|Source: Jer Thorp, blprnt|
Visual journalism is more than photography, more than examining fonts for a masthead. A stuffy definition of "news design" refers to page layouts and captions. In reality, it encompasses graphic displays, interactive media, and data representations to present information in illuminating ways. There is even a Society for News Design, with the mission "to enhance communication around the world through excellence in visual journalism."
|Source: Society for News Design|
In a November TEDxVancouver talk, artist and educator Jer Thorp offers compelling reasons for telling news stories with data. Currently the Data Artist in Residence at The New York Times, Thorp has been responsible for fascinating illustrations and software codes for a host of leading publications. We've written before about the excellence of New York Times infographics. Visual.ly recently posted this TED talk with a great summary of Thorp's work. In "The Weight of Data," Thorp stresses the need for putting "data in a human context" and building "empathy" through news visualizations:
O'Reilly Radar recently presented an interesting series on the "Profile of the Data Journalist." The feature about "The Visualizer" describes the multi-layered job of a data-driven reporter. The Society for News Design also offers a loaded page of "Tools for News" to help aspiring visual journalists. Another resource for students and professionals is the "Visual Editors" ning, describing itself as "the classroom for visual journalism." Some universities, too, are also beginning to offer courses in news design to students of new media.