Friday, 1 May 2009

Swine flu: UK press [3]





And there we have it. Day 4

Firstly, lets start with the Times. What the hell (pic 3)? Is anyone supposed to read this? Insane. The Times have produced the greatest of infographics over the past year or so, but this? It's a bio hazard symbol, over a globe, with a load of zero's around it. What kind of editorial decision is this?

Yesterday's heroes, the Independent (pic 1), have finally followed the trend and gone global. Following the hysterical trend of reporting the 'suspected cases', they show where and by what quantity the countries in the spotlight are harbouring their illnesses

The Guardian (pics 4+5) went nuts, over the centre spread, showing the same thing. It feels great. But do we really learn anything new that we don't already know. Similar to the Independent. The global issue was yesterday.

We need to go local. Push the news agenda with infographics. Data maps only get you so far. Why not explain something different? Data is everywhere, on the radio, on TV, on the Internet and all over our newspapers.

So why tell people what they already knew yesterday. OK. This is the life of the printed news. Always playing catch-up. But we should be trying to explain much more...

At the Telegraph (pic 2), not that we are right or wrong, but we decided to develop a different agenda. I had a chat with the online director, who said that users (traffic from Telegraph.co.uk) were not interested in how many cases where around the world, but how it directly involved them.

Basically, what and how the virus was spread, and what happens to the body. So there you are. Our graphic in the Telegraph yesterday. A radically different approach to what the press has covered, but what our readers wanted and needed to know!

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