Last week, we saw how some of the “worst offenders” explained the Osama bin Laden story with fictional graphics.
As soon as I started to post some tuitts in my Twitter account @GINER, I saw that many colleagues from many countries reacted in the same way, among them ny friend Alberto Cairo, the infographics editor of EPOCA magazine in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
With Alberto, we wrote “six basic rules” that must be observed to deliver real news with graphics.
Then I contacted Barry Sussman, an INNOVATION Senior Consultant that now serves as editor of the Harvard University Nieman Watchdog Project and he offered that website to post the “check-list” with a short article, and a first list with 58 colleagues from 22 countries immediately endorsed the statement.
Claude Erbsen in New York edited the “six rules” and Barry Sussman in Washington DC edited the full article.
A few minutes ago all this was posted at the Nieman Watchdog website with the same illustration that leads this post, as it fits the purpose and sense of this statement: the front page of the William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal “explaining” the news from Cuba.
And we included a few examples from some of the “worst offenders.”
Like this one from UOL in Brazil:
This from the Daily Mail in the UK:
This one from CBS News:
This one from ABC in Madrid:
This one from the Hindustan Times in India:
This one from NMA News in Taiwan:
Or this from JT France:
You can find an extensive selection with wise comments of Gert K Nielsen about some of the best and worst infographics in his blog VisualJournalism.
But, more important, we just wanted to stress five ideas:
- Facts ,not fiction, is what drives Journalism.
- Visual Journalism is not Show Business.
- Editors must lead this battle against fake information.
- Visual journalists must resist any pressure to deliver graphics “at any cost.”
- And infographics are not a substitute when we don’t have real information.
This what I learned from Alejandro Malofiej, Miguel Urabayen, Peter Sullivan, Mario Tascón, John Grimwade, Chiqui Esteban, Nigel Holmes or Javier Zarracina, and many of the best visual journalists of the world.
And we cannot accept less.
• If you agree with these convictions, please add your signature in the comments section of the Nieman Watchdog, spread the word between your newsrooms, and we will include your names in the next editions of this first wave of endorsements.
Tags: Alejandro Malofiej, Barry Sussman, Chiqui Esteban, Claude Erbsen, Cuba, Facts, Fiction, Fron tapes, GRAPHICS, Harvard University, Javier Zarracina, John Grimwade, Maine, Mario Tascon, Miguel Urabayen, New York Journal, Nieman Watchdog Project, Nigel Holmes, Peter Sullivan, Show Business, VISUAL JOURNALISM, Wiulliam Randolph Hearst, infographics, real news