2021 King’s Summer Data School

The 2021 King’s Summer School in Data Journalism is currently at capacity. However, we are taking a waiting list in case of cancellations. If you wish to be added to the waiting list, please send an email to kingsdata@ukings.ca with the subject line “Data School Waiting List Request.” We will contact you if a space opens and at that point we will ask you to fill out the signup form and pay the fees.

You can now sign up for the 2021 King’s Summer School in Data Journalism. This is the 14th consecutive year for Canada’s best and longest-running data journalism training program and it will run from June 21 to 25.

While we can’t wait to be able to offer the original experience of the in-person school, COVID-19 means we’re going online again, after the tremendous success of the 2020 online school.

Once again, the school is sponsored by our partners at the Canadian Association of Journalists, Esri Canada and Investintech Inc.

Photo of the University of King's College seen from Lord Dalhousie Drive

The University of King’s College

We are excited to announce that CAJ members paid up to at least June 21 will get $50 off the rate that applies to them. The CAJ is also generously offering four bursaries to assist journalists to attend the King’s Data School. Three bursaries will be allocated to low-income, freelance, and student registrations. An additional bursary will be made available to cover the full fees for an early-career journalist (up to five years working in journalism) who self identifies as an Indigenous person; a person with a disability; a racially visible person, or persons of a minority sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

These will cover the full cost of registration at the early-bird rate and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

As of May 26, the CAJ bursaries have all been claimed, but the CAJ membership discount is still available. If anyone awarded a bursary cancels the bursary will go to the next eligible attendee who has paid their fees. The sign up form has been changed to reflect this.

All attendees will receive a license for Able2Extract Professional, at no cost, courtesy of Investintech. Able2Extract solves one of the most enduring problems for data journalists, extracting data from PDF files.

Participants will also be provided access to Esri software for the mapping workshop.

Once again, the school will be led by University of King’s College professor Fred Vallance-Jones and David McKie of the National Observer.

You’ll learn the basics you need to find, understand, analyze and visualize data to find and tell important stories. The focus is on data literacy and basic analysis techniques using spreadsheet, mapping and visualization tools. This is the course you need if you’ve been wanting to get started with data journalism but don’t know where to begin. You’ll learn the basics of working with data, how to obtain data, prepare and clean it and find the patterns and trends that lead to stories.

Because we are online, we don’t have all the usual costs, nor can we offer everything we could in person. As a result, we can pass the savings on to you. Early bird rates are only $250 for students/freelancers/employees of small outlets with under 30,000 weekly circulation and those making under $30K a year, $300 for other journalists, $500 for journalism faculty and $750 for all others. Rates increase after June 11. Full rate details are on the signup form. We’re going back to our usual limit on the number of attendees, with no more than 12.

Instruction will be conducted using a mix of video modules and live sessions using video conferencing, with your classmates, instructors and guest experts. We also recommend you purchase the e-book version of The Data Journalist, by Vallance-Jones and Mckie.

2020 data school

You’ll need a Kobo device, or you can download the Kobo app to your computer or mobile device in order to use the version linked above. You will also need an internet-connected computer, either PC or Mac and a copy of Microsoft Excel (Chromebooks will not work and the Apple Numbers spreadsheet will not be sufficient). Everything else will be done using open-source tools or in the cloud. Before the school begins, you will receive instructions for downloading software.

All data we use will either be online, or made available for secure download. You’ll need to sign up for a free Vimeo membership to access the videos as they will be available only to those signed up for the data school.

Because of restrictions caused by COVID-19, we can’t take credit card payments this year. Payment will be by way of online banking bill payment or a cheque. Please fill out, scan and send the signup form to kelly.porter@ukings.ca with a copy to kingsdata@ukings.ca. We will contact you with information on payment as soon as possible but please allow up to several weeks.

Your spot will be reserved once you send the form and confirmed when your payment has been received. We will keep a waiting list once the school is full.

Note that there are limited spots at the student/freelance/small outlet price. Students must prove eligibility with a letter from their school (see signup form for details). To establish freelance status, please send a list of links to at least five stories published by professional media organizations within the past six months to kingsdata@ukings.ca (personal blogs to do not qualify and determination of qualifying freelance status will be at the sole discretion of the King’s data school).

Please see our frequently asked questions page for more details, including information about the cancellation policy.