2021 King’s Summer Data School once again online

Once again in 2021, the King’s Summer School in Data Journalism is going online, from June 21 to 25. This is the 14th consecutive year for Canada’s best and longest-running data journalism training program.

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 offer the course at a real bargain. Early bird rates are only $250 for students/freelancers/employees of small outlets with under 30,000 weekly circulation, $300 for other journalists, $500 for journalism faculty and $750 for all others. Rates increase after May 28. 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 prerecorded video modules and live sessions using video conferencing, with your classmates, instructors and guest experts. You’ll need to purchase an e-book version of the Data Journalist for about $19 plus tax. You’ll need a Kobo device, or you can download the Kobo app to your computer or mobile device. 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. 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. You can download the form here.

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.