The influence and emergence of Graphics in Journalism
Graphics in journalism industry
All of us are aware about the tremendous reach that graphic design has managed in its favour. Graphic communication, holds the most engrossing attribute, and it plies visual material to relate ideas. It has assumed many facets and is making its presence felt across industries. This has seen to the emergence of a new field- Graphic Journalism. An application of graphics can be seen in the print and electronic media. The print media are typically newspapers, magazines, journals, flyers, etc. which get printed on paper. Among all these, newspapers assume importance and are widely read as well as preferred among the populace. Electronic media relates to internet, television etc. It is an ultra-modern form of media which hoops more revenues and job opportunities. With the edge-lead of motion pictures, animation etc. electronic media attracts mass more than its elder sibling print media.
Graphic industry has been quite a benefactor in substantial growth to journalism and media. The benefactor role has been reversed resulting a major up-flow in the growth chart of graphic industry too. With many institutes striving to reach and retain the rank of top graphic-web-animation college or best design school, online courses inched-in and paralleled classroom training.
In this specialized and unique type of journalism, graphic forms are used to depict information and message. Along with words, illustrations are extensively employed and therefore a graphic journalist is expected to have an exceedingly good ability to write and present.
Graphic journalism also utilizes and adds on to the information or reporting that has been done in the publication. Usually, these journalists take a part of the story and corresponding graphics are developed around it. Therefore, it is pivotal that the information is to the point as well as complete in all respects.
Examples in graphic journalism
In graphic journalism, emphasis would be to represent numerical data, statistics and figures. Therefore, representation that goes into the charts must be done very skillfully. The most commonly used charts used by a graphic journalist are:
- Bar charts:
- Line charts:
- Pie charts:
What a graphic journalist must understand is that they ought to have good understanding of both visual and graphic principles. The content one puts up along with its purpose has to be the main consideration. The accuracy of information is paramount and so when depth is being used, the graphic journalist must ensure that while depth is being used, it must be done with utmost care so that it does not distort the information in any way.
Skills in popular softwares like adobe MS Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, illustrator, CorelDraw, etc. come quite handy.
Prior understanding of using charts in graphic journalism
A graphic journalist can use any of these three charts or a combination of them while presenting the data. Apart from keeping in mind the data; maps have to been incorporated so that it gives the reader an idea of the place and location from where the event is being reported. However, certain conventions are to be borne in mind. Even if it is the simplest of map that is to be used, the graphic journalist has to ensure great skill in designing and constructing it. Concepts like proportionality and depth are also to be kept in mind at all times. Though most of the charts can be done through MS Excel, certain things need to be paid heed to before creating them.
They are as follows:
- Understand charts that have been designed and produced by the press or websites
- Minimal data should be put up on the chart. Ideally, a line should not have more than three lines of data whereas it is about seven for a pie chart
- An ‘EXPLAINER BOX ‘is to be incorporated so that the reader is able to understand the chart
- The central idea or theme of the chart should be as simple as possible
Article composed and compiled by an alumnus of Animaster Academy, a leading animation and graphics college, in Bangalore, India.
The readers are advised to check the other articles on creative sector.