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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We’ve talked time and time again about what constitutes a good, informative graphic–accuracy, organization, creativity, the ability to understand the information–but it seems that when those ideals don’t align, the final product can be lackluster and effectively uninformative. When they do, though, you get something that’s compelling both visually and in terms of content.

Unfortunately, this particular graphic about job creation along party lines doesn’t really accomplish what it sets out to show. The data itself is fascinating, and getting a breakdown of how job creation fairs in the context of political party is an important topic that can be a determinant of how people vote. But with combination of the narrow gray horizontal bar chart with the with the larger reds and blues, it becomes difficult to tell where the charts begin and end, even with labeled axes. Additionally, the conclusion that a single party created said job can be inaccurate in that the government rarely operates with a single party majority from the executive and legislative branches.

This graphic here, on the other hand, is something that’s pretty striking and clear in its intention. The use of Romney’s and Obama’s silhouettes is a good choice in that people can recognize what they’re looking at without having to see the actual faces of the candidates. Using dollar amounts and percentages in tandem helps to put the donated money in context and the divisions between the types of donation is clear. Additionally, the bottom supplementary graphic that puts the implications of the main graphic into an equation gives a nice summary of the data.


About esst2d

Third-year Convergence journalism student at University of Missouri.


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