Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dear El Mundo: This is an absolute shame

It's sad to see a former employer committing a mortal visualization sin. El Mundo, the newspaper I used to work for between 2000 and 2005, has just published the charts below, comparing the circulations of the three major national papers in Spain. As media critic Josu Mezo has pointed out in his blog, the main problem isn't the lack of a 0 baseline (I don't think that line charts always need one) but the fact that the Y-axis is truncated in the middle, to suggest that El Mundo is closer to El PaĆ­s than it really is.

This is an absolute disaster and, knowing that my ex-colleagues at El Mundo's infographics department take their job very seriously, I'm nearly 100% certain that this is the product of an overzealous top editor trying to massage the data to mislead readers, something that seems to be common practice in my country. Shame on you.

Mezo has published new versions of the charts in which the Y-axis has been corrected.