journalism

Visualization and rhetoric redux / 1 comment

Organizational Chart of the House Democrats’ Health Plan

Organizational Chart of the House Democrats’ Health Plan

A chart depicting the health plan proposed by the House Democrats has recently come to the forefront of the media. It is hard to overlook the rhetorical bias of this visualization—with almost comical overstatement and unnecessary visual complexity it depicts the proposed heath care system through a flow chart consisting of an entangled mess of arbitrarily-colored nodes, positioned with seemingly little rationale. Designed by the office of Rep John Boehner, it makes its rhetorical intent abundantly clear to any conscious observer.

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Three New York Times visualizations

Mapping Foreclosures in the New York Region

Mapping Foreclosures in the New York Region

Given that the New York Times Graphics Department is a winner in this year’s National Design Awards, it seemed opportune to look back at some of its recent work. Over the past few years, the Times has published many excellent interactive visualizations as counterparts to the equally brilliant static information graphics found in the paper, including the previously mentioned 31 Days in Iraq by Alicia Cheng. Each interactive is predicated upon a hypothesis and the evidence that supports it. Here, visualization is treated as a medium for journalistic inquiry by creating an editorial framework for the data on display.

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