Visually Telling Your Story

By Nora Carr

nce denigrated as journalism’s version of light beer, infographics are now de rigueur, especially for interactive news outlets. Done well, these colorful and clever variations on standard chart and graph designs can convey a lot of information quickly.

A staple of USA Today and other easy-to-read, easier-to-scan publications, infographics work by condensing data like test scores, budget priorities, and student demographics into visual representations that audiences can grasp easily. Unlike data tables, which tend to overwhelm non-statisticians with numbers, infographics make it easy for school officials to highlight key points.

Fueled in part by the social media explosion, infographics also are popular with content aggregators, which gather and redistribute information already published online. As a result, infographic press releases, which combine snappy graphics, credible data sources, and a factoid or humor-driven content, are becoming a “go to” tool for anyone with good data or a point of view to sell.

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