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King’s Data School, frequently asked questions

Data Journalism Summer School FAQ

What is data journalism?

Data journalism encompasses a lot of things these days, from the data analysis skills that have traditionally been known as computer-assisted reporting, or CAR, to computer programming to developing news applications. At the basic data school we cover the CAR skills (including mapping skills). CAR skills can range from using a spreadsheet to re-order and make sense of a list of large salaries, to using a database program to crunch through a large inspection database to designing maps that compare poverty and crime in your community. Beyond traditional CAR, journalists now also use computer programming to both collect and present data. We teach skills in all these areas.

How would I use data journalism in my work?

Data journalism techniques are valuable for everything from the quick, daily story right on up to massive data investigations and mapping projects. The skills taught in the coding school are essential for today’s digital journalist. Once you know the skills, you will regularly find ways to make your journalism better using these techniques. Data journalism skills are also in demand, and journalists who have them get the best jobs, as well as the best stories.

Why would I want to take a week-long course?

Experience shows it takes several days to effectively learn these skills, and how and when to apply them. The intensive, one-week approach provides the necessary to master data journalism techniques so you can put them to work with confidence.

What is the difference between the summer school and the kind of training usually offered at journalism conferences or weekend institutes?

The training offered at journalism conferences or weekend institutes is meant only to offer an introduction, to give you a “taste” of what you can do with these tools. The intensive approach taken at the summer school provides the opportunity to master the skills. At the basic school, you get almost six days of instruction, compared to a couple of days.

How long does the school run?

The basic data school normally runs from Monday at 9 a.m. to Saturday at 1 p.m., with an evening social event on the Friday. The advanced school has similar hours the following week, starting on Sunday. The days are full, but you will have some free evenings to sample Halifax’s famous night life. For those interested in building a Nova Scotia vacation around the school, visit the official Nova Scotia tourism site.

How many registrations will you take?

Registration is limited to 12 people in each school to ensure small class sizes. We also limit the number of spots at the lower rate to four, to ensure space for those from larger news organizations. Once four spots are taken at the lower rate, freelancers, bloggers and students pay the same rate as other journalists.

How difficult is it to get to Halifax?

Halifax is the major centre in Atlantic Canada. It is easy to reach by air, rail or road from Canada and the United States. Cab, limousine and city transit make it easy to get from the airport to King’s. Cabs cost about $70 plus a gratuity; the #320 airport bus (transfer to #1 bus at Dartmouth Bridge Terminal to get to King’s) costs $3.50 one way. Contact Halifax Transit for more information, including schedules. There is also a seasonal airport shuttle bus offered by Maritime Bus, at $22 one way or $40 return.

How close is the University of King’s College to the core of Halifax?

King’s is conveniently located just a few blocks from downtown Halifax. You can walk in 15 to 20 minutes, or drive in about five minutes. Frequent city bus service is also available on Metro Transit Route 1, Spring Garden.

Are the training facilities and accommodations accessible?

Wheelchair users can access the School of Journalism through a ground-level entrance and elevator. There is an accessible washroom near the training room. Accessible residence rooms are available at adjacent Dalhousie University. Please e-mail Ukingsdata (at) dal (dot) ca for more information.

Can I have you hold a spot or pay part of the fee now and the rest later?

Demand is normally brisk for the schools, so to be fair to everyone involved, we cannot confirm a spot for you until you have paid in full. It is not possible to begin attending the classes without having paid in full.

What is your cancellation policy?

This is the 2018 cancellation policy.

All cancellations are subject to an administration charge of $75 to cover the costs of administering a refund. Before April 20, we will refund your entire course fee, minus the administration charge. Between April 21 and 30, we will refund 75 per cent of the applicable course fee, minus the administration charge . Between May 1 and 18, we will refund 50 per cent of the fee, minus the administration charge. There are no refunds for cancellations after May 18. We will, however, waive the penalty in the event that there is a waiting list and another person is available to take your place in the same or higher rate category. The administration fee is payable in all instances.

When will I receive more information?

Registered participants will receive a detailed email with directions to King’s and course information, approximately three days before the school begins.

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Posted: February 9, 2016, 2:55 pm AST
Modified: January 16, 2018, 1:26 pm AST