Friday, 31 July 2009

Oh Lordy

My good friend and colleague Ciaran Hughes at the Telegraph offered a few words on this bad show in the Daily Mirror on Wednesday

This appeared in Wednesday's Daily Mirror, on a double page spread along with a piece about the police investigation into Michael Jackson's last hours, and his doctor's involvement. 
I think, unfortunately, for most journalists of the old school this is exactly what graphics are for. When the default setting of labeled photograph doesn't work (no picture) then the buck is passed to graphics to visualise something that only states the obvious, adds nothing to the story and can end up cheapening the entire process. 
This sort of nonsense occurs at the top end of the market as well - being asked to do a graphic on how Saddam was hung for example. The strangest thing about all this is that while it only takes a second of thought to see how it will play out, it will take a couple of days for the Graphics Desk to make it happen.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Operation Panther's Claw

Infographics traditional style

Like the good old days of war explanations

The comment 'opener' in the Daily Telegraph today showed the how and the whereabouts of latest offensive in Afghanistan

Is it accurate?

We think so!

The interesting debate between 'data' based in infographics and those which recreate the uncertainty of news reporting on deadline

Its great to base everything on fact, which is now why we celebrate the modern phenomenon of data sheets and spreads of statistics

But we should not forget the great pleasure the reader(s) receive from illustrating a sequence or moment in time, however long or short, of an event so far away that there is no way on earth they could never, ever visualise

That is why we do it for them. It's part of our job description

Stef Bayley built most of this for the Sunday Telegraph, unfortunately editorial real estate was gloved in the opposing corner 

Luckily for the Daily, four days later, the story was still breaking news and I decided to run Stefan's research and visual labour in all of its glory

The infographic runs with a comment piece by Allan Mallinson, ex military, which is an interesting account of 'slogans' by Government and MoD. Both very different.

Gordon Brown has not yet labelled this front in Afghanistan as a 'war'

Yet it clearly is. To label its so would mean serious investment

But without the infographic, or the visual, one would never truly appreciate the huge scale of the operation in theatre

It is however, not based on fact or data, but first-hand impression

Is it right or wrong that we can be confident in not only delivering fact and figures, but also recreate and explore means and methods that show the news?

And to take our readers to a place that neither words nor photography can chart?

Just like Peter Sullivan, John Grimwade, Duncan Mill, Jaime Serra, Charles Blow, Juan Velasco and the boys from Bilbao?

Please leave comments and debate on this subject. I feel strongly that although reporting the fact is of huge importance, surely we can also excite and add our impression, as reporters and visual commentators of the news, that our view [as an infografista] counts!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Swine flu

A timely guide

Its getting serious this SIV, so let us add clarity and calm things slightly

The ill are getting no help from their local surgeries, and are being told to stay away from GP's practice. No comfort to those who are panic stricken and read headline news

What will Government figures show?

Andrew Blenkinsop and David Kinross and produced this clean and simple interactive for when the original outbreak consumed the world's media

I'm still rather chuffed with it, it does the job and informs

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The blog

Belated scribe

Its been a while since I've had the chance to write, but times have been busy

We've been producing some nice work lately, so I thought why not show and tell

One of the picks of the crop was this, almost, full-page graphic for the Sport section, which was also placed inside the launch issue of the redesigned 'Weekly Telegraph' and now entitled 'The Telegraph' for overseas readers

Interesting that our infographics seems to have a new lease of life with the compact size, compared to the Broadsheet mothership

This example which shows how Wimbledon's Centre Court roof worked and when

The fun element of the project was interviewing the architectural firm who designed the roof

And of course nice to be able to give 'a jolly good show' as we see in the UK

British Dead in Afghanistan

Not to sure what's happened, but this text disappeared

But this nice interactive by David Kinross gives a memorial of sorts to our troops killed in action, which now stands at 186, in Afghanistan

After scrolling down the page, it can be found here on