When Does an Infographic Say More Than a Thousand Words?

Authors Yael de Haan , Sanne Kruikemeier , Sophie Lecheler , Gerard Smit , Renee van der Nat
Published in Journalism Studies
Publication date 2018
Research groups Quality Journalism in Digital Transition
Type Article

Summary

In recent years, the use of visualizations or infographics in the news has become increasingly popular. We know, however, surprisingly little about how news consumers use and appreciate news visualizations. We apply a mixed-method approach to answer these two questions. First, we conduct an eye-tracking study that measures use, by means of direct attention to visualizations on three different news platforms (print newspaper, e-newspaper on tablet, and news website). Second, we conduct focus groups and a survey among readers of three news media to study the extent to which news consumers actually value the inclusion of visualizations in the news. Our results show that news consumers do indeed read news visualizations, regardless of the platform on which the visual is published. We also find that visualizations are appreciated, but only if they are coherently integrated into a news story and thus fulfill a function that can be easily understood. With this study, we provide the first comprehensive picture of the usefulness of information visualizations in the news, and contribute to a growing literature on alternative ways of storytelling in journalism today.

researchcomponents.publicationcontent.personslist.publicationauthors

  • Yael de Haan | Professor | Quality Journalism in Digital Transition
    Yael de Haan
    • Professor
    • Research groups: Quality Journalism in Digital Transition
  • Renée van der Nat | Researcher | Quality Journalism in Digital Transition
    Renee van der Nat
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Quality Journalism in Digital Transition

Language English
Published in Journalism Studies
Year and volume 19 9
ISBN/ISSN URN:ISSN:1469-9699
Key words infographics; mixed-method; visual storytelling; visualizations
Page range 1293-1312

Yael de Haan

Yael de Haan | Professor | Quality Journalism in Digital Transition

Yael de Haan

  • Professor
  • Research group: Quality Journalism in Digital Transition