAT in their localities. The goal is for attendees of this session to come away with the resources to be able to generate data-driven insights about housing insecurity in their communities.

This class is good for: Everyone! Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Yuliya Panfil, New America

Sabiha Zainulbhai, New America

Sabiha Zainulbhai is Deputy Director of Domestic Housing for New America's Future of Land and Housing program, where she focuses on ensuring that housing policy in the U.S. advances economic and racial justice. Prior to New America, Zainulbhai worked at the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED) in Washington, D.C. and NORC @ the University of Chicago. Zainulbhai holds an MPP from the Gerald R. Ford School at the University of Michigan.

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Cracking the courts with data

Time: Saturday, March 9, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Discover the secrets of the legal system with ‘Cracking the courts with data,’ a workshop designed to enhance your reporting through data. Unveil trends, monitor cases, and explore judicial behaviors in a session that empowers your journalistic insight.

This session is good for: Experienced and new data researchers how they can build the tools with both code and no-code options to do just that. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructors

James V. Grimaldi , The Wall Street Journal

Grimaldi has won two Pulitzer Prizes for investigative reporting — in 2023 for a team investigation that exposed U.S. regulators who financially invested in companies that they regulate, and in 2006 for work on a probe of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff that exposed bribery and political corruption. A past IRE president, he is on the board of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and mentors and teaches journalism students and colleagues.

Connect: X

William Palin, Free Law Project

William is an attorney and software developer who is passionate about technology's role in bridging the access-to-justice gap. Prior to joining Free Law Project, he was the Access to Justice/Technology Fellow at Harvard Law School, an adjunct professor of law at Suffolk University in Boston and most recently taught at the University of Hawaii Law School on technology and the law.

Connect: X, GitHub, Mastadon

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story: Inflation data

Time: Saturday, March 9, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

This class for beginners will use basic concepts and data on inflation to show how data journalism lets us find and tell stories. Simple spreadsheet exercises will show how to calculate inflation rates for various periods, areas, people and types of goods and services. We'll use the results to find and sharpen potential stories.

This session is good for anyone. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Paul Overberg, The Wall Street Journal

Paul Overberg is a data reporter at The Wall Street Journal and a member of its investigative team. He worked on USA TODAY’s data team for many years and led its demographic coverage. He also has taught at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and served as an instructor and senior fellow for the Center for Health Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Connect: X

PanelAI track

Fireside chat with Hilke Schellmann and Meredith Broussard

Time: Saturday, March 9, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Join Hilke Schellmann and Meredith Broussard discuss Schellmann's new investigative book "The Algorithm: How AI Decides Who Gets Hired, Monitored, Promoted, and Fired and Why We Need to Fight Back Now"

Six years ago Schellmann heard from a Lyft driver that they were interviewed by a "robot." She went down a rabbit hole and found out that companies are using AI in hiring and to monitor workers at unprecedented levels without much oversight or the public's knowledge.

In this chat, she will reveal how she reported and found the personal stories in her book and how she tested these tools herself and found out that many do more harm than good. Participants will also get an inside look on how investigative journalists can hold AI tools accountable (without any coding required!) and how to tell compelling stories.

Speakers

Meredith Broussard, New York University

Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at New York University. Her books include "More Than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech," and "Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World." Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with particular interests in AI ethics and using data analysis for social good.

Connect: Bluesky, Threads

Hilke Schellmann, Freelance Reporter/ NYU Journalism Professor

Hilke Schellmann, is an Emmy award winning investigative reporter, and assistant professor of journalism at NYU. In her book, The Algorithm: How AI Decides Who Gets Hired, Monitored, Promoted, and Fired, And Why We Need To Fight Back, she investigates the rise of AI in the world of work. Drawing on exclusive information from whistleblowers, documents and real‑world tests, Schellmann discovers that many of the algorithms are biased, racist, and do more harm than good.

Connect: LinkedIn

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

How to apply DEI principles to your data analysis -- even when data doesn't exist

Time: Saturday, March 9, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

Data reporters share their tips and tricks for revealing inequities through data journalism and talk about how to do a story even if a dataset doesn't exist or it doesn't have demographic identifiers. They'll also highlight common errors and suggest strategies for skeptical inquiry beyond the data itself. While data can be a powerful reporting tool, it is a source with the same potential flaws as anything else created by humans.

Speakers

Jayme Fraser, USA TODAY / Gannett

Jayme Fraser is an investigative data journalist for USA TODAY who lives in the Rocky Mountain West. Her work has spurred congressional hearings, changes to state laws, new federal rules, updates to hospital policies, and helped free a man wrongfully convicted of infant murder. She also has taught courses and workshops on a variety of journalistic techniques, from narrative reporting to data analysis, and serves on the advisory board of Equal Access Public Media.

Connect: LinkedIn

Ilica Mahajan, The Marshall Project

Max Siegelbaum, Documented

Max Siegelbaum oversees the editorial content at Documented. He has written for local newspapers in Denver and Pittsburgh, The Guardian, Foreign Policy and STAT, among others. His reporting for Documented led to the divestment of millions of public dollars from private prisons and contributed to policy changes in New York State. He has won awards from the Deadline Club, the Edward R. Murrow awards and was nominated for a Livingston Award.

Connect: X

Dian Zhang, USA Today

Dian Zhang is a senior data reporter with USA Today, where she uses data and quantitative analysis to tell stories. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School and is based in Florida.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelBeat reporting track

Leveraging local newsrooms to uncover hidden police accountability stories

Time: Saturday, March 9, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Using data from New York police misconduct records, the USA Today Network embarked on the first-ever investigation of police vehicle crashes in the state, finding that well over 335 crashes took place in Syracuse alone between 2013 and 2022. Most crashes resulted in no discipline for officers involved, and two-thirds of the officers who were disciplined got only a written reprimand. In the past nine months, a team of USA Today Network journalists, in partnership with Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and The Central Current, used data tools like Excel and Google Pinpoint, mined court documents and conducted dozens of interviews with attorneys, victims and police officials to publish a comprehensive account of how officers put haste over public safety, raising questions about their training, discipline policies and their ability to protect civilians on the road.

Speakers

Kayla Canne, Democrat and Chronicle

Kayla Canne covers public safety from the community's perspective for the Democrat and Chronicle. She is an alumnus of Report for America, where she exposed mismanagement of a multi-million-dollar affordable housing program and unlawful discrimination against low-income tenants in New Jersey. Outside of journalism, she proudly served in Ghana with the Peace Corps for two years.

Connect: X

Nausheen Husain, Syracuse University

Nausheen Husain writes about civil rights issues, incarceration and security, and inequities. Husain focuses on Muslim communities and the past and present 'War on Terror.' Husain is currently a freelance journalist and an assistant professor at Syracuse University, teaching journalism with an emphasis on data analysis, underreported communities and civil rights. Husain's academic research focuses on the news processes and coverage choices during the ongoing American-led 'War on Terror.'

Connect: X, Bluesky

Beryl Lipton, USA Today

David Robinson, USA Today Network

David Robinson is an investigative reporter for the USA Today Network New York, which consists of more than 16 newspapers and news websites across New York, including the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and The Journal News in Westchester County.

Connect: X

Sarah Taddeo, USA Today Network

Sarah Taddeo is the New York state team editor for the USA Today Network, leading a team of five journalists covering New York healthcare, jobs, transportation, politics, police accountability and consumer rights. She previously worked at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and graduated from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Jodi Upton, Syracuse University

Jodi Upton is the Knight Chair at Syracuse University, teaching investigative/data journalism classes. She is a consultant for the Knight Commission and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Her research includes college athletics’ spending and gender inequities in college sports, police misconduct in New York and mass killings. A transparency advocate, Upton and her students have filed more than 1,000 open records requests in recent years.

Panel

Lifting a veil on local campaign finance reports

Time: Saturday, March 9, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Have you ever wondered how much money your local candidates raise? Are you curious about what interests fund school board trustees, city council reps and county judges? Join Professor Christian McDonald and three student interns at the University of Texas for a discussion about their Local Campaign Finance Project, where they set out to create a searchable database of campaign finance reports in Texas using DocumentCloud. Learn about challenges they faced, successes they found and obstacles they’ve yet to overcome. Get a live walk-through of the reports they’ve collected so far.

This session is good for: Anyone interested in public information request projects, document management or campaign finance.

Speakers

Athena Hawkins, University of Texas at Austin

Athena Hawkins is a senior journalism honors student at the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked as a student reporter, a writing coach and a content producer for Texas Law. She is passionate about public information, migration and human rights. As a data technician under Professor Christian McDonald, she specializes in document collection. Her coding language of choice is R, and her favorite visualization tool is Datawrapper.

Connect: LinkedIn, GitHub

Karina Kumar, University of Texas at Austin

Karina Kumar is a junior journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin with a certificate in Elements of Computing. She has worked at The Daily Texan, Texas Tasty and is now the editorial intern for the Alcalde magazine. Under Professor Christian McDonald, she has worked on projects with local campaign finance reports, school attendance records and arrest records and explored document extraction tools and used R and Python to clean, visualize and export data sets.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Christian McDonald, University of Texas at Austin

Christian McDonald is an associate professor of practice and the innovation director in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches classes about data, coding and news products. His last newsroom position was as data and online projects editor at the Austin American-Statesman. In his 28 years in journalism, he also worked at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, East Valley (Arizona) Tribune and the Longview (Texas) News-Journal.

Connect: X, GitHub, GitHub (org), LinkedIn, Mastadon, Threads

Carolyn Parmer, University of Texas at Austin

Carolyn Parmer is a fourth-year journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked as a Life & Arts reporter at The Daily Texan, a writing coach and social media manager at the Moody Writing Support Program, and as the co-editor of photography at Afterglow Magazine. Her work under Professor Christian McDonald includes analyzing local campaign finance reports from Texas entities and hosting a data journalism podcast.

Connect: LinkedIn, Instagram, X

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Tidycensus will convince you to learn R

Time: Saturday, March 9, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

Tired of dealing with tabs, weird variable names, and disappearing leading zeros with Census data?

Learn how to use Tidycensus, a well-designed R package that pulls data from the Census API and structures it in a logical, tidy way.

This session will be good for:

Beginners: The first half of the session will explain just enough R concepts and functions to get exports of the Census tables and variables you need in the format you want.

Intermediate: The second half of the session will explain new Tidycensus features like how to pull ACS Public Use Microdata Series (Pums) and quirks with the 2020 Decennial Census Detailed DHC-A file like differential privacy. And maybe some visualizations if there's time.

Please sign up for a Census API key here: https://api.census.gov/data/key_signup.html. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Andrew Ba Tran, The Washington Post

Andrew Ba Tran is an investigative data reporter at The Washington Post. He has worked on stories that have won the Goldsmith and Pulitzer Prizes for Investigative Reporting. Some of the papers he’s worked at include The Boston Globe and The South Florida Sun Sentinel. He is an adjunct professor at American University and has crafted several online courses teaching the statistical language R to journalists.

Connect: X, Github, LinkedIn, BlueSky

Pre-registration - Hands-onTools & Tech trackAdvanced

Using Python to build data pipelines you can share with your newsroom

Time: Saturday, March 9, 3:30 – 5:45 p.m. (135 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Learn how to build a Python program that automatically ingests data, analyzes it and publishes the results to a Google spreadsheet. Walk away with experience using Jupyter Notebook, APIs, Pandas and Github Actions! Note: You will need Google and Github accounts ahead of time

This session is good for anyone who wants to learn about Python and APIs. Understanding of basic programming concepts is helpful but not required. Laptops will be provided.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $25 to participate.

Instructors

Sean McMinn, Politico

Sean McMinn is the data/graphics editor at Politico.

Connect: X

Allan James Vestal, Bloomberg News

Sessions starting at 4:45 p.m. ET

PanelAI track

AI 303: Case studies

Time: Saturday, March 9, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Description coming soon.

Speakers

Jennifer LaFleur, University of California Berkeley

Jennifer LaFleur teaches data journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Connect: X

Pratheek Rebala, Center for Public Integrity

Jonathan Stray, UC Berkeley

Jonathan Stray is a Senior Scientist at the Center for Human Compatible AI at UC Berkeley, where he works on the design of recommender systems for better personalized news and information. Previously, he taught the dual masters degree in computer science and journalism at Columbia University, worked as an editor at the Associated Press, and built document mining software for investigative journalism.

Connect: X

Networking

Code Buddies: Get help on your data project

Time: Saturday, March 9, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor Foyer, fourth floor

Need help on a data project? Having trouble figuring out how to use that cool tool you learned about in another session? Just want to network with some other news nerds? Stop by this session and get one-on-one help from experienced data journalists who would be delighted to help you solve your problems.

Speakers

Allie Kanik, Hearst

Ryan Pitts, OpenNews

Ryan Pitts is co-director of OpenNews, where he helps organize SRCCON and other programs that connect journalists with resources and peers to share knowledge and skills. Ryan began his career in local journalism as a reporter and editor, and later he led a team at The Spokesman-Review that was responsible for data journalism, news apps and product development. He also helped build Census Reporter, a project that makes census data easier for journalists to use.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Bluesky

Hands-onElections trackBeginner

Data for redistricting and election coverage

Time: Saturday, March 9, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

The nonpartisan Redistricting Data Hub was founded to support civil rights and good government groups organizing around redistricting. It is also a FREE treasure trove of election, demographic and mapping data. In this session, you'll see how news organizations big and small are already using our data to cover important stories, and learn how you too can use our data and resources in the lead-up to the 2024 election.

This session is good for everyone; some experience working with data would be helpful. Attendees will need to bring their own laptops (no tablets) to participate in this class.

Instructor

Lily Falk, Redistricting Data Hub

Lily Falk is a senior data engineer for the Redistricting Data Hub, where her work spans data processing, validation, backend maintenance and providing support to users and stakeholders through the RDH Help Desk. Lily graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and worked on large-scale remediation projects as an environmental consultant before joining the RDH in 2020.

Connect: GitHub, LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackAdvanced

Develop and test hypotheses on a risk assessment algorithm

Time: Saturday, March 9, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Despite the increasing deployment of risk assessment algorithms, journalists have struggled to access and test these systems. Last year, a team of journalists managed to access the source code, machine learning model file, and training data of a machine learning welfare fraud algorithm deployed in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. This hands-on workshop will have participants work directly with the Rotterdam algorithm and training data in order to learn how to develop and test hypotheses on risk assessment algorithms. Students and educators are especially encouraged to attend!

This session is good for people with some data experience and a basic understanding of machine learning concepts. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Justin-Casimir Braun, Lighthouse Reports

Justin is a data journalist focused on the societal impact of automated systems and artificial intelligence. In the past, Justin has worked with AlgorithmWatch e.V., a German digital rights organization, and various grassroots NGOs, documenting human rights violations against migrants on the Balkan Route. He holds a bachelor degree in International Relations from Stanford University.

Connect: LinkedIn

Gabriel Geiger, Lighthouse Reports

Gabriel Geiger is an Athens-based investigative journalist specializing in surveillance and algorithmic accountability reporting.

Connect: X

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Finding and telling stories for the communities you cover

Time: Saturday, March 9, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor C, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

For journalists reporting on our own communities, our proximity can give us unprecedented access and insight to stories others might overlook, but that often means challenging longstanding ideas of objectivity. Join this session to hear how reporters report on the people around them with unique nuance, depth and expertise.

Speakers

Grace Asiegbu, Injustice Watch

Emmanuel Martinez, The Washington Post

Libby Seline, Independent journalist

Libby Seline was a data reporter for the San Antonio Express-News between July 2021 and January 2024. Before coming to San Antonio, she attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and worked for The New York Times, the Salt Lake Tribune and Lincoln Journal Star.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastadon, Bluesky

John-John Williams IV, The Baltimore Banner

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story: Taking a deeper dive into the housing and homelessness crisis

Time: Saturday, March 9, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Galena, fourth floor (PC)

No matter what community you cover in the U.S., chances are there are people nearby who have been waiting a long time for a place to call home. Homelessness has grown nationwide in recent years and waiting lists for public housing and housing choice vouchers can be more than a decade long in some counties. This session will give tips on how to cover the housing crisis across the country and shed light on whether we really know the true extent of homelessness in the U.S. This session will also discuss how to present public housing and homelessness data in a way that will resonate with audiences across digital, television and audio platforms.

This session is good for everyone. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Jared Kofsky, ABC News

Jared Kofsky produces longform and breaking news investigations for ABC News’ broadcast and digital platforms. He works from both the field and the network’s headquarters in New York, and has covered everything from decades-long waiting lists for public housing to Americans being detained in Russia to prison escapes. Jared previously served as the investigative producer for WCSC-TV in South Carolina and a reporter covering New Jersey economic development for Jersey Digs.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Maia Rosenfeld, ABC News

Maia Rosenfeld is a data journalist on the ABC Owned Television Stations national data team, based at 6abc in Philadelphia. She integrates statistics into 6abc's daily coverage and investigations, wrangles data into scoops for all ABC stations, and reports national stories with ABC News. Previously, she was an investigative data reporter for the Scripps Washington Bureau. Her programming language of choice is Python and her favorite library is Alphabet Soup.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story: Trade data

Time: Saturday, March 9, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

USA Trade, part of the U.S. Census, is an incredible tool for data journalists across most beats, especially those relating to global economics, trade, tech, and foreign policy. Whether it’s a story on the U.S.’s reliance on China for electric vehicles, or how the semiconductor shortage affected tech manufacturing, or the disruption of the global supply chain – USA Trade has very comprehensive, district-level data that can help frame larger trends and analysis, though the website itself is not the most intuitive. This session will demonstrate how to use USA Trade and discuss some ways to understand and use the data in your reporting.

This session is good for everyone , especially for those to whom U.S. import/export data would be useful. No data experience necessary! Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructor

Paroma Soni, Politico

Paroma Soni is a data and graphics journalist covering trade and agriculture for Politico Pro. She worked previously as an associate visual journalist at FiveThirtyEight, as a fellow at Columbia Journalism Review and as a video producer at BuzzFeed India. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, she is currently based in New York.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Reshaping data using Google Sheets and Google Colab

Time: Saturday, March 9, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

In this session, attendees will learn various data reshaping skills, ranging from using Google Sheets functions to using Apps Script and leveraging powerful computing resources in Google Colab.

This session is good for anyone comfortable with working with data in spreadsheets. Laptops will be provided for this session and you will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Huyen Nguyen, Kansas State University

DemoTools & Tech trackAdvanced

Scraping TikTok and Instagram videos for investigative reporting

Time: Saturday, March 9, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

While the social media landscape continues to rapidly evolve, video-based platforms continue to be rich sources of material for investigative reporting. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram, however, are designed to make it incredibly difficult for users to access video data in bulk, if at all. This session will walk through tools and a flexible Javascript/command-line pipeline to batch download TikTok videos or Instagram reels for a specific topic or list of users, extract metadata, and transcribe audio. I’ll also discuss general principles and advice for how to navigate reporting on these platforms, using the story “The food industry pays ‘influencer’ dietitians to shape your eating habits” as a case study.

Speaker

Caitlin Gilbert, The Washington Post

Caitlin Gilbert is a data reporter at The Washington Post, where she’s embedded on the Well+Being desk. Before joining The Post, she worked as a U.S.-based data journalist at the Financial Times and as a visual journalist at Reuters. She received her PhD in neuroscience and genomics from Rockefeller University.

Connect: Bluesky, Threads

DemoClimate track

Using geospatial and tabular data for impactful climate reporting and visualization

Time: Saturday, March 9, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor B, fourth floor

Though climate change is the salient issue of our time, we need to be intentional about our methodology and presentation to cut through a morass of doomscrolling and pseudoscience. In this session, we will use our piece, “Rising Seas Imperil US Sites, Military Bases Worth $387 Billion,” as a case study to demonstrate how to acquire, understand, analyze and visualize complex climate topics, and properly communicate your findings to your audience.

Speaker

Jon Meltzer, Bloomberg Industry Group

Jon is a data and graphics journalist at Bloomberg Industry Group, leveraging a unique blend of investigative reporting experience, data analysis, interactive development and visual communication in support of breaking news, long-form enterprise stories and everything in between.

Connect: X

Panel

Using historical archives: Reporting on accountability and public transparency

Time: Saturday, March 9, 4:45 – 5:45 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor A, fourth floor

Data reporters are very familiar with different portals and datasets online that exist for public use — and we use them all the time. But one often untapped area of investigative and data reporting lies in historical data and archives. By tapping into historical archives and datasets, we can tie the past to the present in a more direct way, pulling it into visuals, fact-checking, data reporting and narrative writing. This session will touch on different resources for jumping head-first into historical records and working with archives, including documents, data, and maps. How to find and use archives, how to find out how they change over time, how to meet the archivists, geneologists and datakeepers you’ll need, how to access records manually or programmatically, how to create your own datasets from archives, how to maintain those datasets, and how to connect the past to your present day reporting.

This session is ideal for anyone interested in getting started with archives, with no experience necessary. If you have some experience, you will learn invaluable tips and tricks. We hope you join us!

Speakers

Barbara Gray, Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

Barbara Gray is chief librarian and associate professor of investigative research methods at Newmark J-School at City University New York. She is the former director of news research at The New York Times.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Cam Rodriguez, Illinois Answers Project

Cam Rodriguez is a data reporter at the Illinois Answers Project, an investigative solutions newsroom with the Better Government Association. Cam previously worked with teams at Chalkbeat, USA TODAY, South Side Weekly, Freep, WTTW and others. She graduated with degrees in journalism from DePaul University, managing its award-winning student magazine, 14 East. When she’s not digging in archives, she's usually playing with maps, watching rom-coms or exploring the Midwest.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Bluesky

Margot Williams, The Intercept

Margot Williams is a news researcher at The Intercept. Over a 40-plus-year career, she has worked as a researcher and investigative reporter at Time Inc, the Poughkeepsie Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the Outlaw Ocean Project, The Prosecution Project and The Intercept.

Connect: X, LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/margotwilliams, Mastadon, Substack

Sunday

Sessions starting at 9 a.m. ET

Hands-onBeat reporting trackBeginner

Finding the story: How corporate tax breaks impact public budgets

Time: Sunday, March 10, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Join researchers with Good Jobs First as they demo two databases that track how public money is diverted to businesses in the name of economic development. Tax Break Tracker reveals how much revenue governments, including school districts, lose to corporate tax breaks. Subsidy Tracker reveals which companies are getting those economic development incentives. We’ll show you how to use the databases, and how to find that information yourself, using publicly available information including Annual Comprehensive Financial Reports, tax expenditure budgets, and meeting minutes.

This session is good for all levels and for all coverage areas, including education. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructors

Anya Gizis, Good Jobs First

Anya is a research analyst at Good Jobs First. She oversees the Tax Break Tracker database, which compiles state and local-level tax abatement disclosure. She also works on issues of transparency and equity in economic development, education funding and evaluating development programs. She received a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Government from Georgetown University and currently resides in Philadelphia.

Connect: LinkedIn

Greg LeRoy, Good Jobs First

Dubbed “the leading national watchdog of state and local economic development subsidies,” Greg founded and directs Good Jobs First, a research and policy center promoting accountability in economic development. Greg led the campaign for GASB Statement 77 on Tax Abatement Disclosures, which requires most localities — including school districts — to disclose how much revenue they lose to tax abatement programs.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onAI trackBeginner

Getting hands-on With AI tools for journalists (repeat)

Time: Sunday, March 10, 9 – 11:15 a.m. (135 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

This hands-on session of free (and some paid) AI tools, Mike Reilley (Journalist's Toolbox), Samantha Sunne (Tools for Reporters) and Jeremy Caplan (Wonder Tools) will walk you through some of the emerging AI tools for journalists. They will cover practical applications, as well as ethical and legal concerns that the new technology presents. Topics include graphics, headline writing/editing, image/video creation, fact-checking, productivity/automation and data analysis.

To fully participate, attendees are encouraged to have these accounts set up prior to the session: ChatGPT (preferably the latest paid version), Claude.ai (paid) and Google Bard. MidJourney accounts would be helpful, too. Participants will get handouts with links to the tools, exercises and other resources.

This session is for everyone. Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Jeremy Caplan, CUNY Newmark Graduate School of Journalism

Mike Reilley, UIC and JournalistsToolbox.ai

Samantha Sunne, Independent journalist

Samantha Sunne a freelance journalist based in New Orleans. She is the recipient of several national grants and awards for investigative reporting, most recently having completed the prestigious ProPublica Local Reporting Network fellowship. Her first book, “Data + Journalism: A Story-Driven Approach to Learning Data Reporting,” was an Amazon bestseller in 2023.

Connect: LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 1: Getting started with spreadsheets (repeat)

Time: Sunday, March 10, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

In this introduction to spreadsheets, you'll begin analyzing data with Google Sheets, a simple but powerful tool. You'll learn how to enter data, navigate spreadsheets and conduct simple calculations like sum, average and median.

This session is good for: Data beginners. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

David Herzog, IRE & NICAR

Hands-onData analysis trackAdvanced

Intro to regression analysis using Python

Time: Sunday, March 10, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

The workshop will introduce attendees on the basic concepts of linear and logistic regressions — what questions they answer and what are the figures to look out for and be careful about — and walk them through how to code the models in a Python notebook. Together with the instructor, attendees will perform simple as well as regression analysis on some datasets.

This session is good for people who have some experience with Python. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Shirsho Dasgupta, Miami Herald/McClatchy DC Bureau

Shirsho Dasgupta is an investigative data reporter with the Miami Herald's Washington Bureau. His stories mostly cover corporate and legal accountability and the criminal justice system. He regularly uses Python and SQL in his reporting.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelBeat reporting track

Quick hit investigations for everyone

Time: Sunday, March 10, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

How to do quicker data stories that don’t suck or drain you of your will to do journalism. Participants will learn how to take a new dataset and break down their ideas into short-term, mid-term, and long-term projects.

Speakers

Adam Rhodes, IRE & NICAR

Adam M. Rhodes is a first-generation Cuban American journalist whose work primarily focuses on queer people and the criminal justice system. Their recent work has examined HIV treatment access in Puerto Rico, HIV criminalization in Illinois and a homophobic capital murder trial in the state. They have been published in outlets including The Nation, BuzzFeed News and The Washington Post.

Francisco Vara-Orta, IRE & NICAR

Panel

TAP our data

Time: Sunday, March 10, 9 – 10 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

TAP into our nearly 2 billion records and learn about collaboration opps. The Accountability Project from The Center for Public Integrity standardizes records across the country to help reporters research people, organizations and addresses. Come learn how it can help your newsroom and how you can collaborate with us.

Speaker

Jennifer LaFleur, University of California Berkeley

Jennifer LaFleur teaches data journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Connect: X

Pre-registration - Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Web scraping with Python

Time: Sunday, March 10, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (210 minutes)
Location: Falkland, fourth floor (PC)

If you need data that's trapped on a website, writing some code to scrape the page could be your solution. This entry-level class will show you how to use the Python programming language to harvest data from a website into a data file. We'll introduce you to the command line and show you how to write enough code to fetch and parse content on the web.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided.

Workshop prerequisites: This class is programming for beginners. Some basic familiarity with Python and HTML is helpful but not required.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Instructor

Cody Winchester, IRE & NICAR

Cody is the director of technology and online resources at IRE, where he has also been a trainer. Before that, he was a journalist focused on data and investigations at various newspapers.

Connect: GitHub

Session materials

Sessions starting at 10:15 a.m. ET

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 2: Formulas & sorting (repeat)

Time: Sunday, March 10, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

Much of Google Sheets' 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: Anyone who has taken Google Sheets 1 or has been introduced to spreadsheets. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Gary Harki, Bloomberg Industry Group

Gary Harki is the investigations editor at Bloomberg Industry Group. His 2020 investigation into the strip-searching of children by Virginia prisons led to the halt of the practice and numerous changes to state law. In 2019 he won the Al Nakkula Award honoring outstanding police reporting for his series on jailing people with mental illness. Previous stops include Spotlight PA, The Virginian-Pilot, The O’Brien Fellowship at Marquette and The Charleston Gazette.

Connect: X

PanelManagement track

Making your stories ironclad

Time: Sunday, March 10, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Whether it’s for a months-long investigation or a quicker-turn enterprise piece, you want your data analysis to be rock solid. We’ll talk about the best ways to vet your findings and avoid dangerous mistakes and assumptions. Come ready to share your own ideas so we can learn from each other.

Speakers

Monica Cordero Sancho, The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

Holly Hacker, KFF Health News

Holly Hacker is data editor at KFF Health News (formerly Kaiser Health News) in Washington, DC. Before that she was an investigative reporter at The Dallas Morning News focusing on data analysis. She also covered education for many years in Texas, Missouri and California.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Steven Rich, The Washington Post

Hands-onBeat reporting trackIntermediate

The 411 on 311: How to use 311 data to report on your community (repeat)

Time: Sunday, March 10, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

311 data, or “customer service” data from your city’s citizen complaints department, can help you feed the daily/online beast while also feeding into bigger-picture stories. In this session, you won’t have to lift a mouse finger: We’ll go through examples of stories done using this data, talk about how you can do the same, and you’ll leave with a long list of potential story ideas.

This session is good for: People comfortable with Python and Jupyter notebook. Taking or having taken "introduction to Python for data analysis" or "first Python notebook" is strongly recommended. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Janelle O'Dea, Center for Public Integrity

Janelle O'Dea spent a decade in print before becoming the Center for Public Integrity's data reporter for local initiatives at the end of 2022.

Connect: X

PanelTools & Tech track

Tools to make your data and visual tasks easier

Time: Sunday, March 10, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

This session will showcases some data, graphic and reporting tools that will make your life easier as a data journalist, graphics reporter or visual journalist. You'll learn about as many useful tools as possible in 60 minutes.

Speakers

Adrián Blanco Ramos, The Washington Post

Adrián Blanco Ramos is a graphics reporter in the graphics department at The Washington Post.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Daniel Wolfe, Washington Post

Daniel Wolfe is a graphics reporter for the Washington Post. His past includes data and graphics reporting at CNN and Quartz, as well as work at the aerospace company Planet Labs. Curiosity drives his work developing meaningful and memorable visual pieces.

Connect: Bluesky, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 11:30 a.m. ET

PanelBeat reporting track

A world of possibilities: Lassoing satellite data for global and local investigations

Time: Sunday, March 10, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor D, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

Journalists have used satellite data to map flooding, illegal deforestation, methane emissions, high-risk zones for future epidemics and much more. We’ll discuss how to access and analyze stacks of satellite data, with platforms like Google Earth Engine, to produce investigations that break new ground with help from the sky.

Speakers

Carl Churchill, Wall Street Journal

Laura Kurtzberg, Florida International University

Laura Kurtzberg is an information designer and cartographer. She specialized in interactive maps, data visualizations and web applications for news and storytelling. Her work has been published on Ambiental Media, InfoAmazonia and Mongabay. She is also a professor of practice at Florida International University's School of Journalism and Media in Miami, Florida, where she teaches courses on data visualization and technology.

Connect: GitHub, LinkedIn

Deborah Nelson, University of Maryland

Deborah Nelson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist based at the University of Maryland, home of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. Most recently, she co-authored “Bat Lands,” a Reuters series that analyzed satellite imagery to examine the link between ecological conditions and disease outbreaks worldwide. She is a former IRE president.

Connect: LinkedIn

Hands-onAI trackIntermediate

AI 101: Coaching ChatGPT to help you with your coding and data tasks (second repeat)

Time: Sunday, March 10, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Laurel A-B, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

ChatGPT, widely misunderstood and in some cases misused, can be a powerful tool to improve efficiency in our day-to-day work. Give ChatGPT a few rows of publicly available data and ask it to write a data dictionary. We'll use ChatGPT to help write a public records request for us, have it help us make sense of data and we'll even use it to write a Python script to reshape unruly Excel data. The best part? You don't need to know Python to write this code.

This session is good for everyone. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructor

Charles Minshew, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hands-onAI trackAdvanced

AI 303: Visualizing data with large language models (repeat)

Time: Sunday, March 10, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

Let's make charts with language models! In this session, we'll have a hands-on demonstration of ways to use LLM chatbots like ChatGPT to build charts, graphs, tables and other kinds of data visualizations including interactive graphics. The session leaders will demonstrate a few ways that they have done it for production graphics, and then attendees will build their own! At the end, we'll have a short demo where everyone can share what they have built. We will also collect the charts that everyone makes alongside the initial prompts they used and a transcript of their conversation, which we will put together as an artifact that folks can reference after the session.

Laptops will be provided.

Instructors

Dhrumil Mehta, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University

Dhrumil Mehta is an Associate Professor of Journalism at Columbia University and the Assistant Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. He helps to run the Columbia's Computer Science + Journalism Dual M.S. program and also teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to teaching, he worked as a Database Journalist at FiveThirtyEight, where he wrote about politics, elections, public opinion and media.

Connect: X, GitHub

Aarushi Sahejpal, American University, Investigative Reporting Workshop and The Center for Public Integrity

Aarushi Sahejpal is a professor of quantitative methods and data journalism at American University, data editor at The Investigative Reporting Workshop and a data reporter on The Accountability Project at The Center for Public Integrity.

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 3: Filtering & pivot tables (repeat)

Time: Sunday, March 10, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Kent C, fourth floor (BYO laptop)

A look at the awesome power of pivot — and how to use it to analyze your dataset in minutes rather than hours. We'll work up to using a pivot table by first sorting and filtering a dataset, learning how to find story ideas along the way.

This session is good for: Anyone familiar with formulas, sorting and filtering in a spreadsheet program. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Taylor Thomas, Politico

Taylor is the deputy editor of Politico Pro's data and graphics team, where she also covers the federal budget and tax issues. Her first NICAR was New Orleans in 2020.

Hands-onData viz trackIntermediate

Mapping disparities in the news with QGIS (repeat)

Time: Sunday, March 10, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Essex A-B, fourth floor (Mac)

The stories found in geographic data don’t affect everyone the same, and Census data can help reveal these inequities. Politico editor Sean McMinn will talk through how some examples of these stories, then will do a hands-on walkthrough to teach you how to:

  • Find geographic data
  • Combine Census demographic and shapefile data in QGIS
  • Cross Census data with geocoded data

This session is good for anyone who wants to learn about demographic and geographic data. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Rosmery Izaguirre, Politico

Rosmery Izaguirre is a data and graphics reporter at Politico based in Miami, Florida. Rosmery attended the University of Florida, where she studied journalism and computer science. She previously worked on data teams at the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times. Her first NICAR was in Newport Beach in 2019 as a student and she hasn't missed one since.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

PanelElections track

Surveys 101: Writing about polls during election season and beyond

Time: Sunday, March 10, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Location: Harbor E, fourth floor

Session audio will be recorded.

With the 2024 presidential election season underway, political polls seem basically inescapable – and with good reason. A well-designed survey can lend important insight into the public’s views and experiences. For journalists, working with high-quality survey data can inspire story ideas and add deeper context to reporting, while mistakenly using a shoddy poll can distort the facts and create confusion. We’ll give attendees the tools to tell the difference. While examples will focus on the 2024 election season, all information can be applied to surveys more broadly.

This session is good for anyone who is fairly new to working with public opinion polls and would like to level up their understanding. It will cover what polls can tell us -- and what they can't; and how to assess survey quality using metrics like questionnaire design, sample weighting and survey mode. We’ll also give tips on how to write about survey results in a fair and balanced way.

Speakers

Christopher Baronavski, Pew Research Center

Christopher Baronavski is a senior developer and editorial feature lead at Pew Research Center.

Connect: GitHub, LinkedIn

Katherine Schaeffer, Pew Research Center

Katherine Schaeffer is a research analyst at Pew Research Center. She writes for the Center’s data journalism blog, where she focuses on the intersection of news and public opinion polling. She previously worked as a journalist covering public education.

Connect: LinkedIn