Uses and abuses of data visualizations in mass media

Audio (.mp3).

ESS Visualisation Workshop 2016. Valencia. May 17-18, 2016.


Data visualizations are a powerful way to display and communicate data that otherwise would be impossible to transmit in effective and concise ways. The spread of broadband Internet, the easier access to reusable datasets, the rise in read/write digital media literacies, and the lower barrier to generate data visualizations are making mass media to intensively use of infographics. Newspaper and online news sites are taking advantage of new, affordable and easy to access data visualization tools to broadcast their messages. How can these new tools and opportunities be used effectively? What are good practices regarding data visualization for a general audience?

After an introduction to a series of key concepts about visualizing data the lecture will follow with an analysis of a series of significant data visualizations (tables, pie and bar charts, maps and other systems) from TV, daily newspapers and news websites to detect good and bad practices when visualizing statistical information. The lecturer will then analyze recent literature of visualization studies regarding persuasion, memorability and comprehension. What are more effective embellished or minimal data visualizations? Does graphical presentation of data make a message more persuasive?