Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Just Fancy That: An analysis of infographic propaganda in The Daily Express, 1956-1959

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Murray Dick


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


This research finds that the emergence of infographics as a regular phenomenon in UK news can be traced back to The Daily Express of the mid-1950s. These “Expressographs” were often used not as a means of conveying data accurately and objectively, but in order to propagate the paper's editorial line, and to further Lord Beaverbook's political interests. A series of editorial narratives are established via the literature on The Daily Express, and its proprietor Lord Beaverbrook. These narratives are used as a framework to analyse statistical infographics published in The Daily Express between January 1956 and October 1959, by means of a combined content analysis and structural semiotic analysis. Best practice, as espoused in the information design literature, is used to identify misleading graphical methods in the sample, which were then analysed in the context of the editorial narratives identified. This study finds that infographics in UK news were the product of a lavishly financed organisation whose key decision-makers were deeply concerned with the impact of the visual in news. The purpose of these infographics was to perpetuate their employer's idiosyncratic view of how the world should be. Occupational norms and practices may account for some of the biases identified, but cannot account for the breadth, range and consistency of bias found across the sample, which constitutes an example of mid-twentieth-century propaganda.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dick M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journalism Studies

Year: 2015

Volume: 16

Issue: 2

Pages: 152-174

Print publication date: 01/03/2015

Online publication date: 07/01/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 1461-670X

ISSN (electronic): 1469-9699

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2013.872415


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric