I love infographics and have ever since I saw my first one a few years ago (probably on Mashable). To me, there is nothing more powerful than data- numbers don’t lie.
Of course, you can manipulate data to portray things one way or another, but you can’t dispute numbers. In a world where shades of gray are the norm, I’d argue that numbers are black and white. That helps me stay sane.
Anyway, I’ve started a digital-only segment called “Breaking It Down” where I work with a reporter in our newsroom to put together infographics that run with their written stories. I’ve done two so far (and will hopefully finish up two or three more this week).
The problem with creating this kind of content is that it takes complete focus and a tremendous amount of detail if you want to do it right. I’d love to produce one of these everyday, but in between managing our website’s layout, managing our social media platforms & mobile site, supervising interns, working with reporters to produce headlines and other content, editing headlines, adding photos and videos to headlines, curating UGC, attending meetings and my responsibilities in departments other than the newsroom, it’s almost impossible to focus on one for more than a few minutes at a time. And that’s without breaking news throwing a wrench into my day.
There are plenty of third-party platforms to create infographics for your news org. Easel.ly, ManyEyes and Visual.ly all come to mind. Microsoft Excel can create some pretty basic, yet powerful charts and graphs from your data, too. I like to do mine solely in Photoshop, though. It gives me complete control.
I’ve rambled enough. Here’s my latest creation– a graphic comparing local teachers’ salaries with the state averages. I would have done more with it – there were several more angles I wanted to explore – but I didn’t have time. The story had already run in today’s “dead tree” edition.
Here’s a link to the full story. Scroll beneath the graphic.
Here’s a link to one I created about a local candidate’s campaign financing.