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Interactive Infographics and News Values

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Murray Dick


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This study is concerned with the news values and working practices that inform the creation of interactive infographics in UK online news. The author draws upon organisational theory in journalism studies, and considers how conventional journalistic news values compare with best practice as espoused in different literatures within this field. A series of open-ended, depth interviews with visual news journalists from the UK national media were undertaken, along with a short-term observation case study at a national online news publisher. Journalistic and organisational norms are found to shape the selection, production, and treatment of interactive graphics, and a degree of variation is found to exist amongst practitioners as to definitions of quality in this field. Some news stories are considered to be better suited to rendering in interactive form than others. The availability of “big data” does not drive decision-making in itself, but some numbers are considered more newsworthy than others. Budgetary constraint drives practice and limits potential in this field. Risk aversion, embodied in various forms; from the use of templates, to a perceived need to avoid audience complaint, is found to dampen experimentation. Detailed audience research was found to inform the choice of methods used in data visualisation at one national news producer. This warrants further investigation as to how audiences engage with news interactives, and what the framing of news in certain (preferred) data visualisation formats means in terms of how news is understood.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dick Murray

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Digital Journalism

Year: 2014

Volume: 2

Issue: 4

Pages: 490-506

Print publication date: 01/07/2015

Online publication date: 19/09/2013

Acceptance date: 02/09/2014

ISSN (print): 2167-0811

ISSN (electronic): 2167-082X

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/21670811.2013.841368


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