Thursday, December 1, 2016

The rise of data visualization in news graphics

The next two months are going to be quite busy. I need to finish writing my PhD dissertation, titled Nerd Journalism. I'll release it as a free e-book through this website probably in the Summer of 2017.

One of the elements of my analysis of how journalistic visualization and infographics have changed in the past decade and a half is the kind of projects that win awards in the Malofiej Infographics competition, the most popular one among news graphics creators.

The graph below shows the percentage of the nearly 2,000 projects recognized by Malofiej juries that had a pictorial graphic (a visual explanation, a photograph, etc.) as central or main element, versus those that emphasize some sort of abstract representation (data graphs, charts, numerical tables, etc.) A couple of important notes: I'm still cleaning up the data, so take this with a grain of salt. Also, this is just a quick summary; other graphics that I'll design for the book will break this down further by type of graphic —graphs, data maps, explanatory illustrations, locator maps, etc.— by country of origin, by publication, etc.

Finally, the last two editions of Malofiej I got data from, the 22nd and the 23rd, are missing in this graph, but the trend continues: Abstract graphics —mostly data visualizations— keep growing, and constitute half of the projects that get awards: