March 1, 2012

CAR conference draws international journalists

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More than 400 journalists from five continents attended the cutting-edge Annual Computer-Assisted Reporting conference in St. Louis, Mo. in the U.S.A.  that went from February 22 through Feb. 26.

Participants crowd a room to listen to lightning talks – 5 minutes for each speaker.

The conference, which offered more than 150 panels and hands-on classes, began with a day devoted to covering elections. It then moved to its main day program that covered dozens of topics, including basic data analysis, archiving and using social media for breaking and investigative stories, text-mining, visualization of data, creating and using apps, web scraping and mapping.

Cutting edge in CAR
Among the countries represented were Argentina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. A large number of students also attended and speakers came from the journalism profession and computer science.

“We have been thrilled with the energy, excitement and attendance at the CAR Conference the past couple of years,” said Mark Horvit, executive director of IRE. “The conference has always focused on ways to use data to dig up information, find patterns and tell stories that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.”

He added, ” We’ve worked to maintain that focus while presenting the cutting edge in CAR, and to bring in speakers working with the latest technology that journalists can use in the pursuit of truth.”

Tip sheets and presentations are already available on various Web pages constructed by attendees and the twitter traffic at #nicar12 is being collected. There are also blogs on the conference and IRE will organize all the tip sheets and presentations more thoroughly in the near future.

The resource materials range from how to collect and use social media postings for investigations to advanced programming for presentation of information on the Web.

The NICAR conference in St. Louis was close to the famous Gateway Arch.

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