Journalistic stories that are explained through visualization tools are extremely important and beneficial because it grabs the audience’s attention almost instantly. For some, including me, reading might be considered boring or something that they are forced to do by another. Some might not choose to read a blog simply because the post consists of just words. That’s when data journalism and visualization tools come in handy.
We are currently living in a digital world and if you look at Hans Roslings video, it becomes extremely obvious that data is no longer enough to keep the reader interested.
I know from experience that I will only read something if it catches my eye.
The article Using Visualizations to Tell Stories directly says, “fully half of the human brain is devoted to processing visual information. When you present a user with an information graphic, you are reaching them through the mind’s highest-bandwidth pathway”. This is a huge advantage because it means more people are being drawn to information that is told through a visualization tool.
When talking about a certain statistic many journalists now choose to include a graph so the readers can visually see the difference between the information that they are comparing.
Just by looking at this image you can easily tell which years the United States unemployment rate was the highest and which years it was the lowest.
Storify is one example of a tool that allows the users to choose any topic of their choice and then lets them find news articles, Tweets, Facebook comments, and Flickr Photos. After finding the posts and information they can then drag them to create their own personal multimedia story. The founder of Storify, Burt Herman, told New York Times that the idea “is to pick out the most important pieces, amplify them and give them context”. Without a doubt this is more likely to make the readers more attentive to the post especially because it’s allowing journalists to use information from different perspectives – which is adding creativity to the story that is being told.
Storify makes it easy for journalist to spread information to the readers. While reading a simple article called Storify: The Pros and Cons, Elana Zak talks about how a journalist’s was able to spread the news about Gabrielle Giffords shooting and the uprisings in the Middle east effectively and immediately.
Just by looking at this Storify you can immediately feel the success that Harvard University had on their Commencement Day. It includes pictures with explanations and it was extremely easy to read.
It quickly becomes pretty clear why data journalism is so important. It has the ability to combine information in numerous ways, which is what the readers are looking for. By adding an emotional feel to the story the readers are going to stay interested and will continue to read and learn more.