This year, I've been part of the jury of Malofiej 19, but I'm talking about the awards and summit not as part of the jury, but as any other infographic journalist.
Just a few things as jury: Very special thanks to Javier Errea (and Álvaro Gil) for calling me to be judging this year. Something that has been very special for me, being part of the students that help in the organization now 10 years ago. Thanks also to the students group for their job. And the rest of the members of the jury: I really enjoyed being and learning with them.
And now, my two cents:
Visualization vs. Ilustration
This is not the first year that I find many people evaluating the awards as a fight of datavis vs. 'classic' infographics. I can't see a fight. And, specially, this year. There are better and worse infographics. Of any kind. I look at the awarded this edition and I find more 'classic' graphics than visualizations, although these last ones catch the eye very fast.
I don't care how the graphic is done if it is telling a story, gives proper information to the reader and explain what they want to explain in an effective way.
Maybe we have to create a friendly soccer game 'Friends of Amanda Cox vs. Friends of Fernando Baptista'
The New York Times and National Geographic
The big winners of this edition (one more time). Both are the big stars of each of the styles we were talking about. But this success is not a surprise.
Althought I can uderstand Alberto Cairo's question: "And the rest of us, what can we do?", we can expect that the two big media that has devoted such huge resources to create the bests infographics departments of the world will win so many awards.
But some other media, not so big, as Público (Spain) that keeps winning lots of awards with a department of just five. Very talented, but just five. Or IL, the italian magazine. It takes its time, but it's easier to succeed if the media (or at leat the art department) really cares about making good (and not just many) infographics.
My favourite of the year: When we tell storiesd with infographics
In my opinion, infographics in journalistic media should be, above all, journalism. And that's what this infographic published on the Washington Post does. It was awarded with a gold medal.
It's easy to understand: localizes a gun store and places crimes with guns purchased in that particular store in several miles around it.
Very high journalist value: it tells a story, warns about a problem and show the data to prove it.
It's visual: I don't need the text of the article to understand the problem, how deep it is and many other things around it.
A modern version of the Dr. John Snow's cholera graphic.
All this, thinking at the same time that NYT graphic about the pitcher Mariano Rivera really deserved the Peter Sullivan award that it got. That's a kind of graphic that will make us all think twice on how are we showing the data. Once again.
These are my ideas, but here you are some others:
- Javier Errea, presidentof the Spanish Chpater of the SND (in spanish)
- Gert K. Nielsen, on his blog VisualJournalism, who was covering the awards and Summit.