Back in mid-2011, I sat on a data visualization panel at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, DC. One of the other panelists was Jer Thorp, Data Artist in Residence at The New York Times. Having spent a decade at SGI, I was acutely aware of the media’s growing adoption of dataviz, but Jer took it to a new level. See Jer’s 2011 TEDxVancouver talk “Making data more human.”
The media’s use of visual communication is on the rise. Static infographics and digital weather maps have given way to rich, interactive data visualizations. It helps that there are tools out there like Prezi enabling journalists to create their own visual assets without relying on a dataviz team.
It was after my NAS panel appearance that I first saw a prezi in the media. In July, 2011, after South Sudan gained its independence, Simon Rogers (then graphics editor at the Guardian, now data editor at Twitter) used an embedded prezi to publish a new world map that Guardian readers could freely navigate. It was a simple but effective use of Prezi’s pan and zoom features.
- In 2012, Bloomberg journalist Lara Setrakian co-founded a vertical news site, Syria Deeply, to report on the Syrian crisis. On this site, she uses Prezi as a visual storytelling tool to simplify the historical context behind the regional conflict.
- Earlier this year prominent Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui broke a nationwide political prostitution scandal with a prezi that incorporated a strong visual metaphor that framed her story.
- Recently, I came across this clip from a Canadian television news show where the reporter, Michael Hainsworth, uses Prezi to dynamically visualize market data.
From online to broadcast, I look forward to seeing where the media takes Prezi next.