The Importance of Explanatory Infographics in Journalism


Large explanatory infographics — a form of visual storytelling combining layers of illustration, statistical data, and/or mapping with few words — have been widely used by news media during the last two decades. In the past five years, U.S. newspapers and news magazines have downsized their art departments and cut back on newsprint to counteract the effects of a struggling economy and other forces affecting the print news industry, leading to a reduction in the use of explanatory infographics.

The Mission

The written thesis explains many of the reasons for a lack of explanatory news infographics in the U.S. through the use of interviews with industry leaders, research, and an Online survey of how readers still look to visuals to give them part of the news. The visual thesis aims to...

  • Show that they should still be a viable source of information.
  • Partner with newspapers to provide them with the visual content.
  • Explore a new way to visualize explanatory graphics.
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