Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Graphic Novel: A New E-Book Makes It Easy for Journalists to Use Visual Data in Their Stories

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Graphic Novel: A New E-Book Makes It Easy for Journalists to Use Visual Data in Their Stories

Article excerpt

In February, E&P introduced you to Infoactive, a startup that helps people turn complex data and migraine-inducing statistics into understandable charts and graphics. Founded by Trina Chiasson, a Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute research fellow, Infoactive's simple drag-and-drop format can be a godsend for journalists who are trying to jazz up an otherwise mundane story.

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So how did Chiasson follow up her site launch? With an e-book titled Data + Design: A Simple Introduction to Preparing and Visualizing Information. It's an open-source, 299-page tome available for free downloading on the main infoactive.co website, written by more than 50 contributors in 14 different countries.

Essentially, Data + Design is a how-to primer for creating publishable eye-grabbing infographics, designed to be used by low-budget news organizations. It was assembled in part by Dyanna Gregory, a librarian and biostatistician, who reached out to Chiasson when she was running the Kickstarter campaign to fund Infoactive.

"Dyanna said, 'Hey, this is cool, I was wondering what you can offer to people who are looking for more information on how to work with data?'" Chiasson said. "So we had a conversation, and we realized there was a need for this beyond Infoactive. Then we put a call out for contributors with the goal of creating better data sources for journalists."

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Chiasson and Gregory culled together a list of book chapters and

ideas, scrutinized the qualifications and expertise of eveiyone who wanted to help write the book, and then started matching individuals up with chapters they would write. …

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